Archive for ‘tips and advice’
As we wait for Christmas, it’s a good time to develop the virtue of patience. Focus on being patient today, especially with your family members. Offer up the frustrations that come from things not going the way you had planned.
“For nothing will be impossible for God.” (Lk 1:37) Christ became man to save us. Do not doubt that He can work wonders for and through you.
The intensity of this time right before Christmas can be fun but also draining. When you feel stressed, keep repeating the mantra, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” 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?
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?
The “O Antiphons” begin today, best known from the hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Today’s is “O Wisdom of our God Most High.” Find them all on the USCCB website (search “Advent”) and pray them as a family this week to prepare for Christ’s birth.
Reconciliation is crucial in every marriage. Does your parish have an Advent Penance Service? Make plans to receive the Sacrament of Penance as a family before Christmas.
“The time came for Elizabeth to have her child, and she gave birth to a son.” (Lk 1:57) Elizabeth waited a long time to have a child. Do you know anyone hoping to have a child? Pray for them. God willing, their time will come. If not, may they be mothers and fathers in other […]
“He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted.” (Is 61:1) Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent, reminds us of God’s gift of joy (“gaudium” in Latin) no matter what trials we are experiencing in our family.
If you haven’t hung up your Christmas lights, today’s a great day to do it! (Feast of St. Lucy, whose name means “light.”) How can you be more of a light to your spouse?
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas. Celebrate by eating cuisine from Mexico, where she appeared to St. Juan Diego. Or learn a prayer in Spanish.
Ever heard of limerence? It’s a physical feeling of infatuation for another, like a crush. Although limerence can lead to committed love, it typically has a shelf life of 2-3 years. That’s why couples must transition to a more lasting love. Nurture romance but rely on enduring friendship.
Sit down with your spouse and look at some of your favorite photos from the past year. Was there an unexpected blessing? Give thanks.
“And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more.” (Phil 1:9) God wants your love to grow, always.
A nice tradition today, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, is to give a gift to a pregnant woman you know. Also pray today for mothers with difficult or unexpected pregnancies.
“John [the] Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mk 1:4) The sacraments are essential to the Christian life. Encourage your spouse to go to confession regularly. Participation in this sacrament will strengthen not only your relationship with God but your relationship with your spouse.
St. Nicholas, whose feast is celebrated today, was known as a secret gift-giver. Surprise your spouse and children with a little treat today, and read together the story of this inspiring saint.
The love between husband and wife expands when shared with others. Consider participating in your parish’s Giving Tree, or inviting an elderly or single person to your holiday celebrations.
A simple idea to make Advent prayerful: use your address book to pray for people alphabetically at dinner. Not sure what a person’s needs are? Consider calling them to find out.
St. Francis Xavier was a Jesuit missionary who took the Gospel to people who hadn’t heard of Jesus. Families too are called to be missionaries. Who can you share Jesus’ love with today?
Have you blessed your Advent wreath yet? There is a simple prayer service to do at home available on the USCCB website, www.usccb.org: search for “Advent.”
(Reader’s Tip) Pray together at meals, even if you’re in a restaurant. Don’t be afraid to show PDF’s (Public Displays of Faith).
“Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” (Mk 13:33) Advent is a season of waiting. As Christians we are not only waiting for the celebration of the birth of Christ at Christmas but the day that Christ will come again. Always be prepared to meet Christ.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega.” (Rev 1:8) Just as God is the Beginning and the End, so your marriage has a beginning (the marriage vows) and an end (death). What’s important too is in the middle. Make the middle meaningful today.
As Christmas shopping accelerates, seek simplicity. Enjoy homemade fun (playing games, singing) and homemade treats today.