Spreading the Light #4

English: Brass band playing Christmas carols S...
English: Brass band playing Christmas carols Svenska: Ett brassband som spelar julsånger (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Honor your spiritual, ethnic or family traditions. Read from the sacred texts of your faith, sing the songs, eat the traditional foods, watch the classic holiday movies you watched as a child with your children.

Spreading the Light #3

Community Center
Community Center (Photo credit: ccstbp)

Approach volunteer work or charitable donations honoring the dignity of the people being helped.  Try not to think of people needing help as “less fortunate” or people to pity or blame.  We are all God’s children.   Many people are finding themselves one paycheck away from homelessness. Remember, you could be the one having to ask for help for the first time.

Thought for Today

"Light gives of itself freely, filling al...
“Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished” (Photo credit: liahiro)

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.  It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe.  It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.  ~Michael Strassfeld

Spreading the Light #2

Random Thoughts of Kindness Barnstar
Random Thoughts of Kindness Barnstar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let your kinder, gentler side show this holiday season.  Return a holiday greeting with a smile, even if it is not the greeting you prefer.  Open doors for people, especially if their arms are full of packages.  Remember store clerks are just doing a job, trying to keep a roof over their families heads and food on the table. A kind word and a smile go a long way toward making a stressful time bearable.

Thought for Today

Nativity scene at Sacred Heart Catholic Church...
Nativity scene at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, in the historic Barelas neighborhood, Albuquerque, NM, Jan 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It might be easy to run away to a monastery, away from the  commercialization, the hectic hustle, the demanding family responsibilities of Christmas-time. Then we would have a holy Christmas. But we would forget the lesson of the Incarnation, of the enfleshing of God—the lesson that we who are followers of Jesus do not run from the secular; rather we try to transform it. It is our mission to make holy the secular aspects of Christmas just as the early Christians baptized the Christmas tree. And we do this by being holy people—kind, patient, generous, loving, laughing people—no matter how maddening is the Christmas rush…”  Fr. Andrew Greeley, Woman’s Day, 12-22-81

Looking for a good Advent resource?  Check out the Praying Advent website from Creighton University’s Online Ministries.

Spreading the Light #1

English: Glass candle light holder
English: Glass candle light holder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember celebration is a state of mind. All the other stuff — elaborate gifts, food and drink, excessive spending is optional. Money is not required to express the joy of the season.

Even the rushed, busy, non stop flurry of  activity is a choice.  So this year, try just slowing down.  Life will still go on.  The holidays will still go on.  Take a deep breath and remember what this season means to you.  This could be your most meaningful holiday yet.

Let There Be Light

A powerful light shining in the dark.
A powerful light shining in the dark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is no accident the greatest light holidays of humankind fall during times that for many people of the world are cold and dark. As the days grow shorter and the weather become colder we need that little glimmer of hope that Christmas, Chanukah, Diwali, Kwanza and others bring to us.

This year times seem especially dark and hopeless for many. Hunger, lost jobs, homes and the dreams that went with them leave many struggling in a world that is calling out, no screaming for the light.

But there is good news! We are the guardians of that light we yearn for. So this holiday season help spread the light.   Watch this blog for ways you can do your part in bringing light back to a dark world.

Thought for Today

Mother Teresa 1985 cropped
Mother Teresa 1985 cropped (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”Mother Teresa

– A 10 Minute Vacation for the Soul

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