On the Second Day of Christmas…
Merry Christmas my beloved friends!! I hope you are enjoying time with those you love and who love you. This little pocket of time between Christmas and New Year’s is one of my very favorites because these days feel like “free days!” Few companies are open, email accounts are logged out of and forgotten, and corporate phones and laptops run out of battery… and we rest. It’s simply the best.
My plans involve reading/finishing five more books (I’m that many from my goal this year, join me on Goodreads!), hitting the slopes (pray for snow!), playing games, and hanging out with my family. I hope your plans are equally as fun and energizing to you.
I want to leave you with a small portion of Pope Francis’ beautiful homily from Christmas midnight mass. No matter what the media says or portrays about him (which is usually far from the truth), when you read His words you know that He is close to Jesus and wants all of us to be as well. I hope these words touch your heart as they did mine (and I encourage you to read the whole homily here):
“Christ does not look at numbers, but at faces. However, who looks at him amid the many distractions and mad rush of a bustling and indifferent world? Who is watching? In Bethlehem, as crowds of people were caught up in the excitement of the census, coming and going, filling the inns, and engaged in petty conversation, a few were close to Jesus: Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, and then the Magi.
Let us learn from them. They stood gazing upon Jesus, with their hearts set on him. They did not speak, they worshiped. Tonight, brothers and sisters is a time of adoration, of worship.
Worship is the way to embrace the Incarnation. For it is in silence that Jesus, the Word of the Father, becomes flesh in our lives. Let us do as they did, in Bethlehem, a town whose name means “House of Bread”. Let us stand before him who is the Bread of Life. Let us rediscover worship, for to worship is not to waste time, but to make our time a dwelling place for God. It is to let the seed of the Incarnation bloom within us; it is to cooperate in the work of the Lord, who, like leaven, changes the world. To worship is to intercede, to make reparation, to allow God to realign history. As a great teller of epic tales once wrote to his son, “I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament… There you will find romance, glory, honor, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth” (J.R.R. TOLKIEN, Letter 43, March 1941).”
Merry Christmas! I pray that we all might live our lives as an act of worship of the Father.
What we’re loving lately:
- Earlier this week, someone said something to me that threw me off, and as I was recounting the episode to my best friend for the third time, she stopped me and said, “Enough! You told me this already. Like Hagrid said to Hermione when Draco called her a mudblood: ‘Don’t you think on it, Hermione. Don’t you think on it for one minute.'” She was right, and snapped me right back into shape. When someone hurts or offends us with our words, we’re only adding fuel to the fire when we keep recounting the tale. Go get yourself friends who pull you out of your pity parties and remind you of the truth!
A prayer for noticing
- The lyrics in one of my new favorite songs, “Counting my blessings” say “The more that I look in the details / The more of Your goodness I find” and how true!! As I’ve shared before, every morning I pray, “Lord, I give you permission to love me, and to show me how You love me, and I give you permission to surprise me.” And every day He opens my eyes and heart to how He is moving. The joy of seeing His little winks throughout the day is so intimate and good. I encourage you to try!
It’s time to pick your word of the year!!
- One of my favorite end-of-year traditions is picking a “Word of the Year;” you can listen to last year’s podcast episode with Erica Carnohan here, and stay tuned for our 2023 wrap-up and announcement of our 2024 words, coming next week! I like to pray through mine, but you can also use Jen Fulwiler’s word generator, and while you’re there, try her Saint of the Year generator too!
Our annual appeal 🙂
- Thank you so much for your support!! I was able to reach my fundraising goal to keep paying for this newsletter, as well as finally (!!) buy a new podcast microphone just in time for our upcoming 100th episode. If you missed out and still want to support, please use the button below!
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Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.