Thursday, December 17, 2009


The Advent Wreath is counting down the days to the Feast of the Holy Nativity of Our Lord. The incense of a Plain Catholic home tells the story of Murphy’s Oil Soap on freshly mopped floors; of cinnamon and vanilla from cakes and cookies baked as gifts; of the simmer of the stews on the wood cookstove and of the hickory logs who await their turn for the slow burn to warm the home in the cold evenings.

The soft gray of the Advent day is a temptress for napping but there is too much to do to prepare for the Lord’s Nativity. Rooms are readied for company, the Liturgy of the Hours pushes patience as the readings become less routine, more instructional.

The visitations of family and of friends are more rambunctious than the Visitation of a faith-filled young woman to her cousin so long ago. Chatter and laughter become hymns of their own, telling and retelling the family memories around the tables. The happy conversations over games of Dominoes, Dutch Blitz, Scrabble and Chutes and Ladders invite us to become ever closer to Our Lord and to each other. Soon songs of the season are being picked out on the old piano or guitar and every one joins in the singing. Professionals we are not.

There are still the daily chores of the animals needing the feeding and care, children and husbands who need clean clothes to wear … life must continue amidst the waiting. With family everyone pitches in to collect eggs, pour the feed into troughs, clean the coop. Each evening as quiet settles on the home, we rest, we pray, we wait…. and we chatter over the clatter of the dish washing and the tucking into the beds.

Christmas Eve: Giggles and wiggles of littles bring forth whisperings as the parents and grandparents shush them into quasi-quiet attention at Mass. Tiny yawns blend with the Scripture and become antiphons to the prayers. The home creche has an empty place that waits for the tiny Jesus. Arriving home after Midnight Mass the littles run to the creche first to see if somehow Jesus remembered to come. Their smiles confirm that tiny Jesus did indeed make it into the creche while away to the Mass. Reassured they climb into bed, falling asleep while the incense of hearth and Faith hovers round them.

Enjoy each precious hour and minute of your families and your Faith for all too soon it will disappear with the last wisp of the extinguished candles. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His Mercy endures forever.

With fervent prayers that your holiday is a truly Holy Day and may the Lord bless you and keep you always; that's me away.
In gratitude to my dear friend Laura who keeps me mindful when my memory does not.


K8B said...

I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. It means a greaqt deal that you take time out of your busy life to post.

Rhoto said...

What a beautiful story!! I'll read your article when our little "family" gathers this week. Thank you and may God bless you!!

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