Let Prayer be your Refuge this Christmas.

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For all you Americans… This is a Christmas pudding. We Brits like to pour brandy all over it and set it on fire when we bring it to the table. It’s awesome! (you wouldn’t understand 😉 )

Depending on your situation, Christmas can be completely overwhelming in different ways.

As a mother of 3 young kids it can get pretty hectic. In years passed I have literally been exhausted to the point of tears – which was a stupid position to let myself get into. It would take one wrong look from my husband and we would end up having a blazing row. I’ll never forget the time about 7 or 8 years ago he ended up calling me a b**ch at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve! I refused to open my presents for 3 DAYS!!! Lol! Thank God those days are over! We survived it, and came through, and the marriage carried on. Anyway it couldn’t have been that bad because I fell pregnant 4 weeks later with our 2nd!

Now we do less, have less, expect less, and Christmas tends to be a much happier time for everyone.

All I’m saying is that Christmas tends to amplify everything – including marriage issues. So just be aware of this and try to give each other a break. Don’t allow Satan to use this time to steal your joy, or use you to steal others joy.

Louis and Zelie Martin pray for us.

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This is a Yule Log. It is totally pagan but it has chocolate and cream so I allow it in our house!

And what about relatives? Find them difficult?! Yes. Everyone does. And the worst thing about it is that your job as a Christian is to try to share the Good news of our savior’s birth with a bunch of lousy atheists who insist on staying in your house, eating your food and telling your children that Christmas is all about the birth of Santa!

I guess the only thing I can say here is to pray to God for patience and charity! Remember that God made them, and wants them to come into a relationship with Him, and He may well be using you as the link to accomplish that. Try to understand that you have no idea what the Holy Spirit might doing within them right now, and that your prayers for them all this year will sure to be making a difference – you have been praying for them all year, right? Now is a good time to start 😉

But what if you don’t have a family? or you can’t be with your family? The other thing that people often find overwhelming at Christmas is loneliness.

Having never been alone at Christmas I can’t really comment on this other to say that I do know what it is to be in a room full of people, and be the loneliest person on the earth. Loneliness doesn’t just strike those who are physically alone. It can strike anyone at anytime of their lives, in any given situation.

What I used to detest here is when I used to pretend. On the outside everything was just fine and dandy, but on the inside I would be lost in the dark, drowning in a sea of lonliness. Those dark days are thankfully over, and it is only now when I look back that I see that that loneliness was from God. He was allowing me to enter deeply into the emptiness  of a society without Him, to see that what was being offered to me by the world would never, ever satisfy me. He was teaching me that I needed Him more than I needed air. Through the agony of my secret silent internal isolation He was preparing me for a relationship with Him.

That loneliness, that longing, was soon to start dissolving with that peace that only He can give. The peace of knowing where you belong, of being truly loved and valued. It is the same peace of a sleeping babe in the arms of its mother.

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This is a pantomime dame. It is the only time of year when parents pay to let their children be entertained by a old man in a dress pretending to be a woman (unless you subscribe to SKY TV and watch “I am Cait” – which I know none of you do of course. Apparently it’s hilarious (the pantomime I mean).

What ever you situation this year let prayer be your refuge. Allow God to use your situation to draw you deeper into relationship with Him. An hours meditation on Luke’s Gospel, 5 mins when you get the luxury of escaping the kids to go to the bathroom! Or just a simple glance up to God – a surge of your heart towards your infinitely powerful creator who comes to you today as a tiny helpless baby born to a teenage girl in a stable.

Mary has known chaos at Christmas entering Bethlehem on a flipping donkey for goodness sake!!! She has know longing and loneliness. She had a complicated marriage situation! Her husband was not the father of her Child. She had relatives some of whom no doubt did not understand her faith. But she also had Jesus.

As she held Him for the first time, as she look into the face of God, and kissed that little sweet face, everything else must have just melted away leaving her with the awe and wonder and glory of a newborn baby, and above all, Love.

I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas this year. Know that I will be remembering you all in my prayers – especially all you priests, giving everything and working so hard! Try not to get overwhelmed, and I look forward to hearing how Christ has made Himself known to you all this Christmas 2015. xx

“The air feels soft – like Christmas.”

