The Advent Season

advent-wreathThe Immaculate Conception

This week, on December 8, we remember the conception of Mary in her own mother’s womb…that she was ‘conceived without sin’. On the feast of the Immaculate Conception, we celebrate that Mary was prepared by God in a special way from the very moment of her conception to oppose evil and to choose good. Like Mary, we have also been called to be holy. We are called to oppose evil and to do good.  Like Mary, each of us has been given a special purpose for our lives – to incarnate the love of God in a particular way. What can you do this week to bring God’s love to the world?

Adapted from Give Us This Day, December 8, 2016

Gaudete Sunday

The third Sunday in Advent marks the half way point of Advent and symbolizes joy. The word ‘Gaudete’ means joy in Latin.

Sometimes, the list of shopping, cooking, parties, school events and all the rest can rob Advent of its pleasure.  This Sunday we are reminded that joy doesn’t come from what we do, but from Jesus, whom we love.  Set aside some time this week to do at least one thing with those you love just for the sheer joy of it.  Look at the Christmas lights.  Watch a favorite movie.  Listen to carols.  Whatever it is, do it as a family and simply enjoy your time together.

Year-round Advent Season

Life is a constant Advent season; we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience. The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter the darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned. May this Advent season be a time for bringing hope, transformation and fulfillment into the Advent of our lives.

Fr. Brian Cavanaugh, appleseeds.org

Christmas

May we be in this world a ray of that light which shone forth from Bethlehem, bringing joy and peace to the hearts of men and women.  ~Pope Francis

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas Season. 

A New Year

As we end one year and begin a new one, many of us make resolutions to change our lives.   We all want to live our lives more fully and love one another more selflessly.   So as we think about New Year’s resolutions, consider these questions…

  • Do my resolutions draw me closer to Christ?
  • Does my resolution enhance my vocation as a parent, spouse, or single person?
  • Why is this resolution on my list? Am I making this resolution for me or for God?

This year, let’s make our New Year’s resolutions Christ-centered desires, followed by reliance and trust in the Holy Spirit.  The Growing Our Faith Group wishes you a beautiful, holy and Christ-centered 2017.

Advent – What Makes Us Catholic?