I finished my Old Testament class this morning with the final exam, and now it's time to write Christmas cards, begin reading a social justice book, crochet, put together Christmas gifts, etc.
Speaking of Christmas gifts, I read a brilliant article in my favorite Catholic newspaper, Our Sunday Visitor, called Sappy - and Sacred by Robert P. Lockwood. His article challenges the often negative thoughts of the commercialization of Christmas.
He writes: "Christmas is when faith can't be pushed to the periphery, no matter how hard we shove. In fact, we open our doors and invite it right into our homes with the tree, the stockings, the cards and the gifts. No matter how much the culture tries to gloss it over into secular mush, the faith can't be avoided at Christmas. It's front and center, the whole reason why everything happens.
"So let Elvis be blue and let that kid keep holding onto the pair of Christmas shoes. Let the downtown lights be lit, let Santa hold court at the mall, let the halls be decked with boughs of holly. It's all evangelization." (Lockwood)
Then he closes with my favorite part of the article, because we pray the Canticle of Daniel often in our Office Books:
"With apologies to the author of the Book of Daniel (3:52-90), and my buddy Mike, who first suggested it, we need a Christmas litany to remind us that:
"'Christmas lights and Christmas candles, Bless the Lord.
'Shopping lines and the last-minute rush, Bless the Lord.
'Stockings and mistletoe, Bless the Lord.
'Wrapping paper and bows, Bless the Lord.
'Gifts and cards, Bless the Lord.
'Sappy songs and trees on SUVs, Bless the Lord.'" (Lockwood)
It's journalism at it's finest.
Last night, the Clipper City Chordmen performed at the Motherhouse. They came last year, too, and both times I have really enjoyed their Christmas concert. To help describe the group, I found the following on their website: "The Clipper City Chordsmen Chorus is an a cappella men’s chorus whose mission is to 'preserve and encourage' the Barber Shop style of music" (http://www.clippercitychordsmen.org/).
They are spectacular. My favorite song they performed was Chipmunks Christmas Song. One of them does the Alvin voice really well!
I am praying that your Advent season is full of joy, anticipation, and goodwill.
If you live in England or Rome, please know of my daily prayers for your safety.