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It was August 2015 a few days before the start of my husbands Lightning Process treatment for CFS that I knew something special was about to happen. Lying in bed in the dark and the silence, I could feel that feeling.

Sometimes it feels like the room is filled with angels, sometimes it feels like I am totally present – in front of a mirror of truth, and can see myself for who I really am. Quite often my heart just burns heavily inside my chest, a bit like when you are the early stages of being in love. Sometimes it is Jesus, sometimes it is Mother Mary, sometimes it is Teresa or Therese or Joseph. It is difficult to describe.

I know that not everyone feels this type of thing but for me it is a normal day to day thing. This doesn’t mean I am holier than other people – of course not, far from it! This is just the way that God has always made Himself known to me – ever since I was 4 years old.

So you can imagine my surprise when my  husband rolled over and said to me “Can you feel that? The air feels soft – like Christmas.”

“Yes” I said, “you know I can, But YOU can feel it too?!” 

The air was soft. It was the softness of a mother’s caress that seemed to say “It’s all finished now. Enough suffering, you are going to get well now.” She was  letting us know that she had not just seen our suffering, but she had been standing at the foot of our cross, every day since the beginning.

It happened a second night, and then a third. And it was then that I began to expect a miracle.

Nick’s recovery happened on the second day of the treatment. It was like flicking a switch. In the morning he was sick, in the evening he was well. He actually felt so ill that morning that he called to say that he wasn’t going to make it in. But they convinced him to go in for 10 mins or so 😉

And I knew that this was our last ditch attempt at getting him well before we would have to make some serious life decisions about selling the house and changing the kids schools. It was also pretty much the last strand of hope for keeping the marriage together. I’ve never really spoken of this before, but the effects of long term illness on a marriage with 2 young kids and a newborn baby, and the vulnerable state that puts you in is not to be underestimated. Without the intercession of St Joseph – protector of families, I don’t know what would have become of us.

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But none of that mattered anymore. Nick had gone in on that Tuesday morning as sick as i’ve ever seen him, and when he came out he was well. He has been well ever since. It happened on Tuesday 11th August – the feast of St Clare!

And for those of you who don’t know already he will be going back to work for the first time in 2 years in the new year 🙂 He went for one interview last week and they offered him the job on the spot!

This indescribably difficult period of our lives is now truly coming to an end.  Nick will be stepping back into the usual father/husband role, and I will GET MY HOUSE TO MYSELF once again for the first time in 2 years!!! (I will miss him desperately of course… 😉 )

The baby is 2 now and is going to start a few hours at nursery, and I will get a little more time to sew vestments. Things are really looking up for us now. Praise God! Praise the name of Jesus forever! And God bless His beautiful mother Mary who loves all her children, and stands at the foot of all of our crosses and suffers with us.

 

 

 

 

 

From Santa Claus to Islam: An Arian Triumph.

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Sunday 6th Dec is the feast of St Nicholas. For those who don’t know already, the name Santa Claus evolved from St Nick’s Dutch nickname, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas. So the jolly old man in red with a white beard that we all know as Father Christmas is actually St Nicholas.

St. Nicholas was a Bishop who lived in the fourth century AD in Myra in Asia Minor (now called Turkey). He was a very rich man because his parents died when he was young and left him a lot of money. He was also a very kind man and had a reputation for helping the poor and giving secret gifts to people who needed it.

But the thing he is most famous for is punching Arius’ lights out during the Council of Nicea in 325 AD!

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Arius was the major player in the Arian Controversy. This controversy centered upon the nature of the Son of God, and his precise relationship to God the Father. Arians do not believe in the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. They did not accept that Christ was God, but instead believed him to be simply a human being, and subordinate to God the Father. They had funny ideas about the Holy Spirit too.

Anyway, St Nick got so peed off with Arius’ ramblings that he sparked him out right then and there onto the floor during the council in front of 300 other Bishops! Arianism was declared heresy, and no-one was aloud to practice it anymore.

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However, much of southeastern Europe and central Europe, including many of the Goths and Vandals had embraced Arianism. In the west, organized Arianism survived in North Africa, in Hispania, and parts of Italy until it was finally suppressed in the 6th and 7th centuries.

So what has all this got to do with Islam?

