May the dear Lord Jesus, perfect Love, cast out all fear and despair this Holy Night. Merry Christmas!
|The Holy Night, Carlo Maratta, 1652|
There is so much to celebrate right now! The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Gaudete Sunday--actually all of it falls in the octave of the Immaculate Conception. And truly, our country needs the prayers of our Lady, our Mother Mary to draw us near the Christ-Child. Oh, that He would make His home in our poor hearts. Dec. 8th was a very special night for us at Sacred Heart Catholic Church where we had a High Mass. Fr. West has been introducing his parish to the Latin Mass and we're grateful to be able to help build it up. Later we stopped at a brewery to sample their wares.
Our Advent is low-key but busy with music preparation and sending out Christmas cards but I love how the focus is on preparation. Our pastor always reminds us of the wisdom of Holy Church to not try to celebrate Christmas until the Midnight Mass. He is near, and nearer still to the people who suffer. Take heart. Rejoice!
Some photos of our Advent: Bees too are preparing--they huddle and shiver and keep the hive warm. They have their honey stores for winter, though when it's warm in the afternoon I see them flying out to collect pollen and nectar. My shoulder is healing well and physical therapy is helping tremendously. I've stopped using the brace unless I need it. My orthopedic surgeon gave me the green light to start using those atrophied muscles. Michael jokes, "what muscles?"
I bought this Catholic weekly planner from Angelus Press and love how well it's designed with liturgical feasts listed, some saints highlighted, space for daily, weekly, monthly notes. Perfect for my needs. And I already started using it because it begins on Dec. 1st. I'm reading a lot more too, but I won't post pictures of the books because...they're gifts for my family :) Do you have any to recommend?