Nov 27, 2022

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. God the Father, from the abundance of His Bounty provides all the good things we need. Likewise, we enjoy these good things and so we constantly approach the Altar with Thanksgiving and offer this perfect sacrifice, this Eucharist, this Sacrifice and Offering. St. Teresa of Avila is instructive for us: live in constant gratitude and humility and you’ll never be too far from Heaven.

It’s Advent!

For some reason, Advent (a.k.a. “The Holiday Season”) brings with it a bizarre response among some of the human family: we find ourselves even more over-scheduled, over-committed, and over-extended. We hear and say things like, ‘after the holidays we’ll (insert activity)’; or ‘once we get through the holiday I’ll (insert verb)’. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging, I’m just saying. I’m calling myself out just the same.  My place for prayer this is: if Advent and Christmas is just something to ‘get through’ then I’m not doing it right.

So, we see bumper stickers: “The Reason for the Season” or “Keep Christ in Christmas” and while I don’t like to distill matters of the Spirit down to a bumper sticker, there is some Truth in those aphorisms. So, friends, please receive some Spiritual Guidance to make your Advent enriched and strengthened and steeped in the Spirit of God:

  1. For every Christmas party you go to or family outing to something like looking at lights or visiting Santa, spend 15 minutes in prayer following the Advent Calendar that was mailed to your home.
  2. Make the Sunday Celebration of the Eucharist the absolute Center of your week and the entire Advent Season leading up to Christmas.
  3. For every $1.00 you spend on gifts, give $.25 cents to one of our Christmas Almsgiving Projects: the Giving Tree or the African Medical Project.
  4. For every hour you spend shopping or planning or partying or watching Hallmark Christmas movies, spend 20 minutes reading a book or listening to a podcast about God. Here are some recommendations:

                    a. “God has a Name” by John Mark Comer

                    b. “Paul: a Biography” by N.T. Wright

                    c. “He and I” by Gabrielle Bossis

                    d. “Simon Peter: Lessons from the First Pope” by Georges Chevrot

                    e. “The Crucifix that Spoke to St. Francis” by Michael Goonan

                    f.   Podcast: The Word of Fire Podcast by Bishop Robert Barron

So, here we go. Advent. I hope and pray that it’s a blessed and fruitful and prayerful time for all of us.

Know that you are loved dearly and prayed for daily.

Fr. Craig Holway, Pastor


cholway@mqpwg.org
314-962-2311  x116

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