Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

 This content uses referral links. Read our disclosure policy for more info. This means if you make a purchase, I get a little change to keep up my Diet Coke habit.…

Mary the Sorrowful Mother

A stillness enveloped her, a breathless moment, then, wings of a mighty angel enfolded her,
exuding drops of blood ... consolation beyond all agony!
Mary, Mater Dolorosa.

Today's is for Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother. I started marking this special day on the liturgical calendar when I lost my son Raphael in stillbirth. Our church has a little shrine to the Sorrowful Mother and every year I put a little plant or flower on the shrine and pray.

However this year was fraught with a few more difficulties.  Because of the powerful wind storm we were without electricity all night until about 7:00 this morning.  We also have a car with a busted fuel pump, so  I wasn't able to get a flower for Mary's shrine.  Nonetheless Sam and I started out walking this morning at 7:30  to make it to 8 a.m. mass.  The church was still  without power, so Father V. said mass the old fashioned way- by candlelight!

Father said the most insightful things this morning.  He mentioned that just because someone is faithful or even chosen, does not mean that their life will be without hardship and pain.  Mary's certainly wasn't.  And as we sat in the middle of God's house we certainly noted that the church hadn't been spared from the effects of the weather.  But Father said we could chose to be used by the hardships that befall us, or we could chose to use those hardships for good.  He also talked about how sometimes these difficulties draw us closer to God.

As the mother of a stillborn son that certainly was my experience.  I did feel prayed for and loved when our baby died and I felt the need to draw myself closer to God in my sorrow.  And the result of my experience has been useful a few times, in comforting other moms who have lost babies.

Maybe that is why also on this blog I have felt the need to encourage moms with difficult pregnancies, with babies with terminal diagnoses to accept the cross that has been given to them and to mother their children for the time that they have, because any amount of life and love is so precious. 



This prayer has much special meaning for me.
Mary, my mother, obtain for me, I beg you, the grace of a holy resignation. Obtain for me the grace to understand this trial which is so hard for me to bear. I know that God in his all-wise providence has seen that it is for the best. Yet it is hard for me to bear the grief I feel. I come too you,dear mother, comforter of the afflicted and constant aid of those who trust in you. I know that you can obtain for me the peace and resignation that I seek. I confide in you entirely in this my tribulation and sorrow. You know the meaning of a mother's love, and can understand the dept of my affliction. Be to me a tender and protecting mother. For now, dear Mother Mary, I feel more than ever the need of your motherly love and sweet consolation.

Mary sorrowing, Mary of all Christians, pray for us!

From a Mother's Manual

Jeremiah 31:15

15 This is what the LORD says:
"A voice is heard in Ramah,
mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because her children are no more."

A wonderful idea for commemorating the day here!

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