3 Thoughts to Continue to Celebrate Each Day
Merry Christmas!We are now in the post-celebratory haze of Christmas Day, but Christmas itself continues for another week and a half. In many homes, Christmas celebrations continue through the duration of Christmastide: the time leading up to the Baptism of our Lord. The season of Advent served for us to prepare both hearts and homes for the upcoming celebrations of Christmas. Ultimately, it also provided us a time to focus on preparing for the promised Second Coming of the Lord. And, while we are in the throes of celebration and post-Christmas Day de-compression, there are a few things to consider carrying over from Advent.
Live with a purpose!As Christians, we are members of the body of Christ, together with the Holy Souls who have walked the path ahead of us. All around us, we see our culture pushing secular agendas, and while that may be all fine and dandy, our purpose is to become a soul in full communion with Christ. Therefore, we must live with our sights set on heaven. The best way to do that is to use our Church’s wisdom in using the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy to guide our thoughts, our words, and our actions on a daily basis. Living with a purpose doesn’t mean we have to be perfect, yet it does require us to brush ourselves off and try again, when we do stumble on the journey toward sainthood.
There is always room for growth!We aren’t called to perfection. However, we are called to keep trying. Too often, when we rest on our laurels, we find ourselves becoming complacent about the sins we commit. Or worse yet, we become indifferent. We begin to run on autopilot with our prayers, checking a block of praying the daily prayers, rather than concentrating on the purpose of those prayers: to draw us closer to Christ. As the celebration of Christmas continues, allow the excitement of the holiday season permeate your soul, and rejuvenate the passion and desire to grow a little closer to Christ this year. Growing closer to Christ is such a deeply personal journey, and yet, this particular objective can be aided when you join a group of like-minded Catholic women in a study group, or joining a group of other couples trying to reach sainthood through their vocation of marriage. So, while there is room for growth on an individual level, don’t be afraid to seek others out to assist you in that period of deepening your spiritual relationship.
God doesn’t come in uninvited.One of the most beautiful gifts God has given us is that of free will: to decide whether or not we will accept Him. He doesn’t force Himself on us, but rather, He waits for an invitation. Through Advent, we hear talk in church about the importance of faith, hope, peace, love, and joy. But, we can’t foster any of those traits without the express consent to God. He doesn’t expect a grandiose gesture, nor does He require anything but a simple invitation to walk with us on our journey. Each Christmastide is a perfect time to embrace His everlasting love for us, and to ask Him to guide you, to follow you, and to be with you every step of the way on this journey to everlasting life. Advent was a time of preparation, and Christmas is now the time of celebration. But, just because the days moved on from preparation does not mean we can sit back. It does not mean our heart and soul’s work is complete. Rather, our preparation for Christ’s Second Coming should always be underway. Even in the midst of celebration, we must remember the love our God has shown us, thank Him for the love we receive, and strive to praise Him with love. As we transition from the Christmas season to Ordinary Time, and eventually to Lent and Easter this year, may we all pay a little more attention to the way God speaks to each of us individually, and may we work a little harder at putting His will for our lives into action. Rejoice and be glad! Let us celebrate this merriest Christmas! And let us always remember our Lord and our God, in all we do, think, and say. May our acceptance of Christ lead us to everlasting life, praising God with the saints and angels in heaven.
Copyright 2018 AnnAliese Harry
About the Author
AnnAliese Harry is a proud Army wife to her husband Chris, and a mother to their young children. She has a BA in History, a Masters in Social Work, and has worked with disabled veterans, troubled teens, and in early childhood intervention therapy. AnnAliese volunteers with several military chapel communities and serves as a lector, EMHC, Adoration coordinator, and Catholic Women of the Chapel (CWOC) chapter president and vice president. She blogs about Catholicism, parenting, and military life at A Beautiful, Camouflaged Mess of A Life. Follow her on Twitter, on Instagram, or on Facebook.