Muhammad was born in Mecca in about the year 570. Muhammad’s father, Abdullah, died almost six months before he was born. According to Islamic tradition, soon after birth he was sent to live with a Bedouin family in the desert, as desert life was considered healthier for infants. Muhammad stayed with his foster-mother, Halimah bint Abi Dhuayb, and her husband until he was two years old.

At the age of six, Muhammad lost his biological mother Amina to illness and became an orphan. For the next two years, he was under the guardianship of his paternal grandfather Abd al-Muttalib until Muhammad was eight years old. He then came under the care of his uncle Abu Talib.

In his teens, Muhammad accompanied his uncle on Syrian trading journeys to gain experience in commercial trade. Islamic tradition states that when Muhammad was either nine or twelve while accompanying the Meccans’ caravan to Syria, he met a Christian monk named Bahira who is said to have foreseen Muhammad’s career as a prophet of God.

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When the caravan was passing by Bahira’s cell, the monk invited the merchants to a feast. They accepted the invitation, leaving the boy to guard the camel. Bahira, however, insisted that everyone in the caravan should come to him. Then a miraculous occurrence indicated to the monk that Muhammad was to become a prophet.

It was a miraculous movement of a cloud that kept shadowing Muhammad regardless of the time of the day. The monk revealed his visions of Muhammad’s future to the boy’s uncle (Abu Talib), warning him to preserve the child from the Jews or from the Byzantines – depending on who’s version of the story you read.

Both versions write that the monk Bahira found the announcement of the coming of Muhammad in the original, unadulterated gospels, which he possessed (the standard Islamic view is that Christians corrupted the gospels, in part by erasing any references to Muhammad.)

The thing is, the Christian monk Bahira was an Arian. And after pronouncing to the teenage orphaned Muhammad that he was going to be this great future prophet, he then no doubt did his best to educate the boy with a load of Arian nonsense.

Muhammad of course was illiterate. And so anything that was learned during his formative years would had to have been memorised. He then had a relatively successful life as a traveling merchant until he had his first vision at around the age of 40 years old.

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When I visited the Ahmadiyya Mosque a few weeks ago I was really surprised to find how many similarities there are between Catholicism and Islam. But also the stark differences – namely that they do not recognise Christ as Divine, but simply as a prophet.

I began to wonder about the origins of Islam and what influences shaped it. It seems to me that Bahira was a major influence on Muhammad during a rather impressionable stage in his life. I wonder, I just wonder if I looked deeper into Islam I would find an obvious Arian influence? I don’t know.

But I do know one thing: If the Council of Nicea is anything to go by, Bahria’s time in purgatory is gonna be pretty rough.

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St. Nicholas pray for us!

The Jesse Tree – A family guide through the season of Advent.

My dear friend Lynne has just finished her new book. It looks amazing for those of us with young families. I ordered my copy today! You can order your copy HERE and please come and like the Jesse Tree FACEBOOK PAGE

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By Lynne Drozdik Wardach

When I undertook the task of compiling material for this book, in no way did I ever envision it as a finished product. As any young Catholic mother, I strove constantly to weave the threads of the faith into the fabric of our daily lives wherever I was able. With the shopping, and baking, and wrapping, and visiting and every other secular activity that seemed to occupy the minds of my little disciples at Christmas time, it occurred to me that the preparation for the season seemed the perfect time to do just that, but how?

I began my search and fell upon the concept of the Jesse Tree. This was quite a novel idea to me at the time and reading the Old Testament scripture stories was something my children enjoyed already. As the advent season approached that year, I made a small list of their favorite stories, pulled out my parents’ old Christmas tree and set it up in the family room. We began with the creation of the world that year and my two oldest made little earths from some modeling clay, just as God would have done when He sculpted our world. We spoke of how God must have felt that day as He did so. “Do you think He ever mushed the world back up into a ball like that and started over, like you just did?” “Don’t forget those polar ice caps! Where do polar bears live?” My son made all the planets and the stars too as he loved to look at them at night. So much to learn! We ran a loop of string through each one, and tagged it with the child’s name and the year it was made.

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“Don’t forget those polar ice caps!”

