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Born In Poverty

Next week, we celebrate Christmas.  We are retold the story of how the Holy family had to go back to Bethlehem because of a census.  We learn that the city was full, and Mary was in labor.  We relive the birth of Christ in a stable and how even in not the best conditions (to our high standards), our King and Savior was born into this world. Will we be filled with joy because of Christmas?  Are we going to celebrate the Birth of Christ with praise and thanksgiving, or are we going to feel disappointed because we didn’t get the things that we wanted?     Jesus was born in poverty.  A stable, full of animals, and not once in the scriptures do we hear about Mary saying that this place is not fit for the King of all Nations.  We don’t hear about the complaints and groans of this Holy Family because they know that what was to happen was by the divine will of God. Now imagine us.  How many of us would be okay giving birth in a stable full of animals?  How many of us get bent out of shape when we don’t get the things we want?  Could we put ourselves in the Blessed Virgin Mary’s shoes and humbly accepted that all these events come with saying ‘yes’?  Can fathers put themselves in Saint Joseph’s shoes knowing that they not only married a woman who did not carry their child, but out of love for her (and obeying God), his wife was about to give birth in what seems like appalling conditions? The Holy Family did not have control...

Season of Peace

Have you noticed how often we use the word peace?  We are at peace.  They keep the peace.  I’m looking for peace and quiet. We throw around the word so much these days, that we forget what it means to be at peace.  In the worldly sense, peace means tranquility.  But can we be in tranquility all the time?  Can we wake up in peace, not have any disturbances, and end our day in peace?  Nope.  Honestly, it just doesn’t happen. The toil of daily life calls us.  Frustrates us.     Advent of Peace   This week of Advent the second candle is lit.  The candle of peace.  In the secular sense, peace can be obtained by mediating, or by doing various poses of Yoga, or even baking to relieve the tension of the day. In the news we hear about war, turmoil, strife, and sickness.  We see, and are fully aware of so much despair out there, that we will begin to question to ourselves: what is peace? As we focus on the peace this week in Advent, we are reminded that Christ is coming.  We are truly not forgotten, we suffer for a purpose.   True Image of Peace   I am reminded of the sign of peace that we give each other at Mass.  Not only are we saying that we want peace for our brothers and sisters, but we are saying that the peace that we hope for them, is the peace that can only be offered through Christ. These days, I’m truly amazed at how our secular world views God, and the peace that is offered through...

A Season Of Hope: Preparing Our Hearts and Homes

  I‘m very thrilled that Advent started Sunday. Not only is it my favorite time of year, but it is a time of hope. This time of year we prepare our hearts and homes for the celebration of Christ. Some things that my kids are doing for this advent is following Along with Holy Heroes. Everyday, there is an activity, video and things to do for Advent. Not only are they learning about “the reason for the season” but they too learn how to do their part to prepare our home and their hearts for Christmas. As for adults, you know we’re usually busy buying the gifts and preparing for the celebration, but like last year, I don’t want to lose the season of advent. It’s a beautiful time to realign our hearts to a higher purpose and to hope for a better tomorrow.   What can we do to prepare for Christmas during Advent?   1. Fast Right about now (maybe in a few days), we’ll be tempted to eat all the holiday candies, cookies and cakes. I know many of us are pinning them up to make! But for this season, you can fast from all forms of sweets or even give up something that you like. The reason some of us would choose to fast during this season, because it is a period of waiting. Waiting for something good to come. To prepare our bodies for the feast (because let’s be honest–Christmas is a feast), we should know how to do without something’s we really like–at least for a while.   2. Daily meditations   Advent meditations...

A Closer Look At The Deadly Seven — Gluttony

Yes!  We’ve made it to the last one.  Amen!  Honestly, I feel sorry for my family who had to deal with me all these weeks and my conversations.   If you’re new here, and want to see what else was written in the series, please click here. *** Just one last slice of cake, I promise, and I won’t eat it again.   Do you want those fries? All you can eat chocolate?  I’m in! (not kidding, all things I know I’ve said before, and I suspect that I’m not alone)     What is Gluttony?   Gluttony can be defined as: disordered appetite — to gulp down or swallow, means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, or wealth items to the point of extravagance or waste. (source) Okay, who can’t get that scene out of their minds from Seven when the man was tied and forced to eat more than he could.  Ultimately, his stomach couldn’t handle all the food and burst?  I’ll give you a moment to for it to just try to remember the details of that movie. We usually define gluttony as the definition stated above and what we usually see in the movie.  After all, the movie was able to portray the extreme of the vice,  but, there is more to gluttony than just over eating. Gluttony can also be described as being too picky.  Yes too picky!  Being too attached to a certain kind of food, and in that attachment, we end up making everyone else miserable (or go out of their way) by refusing to eat anything other than exactly what we wanted....

The Deadly Seven – Greed

I think Biggie Smalls said it best, ” Mo Money, mo’ problems.”  This week we are going to take a closer look at Greed.  Welcome to my series of the Deadly Seven.  If you are new here, you can click here to get a list of all the ones we’ve covered so far. *** Gimme, gimme, gimme.  The words that parents do not like to hear.  In fact, I’m sure that some of us even said that to ourselves when we see something that we feel that we must have.     We can define Greed as the following: also known as avarice, cupidity, or covetousness, is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. It is applied to a markedly high desire for and pursuit of wealth, status, and power. (source)   Just A Little More   Did you know that those of us who are moderately well off (have a decent paying job) and those who are very well off, always compare themselves with people are further along in life than they are?  This means: instead of being happy with one television, and a car, we compare our lives with people who have two cars, and two televisions, and bigger houses.   Unfortunately, we equate happiness with lifestyles. Ultimately, with Greed, we are looking for temporary things (money, possessions etc.) to make us happy.  We are looking for satisfaction in the things that surround us, when ultimately, they end up leaving us wanting more.   The Vices of Greed...

The Deadly Seven — Sloth

Ahh, number 5, and I’m feeling quite lazy already.  Okay, buck up, only have this one and two more to go (my mini pep talk). Greetings, if you’re new to this series, welcome, you can check out all the post regarding this topic here. *** Sloth has always been portrayed as the lazy person.  veggin’ out on the couch, eating chips, and the room is a complete mess, shoo, they are a complete mess!  But there’s more to it than that.   What is Sloth? Sloth: reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness. The many sins of sloth are: apathy, idleness, indifferent, wasting time, cowardice, irresponsibility, workaholism, and many sins of omission, including the failure to observe the Lord’s day and other neglected duties.  Stress over the prospect what it means to embrace the faith completely.   Problems of the Workaholic   Sloth is not a sin against the clock.  In fact, we as Americans are pretty good about our work ethic.  We wake up early, some of us refuse to be completely off during vacations (I was one of them), we have always been busy for the sake of being busy.  But that is the problem. With the capital sin of Sloth, it’s not a sin against time, but against God.  John Paul II wrote, ” the heart of the tragedy being experienced by modern man: the eclipse of the sense of God and of man.” We are moving into (or have already moved) to a place where people already feel they are above God.  Some have even defined faith on their own terms. John Paul II explains that when we...
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