Sanctification in Daily Work
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Preparing for Christmas

There are many options for finding excellent spiritual reading during Advent. One I recommend is Scepter Publishers. Besides the many books they offer, you can find a “Daily Quote to Contemplate.” You can subscribe to it here. Here is an example from 11/30/21:

“Healing power pours forth unceasingly from the sacred Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, but in order for this power to be received, it must meet with a certain receptivity. This receptivity consists in the theological virtues.” From The Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle by St. Manuel Gonzalez Garcia.

Memento Mori. Know what that means? Remember your death. Sounds kind of morbid doesn’t it? However, it is an old spiritual practice. Here’s more information:

Memento mori or “remember your death” is a phrase that has been long associated with the practice of remembering the unpredictable and inevitable end of one’s life. The spiritual practice of memento mori and the symbols and sayings associated with it were particularly popular in the medieval church. But the tradition of remembering one’s death stretches back to the very beginning of salvation history.

I have found a treasure trove of information and aids to this practice by Sr. Theresa Altheia Noble, who is a former atheist who is now a religious sister of the Daughters of Saint Paul. You can find lots of information here.

Since we’re on our way to death even as we’re born this practice is an excellent way to prepare yourself for when that time comes.

Welcome To Advent

Here’s how EWTN defines Advent:

The word Advent is from the Latin adventus for “coming” and is associated with the four weeks of preparation for Christmas. Advent always contains four Sundays, beginning on the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, (November 30) and continuing until December 24. It blends together a penitential spirit, very similar to Lent, a liturgical theme of preparation for the Second and Final Coming of the Lord, called the Parousia, and a joyful theme of getting ready for the Bethlehem event.

Since the 900s Advent has been considered the beginning of the Church year. This does not mean that Advent is the most important time of the year. Easter has always had this honor.

The traditional color of Advent is purple or violet which symbolizes the penitential spirit. Religious traditions associated with Advent express all these themes.

I used a relatively warm day yesterday to put up our Christmas lights and Nativity Scene. I would love to see more yards with a Nativity Scene in them. Can’t say I’m a big fan of blow up Santas and assorted animals.

Mass at St. Bernadette’s

st-bernadette-churchHello from Panama City Beach, FL. It’s family vacation time and this morning we attended Mass at St. Bernadette Church. This is a view of the Altar before Mass.

After Mass the day care kids all got up in front of us and said a prayer and sang a song and presented the priest with a nice Christmas present. They were very cute.

I pray that you will all have a wonderful Advent week leading up to the birthday of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Start of Advent

Today starts the Advent season. “The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. The Lord is coming.” That’s what the days leading up to Christmas are all about. We’re looking forward to the coming of Christ. Christmas is His birthday.

I sure wish that’s what people would keep in mind. It never ceases to amaze me to read the stories about Black Friday. Even here in central Missouri we had reports of people fighting as the doors were opened at retail stores. Talk about a society that is overly concerned with “things.” We’ve got one.

Our local paper, small as it is, has had some good stories about helping the poor though. Why don’t we focus more on that? We’ve got plenty of people right here at home who need help. Instead of battling to get the best price on a new toy or appliance why not donate to a family in need, or participate in your church holiday assistance program? You would be storing up a treasure in Heaven that has infinitely more value than any treasure you can store up here on Earth. This doesn’t mean that having things is bad. It isn’t. But the stories and appearances are that people are putting way too much value on what we have here.

I am just finishing my latest spiritual reading on the the Cure DArs, by Abbe Francois Trochu. This saint was one of the most detached people from things of this world that I’ve ever read about other than perhaps St. Francis of Assisi. He had a supernatural ability to care nothing for things. I don’t know how it would be possible to live like he did but at least he showed us an example of how living detached and only for God can lead to holiness and sanctity.

I have been very blessed to enjoy good health (although I did have a serious issue this summer), a good job and now my own company (along with my wife) and many nice things. Increasingly I feel like getting rid of a lot of “stuff” though. I’m having difficulty finding the time to do it. But it is a goal of mine. I’m also working on worrying less about what I have as I get older. This includes my “retirement plan.” We’re reading more and more stories of people who don’t have enough money put away for their retirement. But what is their definition? Enough money to live high on the hog like they did throughout their career? Let’s all worry more about today and what we can do for others and less about what the future holds. Advent is a great time of the year to contemplate this and do something about it.