Thursday, December 23, 2010

getting ready

It has been a great Advent!  I went into it with few expectations other than a resolution to be more faithful to prayer.  With God's grace, that has gone quite well!

I did take a day at the beginning of December to go on a Day of Recollection, and that was wonderful!  I came away from that time of reflection with a couple of things - God wants me to be patient and God wants me to look for Him in the paperwork and the meetings - in the things of ordinary life.  The very next Sunday, one of the readings was about patience, and it seems like that topic has come up time and again in my daily prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours.

I went to confession, and made sure that my boys had the opportunity to go.  My penance - once I dumped the darkness in my life - was to reflect on and give thanks to God for the way His Light is able to shine in my life.   I took one of my boys the other night when Father set aside an extra hour to hear confessions, and he said that he got to suggest his own penance.  I've gotten some variation of that a time or two.  My teenager's take on it was "Hey, it's YOUR job to come up with the penance." 

Shopping has not been over the top this year.  I feel a little bad that I don't think their will be too many (any?) surprises for my boys under the tree.  But there will be things.  Things that they want.  We drew names with dear hubby's family, and that cut the gift list nearly in half.  With my family, we decided to buy for our Godchildren.  I ended up with an "adopted" Godchild to ensure that no kid would be left without a gift, but it's all good.  I bought him a few small items, but also included a necklace with a medal of his patron saint, and had it blessed this morning.

I had wanted to do a post about the O Antiphons.  Maybe tomorrow?  Christmas Eve - yeah, right.  Maybe next year?

Last year, my sons and some other Boy Scouts were in need of service hours for their rank advancement.  The good Monsignor graciously allowed them to help with decorating the church for Christmas.  I think all he really wanted them for was to carry the Nativity figures from the hall to the church, but we ended up staying a couple of hours.  The boys were somewhat helpful with other things, and the other mom and I enjoyed helping, too.  When we offered to help this year again, there was no hesitation.

The boys got stuff from the attic and closet, hung wreathes, carried figures and flowers, and generally helped out.  Father likes to have a hand in things, so he was there calling the shots.  The lady who has been doing the decorating for several years is "retiring", and asked the other mom and I if we would like to "take over".  I am now one-half of the decorating "committee".  So ironic, because decorating is so NOT one of my gifts.   

Older child hanging a wreath.  

The Nativity Scene.  This was the work of the good Monsignor.
Notice the candles on either side.  
That ties in with the candles on either side of the altar and the candles on either side of the tabernacle.  
The Light of the World.

Decoration on the choir loft.  It looks uneven/weird because the sun is shining through.

Wreathes under the Stations of the Cross.  We "fluffed and hung".

The Sanctuary.  The altar is bare, but Father said he'd take care of that later.  

We down-sized our tree and decorated today.  Now there are signs at my house that Christmas is coming. 
Christmas Eve will be my official "wrapping day". 

Ready or not - here He comes!  Are we more ready to receive Him into our lives than we were four weeks ago?  He is with us always.  God-with-us.  Do we find Him (or even look for Him) in the drudgery of meetings and paperwork and ordinary life?

From today's homily:  Does Jesus really make a difference in our lives?  Are we willing to let Him draw us closer?  (If not, then we are celebrating a pagan solstice - not Christmas.)    The bottom line borrowed from John - "I must decrease so that He can increase." 

1 comment:

  1. The Church looks wonderful!
    I ended up taking the 2 oldest boys to the outlet center yesterday so they could pick out some clothes. They aren't going to have any surprises, but at least they have something under the tree!
    I hope you & your family has a wonderful Christmas!