Archives for December 2011

The Catholic Gift Shop: Three Medals to be Given Away

Have you heard the news over at The Catholic Gift Shop?

Tomorrow, Friday December 16th, The Catholic Gift Shop will be giving away three of their best selling medals.  All they ask is you visit their page on Facebook and “like” button, and become a fan of The Catholic Gift Shop. There will be three drawings: 10 am, 2 pm and 6pm ET.  The winners will be selected from the shop’s fan base on Facebook.

Right here, by clicking this link, you can become a fan of The Catholic Gift Shop.

All the medals will be shipped Friday night and will arrive in time for Christmas!

Here is the first medal to be be given away on Friday.

St. Christopher @ The Catholic Gift Shop

St. Christopher @ The Catholic Gift Shop

The Saint Christopher medal in particular has been one of the biggest sellers at The Catholic Gift Shop all year (these medals are all new in 2011).

Later, at 2pm ET on December 16th, The Catholic Gift Shop will be announcing the winner of the second medal give-away. The second medal to be given away, is a beautiful Sterling Silver Miraculous Medal. Each of the medals will arrive in time for Christmas, and will be shipped with an 18″ chain and arrive in a smart-looking gift box. Take a look:

These are terrific medals — which are on sale at The Catholic Gift Shop. The two sterling silver medals are being sold for $54.95 and the gold-filled Miraculous medal sells for $64.95. The Shop is giving them away for free.

Finally, at 6pm, The Catholic Gift Shop will be announcing the winner of the third medal, a gold-filled Sterling Miraculous Medal. And this medal arrives in a gift box along with a beautiful gold plated chain as well. Take a look at the third medal:

All they ask is you visit their page on Facebook and “like” button, and become a fan of The Catholic Gift Shop. There will be three drawings: 10 am, 2 pm and 6pm ET.  The winners will be selected from the shop’s fan base on Facebook. You can find their Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/TheCatholicGiftShop

Thou Shall Not Steal

Christmas is known as the season of giving, and Advent the time of preparation and anticipation.   But in case you have purchased some Mens Catholic Jewelry or some Catholic Jewelry for Women, you need to also know that this is the season for stealing.  So let’s be careful out there!

And sometimes, theft happens in other forms.  And right under our noses, too.

Everything we post on our sites are copyrighted material.   It says so very clearly at the bottom of every single page of our website.  So it burns us up when we see our material lifted 100% from our site and posted elsewhere.  When you swipe copyrighted content from an employer’s website, well, that is also stealing too.   We thought grown-ups would know that.

So, in the spirit of Advent, PREPARE FOR and ANTICIPATE the cease and desist letter you WILL be getting from our attorney.

And Joy to the World.

More about Silence

I just read a post by a young woman talking about the “quiet” of the Catholic Church as opposed to the Presbyterian church she recently visited in the South.

One of her comments really struck me. She said “I think if we actually believed that Christ was there, all our attention would be focused on Him”. I don’t think she meant this to be a question of Catholic teaching, it was a personal question for us to consider invidually. Our Catholic faith tells us HE is really there. We know this and it’s the reason we offer the sacrifice of the Mass to Him. I admitted I would remember her comment the next time I felt the urge to be “chatty” (see my previous post) in church.

My children attend Catholic Grammar School and families join them for First Friday Mass each month. It’s so exciting as the children enter the church, there are hundreds of smiles, giggles, feet stomping, kneelers falling and a restlessness you can actually feel. There is quite a bit of “Shushing” going on too. The entire Student Body is then reminded that they are in the presence of our Lord and should remain quiet and in prayer. I think that might be what has gotten lost over the years, prayer before Mass begins. Mass was not intended to be a place to “catch-up”. We come to church to give thanks to the Lord and participate in the Eurcharist.

Catholics are often considered “unwelcoming” to other Christians and maybe that’s because we do behave differently while at Mass. It’s wonderful to see the groups of people gathered outside the Church after Mass saying hello, shaking hands even giving one another hugs. We are friendly. We are supportive of each other. I won’t include those that almost run you over getting out of the parking lot to be first in line at the bakery (that’s where I assume they’re headed anyway).

Does your parish have a gathering center that people meet after Mass? My parish hosts Hospitality Sunday gathering once per month but I bet there are some that do this weekly? Would you like your church community to offer something like this?

I’m thankful that I was given this rather gentle reminder to reconsider my reverance while in the church, both before and after Mass. I hope this might be an Advent reflection for you as well.

Silence Doesn’t Always Mean Somethings Wrong

Why, when my husband tells me that when he’s quiet doesn’t mean somethings wrong, don’t I believe him?