These precious creations are beloved still and grace our tree every year when these same little disciples, now adults themselves mind you, rush to the box to search for them. We talk now about those little lessons that went with each ornament, more deeply and practically now, of course. They remember all the little talking points I used when I was their primary teacher of life, illustrating God’s point for my little disciples. It was my goal at the time that they not forget any of them, so I wrote them all down at night after they went to sleep. This, dear parents…THIS is why I worked so hard compile it all and share this advent adventure with you.

At that time, my own mother looked me in the eye and tearfully and somewhat prophetically told me that THIS was the happiest time of my life. This was the busiest, craziest, messiest, most emotional time with five small children all clamoring for my attention, but it was wonderful! She was so very right. This activity was more to my family than just catechesis; it took those teaching points and attached precious memories that hopefully will live on in them when God entrusts them with their very own little disciples. Perhaps they will remember me too!

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Now, to speak practically, it took me over fifteen years to write the material in this book. You may notice that there are 40 lessons. We are a Byzantine rite Catholic family, so for us the pre-Christmas preparatory season begins on November 15. It is called Philipovka, or St. Philip’s fast, because it begins the day after the feast of St. Philip and lasts for 40 days until Christmas. We realize this is much more material than the average Christian family might use in their own home as they celebrate Advent, but bear in mind that you need not use it every day to be practical. Some families may choose to do the even days one year, and the odd days the next. Some may do one per week, skipping around the lessons as they like and do more over the next several years.

In my own family, we did this, and found that as the children grew, it became more practical to review the story and the lesson and then let them search for past ornaments, now keepsakes, that they had made to adorn the tree. It may also be the case that the tree itself may be difficult to display due to space and size. A friend of mine has solved this dilemma by copying and laminating the icon that accompanies each lesson, and crafting that into a flat ornament to tack to a wall in her kitchen, in the form of a tree. Each family will come to use this book as it suits them best.

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This book is intended to help each family develop a greater understanding of salvation history over the span of many years. The ways in which each family will use this material will also evolve over time and grow and change as the little disciples in the family grow and change. Use this in whatever way works best for you! I hope that it becomes a beloved tradition in your domestic church and that it brings your family as much joy as it has brought to mine.

God bless! Lynne x

Lynne Drozdik Wardach

Lynne Drozdik Wardach

The themes each day include reading the account from scripture as a family, a lesson for the children and making a Commemorative Ornament.
November 15    Introduction to the Jesse Tree
November 16    The Creation and Fall of the Angels
November 17    The Creation of the Earth
November 18    The Creation of Adam and Eve
November 19    The First Sin
November 20    Cain and Abel
November 21    Noah and the Great Flood
November 22    The Tower of Babel
November 23    Abraham
November 24    The Three Visitors
November 25    The Offering of Isaac
November 26    Jacob
November 27    Joseph
November 28    Moses
November 29    The Passover and Exodus
November 30    The Parting of the Red Sea
December 1    The Ten Commandments
December 2    Joshua and the Fall of Jericho
December 3    Gideon
December 4    Ruth
December 5    Samuel
December 6    David and Goliath
December 7    David the Shepherd
December 8    Elijah
December 9    Esther
December 10    Isaiah
December 11    Jeremiah
December 12    Micah
December 13    Habbakuk
December 14    Nehemiah
December 15    The Three Brave Youths
December 16    Daniel in the Lion’s Den
December 17    Jonah and the Whale
December 18    The Annunciation to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel
December 19    Elizabeth and Zaccharias
December 20    The Visitation
December 21    John the Baptist
December 22    Joseph
December 23    The Magi
December 24    Jesus:  The Birth of the Messiah
December 25    Christ is Born!

You can order your copy HERE and please come and like the Jesse Tree FACEBOOK PAGE

Our Lady’s Birthday and Christmas Cake.

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A beautiful friend, whom I love dearly, reminded me the other day that if I didn’t make my Christmas cake FROM SCRATCH at least 4 months in advance of the big day, then I might as well just stamp a big FAIL sign across my head as a wife and mother.

I’m only kidding! There is of course absolutely nothing wrong with buying your Christmas cake – which is exactly what I have done every year since I got married. But this year I have found myself rather more organised than I have ever been, and so decided to follow my friends advice and have a bash at making my own Christmas cake – from scratch!

Lets face it, it is MUCH more expensive to make your own cake, but I am promised wholeheartedly that there is no comparison to a shop bought one.

