I like to post this article around this time.
It is good to remember those who find this time of year hard. I have a dear one who is dying of cancer right now, I talked to another friend who is a policeman, who deeply misses his mother who passed away within this year, those who struggle financially and can’t buy gifts….
This year the sickness has been rampant. I am on the upward swing of being ill and many of my grandchildren have been quite sick. The mothers have been very worried.
Please keep little Esther in your prayers. She has a pulmonologist appointment in January. Meanwhile she is on oxygen frequently and causes nightly concern…
And then, we all are suffering as we watch our Holy Mother Church in pain…
And so many more sufferings. Yes, it is a time of great joy. Yet there is always the cross….
Where are You, God, and How Come You’re Not Helping Out?
I love Christmas time. I love all the rich traditions, the beauty surrounding it, the music, the love and camaraderie of family and good friends.
But I also know it can be a very hard time for some. There are those who are extra lonely at Christmas, they are sick, they are missing someone close to them who may have recently died.
Christmas has a way of increasing that suffering, because the hardship is such a contrast to the beauty and joy of the season.
We all go through hard times. Times where we may find ourselves saying, “Where are You, God, and how come You’re not helping out?”
How many times in my life have I used these words…or at least words of this sort?
We have black times when we pray and pray and pray and our petitions seem to be falling on Deaf Ears. Sometimes we might even find ourselves getting angry at God.
Every time I reacted this way, I regretted it. The dust would settle and I would see most clearly how God was working in that situation or how incredible blessings had followed a very painful situation.
My mom always told me to thank God even in adversity, while going through it…..thank Him when things look so black and it looks like you or your loved ones had been abandoned.
(And my mom suffered tremendously…with 2 sons who died tragically, alcoholism that touched the family deeply and a daughter with severe mental illness…her cup…I mean “cross” runneth over)!
That’s not an easy thing to do…to thank Him through the hard times!! It’s definitely an act of the will.
But I remember the saying that goes something like this, “The devil trembles most when a person gets on their knees in spite of the fact that everything within him rebels .”
So I have learned through the years that, first of all, there will be dark times. That is the way of life. It has its sufferings. Period. We truly wouldn’t want it any other way. It is the Royal Road of the Cross.
I have learned also that these times are special because this is when I am sharing in His sufferings in just a little way…. a way that I know is pleasing to Him.
I also try to think about the many great sufferings of others, the sufferings of the persecuted in the Middle East, (which is something that is hard to imagine in our day and age), those who have had loved ones die during this last year and those who are suffering big things closer to home.
My own sufferings, though real and hurtful, (and God understands that) are nothing compared to these other sufferings. What a great reason to thank God!
I have also learned, finally, to be grateful to God for the difficulties themselves. Days of darkness will come again and I will forget… I will writhe in pain and look for ways to get out of it. I will pray, do extra holy hours or whatever I think I need to be doing. I know these are all good.
But then the light bulb goes off and I remember to THANK HIM for exactly what it is I am going through! I believe this is very pleasing to Our Lord.
I know that, in hindsight, I will be looking back and saying, “I thank You God for that situation and all the good that You have brought from it for me and for others.”
For those times when we may not see the blessings, even in hindsight, those VERY dark times….those are the times we just have to trust and lean on Him.
So whatever you’re going through today, whatever hardships you have during this Christmas season especially, take a moment to thank God for them. Give them as a gift to the Baby Jesus.
The light is always at the end of the tunnel and you don’t want to be guilty for shaking your fist at God. This is one time you DO want to “jump the gun” and “count your chickens before they are hatched.” You want to believe and KNOW that God is the Author of all and will turn this into good for you and for your family.
You want to take a moment to thank Him who is a most loving Father. He sees everything that we are going through. He WILL come. He’s shown us that many times in our lives, hasn’t He?
Remember, He has the hairs on our heads counted. That’s not just a cute cliché, it has a world of meditation in it.
Meditate on it, believe it and live it this Christmas season!
Join me as I read to you the beautiful meditations of the Christmas Child written by Father Daniel Lord in the 1950’s…
Christmas Stories are always fun for children, especially when they focus on the faith and what is important during this wonderful season! In this video, Mrs. V tells three Christmas stories that have little lessons surrounding the beauty of Christmas!
Mrs. V. tells your children a special Advent story….”Philomena received a beautiful gift from her aunt for her birthday in Advent. It was a lovely black and red Spanish mantilla! It was perfect for Christmas and Philomena was excited to wear it for Midnight Mass…..”
Mrs. V. tells your children a special Advent story….”Joseph was of a generous nature, Thomas not so much. When the boys played games outside, Thomas always wanted to be first in the games. Joseph would give up his place to make room for someone else….”
And yet, an intimate home is so beautiful if it radiates!
May yours be like this, dear sons and daughters, in the image and likeness of the home of Nazareth! There was never a home more intimate but at the same time more cordial, more lovable, more peaceful in poverty, or more radiant; why does it not live on even now and illumine all Christian society by its radiation?
To the degree in which it is forgotten, you see, to that degree the world grows dark and cold. -Pope Pius XII
Author Mary Reed Newland here draws on her own experiences as the mother of seven to show how the classic Christian principles of sanctity can be translated into terms easily applied to children even to the very young.
Because it’s rooted in experience, not in theory, nothing that Mrs. Newland suggests is impossible or extraordinary. In fact, as you reflect on your experiences with your own children, you’ll quickly agree that hers is an excellent commonsense approach to raising good Catholic children.
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