Keep Alive the Spirit of Christmas & the Light of Christ All Throughout the 2019 Year!
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.
Happy New Year from Hannah at Chronically Catholic!
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Blessed & Merry Christmas! May the light of the Christ Child shine in your life today and always! Thank you for your support of Chronically Catholic Blog! You are all in my prayers this Christmas Season.
Feeling distracted and overwhelmed this Advent Season? Loosing sight of the reason for the season? Christmas blues?
-A Poem Attributed to St. Anthony of Padua-
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, To have a deep soul relationship with another, To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.
But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied, Fulfilled and content with being loved by me alone, With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me. With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.
Discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship, That I have planned for you. You will never be united to another Until you are united with me. Exclusive of anyone or anything else. Exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow me to give you The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you.
You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you. Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry Don’t look around at things others have gotten Or that I have given them Don’t look around at the things you think you want, Just keep looking off and away up to me, Or you’ll miss what I want to show you. And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love Far more wonderful than you could dream of.
You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working even at this moment To have both of you ready at the same time. Until you are both satisfied exclusively with me.
You are beautiful. You are enough. You are Made in His Image. Happy Advent!
A medieval tradition, the St. Andrew Christmas Novena or Christmas Anticipation Novena beings on the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle and continues all four weeks of Advent ending on Christmas Day. This novena helps prepare us for the Birth of Our Lord. Tradition states that women used to pray this novena for a good and godly spouse.
Please, join me in praying the Christmas Anticipation Novena!
Twas the Night of New Years and all through the house three creatures were stirring including the cat. The tree gleamed bright and cast whimsical colors and shapes on the walls and the windows. With my family snug in their beds an earshot away, only he and I remained in the soft Christmas tree glow while the cat never ceased staring in her watchful vigilance. All prepared and excited my festive wrapped gift lay upon the coffee table alone. No gift joined it’s side. I stared in astonishment and wonder. My mind buzzed and blew with more thoughts than Christmas ornaments. With each moment my brow furrowed and lines etched my face like stringed lights on the tree or lines on a stocking. My thoughts mirrored twinkling light colors all fuzzy and bright. Still no gift appeared and my heart lept in fright. Despite being seated by my side, I strained as his words floated in and out one-side. I heard. I processed. But it all seemed too bizarre. The words seemed too light and the meaning too dense like snow in a blizzard one moment fluffy and the next moment sleet. Bracing for a gift packed like a wet snowball, I quietly closed my eyes. The Christmas light glow matched my thoughts. Breathless I awaited.
Some rustle and bustle. A pause. A disclaimer. My breathe became frosty and slow. As I opened both palms to receive the gift, my brain turned to meringue while my hands trembled like tinsel. The cat kept her perpetual gaze while I stood frozen awaiting. A coolness brushed my palm and settled for landing. Daring to open my eyes, I peeped down. My thoughts exploded into fireworks while my vision turned into sparkling cider. Little bubbles floated up and up and up. Everything suddenly stopped. All fireworks and cider bubbles screeched to a halt. Numbness settled in and the void of pure silence settled. He waited for a response. A noise. A sign. A reaction. Anything.
A warm glow washed over me like candlelight Christmas Mass. The lights refocused as I peered below and sighed.
A ring box peered upwards while my gaze focused ever more sharply as the ivory coating glinted in the low light. Opening the box, my muscles eased. A warm, serene calmness flushed over me replacing the frigid tinged of panic.
What does a Catholic romance look, feel, and act like? Does it differ from other Christian relationships? Do our heartfelt relationships follow swoon worthy scripts of the popular romantic comedy? The Notebook? P.S. I Love You? Or do our “rigid” moral teachings, practices, and beliefs squelch the passion and pleasure of erotic love?
Catholic romances are individually written by God and the brokenness of each couples humanity. Despite the taint of original sin, our love stories are filled with a passion and fire beyond the popular romantic comedy or epic romantic fail like the 50 Shades of Grey or Twilight series. Our love stories, as any Christian love story should, mirror the wood of the manager that leads to the wood of the Cross.
But our love stories are worth a laugh. A song. A dance. A prayer. Even tears. I can think of many moments between my friends and I that are more than romantic comedy worthy. So I decided to share a few.
There is a special man in my life. . . . Not a shocking catchy first line. Nonetheless, the sentiment in very true. I do have a special man in my life. During the course of a close friend’s wedding weekend, I spent quality time with the above mentioned individual.
Here are a few first memories. I present the art of subtle, good clean flirtation:
“Are you going to join us? . . . ” When followed by a muffled response expressing he wasn’t joining us on the carousal ride, my benevolent invitation seemed to fall on deaf ears. I entered the carousal ride carefree and indifferent but puzzled.
“That’s more like luv not love.” I stared with a quizzical befuddled expression on my face. Internally I was thinking, “Only my family and I talk like that. On occasions my friends. Who is this guy?” Who in my general peer group actually knows how to delineate between luv the hokey superficial version of love rampid everywhere versus the real deal, authentic expression of Christ-like love.
By the rehearsal dinner Saturday night, I recognized there was something different going on. I felt a perpetual gaze and adorable smile penetrating the back of my head all dinner. Every time I turned around to address the bride and groom at the table behind me, smiles and light blushes met my gaze.
Scandal!!!! I’m alone in a bedroom with a handsome man yelling nonsense. He had no idea. This occurred the morning of the wedding while the bride and bridal party prepared before the pictures and ceremony. Being the made of honor, I took my job very seriously. Time arrived for the bride to don her wedding dress. I marched into the master bedroom and yelled, “WHY ARE THE LIGHTS OFF & DOOR CLOSED?” I honestly thought a fuse had blown in her 1940s ranch. On the opposite side of the master bed, a lone photographer quietly crouched on the floor snapping pictures of her bridal gown hung on the closet door while I yelled. Looking over, I blushed bright red embarrassed and mortified. I promptly marched out of the room and shut the door.
I may have aggressively competed with another member of the bridal party for the bouquet toss. The whole scenario was in-jest. I didn’t care that much about catching the bridal bouquet which I did not catch. The entire incident is captured in beautiful and vivid detail. This includes a picture of me going “missed it by that much!” When I looked up, a bright blushing face and smile met my gaze. Our eyes met and I blushed bright red too.