Today is 8th September: the day Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary’s birthday. The readings at mass this morning were all about the birth of Christ. It got me thinking that today was the perfect day to begin soaking the dried fruit to make the Christmas cake. I hope I can remember to be this organised every year from now on. (Ha! I seriously doubt it!).

I am loosely following a recipe from The Pink Whisk but changed it a little to incorporate pretty much all the dried fruit in the entire world. In my cake there will be Sultanas, Currants, Raisins, Cranberries, Cherries, Dates, Figs, Prunes, Mixed peel, Apricots, juice and rind from an orange and lemon, Rum, Brandy and brown sugar. I also used Cinnamon, Allspice, Mixed Spice and ground Cloves.

Of course having failed weights and measures at school I was extremely grateful to have the help of my mathematical genius 9 year old who sorted out all the quantities for me 🙂

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All you do at this stage is to chop up all the fruit, mix it in with the liquid and stick it in a big airtight container until “stir up Sunday” (Christ the King) at the end of November. But you know what? It was great to start the new school term doing something really fun in preparation for Christmas – even if it is a long way off.

I think anticipation is a lost thrill in our modern world. People don’t have to wait for anything nowadays which is a shame really. Sometimes the anticipation can be as exciting as the main event itself, and certainly adds to the glory at the end of the waiting time. It also strikes me that waiting in anticipation creates the right mood for contemplating the feast of Christmas.

During any pregnancy there is the feeling of anticipation, but how much more was there for the birth of the Messiah?! The Jews had been anticipating His arrival for almost 2000 years! “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” – Isaiah 7:14

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Each night for a week we will stir the fruit to make sure it all gets a good soaking. Then we will stir it once a week until Stir up Sunday. By that time it will have soaked up enough Rum and Brandy to warrant living in it’s own drinks cabinet.

I love Christmas!

My 5 top tips for Surviving Christmas.

Surviving Christmas is a life skill! Here are my 5 top tips for getting through the Christmas season smoothly and safely!…

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1. Christmas is 12 days long.

Christmas begins on the 25th December and finishes on the 6th January. There is so much emphasis to get THE BIG DAY just right – but this just piles on the pressure doesn’t it? I very often enjoy the quieter days of Christmas more when there is time to relax and play and go visit the crib again at church when everyone has calmed down a bit! Take a deep breath, step back.

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2. No-one needs 3 types of stuffing.

Everyone wants to make this the best Christmas ever. But don’t fall into the trap of getting caught up in the minute aspects that really don’t matter. No-one is going to care if the smoked salmon you want to use in your Christmas Brunch of wonder, is not free range Scottish organic. All that will happen is that you will exhaust yourself and to be honest – no-one will notice anyway because they are too busy having fun without you!

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3. Be vigilant of ‘The Christmas Row’.

Christmas is wonderful – but completely exhausting for parents. Add to that the threat of in-law’s, large amounts of alcohol, over sentimentality and excitement and ridiculously high expectations and you have the recipe for the perfect storm of Yule-tide meltdown. This usually presents itself as a massive row. Just remember – you are both in this together. Be kind to each other.

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4. Who’s birthday is it again?

‘Tis the reason for the season – Christ’s birthday. While all the chaos and excitement are going on around you, find a little place of silence within yourself where you can be with Mary and Joseph and this tiny baby – God’s word made flesh, who will grow up to redeem you, and your children, and their children, and the whole world. God’s word became flesh, and was born of a virgin – just think about that for a while. It beats the heck out of stupid presents you don’t even want.

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5. Prepare your heart.

The most important thing to prepare is our hearts. Are we ready to welcome Jesus? Is there room in our hearts for Him?  We are being called into a relationship with Jesus. This is what it’s all about. How can you prepare your heart? Perhaps spending some time by the crib. Perhaps going to confession and accepting His healing forgiveness. Perhaps by asking His Mother Mary to help you welcome Him – after all, she welcomed Him first! (She’s your mother too you know…)

However you are celebrating Christmas this year, remember peace, remember joy and remember love! Merry Christmas!

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Teach Kids about Advent using White Chocolate and Cornflakes!

So…. We’ve been busy! We have been making White Chocolate Advent Wreaths.

