Volume 37, #4
December 2021

Plant these "seeds" well and water often. Enjoy!

 Soldier nutcracker - December
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"Holy Newness" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Source Unknown

     "St. Francis used…to say: ‘Let us begin, brothers, to serve the Lord God, for up until now we have done little or nothing. He did not consider that he had already attained his goal, but tireless in pursuit of holy newness, he constantly hoped to begin again.’"                                                The Life of Saint Francis by Thomas of Celano: FA:ED, vol. 1, p. 273

     Such is the meaning of celebrating Advent: Like St. Francis we, too, do not consider that we have already attained our goal, but tireless in pursuit of holy newness, we constantly hope to begin again. Advent is the pursuit of this ‘holy newness.’"

Starting Today…. . . . . . . . . . Ted Engstrom, The Pursuit of Excellence

Advent - Lit candles with pine branches     "Today is the day to start giving up your small ambitions. Right now, you can begin living your life with a vigor, enthusiasm, and intensity you never before imagined. Starting today, you can begin to draw from your own deep inner resources and cut a swath through mediocrity that will give your life a whole new significance. The results of your efforts may so surprise you that you will wonder why you waited so long. You will also find that your mind, will never retreat to its original dimension."

Praise the Process . . . . . . . . Christian Hampshire, Runner's World, Issue 6 2021

     "Anxiety lives in the future and depression lives in the past, so by focusing on the present and being aware of your surroundings, your true self emerges. Praise the process, not the result. I started out fixated on the end goal instead of enjoying and being fixated on the journey and process."

Carrying a Grudge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Buddy Hackett

     "I’ve had a few arguments with people but I never carry a grudge. You know why? While you’re carrying a grudge, they’re out there dancing"

By Constantly Acting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aristotle

     "Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting a particular way. We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions."

Struggles to be Holy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mother Angelica

     "You think, ‘Well, I’m imperfect so I can’t be holy,’ or ‘God doesn’t love me,’ or ‘He doesn’t live in me.’ You have all these excuses tucked away in your heart and your mind. But the apostles struggled, and the saints struggled, and you struggle, and I struggle, and the whole world struggles to be holy. We’re just not going to make it overnight. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will you be."

Forgiveness is a Choice  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Christophers, 7-79

     "All of us have difficulties with forgiveness: difficulties with forgiving someone, with asking for forgiveness, accepting it when it is offered — even with forgiving ourselves.

     How do I begin? Consider the alternative. Try looking squarely at the injury your have done or that has been done to you. Acknowledge your feeling of guilt or resentment. Without forgiveness this feeling will deepen and harden. Ask yourself if you want to live with it.

     Forgiving is not a feeling, it’s a choice. Do something. Take some action as soon as possible: a letter, a word, a kindness, a hug, an apology, a prayer."

True Patriotism  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "What Can a Person Do?", Vol. 56. #12

     "True Patriotism is not the emotional luxury of vanity showing itself in flag-waving, but a sentiment that expresses itself as a share in collective life. It asks, ‘What can I do that will add to the welfare of the country?’ The essence of citizenship is found in its values, its morals, its commitments, its deep loyalties, its conception of the good life, its teaching regarding the things for which and by which people should live, and the efforts of the people to attain the best possible."

Be Joyful . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

    "With the angel’s greeting to Mary — ‘kaire’ in Greek, which means ‘be joyful’ — the New Testament begins. The first words of the New Testament are ‘be joyful,’ ‘be happy.’ Joy is the true meaning of Christmas. Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not expensive gifts that cost time and money. With a smile, an act of kindness, a little help, forgiveness, you can bring joy, and that joy will come back to you."

Born for a Reason  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Thomas

     "All are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others."

Biggest Tragedy  . . . . . . . . . . Oliver Wendell Holmes

     "The biggest tragedy in America is not the waste of natural resources, though that is tragic. The biggest tragedy is the waste of human resources."

On Teachers  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Henry Brooks Adams

"A teacher affects eternity,
one can never tell where his or her influence stops."

Wisdom Seeds  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . William Arthur Ward

"Dream larger dreams;
Set greater goals;
Seek larger truths;
Find better ways;
Blaze newer trails;
Climb higher peaks."

Christmas with several lit candles

Our Best Years  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Helen Hayes

    "What becomes fragile when we age is not our bodies as much as our egos. The best time to take some daring steps is when we get older. Self doubt and fear of failure are the leg irons that keep us chained to the wailing wall of unaccomplishment."

Christmas Spoken Here  . . . . . . . John Killinger, "Christmas Spoke Here" 1989, p. 11

     One day I was staring through the window of a beautiful little Christmas shop. It was packed with Christmas items…There were exquisite crèche scenes from Italy, Germany, and Norway. There were fuzzy-faced elves and jolly old Santa Clauses, sleighs and reindeer of every size and description, bells and trees, and music boxes. There were nutcrackers and candles and electric lights, angels and wise men and little drummer boys, stars and snowmen and gingerbread cutouts. The little shop was fairly bursting with Christmas, and a loudspeaker broadcast a medley of Yuletide tunes. It was infectious…And down in the corner of the front door, where no one could miss it, was the neatest touch of all. It was a small sign that said: "Christmas Spoken Here."

    "Christmas Spoken Here." I cannot imagine a better slogan for the church, at this season or any time of year, than that one. What could say better why we are here? God has entered human history to change its course forever. He has come as a Word, as something said, articulated, put in a message: "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). We remember the event each year in song and pageant and decoration. "Christmas spoken here." It has to be spoken here, for it is the basis of all we do.

    "Christmas Spoken Here." It is an appropriate motto for us. The church ought always to speak Christmas. We ought always to be reminded of the Word God has spoken: the intelligible, important, and loving Word of His concern for us. And Christmas is the best time of all the year for remembering it. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth." That is Christmas, and Christmas is spoken here. It will always be spoken here.

    Lord, You have spoken to us in the birth and life and death of Jesus, and Your Word is plain. Help us to hear it and respond with all our hearts. For there is no other word as intelligible, or important, or loving as this one.


Peace on Earth over Christmas Stable with Jesus, Mary, Joseph

Garland of pine greens with big red bows