Tag Archives: Christmas

Deo Gratias


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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • A warm house on these cold days. It’s frigid outside and I know some people must battle the cold in the winter. I’m grateful to have a warm, cosy home.
  • The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. I saw this book on the new book shelf at my library and had to check it out. I’ve read about 20% of it and love it. It’s full of wisdom and challenges for Catholics. I really think every Catholic should read it and it would be best if each parish hosted a discussion group about the book.
  • The quiet of the post Christmas season. I’ve become grateful for the days after Christmas that are quiet and still close to the holiday. The nativity is still fresh in my mind and something I can reflect on as our home decorations are still up. Sad to say, but in December Christmas gets lost in the shuffle all too often. Now that the shopping and secular holiday thrills are gone, I feel I can savor the most important aspects of Christmas.
  • Christmas hymns. This is the best season for singing at mass. I love all the songs: O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Silent Night, O Come All Ye Faithful, The First Nowell, etc.
  • Old friends. I’ve been able to meet up with a few old friends now that I’m back in the US. It’s a joy to chat and share with people I’ve known so long.

Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

  • Ireland! I’ve shared St. Patrick’s Day, some favorite Irish music and poetry with my students. It’s a lovely country and I’ve enjoyed preparing and sharing these short lessons.
  • Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last. I watched this silent movie with commentary on Saturday. What great fun! The joy stayed with me for three days.
  • My cold abated. I was starting to get a cold, but I’ve been able to keep it at bay with rest and citrus fruits.
  • The buds on the trees. We’ve got plum blossoms on the trees on campus.
  • Dark chocolate. I’ve said this before, but it is just delectable.

Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

Holy Trinity Church

  1. My friend Kristyn’s visit. We met when teaching in Jinan and she now teaches in Wisconsin. She was able to visit from Thurs. to Monday. It was a grab time to share and explore as we had in China.
  2. With Kristyn, who’s of Polish descent, I went to mass at a Polish church I’d passed thousands of times in my life. I was not prepared for the glory and splendor. Holy Trinity church is right by the highway and is a vibrant parish.
  3. Garfield Park Conservatory. We wanted to see some green in the gray of January. It’s a 2 acre greenhouse full of lush plants. They have lots of activities for children and it’s free!
  4. Sherlock Holmes stories. My book club is reading “The Empty House” and The Sign of Four. I’d forgotten how gripping and well told these stories are.
  5. Saving Mr. Banks, a witty, positive movie with a good story, good acting from a cast led by Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. I loved being drawn into a well told story that had no violence, foul language or gratuitous sex. Not to sound Puritanical but such films are just so much more life giving!


Deo Gratias

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Deo Gratias is Latin for “Thanks be to God.” Remembering to give thanks for all of our blessings, big and small, helps us to find God in our everyday moments and gives us an attitude of gratitude! Colleen at Thoughts on Grace has organized this meme and you can contribute by clicking here. This week I’m thankful for:

Notre Dame Basilica, at Christmas, in Chicago

Notre Dame Basilica, at Christmas, in Chicago

  • The wisdom I’ve gotten to ponder from the last three masses (Christmas, Sunday and New Year’s). The priests for each have given wisdom to ponder and use to grow closer to God – even the homilies that were a little circuitous offered wisdom.
  • Snow! Now I realize I’m lucky because I don’t have to travel in it. I do wish everyone could stay home, make a cup of tea and just let the weather be. Many of us can work at home, though attendance in the office is still the norm. It’s so beautiful and graceful outside.
  • Getting to see my niece and nephew – and sister over the holidays. They were here for about 10 days.
  • Doctor Who. I watched in the 70s and have rediscovered it. My niece Maisy and I watched one episode a day of the new series.
  • Christmas decorations, at home and at church. They add so much to the feel of the season. It’s sad to take them down.

O Mores, O Tempora

I was checking out Pope Francis’ twitter feed and couldn’t believe the foul comments posted under his Christmas tweet.

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I will not spread the crudity, but will say that after the shock of the offensive messages I glimpsed I did say a quick prayer for those who are so lost that they need to attack Christianity and a man who has no record of misdeeds.

It’s a low time for American society and religion is under attack.


From Sir Walter Scott

“‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
‘Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year.”


The Bishop’s Wife

TheBishopsWife1

A Facebook friend posted film dialog and I think it’s great:

Henry Brougham: Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking. Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry. A blazing star hung over a stable and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, the sound of bells and with gifts. But especially with gifts.You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe. We forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled … all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s his birthday we are celebrating. Don’t ever let us forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what he would wish for most … and then let each put in his share. Loving kindness, warm hearts and the stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts that make peace on earth.

The Bishop’s Wife (1947)

I need to see this movie.


Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings

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On Wednesdays, Judy, creator of an inspiring blog, A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings encourages participants to list their blessings, to give thanks for the five things in the past week and then link to Judy’s blog.

This week I am thankful for:

  1. The beautiful Christmas mass we went to at the cathedral on Monday night.
  2. The chance to celebrate Christmas with family members though I did miss my brother, who’s serving our country in the Middle East and my sister and her family out in Conneticutt
  3. The snow we got yesterday so we could have a white Christmas.
  4. Christmas cookies, though too many are a bad thing.
  5. Christmas music that fills the air and the masterpieces that depict the nativity.
  6. And most of all, the birth of Jesus who came to save us all, to die for our sins.

A Reminder

Church is a sacred space where we distance ourselves from worldly annoyances and concerns so that we can concentrate on God. Please do turn off your phones during mass. Please teach your children to do the same. While Christmas mass is longer than usual, it’s highly meaningful and a great opportunity to connect with God. By texting, playing games and conducting business, you are literally turning away from God.

Even if you’re not thrilled with the homily or music, you never know how God will present Himself to you at any given time. Be open!


Wishes from Christmas Past

vintage baby jesus