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February 7th, 2016
Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others. — Plato


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December 22nd, 2014
Ever heard of a Christingle? The term means "Christ's Light" and it's a symbol used by children during Advent in many different Christian denominations. It consists of an orange with a candle placed atop it, tied with a red ribbon, with dried pieces of fruit stuck into it with toothpicks. Sound strange? Well it looks a little strange, but read about the meaning behind it here to understand it a little more.

Put aside your Christmas to-do list today for 30 minutes and spend that time in prayer, saying, “Come, Lord Jesus,” opening yourself to the true meaning of the season, and looking for the places where God is waiting to break into your life.…

December 21st, 2014
The day I saw my mom eating the Santa cookies on the plate was one of the most horrific days of my life. — Halle Berry
Purple or blue? Some Advent wreaths have three purple candles and one pink, while others have three blue candles and one pink. Why the difference? The Lutheran Book of Worship lists blue as the preferred color for Advent and the Methodist Book of Worship identifies purple or blue as appropriate for Advent, while the Roman Catholic Church retains the traditional purple. Purple is associated most closely with penetential practices and probably has something to do with the origins of Advent being more Lent-like. There has been a trend toward supplanting purple with blue during Advent as it is a hopeful season of preparation that anticipates both Bethlehem and the consummation of history in the second coming of Jesus Christ. But for now, at least for Roman Catholics, the purple remains.

Today, buy a cup of coffee, a sandwich, or even Christmas cookies for someone who doesn’t expect it.…

December 20th, 2014
Advent Top 10 You may have your favorite Christmas carols already picked out, but did you know there are some songs specifically for Advent? We found this great Top 10 list over at AquinasAndMore.com that includes these favorites: "O Come, O Come Emmanuel;" "Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus;" "Holy is His Name."

Today, do or plan for two hours of community service.…

December 18th, 2014
It's not just about Christmas. While we do use Advent as a preparation time for our spirits preceding the Christmas season, the teachings and readings during Advent always have been tools to help us prepare for the second coming of Jesus. We believe Jesus is coming back to us some day and we need to be ready for that moment. What do you need to do or change in your life to be prepared?

Today, sit with someone who doesn’t interact with a lot of people during their day, and give $10 to Sister Rosemary’s ministry with child survivors of war in Uganda and Sudan.…

December 17th, 2014
The two Gregorys. Long ago, Advent lasted longer and was more about fasting and penance -- similar to Lent today. In the sixth century, Pope St. Gregory I enhanced the five Sunday liturgies of Advent to include more Advent-specific prayers, antiphons, readings and responses. In the 11th century, Pope St. Gregory VII reduced the number of Sundays in Advent to four, giving us more or less the Advent we have today.

Today, connect with someone for whom this time of year is painful and bring some joy to their day.…

December 16th, 2014
We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace. — Pope Francis
Is an Advent by any other name still an Advent? In many Eastern churches, the season of Advent goes by other names: St. Philip's Fast, The Nativity Fast, Winter Lent, and Christmas Lent. Like Western Advent, these are also seasons of preparation leading up to Christmas, but they more closely resemble Lent in that they typically last 40 days and are characterized by periods of fasting and abstinence.

Donate $10 or more to Busted Halo’s Holiday Fund Drive to help Busted Halo bring a message of hope, love, and peace to young adults who are disconnected from their faith.…

December 15th, 2014
A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small.
— Eva K. Logue
We have seen a great light. No, we're not talking about your neighbor's Christmas lights. Advent readings from Isaiah (specifically Isaiah 9:2) talk about darkness and light. There are plenty of examples of the darkness of the human spirit in today's world — violence, war, greed. The Light of Christ is here to guide us on a different path. What lights does God shine in our lives that turn us away from the darkness? Stop. Think of at least three examples of Christ's light shining in the world right now. Now, remember the story of Jesus — born in a dark stable at a time when a wicked king was out to kill him. Talk about darkness! But God’s light shines brighter than the darkness. Let us see where that light is shining this Advent.

Spend time working on a homemade gift for a family member or close friend today.…

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