We are a week and a half into Advent, and Christmas decorations are up all over, people are wishing one another a Merry Christmas, and it's widely agreed to be the "most wonderful time of the year". But is it? Certainly our anticipation for the coming of Jesus brings us hopeful joy, but is it the most wonderful time of the year?
Now that the 2014 midterm elections are over, there can be two temptations:
There's a lot of advice out there for avoiding and ending conflict in the workplace, in the family and in other personal relationships. That's great, and can be very helpful, but a lot of that advice tends to come from conventional, worldly wisdom. What if the way we handled conflict was not based in self-interest, but was based on radical commitment to the Gospel? What if we didn't put ourselves first in our personal relationships?
Wisdom is a gift of the Holy Spirit, but we should remind ourselves every day that the Wisdom the Spirit offers us is different than the wisdom of this world. The wisdom of this world tells us to be opportunistic, to boast, to take advantage of others, to put ourselves first, to seek power. This "wisdom" is foolishness to God.
How does one become a Saint? Well, repentance is step one, of course, followed by faith in Jesus Christ, frequent participation in the Sacraments, and practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. But the many lists of 7 that the Church offers us to help on our path to Sainthood can be daunting, especially if we don't understand how to implement what they call for on a daily, human level. So why don't we take a small step back, and examine a few ways we can reshape our day-to-day practices by looking at the lives of the Saints.
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
While work is sometimes (often) a source of stress in our lives, where would we be without it? Work, while difficult, is part and parcel of human nature and serves human dignity. Work enables us to celebrate our gifts and talents from God and empowers us to participate in creation with God. Work is a human right, and those deprived of work are denied dignity and usually a decent livelihood. We know that Jesus worked as a carpenter, and that knowledge can elevate our work (whether physical or intellectual in nature) in our hearts and minds.
So with old age is wisdom,
and with length of days understanding.
Our wonderful Public Coordinations Coordinator, Shannon Muldoon, will be moving on from CatholicTV at the end of this week. We both thought it would be a great idea if she could say goodbye to the CatholicTV family via our blog. Please keep Shannon in your prayers, and find her guest post below. -Helen
Over the past 5-8 years a good number of family and faith based entertainment resources have been made available. I admit that I may have more access and awareness because of my role at CatholicTV, but all over there is a heightened appreciation for the revenue that Christian and family friendly media can generate. Christians seem to be a hungry audience!
We are hungry, but not desperate.