A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Keeping the Joy in Our Hearts

Posted on: December 18, 2014

With the wintry weather lately, it was fitting that I read Sirach 43:17b-20* yesterday:

He scatters the snow like birds flying down, and its descent is like locusts alighting.

The eye marvels at the beauty of its whiteness, and the mind is amazed at its falling.

He pours the hoarfrost upon the earth like salt, and when it freezes, it becomes pointed thorns.

The cold north wind blows, and ice freezes over the water;

it rests upon every pool of water, and the water puts it on like a breastplate.

squirrels eating

Six squirrels eating–two at the feeders and four below them.

And today, I asked myself just what this winter would be like as I watched six squirrels—yes, six—jockeying for position at my bird feeders and just below them.

Winter can mean bitter cold and heavy snow, but the promise of hot chocolate or tea to drink or a fire to sit by when we head indoors can keep the chill from putting a damper on our spirits.

Just as I hope the hustle and bustle of the season won’t put a damper on our joy.

This time of year, the stores seem to be busy all day long. Lineups take longer, drives are stop-and-go, and everyone seems to be in a hurry—often too much of a hurry to smile and say thanks, let alone allow other drivers to squeeze into traffic. But we can and should make sure our words and actions reflect the joy this season holds for us as Christians:

  • We can take a moment to wish people “Merry Christmas,” whether in cards, online or in person.
  • If we need to run errands, we can offer a smile and thanks to store staff, especially since it may be the only time someone else notices that they, too, are under pressure and doing their best.
  • We can take part in Mass and reconciliation to refresh, restore and remind us of the reason for the season as Christmas draws closer.
  • We can be friendly and welcoming to those visiting our parish from out of town—or from in town—or even invite a friend or neighbour to attend a service with us during the holidays.

With Christmas just a week away, I pray that we would not let the busyness around us—or the desire for a  “perfect” holiday—steal our joy in preparing for and celebrating Christmas.

(*Scripture quote taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

 

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1 Response to "Keeping the Joy in Our Hearts"

Dear Catholic Convert in Ottawa,
I really enjoyed the posting. Lovely sentiment. Keep up the good work. God bless,

Comments are closed.

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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