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“This Christmas, bring that little bit of Jesus you carry in your heart wherever he directs you. Find out what’s needed, and find a way to help.”

-from A Mary Christmas

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“We know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life. We know that he gives us every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty.”

— St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

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“The custody of the senses is the bedrock of purity, as discipline is of peace and one’s cell is of devotion. When anger takes hold of a person’s thinking, wisdom then departs even from one who is prudent. Whoever speaks in wrath is like a barking dog; but whoever responds with gentleness breaks through the other’s wrath and offers him roses rather than thorns. Blessed is the tongue of the prudent man, for it heals the wounds of one in anger. Whoever struggles against his vices at the very outset, when their motions are first felt, will have greater success in overcoming them than if he delayed until they became rooted.”

— Thomas À Kempis

 

“At every Mass we assert that we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is not a better time to reflect in joyful waiting than the quiet season of Advent, which comes before the celebration of Christmas. And there is no greater model of joy for us than Our Blessed Mother, Mary.”

-from A Mary Christmas

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“Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the most tender of friends with souls who seek to please Him. His goodness knows how to proportion itself to the smallest of His creatures as to the greatest of them. Be not afraid then in your solitary conversations, to tell Him of your miseries, fears, worries, of those who are dear to you, of your projects, and of your hopes. Do so with confidence and with an open heart.”

— St. Damien of Molokai

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“The fullness of wisdom is fear of the Lord, she is present with the faithful in the womb (Sirach 1:14). Fear of the Lord does not mean to be afraid of God. It means to stand in awe and wonder before the greatness of the Lord. When we recognize that God is God and we are creatures, we develop a healthy sense of humility. We acknowledge our need for wisdom and grace, which are both gifts of the Holy Spirit.”

— Rev. Jude Winkler

“Advent is like springtime in nature when everything is renewed, fresh, and healthy. Advent refreshes us, makes us healthy and able to receive Christ in whatever form he may come to us.”
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“The Christmas ideal is different. Yes, take care of your health. But understand how important it is and central to the Christmas message, to be merry, to have a hopeful, positive, and optimistic attitude, even if your health is bad or if life is not at its best. The infant Jesus is lying in a barnyard crib, and yet the emotional atmosphere is glorious and full of hope. What a lesson for us living in a time of worldwide conflict and personal challenges.”

-from The Soul of Christmas

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Today is the first Sunday of Advent. During this “time of waiting” the Catholic Church prepares for the Second Coming of Jesus, as we also prepare our hearts to celebrate His Christmas birth.

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“If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.”

— St. Clement of Alexandria

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“Nothing is sweeter than love; nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing more generous, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in Heaven or on earth; for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God above all things created.”

— Thomas a’ Kempis

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“In our personal lives, waiting in not a very popular pastime. Waiting is not something we anticipate or experience with great joy and gladness! In fact, most of us consider waiting a waste of time. Perhaps this is because the culture in which we live is basically saying, “Get going! Do something! Show you are able to make a difference! Don’t just sit there and wait!” So, for us and many people, waiting is a dry desert between were we are and where we want to be. We do not enjoy such a place. We want to move out of it and so something worthwhile.”

— Henri Nouwen

Dear Lord, help me be patient as I await your arrival.

 

“If you stay united with Christ, each one of you will be able to do great things. This is why, dear friends, you must not be afraid to dream with your eyes open of important projects of good and you must not let yourselves be discouraged by difficulties. Christ has confidence in you and wants you to be able to realize all your most noble and lofty dreams of genuine happiness. Nothing is impossible for those who trust in God and entrust themselves to Him.”

— Pope Benedict XVI

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“I am more and more convinced that the first commandment indeed needs to be the first: to love God with all our heart, all our soul and our entire mind. Our heart, soul and mind can never be divided between God and neighbor or anything else. God is a jealous God who wants our love without any reservations.”

–Henri Nouwen

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“If you suffer with Him, you will reign with Him. If you cry with Him, you will have joy with Him. If you die with Him on the cross of tribulation, you will possess the eternal dwelling place in the splendor of the saints. And your name, written in the book of life, will be glorious among men.”

— St. Clare of Assisi

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“The soul, enlightened by faith, judges of things in a very different way to those who, having only the standard of the senses by which to measure them, ignore the inestimable treasure they contain . . . the soul that recognizes the will of God in every smallest event, and also in those that are most distressing and direful, receives all with an equal joy, pleasure and respect. It throws open all its doors to receive with honor what others fear and fly from with horror. The outward appearance may be mean and contemptible, but beneath this abject garb the heart discovers and honors the majesty of the king. The deeper the abasement of his entry in such a guise and in secret the more does the heart become filled with love.”

— Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

 

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