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12 Days of Christmas

December 27, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Christmas is finally here!!!! Woohoo!! Jonathan and I started preparing for this wonderful Season of Christmas over four weeks ago when Advent began. We tried to read and reflect on various readings from the saints of past while lighting our Advent wreath each night. The preparation, although we weren’t always perfect with it, helped us more fully experience Christmas when it arrived!!!

I LOVE being Catholic for many reasons but one of my favorite things is liturgical seasons, like Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, etc.  In the “ideal” spiritual life of Amanda, I would reflect periodically on different stages of Jesus’ life (His infancy, death, resurrection, miracles, etc.) and to  recycle through them every so often to enter into His life more fully.  I am prone to forgetfulness though, so if it was up to my own discipline, I would forget, get distracted, put it off, or get too busy. This is why I love the liturgical seasons…in the Church’s wisdom, there are varying seasons to guide our Christian life so that we are continuosly exposed to all the true, good, and beautiful events in the life of our Savior. So despite my weaknesses, I know that I don’t have to forge the journey totally on my own. Thanks Jesus, for leaving us the Church, guided by your Spirit!

It’s been a super fun and action packed few days for the Teixeiras! In the past week, we had 5 different family functions which have been a blast – filled with Christmas Mass, great food, white elephant gift exchanges, ping pong battles, and hide and seek with the kiddos! Prior to getting hitched, my dear husband Jonathan had 5 family members…well now he’s got dozens and dozens of new family in Nebraska 🙂 Now that Christmas is here, we are excited to celebrate for the next 12 DAYS!! Yet another reason I love being Catholic – Christmas isn’t just one day! We celebrate it until January 6th,  to symbolize the three kings arrival to pay homage to the infant King. So, let the good food, generosity, and celebrations continue!

Below is my favorite reflection I read over the Advent Season to help prepare my heart and soul for the birth of Jesus. It’s the basic Gospel message, which I have heard so many times, and love! However, when reading it on Christmas Eve, tears came to my eyes as I realized in a small but new way the LOVE of Christ for coming into our world to save us. Merry Christmas!

St. Augustine of Hippo

 

“Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you.  I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.
You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened ‘to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come. Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.”

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