Read, Pray, Listen
- Read, ponder, tell me about YOUR day. I welcome your comments and read them all. I only re-post positive, helpful comments.
I didn't know what Advent meant until after we became Catholic. I'd heard of it, just like I'd heard of Lent, or of "being confirmed" but I didn't know what it was, when it was, or what it was for. My church of origin celebrated only two holidays - Christmas and Easter - and followed no calendar of any kind. The pastor preached on whatever he wanted to. Sure, we sang Christmas carols (I didn't know there were Advent carols!) and Easter hymns. But other than those two dates there was no set season, no time of year when we got READY for a big holiday.
I never shop on so-called "Black Friday." I am still feasting.
Feast, people! Feast!
We have good friends who share Thanksgiving dinner with their large, extended family on Thursday. Then on Friday, they cook another turkey with all the fixins and we are invited. Two feasts! Forget shopping.
If you actually have leftover food, here are some good ideas on what to do with extra meat, potatoes, pumpkin pie. If you are like us, there won't be any leftovers. It is not a good day for diets.
I started to make a list. But being a writer, it got out of hand. Give me a keyboard and I can go crazy. So I thought, I know. I'll just write about what I am MOST thankful for. But it turned out that couldn't be just one thing. It had to be two.
1. I am thankful that I am a Christian. Jesus loves me, this I know! My life is in His, and He is in me. It changes everything. It makes my life (including the bad stuff) worth living. It give me hope for the future and for eternal life. Where would I be without Jesus?
2. I and thankful to be Catholic. I am a most unlikely Catholic. My Christian tradition has its roots in the Puritan Movement of the 17th Century. I was taught all my life that the Catholic Church was 1) evil 2) idolatrous 3) a cult 4) evil 5) apostate 6) really, really evil. At first it was something of a horror to realize God was leading us toward the Church. What would people think? But as I got closer, and asked honest questions, I discovered that the Church is 1) beautiful 2) true 3) good 4) biblical 5) historical 6) philosophically sound. Plus other really great stuff.
I have been Catholic for nearly 21 years. Not a day has gone by when I didn't thank the Lord from bringing me into the Church (somewhat kicking and screaming at first). THANK YOU JESUS, for helping me discover my true home, the Catholic Church.
I am most thankful to be a Catholic Christian. Thanks be to God!
Tomorrow is America's national day of Thanksgiving. It is usually easy for us to think of positive things for which we are thankful. Life. Family. Clean water. Food. Lots of food. Most people can come up with ten things they are thankful for. Some can come up with dozens.
But what about the bad stuff that happens in our lives? St. Paul admonished the Thessalonian Christians: In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thes. 5:18) How can he be serious? Why be thankful for the bad, the crappy, the awful, the unhappy stuff in life?
On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, the Jubilee Year of Mercy will commence. On that same day, MERCY UNWRAPPED, Episode 1 will be available. Each Tuesday another episode will be available for download or for listening on this website. And yeah, it will be available on iTunes and Stitcher and SoundCloud! I have been interviewing people for a couple of weeks now and I'm excited! The first episode features Yours Truly. I figured if I'm asking other people to talk personally about the mercy of God then I ought to take the plunge first.
Please pray that this project reaches many people and that His Abundant Mercy will be outpoured. Jesus is Near!