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December 2011

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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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Only 3 More Sleeps

December 22, 2011

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ2NCDZ6ZH8

I love many things. One of them is Christmas. Another one of them is The Muppets. The above song is from Muppets Christmas Carol. As of this writing, we have two more sleeps than Kermit and company, but I wanted to write a post with the song nonetheless.

I believe that One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas is a wonderful Advent song. Advent is the 4-week long Christian season of anticipation of Christmas. During these four weeks, we get ready for Christmas by reflecting on and praying about his three “comings.” 1.Jesus’ coming into this world when he was born of Mary in Bethlehem, 2. Jesus’ second coming in glory at the end of time, and 3. the ways he comes to us everyday in our lives. (More about Jesus’ three comings)

“The promise of excitement is one the night will keep
After all, there’s only one more sleep til Christmas.”

One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas is all about the joyful anticipation of Christmas. So is Advent!

Kermit sings some very good things about Christmas. Some beautiful Christmas truths from the mouths of Muppets! Let’s check ’em out:

The world is at her best, you know
When people love and care

Very true, Kermit. And wasn’t that one of Jesus’ favorite things tell us? Check it:

From Matthew 22:34-40:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

There’s no such thing as strangers when
A stranger says hello
And everyone is family,

Jesus’ coming and his sacrifice on the cross opened wide the family of God. No longer was God’s saving covenant limited to the people of Israel. Jesus opened up the family of God to include everybody. Like Kermit says, “everyone is family!”

It’s the season when the saints can employ us
To spread the news about peace and to keep love alive

Is Kermit talking about the communion of saints? (wikipedia article) The saints in heaven praying for us and asking God for blessings and grace so we can fulfill the Great Commission? (“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you… – Matthew 28:19-20) It sure sounds like it to me!

There’s something in the wind today
That’s good for everyone
Yes, faith is in our hearts today
We’re shining like the sun
And everyone can feel it, the feeling’s running deep
After all, there’s only one more sleep til Christmas
After all, there’s only one more sleep til Christmas day

This may be a bold statement: (Or a statement made in desperation to pull a post together): This last verse sums up (however generically) the general feeling and idea of living Christianity. Jesus (and Christianity) are good for everyone. Jesus came for everybody, no matter what you’ve done or where you came from. And when we hold faith in Jesus in the deepest part of our hearts, we are the most alive we can be, we are, as Kermit puts it, “shining like the sun.” And if we Christians are doing our best to truly live out our faith, if we are really letting our relationship with Jesus change the way we live, then everyone will feel it. And it all started in a little town, in a dingy stable in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. It all started with Christmas. No wonder Kermit (and we) are so excited to celebrate.

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What It’s About

December 12, 2011

Welcome to the first ever Teixeira family blog!

After many months of talking about starting a blog (although Jonathan already had one of his own, since he is typically more “hip, cool, and tech savvy” than Amanda), we now have our very own blog together!

Why the name “True, Good, and Beautiful?” Well, I am sure I will find some awesome philosophical quote sometime down the road, I will some it up in my own words now – Jonathan and I picked this name for our family blog because we believe that truth, goodness, and beauty are three roads to God. Our trust in Him is central to our lives and marriage. We are a Catholic Missionary family with FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students (focus.org). Being a family brings about many normal, everyday life conversations, joys, and difficulties…and by looking for the true, good, and beautiful, we find God everywhere in our days!

So we hope to post about things we are passionate about, places we see truth, goodness, and beauty around us – updates from our life in FOCUS, family get togethers, interesting conversation topics, recipes, culture, travel, adventures, Catholicism, the New Evangelization, marriage and family, and all the shenanigans that fall in between.

Our hope is that everyone who reads from our blog would have an encounter with the true, good, and beautiful…ultimately God who is the end and fulfillment of all of them.