Spoiler alert! The moral of this blog is not to advise you to ask God for help before making your resolutions. That’s a no-brainer. The point is to show you, from first-hand experience, just how much better God can “do” our resolutions than we can.
The connection between Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) and the first recorded Nativity re-enactment has been well documented by sources close to him. The year was 1223, and Francis enlisted the help of a friend to stage a reverent live rendering of the scene which had taken place in the stable at Bethlehem. The setting was Greccio, a small Italian town located about 55 miles north of Rome.
During the final days approaching the great feast of Christmas – of God’s dwelling among us as one of us – our time and attention often become distracted and fragmented at best. The multiple aspects of holiday preparation can descend upon us as an intimidating army of chores to be accomplished, duties to be fulfilled. We can so easily lose focus on the true meaning behind all the gift-wrapping and cookie-baking.
As the liturgical season of Advent gets underway, it is good to consider various ways to make this time of anticipation worthwhile and spiritually fulfilling. Daily meditations in print or electronic form certainly can be helpful, but nothing can outdo the efficacy of daily Mass.
I distinctly remember the first time I experienced real gratitude, the kind that goes beyond getting the puppy you always wanted for Christmas or a big fat tax refund. The kind of gratitude I’m talking about is the kind that changes your heart forever.
Angels are all the rage these days. Often depicted as plump little cherubs or New Age nymphs, put one of these winged creatures on the cover of a book or greeting card and it’s bound to sell. How much do we really know about the extraordinary beings who keep careful watch over us every day of our lives?