Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Feast of the Holy Family

Today is the Feast of the Holy Family. At this morning's mass, Father Andy reminded us that Mary and Joseph were ordinary people, flesh and blood like us. He also reminded us that Our Lord, the Word, became flesh. This stands in stark contrast to other religious traditions in which humans seek to escape the fleshly for the spiritual. Jesus, through the incarnation, has healed our flesh; we are not to escape our human nature, but to live it for His Glory.

So on this beautiful day that honors Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, let us pray for all families of the earth. Let us ask our Lord to bind up what is wounded, to heal what is broken, and to grant peace and love in the hearts of fathers, mothers, and children.

In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,


Monday, December 22, 2008

Pray the Divine Office -- with Music!!

Wow, a poster on the Coming Home Network International Forum just posted about a wonderful new resource -- Divine Office -- Liturgy of the Hours . To this point they are recording and posting the Invitatory, the Office of Readings, and the Morning Prayer for each weekday. The prayers are also available for download as *.mp3 recordings.

Early in my journey, I discovered morning and evening prayer from the LOH posted as recordings on the EWTN home page. I would lock my door at work and pray. Praying in this way opened new doors of understanding in my heart. It was a priceless experience!

Then one day the prayers disappeared from the EWTN page, and I could not find a similar resource available. Just before my baptism, my dear friends Tom and Gloria Cabeen sent me the one volume Christian Prayer as a gift and I resumed my LOH habit. But I have seriously missed the beautiful music!

Many thanks to the owners and operators of the new web site, and a H/T to CHNI Forum .

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas from a Holiday Handicapped Nana

By the time most Nanas get to be 56 years old with 6 grandchildren, they have the holiday celebrations "down to a science". I have wonderful friends who all have their special holiday traditions and who are each experts in some facet of Christmasology.

But alas, Nana Ruth is a neophyte in the celebration of the Lord's birthday...

Since celebrating Christmas is still not a "family thing" for everybody at my house, I have had to work at learning about Christmas traditions. I have tried to focus on spiritual traditions. For example, I am praying my first Christmas Novena this year.

I helped with the Christmas Social at my college, and attended with my grandson (who loved the whole thing). We also went to the CCD Christmas party, the Elementary School Christmas party, and his homeroom Christmas party. Haydon has already received a number of Christmas "present bags". I have surprises for him and the other grandkids stuffed in my trunk for the big day. But I have been trying to impress on Haydon the spiritual meaning of the Season, and that Christmas is Baby Jesus' birthday, not Haydon's birthday.

Yesterday, after we went to his homeroom party, Haydon came to my room with a ribbon bedecked candy cane with a piece of chocolate attached to it. He solemnly presented it to me as my present.

I have to confess, I was tempted to tell him to keep it. To tell him, "it's yours, you can have it". He loves candy canes and adores chocolate!

I'm happy to say that I resisted the temptation. Swallowing hard, I smiled and said "Thank you very much". How can I deprive him of the joy of giving me a present?

So have a Blessed Advent, a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year. And send me your favorite Christmas traditions, so I can start to figure this whole thing out.

Ave Maria!!