So what if my nickname is “Chatty Cathy” and so what if I love to chat? Well what’s wrong, as I’ve come to believe, is that you CAN’T listen and talk at the same time. I am a Master of Multitasking (in my humble opinion) but this one has me beat. To truly be present in silence is the best way to listen for God to speak to you.

Unfortunately I have always been someone who starts a sentence before the person I’m speaking with finishes theirs. Honestly I have only recently realized how often I do this. In my heart I’m not trying to be rude and I don’t think what I have to say is more important than their words, it’s just that I worry that I’ll lose what I want to say. I know that does sound rude, doesn’t it? I’m working on this. I figure if I lose my train of thought, it couldn’t have been worth much anyway. It’s kind of like the saying “If you love something set it free, if it comes back it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was!. So my ideas, thoughts, comments or whatever… if important, will come back. More importantly if I listen more intently I might not have to think of something else to say, just listen.

I have come to appreciate the words attributed to St. Francis of Assisi more when he says “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary use words”. Whether or not St. Francis actually spoke these words doesn’t matter now, it’s the point. We do not always have to speak to preach the Gospel. It’s in our deeds, it’s in our prayers and most importantly it should be in our hearts. I need to get out of my head more as that what gets my mouth in trouble.

Do you have trouble with silence? Are you able to fully meditate and await what God might be trying to put on your heart by putting it into your head first? I’m trying, please pray for me to accept silence as the blessing is truly is.

Seeking Advent Patience

The following comes from Daily Reflections for Advent & Christmas – Waiting in Joyful Hope 2011-2012 by Jay Cormier which is published each year by Liturgical Press.

I was given this little “pocket book” as an Advent gift by the Deacon that runs our Scripture class each week. This book is such a lovely way to focus on Advent and the waiting for Christmas. Each day you’re given the readings, a theme from the scripture is then reflected upon. Following the reflection Mr. Cormier provides questions to ponder (meditation) and finishes with a prayer for each day.

This little booklet has helped me in my daily prayer life as he helps you dig a little deeper into the readings for each day. Rather than try to give you the jist of the book I’ll give you a snapshot of Friday, December 9th in the Second Week of Advent. I chose this day as it touches on our daily hectic lives and how we can better accept Advent as a time of preparation and waiting.

Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19; Matthew 11:16-19

Scripture: “(W)isdom is vindicated by her works.” (Matthew 11:19)

Reflection: We are not a very patient people. We can’t spare the time to stop and catch our breath. Quiet unnerves us; silence is a sure sigh that something is wrong; reflection and thoughtfulness are luxuries. We do not live in the moment–we live in the next moment.

We need to be constantly connected, online, and plugged in.
We are terrified of being bored.
We are in a constant hurry–and yet we do not get very far.
We struggle to walk between the austere, demanding John at the Jordan and the Jesus who welcomes and forgives all.
Too often we let our fears and doube3ts, our cynicism and fatalism, affect our decision making. We are defeated by what is not rather than inspired by what could be.
For all our technology, we are disconnected.
For all our global outreach, we know little beyond our own little plot of earth.
For all our education, we fail to realize what is good and right in our midst.

Advent calls us to patience– not patience that passively accepts without complaint whatever disappoints us, but patience that is certain in the hope of better things to come. In criticizing the fickleness of this “generations,” Jesus points out that wisdom begins with such patience: to stop, to reflect, to see what is hidden, to listen with the heart. These days of Advent are a microcosm of our lives, revealing to us the preciousness of time and confronting us with our mortality. May these days teach us to realize the sacred in our lives, to behold God’s love in the midst of our family and friends, to embrace the patience of Advent in order to see our lives and work through the eyes of God.

Meditation: What issues and concerns most test your patience? Reconsider how you respond and how you view the situation in question.

Prayer: Lord of Advent, may your wisdom illuminate our eyes and open our hearts to behold your presence in our midst. Help us to embrace the grace of Advent patience, that we may stop and behold your compassion and mercy in our days and transform our lives in the peace and hope of your dawning at Christmas.

If you are like me, the observation that some of us consider silence as a sign of something being wrong hit a chord. I am becoming more aware of the blessing of silence in that you can find peace and be open to what God could be trying to tell you if you (me) would be quiet and listen. That’s something I truly am working on this Advent. I no longer need to be talking or “plugged in” every moment that I’m awake.

I hope you enjoy this Advent Reflections as much as I have. Please share any books that you use to help with your daily prayer.

Blessings,
Cathi D.
cathid@mycatholicblog.com