Episode 49 – Happy & Holy Christmas

Christmas challenges – feeling unprepared entering into Advent – life is moving too fast

Life goes so fast and because of that it can sometimes be difficult to enter into the various seasons we find ourselves in. It’s so important to then to anchor ourselves in Christ and to have something tactile to remind us of the season. 

What is this celebration about

Particularly in the holiday season we can feel like we’re moving from one party or dinner to the next, without actually taking stock and asking: What is all this celebration about. We’re not anti-party, but we are anti being carried along by moments.

We are not meant to be carried through this life by temporal moments: The hope of Christ is what is meant to carry us along. This hope allows us to find Him in the present moment, that we might begin the process of sanctification in the here and now. Maybe Advent has gotten away from us and we don’t know how to enter into Christmas. Don’t freak out, it’s okay. It’s never too late to begin the work of anchoring ourselves to Jesus instead of empty  moments. 

Converse with Jesus

Take some time in the day and speak to Jesus, ask Him to help you discern what is important in life. Seek to appropriately cut out of our lives those things which distract us from the voice of God. Constant entertainment, obsession and preoccupation with self, toxic relationships. 

Create tangible reminders of who we are as Christians. 

Find ways to live the Christmas season – Jesus, Others, Yourself – JOY

Preparing to finish Advent and enter into Christmastide

See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil – temptations are high in this season to drop the things we’ve been doing to live and love better, to be more Christ like – all in the hope of more comfort – hold onto convictions.

The culture

Lets look at the culture  that we’re in at Christmas. For some reason, between the 16th of December and the 1st of Jan, people lose their minds! It’s like the lead up to Christmas is a materialist rush, followed by binge eating, drinking and laziness. Boxing day is mad day of sales and returns, with angry shoppers pushing and shoving. And then we race around trying to get ready for new years celebrations. In all the ‘racing round’, gluttony and laziness that can happen in this season its possible to lose the charity that is meant to mark it.

Now perhaps at this point it’s sounding like Fr Grinch. To explain — having fun food and family is not bad. Chilling out is not bad! All these things are awesome!!! But if they lead us to self-indulgence they cease to be awesome. Awesome literally means awe inspiring. These moments in Christmas are meant to be awe inspiring! Lets not kill the awe with mediocrity by a self-indulgence which forgets the needs of others. 

Accepting less than ideal behaviour

Accepting behaviour that is less than ideal… simply because it comes from people we’re celebrating with. There’s a difference between being patient with someone because we care about them and it’s better for them that we be patient at this time with them … and accepting behaviour as OK and reasonable simply because it’s Christmas. This is where we can see an increase in alcohol consumption and we deem it OK, or use of foul language, for example.

Also we need to be be on our guard against our main fault. With all the drama that can come up at Christmas, or all the eating and drinking, it is very possible that temptations of the flesh, or temptations to pride or gossip, may be more likely to appear either as a coping mechanism or as an unnatural progression of licentiousness. 

Let us be on our guard to enter Christmastide with a virtuous spirit, filled with gratitude and love for the Christ-Child! Let us celebrate this beautiful time of the year that we have been given to remember the birth of the infant Babe… Jesus. Whose soft hands reach for His virgin mother. Whose eyes look into His mother’s, full of love and trust. Whose birth is the beginning of our redemption … the infant Babe, born in a stable, for us.

Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright.

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Holy Infant so tender and mild.

Have a Happy & Holy Christmas!

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