Archive for December, 2012
(New Year’s Eve) As this year closes, reminisce about highlights from 2012 with your spouse and child(ren). What made them most happy, sad, angry, and afraid? Share your own feelings also. Is there anything either of you want to change in 2013?
As the close of the year draws nigh, is there anything you need to ask your family, especially your spouse, to forgive you for? Are there any relatives you need to forgive? It doesn’t matter if you were right. Forgive anyway.
“On the 5th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 5 gold rings.” It only takes one ring to marry. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a ring or of gold. The “I do!” is the core of your vow. Plan five things that you will DO for your marriage [...]
“On the 4th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 4 Calling Birds.” What do you call each other? Can each of you think of four loving pet names you could call each other? Ask which one your honey likes best.
“On the 3rd Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 3 French Hens.” Some have interpreted this lyric to refer to the Trinity. Another possibility is that God forms the 3rd person in the marriage relationship. It’s a mystery. Ponder it.
“On the 2nd Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – 2 Turtle Doves.” As a species, turtle doves are known to form strong pair bonds, thus they are a symbol of devoted love. You don’t need the doves, just act like them – minus the messy part.
What can you do for your marriage in 2013? Start with something small but meaningful. Here are a few ideas.
Fr. Rice writes: “It seems odd that we haven’t had better success with a Christian celebration for the New Year. It’s a time that is ripe for introspection and personal renewal, out with the old year, and in with the new.”
(Christmas) Christmas day can be busy, even hectic, as you prepare food for guests or travel to relatives. Share the work. If you feel ready to snap, take a 5 minute “sanity break.” It’s called prayer. Remember Jesus’ words to Martha. (Luke 11:41-42)
Justin has been experiencing one of the frustrations of a new parent – an inconsolable baby in the wee hours of the morning. Reflecting on this humbling experience, brings him to a new way of thinking while comforting Gus.
(Christmas Eve) Some families open presents on Christmas Eve; some on Christmas morning. Negotiating Christmas traditions can be a tension between spouses – especially newly marrieds. Get over it. Remember those who have no presents to open.
“Mary set out and traveled to the hill country.” (Lk 1: 39) During the upcoming Christmas season many travel to be with family. If you’re traveling or receiving visitors this Christmas, let the children lift your hearts with joy. It’s not just about presents but their presence to you.
As we wait for Christmas, it’s a good time to develop the virtue of patience. Focus on being patient, especially with your children, whether they are infants not sleeping when you planned, toddlers who break things, teens who think they know everything, or young adults who are far away.
Reconciling two sets of inherited Christmas traditions has taken Josh and Stacey some time, but Stacey discovers that in the process they have acquired brand new ways of celebrating that belong to their little family alone.
The family has a vital role in fostering peace according to Pope Benedict XVI in his message for the Jan. 1, 2013, World Day of Peace.
This little collection of reflections by Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare movement, on how we treat those around us is brief, but profound. Our neighbor, Lubich writes, is “one of the straightest roads to God.”
(Winter Solstice) Dec. 22 is the longest night of the year – the Winter Solstice. Long, dark nights can be frightening. Together light three Advent candles tonight to disperse the darkness and remember that the Light of the World is returning
The intensity of this time right before Christmas can be fun but also draining. When you feel stressed, keep repeating the mantra, “Whose birthday is it, anyway?” If you keep this in mind, what’s important and what isn’t will sort itself out.
“I was a stranger and you made me welcome.” (Mt. 25:38) Who is the last stranger who visited your home? How would you rate your family’s hospitality? Who will be the next guest?
Sara writes, “Once upon a time, I thought that once Justin and I discerned we were called to marriage with each other, I thought our discerning days would be over. We may not exactly live “happily ever after” but our hard decisions would be behind us.”
Walk or drive around your neighborhood and look at the Christmas lights. How has your spouse been a light when you were going through a dark time?
Sometimes stores will have a tag saying “As Is” indicating that there is an imperfection in the item. Maybe spouses should wear a tag saying “As Is” to keep us from thinking we can exchange a spouse. What imperfection in your spouse are you willing to accept?
“Rejoice in the Lord always.” (Phil 4:4) These words of rejoicing from Gaudete Sunday remind us to be joyful. Why? Because, as John the Baptist reminds us, we are blest if we have enough food and clothing to share. Give a coat to one who has none.
“The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son.” (Lk1:57) Elizabeth waited a long time to have a child. Do you know anyone anxiously hoping to have a child? God willing, their time will come. If not, may they give life from their hearts.
In this Christmas season, many people may give or receive smartphones or other technology that can access the new social media. Social networking can be a wonderful way means of keeping in touch and reaching out to others, but it has a shadow side. How can we remain present to those who are part of our daily life?