Monday, December 28, 2009

"instruments of peace"

i've been contemplating this season of Christmas that we're now celebrating and it's meaning in our spiritual journey. and what has inspired me in reflecting is the simplicity and clarity of St. Francis of Assisi, who said to his fellow brothers that, even though he, himself, traveled great distances to bring the Peace and Good News to others, "every home can be Bethlehem and every city can be Jerusalem." i think what St. Francis meant by saying this is that we can bring the Good News right where we are and we can be "instruments of Peace," if we are open enough to let God be born in our heart and soul everyday.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Canon

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Canon (Video)

Josh Groban - O Holy Night

Do they know it's christmas

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas and Children

Christmas day this year was a nice day spent with most of my family. the best part was spending time with my six nieces and two nephews, particularly my youngest nephew, 4-year-old Eric. children of his age are still so innocent and full of welcome and love for others. it's a beautiful thing and something that we can all learn from. after all, Jesus tells us to be like them. if we really understood these word of Jesus to be like the children, this would be a very peaceful world. i also love the openness of children and their eagerness to learn new things. my nephew, Eric, has loved books since he was very young and even started to read (yes, really read) at the age of two. so, i give him books when ever i see him and if it's something new that he hasn't learned about, he'll sit and read the book and talk about it and ask questions and he really wants to learn. he's like a little sponge - he just absorbs all of the knowledge!
so, on Christmas day when i was with him, i asked him "why do we celebrate Christmas?" and Eric responded: "because baby Jesus is born." if Eric already knows that Jesus is the reason for our celebration of Christmas, then i can talk to him and help him more and more to understand and learn about Jesus. unfortunatley, he doesn't get much religious learning at home, so it's up to me, as his aunt, to help him to know Jesus. so, next time i see my little nephew, i will bring him (if i can find them anywhere) a little creche of the manger scene to keep and a little book about the Nativity story - i'm sure he'll love to sit down with me and read about this GOOD NEWS! PEACE!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Calling on the Name of the Lord

i teach second grade religious education on Sunday mornings and am often amazed at things these young children say in class from time to time. this past third Sunday of Advent was one of these times that a child, Elizabeth, shared something pretty profound. remember, this comes from a second grader who is only about 7 or 8 years old. Elizabeth shared in class that "using the Name of the Lord in vain is wrong, because when we call on the Holy Name of the Lord, He turns to us, and if we're using His Name in vain, then it is just wrong and hurts Him."

Friday, December 11, 2009

ArchbishopTimothy Dolan's vicariate visit

hi friends!
it's been a while since i've posted something, partly because i can never really think of anything to write about and partly because i don't have a lot of free time. but, i wanted to take the time to write about a very inspiring visit by our Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan. he came to St. Patrick's church in yorktown heights, NY on thursday evening, the 10th of december for his vicariate visit to the northern westchester/putnam parishes. it was a nice evening of vespers and a homily given by Bishop Dolan. after the service in the church, there were light refreshments in the church hall along with an opportunity for every person to stand on a long line to meet the Bishop. what amazes me is how this very charismatic bishop took the time to really greet and speak with each person that he met. Bishop Dolan's homily was very encouraging. he spoke of it being the season of Advent and how Jesus is continually being born through each of us who serve in the ways that we do. Bishop Dolan also stated how much he loves us all, the people of the Archdiocese of New York, and how, being the Year for Priests, how we should all love and encourage and pray for our Priests. what touches me the most about this very warm and kind Bishop of ours is how much he wants to know, love, care and pray with all of his flock that he has been shepherding so beautifully and inspirationally. we are blessed to have him. and let us remember to love, care and pray for him, too. PEACE! ~tara t~