You will need…

White Chocolate

Cornflakes 

Mixed Chopped Nuts (optional)

Desiccated Coconut

Cherries

1 Birthday Candle

Plate or board

Cup

 

Q. What are real Advent wreaths made out of?

A. Evergreen leaves like Holly or Pine branches.

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1. Start by melting the white chocolate. Then add the Cornflakes, mixed chopped nuts (optional) and a little of the coconut. When it is mixed together it should look like this…

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Q. Why do we use evergreen branches?

A. To remind us of the Eternal Life we will have in heaven.

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2. Get a board or a large plate and put a cup faced down in the centre. Spoon your mixture around the cup to create your round wreath shape.

Q. Why are Christmas wreaths circle shaped?

A. Because a circle has no beginning and no end – just like God has no beginning and no end.

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3. Carefully remove the cup and sprinkle on some more coconut.

Q. How many weeks are there in Advent?

A. Four. 

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4. Place 4 cherries on your wreath and one in the centre. Stick a birthday candle in the centre cherry.

Q. Why do we light candles during Advent and Christmas?

A. To remind us that Jesus is the ‘Light of the World’. 

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5. Start feeling rather proud of yourself for creating such a beautiful edible Advent wreath!

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6. Share that feeling with those around you! Then place your wreath into the fridge to set. 

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7. Lick the bowl.

Q. Why do we have Advent?

A. To help us prepare for the coming of baby Jesus at Christmas.

For a more in-depth answer of Why do we have Advent? look here… http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/series/introduction-to-advent/

And now, while your baby does this…

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You can have one of these…

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And ponder why on earth that recent Vatican survey was written in such complicated language!

 

 

Happy 1st Birthday Faith in our Families!

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The Epiphany of our Lord – Year C

“… And there, ahead of them, went the star…”

Gospel: Luke 2: 1-12

1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: 6 “And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ” 7 Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. 8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” 9 When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. 11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Gospel Summary

The wise men came from the east following a star. They were seeking a child who they understood to be King of the Jews. When Herod heard of this he was frightened and tried to trick the wise men into leading him to the child so he could kill Him. They continued to follow the star until it lead them to Jesus. They brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

Relating the Gospel to our lives today.

Which character are you in the story?

Are you Herod? Angry, frightened and suspicious of Jesus. Attached to worldly power and wealth. Only interested in your own corner of the world.

Are you one of the wise men? Diligently and patiently searching for Jesus. Trustingly following a new star when they have no idea where it is leading you. Reading as much as you can to learn more about this new born king. Alive with hope and wonder, yet wise and humble enough to kneel at the foot of this tiny baby.

Or are you the star? Brightly shining with Gods glory! Radiating interest and wonder. Patiently and slowly leading people to Jesus. Lighting the way for them through their dark nights, and making your-self easy to find during the day. Going at their pace, not yours.

It is worth remembering that wise men still seek Jesus today you know…!

  • Who am I a Star to?
  • Who is my Star?
  • What gift can I give to Jesus?

Dear Jesus

Help me lead my family to you. Help me do this in my thoughts, words and actions.

The closer I get to you, the easier it is for me to lead others to you. Help me draw closer to you.

I love You Jesus, Amen.

Download the A4 newsletter version of this post, FREE for use in your school or parish: Epiphany – Year C.doc   Epiphany – Year C.pdf

Feast of the Holy Family prayers… (and a happy new year!)

Our whole parish read these beautiful family prayers at mass today – I thought you would enjoy them too! – Oh and by the way, let me be the first to wish you a happy, healthy and holy 2014!

For Married Couples…

Almighty God, You hold all things together by Your power. Bless our marriage union and our love for each other. Look kindly upon us and keep our lives unselfish. Teach us to bring our problems and plans before You, to offer You our joys and sorrows, and so make full use of the grace You promised us on our Wedding Day. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Parents…

Heavenly Father, You have given us our children and You entrust them to our care. Help us to be good parents knowing when to give and when to withhold; when to reprove and when to forbear. Make us gentle, yet firm, considerate and reliable. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Children…

Dear Jesus, You command that we should honour our mother and our father. Give them health of mind and body, and joy in their hearts. Bless their work and all they do. May we not take for granted the daily tasks they do for us, but help them whenever we can. Make our home happy in Your service. Amen.