Wednesday, December 28, 2011


How little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virtue.
Jane Austen

Sunday, December 11, 2011

God, Present in the "Everyday"

This is a devotional for yesterday from Creative Communication for the Parish.

  Readings: Sirach (Ecclesiasticus, apocrypha) 48:1-4, 9-11
                  Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
                  Matthew 17:9-13

  "Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him..." Matt. 17:12
  Elijah appears again today, a measure of importance during Advent. he is a figure associated with the end-time, when God's reign was to be fulfilled. Sirach states that Elijah will "put and end to wrath before the day of the Lord," a reference to the "birth pangs of the messiah." John the Baptist cried out: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matt. 3:2)
  Despite this clear pronouncement, the people did not heed John's words. They regarded him as a holy ascetic, but not as the herald of the reign of God. Why not? even though they eagerly awaited God's reign, they were anticipating conquest and political independence rather than repentance and transformation. Since they did not take to heart John's announcement of God's reign, it is not surprising that they did not accept its arrival in Jesus himself.
  We, too, find it difficult to recognize and accept the reign of God. We, too, hope for victory and a spectacular display. All of the oohs and ahhs at the Christmas crib often miss the fact that the all-powerful God comes to us in unassuming and vulnerable ways.
  Tender God, open my mind and heart so that I can welcome you into my life this Advent and all the Advents to come. Amen.

Just thought it was a good devotional. Enjoy.

In Christ,

Em xoxoxo

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Our culture has filled our heads but emptied our hearts, stuffed our wallets but starved our wonder. It has fed our thirst for facts but not for meaning or mystery. It produces “nice” people, not heroes. Peter Kreeft


Oh, there's so much going on this month!!! Here's a list of days that we think about (at least in my family):

December 6-St. Nicholas's Day
December 7-Pearl Harbor Day
December 13- St. Lucy's Day
December 25-Christmas (duh!!!)
December 26-St. Stephen's Day

I'll tell you a little bit about each day. I was just thinking about them and what a great post this would make!!!

  St. Nicholas's Day

  St. Nicholas was a 4th-century Greek bishop, in what is modern-day Turkey. He was also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker. He had a reputation for secret gift-giving, becoming the model for our Santa Claus (really??!!). He is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, thieves, children, and students in a bunch of different countries.
  He was born in Asia Minor to loaded Christian parents. They both died in an epidemic when he was young, and then he lived with his uncle (also named Nicholas) and was trained to be a reader and later became a priest.
   In his most famous story (and I'm taking this from wikipedia, so if you don't agree, it's what I found), a poor man had three daughters but couldn't afford a dowry for them. This meant that they would have to stay unmarried, and most likely, for lack of a better field of employment, become prostitutes. Yeah, I'm glad I was born in 1996 instead of 296. Anyway, he heard about the situation, and either being to modest to help the guy in public, or not wanting to embarrass him by offering the guy charity, Good St. Nick went to his house at night and threw three purses of  gold coins (one for each daughter) into the window. Another version has him throwing the purses in on three different nights (on the eve of when the daughter would be of marriageable age). Apparently, in the latter version, the father gets suspicious the last time and waits for St. Nick. Apparently, St. Nick found out and dropped the purse down the chimney instead, where the daughter had hung her stockings to dry, perhaps how we got hanging our stockings up on the mantel of the fireplace.

  Pearl Harbor Day

  December 7, 1941--A day that will live forever in infamy. The action that really set the course of world history. The United States of America finally joined the war, after, like, two or three years. This is what happened:
  The air portion of the attack began at 7:48 Hawaiian Time. A total of 353 Japanese airplanes in two waves reached Oahu. Planes were destroyed, battleships and  carriers were sunk, airfields were strafed, and a total of 2,459 civilians and servicemen were killed and 1,282 civilians and servicemen were wounded. It was a vicious and unprecedented attack on innocent people.
  That maybe sounds a little harsh. At the time everyone agreed. And I know there's a huge controversy over Hiroshima and the A-bomb. And I don't mean to be judgemental. Not at all. I don't blame the Japanese people for that anymore than they should blame me and everyone else for dropping the bomb. It's not their fault. And I can't really say that I blame the kamikazes or the battleships, because they thought what they were doing was right. What I'm trying to focus on is the people who died in that attack and the rest of the almost five years after that in the biggest war the world has ever seen. They deserve to be remembered. Because they died for us.
  In a way, the attack on Pearl Harbor is like the attack on the world trade center. Innocent people were attacked just doing what they do. It's tragic. The spirit that brought the American people together after that kept them going throughout the remainder of the war. I heard a politician say that the 9/11 attacks brought us closer together as a country than anything else in our history, which I can find no evidence of. Anyway, just remember those people who were stuck in the Arizona with no way to get out, dying a slow, agonizing death from starvation, or drowning, or what ever it was they died of. And those people who died in their planes trying to defend the navy of their country. Or the people who didn't even get their chance to get their planes off the ground.

  St. Lucy's Day

  St. Lucy is my church's saint. Yup. She's really cool, too. Saint Lucy (or Lucia) was a young Christian martyr. She is the patron saint of the blind, because her name is translated to mean "light". She was a Christian during the Diocletian Persecution. Her father died when she was young. Her mother had her betrothed to a pagan. She encouraged her mother to spend her dowry as alms for the poor, so she could pledge her virginity to God. When her betrothed heard about this, he was angry and told the governor that Lucy was a Christian, and the governor ordered her to burn a sacrifice to the Roman emperor.
When she refused she was sentenced to be a prostitute. When the guards came to take her, she was stiff and heavy as a mountain, and could not be moved until she was hooked to a team of oxen. She was stabbed in the neck with a dagger, but still prophesied against her persecutor. Her eyes were plucked out. Her persecutors then tried to kill her in various ways, none of which worked until they drove a spike through her skull.
  According to legend, she brought food to persecuted Christians who were hiding in caves, wearing a hat with candles on it so she could see and carry food in both hands. In some Scandinavian countries, tradition is that on St. Lucy's day the youngest girl in the house dresses up as St. Lucy and brings food to the other family members.

  You all know about Christmas so I don't have to go into that unless I have a request to do so.

  St. Stephen's Day

  St. Stephen is the Protomartyr, (usually the first Christian martyr of a country, or, in this case, the first Christian martyr) of the Christian church. He was a Deacon. His name means "crown". He is the patron saint of casket makers, deacons, altar servers, headaches, horses, masons, and Serbia. He was tried by the Sanhedrin for blasphemy against Moses and God, and was stoned to death by an infuriated mob who was encouraged by Saul of Tarsus.

Okay, so that's it. Hope you guys have a good Advent and Christmas. Oh, I just thought of this, too. The themes for the four weeks or Advent are: Week 1, Death, Week 2, Judgement, Week 3, Heaven, Week 4 Hell. Just so you know, 'cause I always forget.

In Christ,

Em xoxoxo


Monday, December 5, 2011


Awe, that rush of quiet passion, that sudden gasp in the presence of great beauty or immensity or unfathomability is another necessary ingredient for the full appreciation of life. Cousin to gratitude, fear, and ecstasy, it overwhelms and enriches us beyond our usual boundaries.
Check this website out and enter if you can. Have a great day!

In Christ,

Emily xoxoxo