I invite all of you who follow Jesus, wherever you are, to spend time every day renewing your personal relationship with him, letting him touch your hearts.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love. John 15:9
Loving God and Father, open my mind and heart to the realization that Jesus is one of the greatest gifts in my life. You invite me through him to a new way of seeing and loving. Beginning today, I will try to be more conscious that Jesus loves me and abides with me, and I will try to renew my relationship with him in all I do today. Amen
Today I will set aside a space in my home, if only a small corner, where I can light a candle as a reminder that Jesus abides in me, here and now, and always.
For this task, pay special attention to the 10th Commandment and the first Beatitude in Matthew and Luke.
1. Create a visual that emphasizes a point of connection from the 10th Commandment and the first Beatitude.
2. Include your visual in a post in your blog in which you write about “the poor” and the “poor in spirit.” What are some examples of “good desires” or goodwill intended to help the poor and poor in spirit? How can you, your school, your community, province, and country do more to show goodwill to the poor and poor in spirit?
Tip: the Catechism of the Catholic Church is also helpful here:
Read paragraphs 2534-2550 and then read the brief review in paragraphs 2551-2557
When we get caught up in our own interests and concerns, we no longer have room in our hearts for others, no place for the poor. We forget the quiet joy of God’s love. – Pope Francis
Read Romans 12:15-16
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.
O beloved God, If I have closed my heart to you, please open it wide that I might reach out beyond my own interests and concerns to be aware of the needs of others, especially the poor. Your Son Jesus become one with all those who have little of this world’s goods, and he proclaimed your kingdom to them first of all. Make my heart like his, dear God.
Today I will think about Pope Francis’ words and try to let them into my heart.
Sometimes a good villain makes a good point. Recall the Grinch’s hatred for all the noise on Christmas morning.
For many of us, it is in the build up to Christmas that we get annoyed by the noise, the pushy people in the mall, lineups at every store, commercials, endless TV reruns. How do you cope with “all the noise” in the buildup to Christmas?
Read the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-10. Who are the people in your life who show you examples of each of these “Be Attitudes”? Write about how these people – and you – demonstrate how to live the Beatitudes.
4Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
In this painting, The Angel of the North by Ojibwa artist Blake Debassige, we can see how some First Nations artists are integrating the spiritual traditions of their own people with those of the Christian tradition. The painting also reveals the connection between the natural world and the spiritual world.
What familiar symbols can you find?
What elements in the painting show the importance of the natural world to Aboriginal peoples?
Note the wings of the angel in the painting. They are shaped like the wings of an eagle, a spiritual symbol often seen in Aboriginal art. Placing the wings of an eagle on the shoulders of an angel symbolizes a merging of Aboriginal spirituality and Christianity. the angel is drawn as a two-dimensional, transparent figure, revealing the spiritual nature within – a style that is common among the Woodland school of artists made famous in Canada by Norval Morrisseau. The rays from above suggest the presence of the Great Spirit or God. The angel has released one of her sacred feathers as a gift to those who live on the Earth for use in their sacred rituals. The eagle is one of the most sacred spiritual symbols for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Angel of the North and other similar paintings illustrate the way in which some peoples have integrated their spirituality with their Christian faith.