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Tag: Christmas

Reliving the Christmas Story in Our Hearts

Reliving the Christmas Story in Our Hearts

It is just an ordinary night. Although I am young and small, I am learning how to tend sheep. I’m even in charge of two small lambs. The stars are shining brightly, and all is quiet and calm. Suddenly, the sheep begin to “baa” in anticipation of something unknown. The older boys check the perimeter, but there is no sign of an intruder. The elders encourage us to settle down, and we huddle close together. I gaze again at the…

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Saying Yes to God … Even When We Don’t Feel Ready

Saying Yes to God … Even When We Don’t Feel Ready

Over the last three Sundays of December, we have heard the promises of Christ’s coming. We have been encouraged to “not become drowsy from … the anxieties of daily life” (Luke 21:34). We have been invited to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Luke 3:4). And when we asked, “What should we do?” (Luke 3:10), we were told of the Messiah and all He would do for us. Now, on this fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear, “Blessed are you…

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Better Late Than Never: A FREE Advent Prayer Journal Just for You

Better Late Than Never: A FREE Advent Prayer Journal Just for You

Yesterday, we celebrated the first Sunday of Advent! And to be honest, I was barely ready for it. Yes, I set up our Advent wreath and Jesse Tree, but I already feel anxious about everything I have to do in the next 21 days. (Yes, Christmas Eve is three weeks from today.)  Maybe you are feeling the same way—a bit weary about the busyness of Advent and Christmas? We want Advent to be prayerful and peaceful, but that desire is…

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Advent Lessons I Learned and How I Can Apply Them to My Ordinary Life

Advent Lessons I Learned and How I Can Apply Them to My Ordinary Life

Two and a half weeks ago, my family and I gathered around our Christmas tree. Excitement and joy mingled with the festive scents of hot coffee, cinnamon rolls, and pine needles. The kids piled their gifts next to them and eagerly wondered what was inside each wrapped box. As I sipped my coffee and breathed in Christmas goodness, I felt grateful. For the first time in forever, I felt like Christmas had arrived and I had arrived with it. I…

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Let Us Adore Him: Embracing the Babe, Embracing the Cross

Let Us Adore Him: Embracing the Babe, Embracing the Cross

As I sit in the Eucharistic Adoration chapel, I am graced with this very visual meditation of the life of Christ. As if the very heartbeat of Christ in the monstrance isn’t enough, today I also get to praise and adore the infant Jesus, who the shepherds worshiped and who the magi traveled far to find, honor, and present gifts fit for a King. There He is before me. In my prayer, I recall how I waited and watched for Him…

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Being Called Beloved: A Reflection on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Being Called Beloved: A Reflection on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

“And this is the marvel of marvels, that He called me Beloved.” (C.S. Lewis) The warm sun is shining, and there is not a cloud in the sky. I wear a white robe, and I am standing in chest-deep water. It is the perfect temperature—comfortable and refreshing at the same time. I have been following John for awhile, and his message of repentance resonates deep in my heart. I wonder how I can apply his words—“Prepare the way of the…

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Joy to the World! It’s Christmas! The Lord is Come!

Joy to the World! It’s Christmas! The Lord is Come!

I just love Christmas Eve Mass. It is my favorite part of Christmas. I become overwhelmed with joy, as O Come All Ye Faithful announces the beginning of this holy day, this holy season. I cannot help but put myself—and all those weary travelers who are with me in Church—right at the manger scene. It is as if we are following the star of wonder … we are like the shepherds going to see the Baby in the stable … I pray, pray,…

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Rejoice! God is Giving Us Christmas!

Rejoice! God is Giving Us Christmas!

This reflection is the fourth in a four-part series that supplements the free Advent prayer journal I am offering to email subscribers. You may read part one HERE, part two HERE, and part three HERE. *** One more day, and we will be celebrating the birth of Jesus. Ready or not, Christmas is almost here! This Advent, we may have started out a bit weary, a bit sorrowful, a bit worn out. We heard Jesus’ invitation to come to Him for rest, and we rested in…

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