Last October, I took my 82-year-old mom on a silent retreat. The priest who led the weekend told the following story.
He had been teaching second-graders when the subject of prayer arose and he simply asked, “How do you talk to Jesus?” Hands shot up. The first child called upon said, “First, you have to shut up.”
We don’t like waiting for anything — for traffic lights, for weight loss or even commercials that interrupt our favorite shows.
This contemporary abhorrence of waiting stands in stark contrast to Mary. Her graceful patience is something to consider, especially as Catholics begin the prayerful preparation of Advent.
If you’re old enough to remember Mr. Rogers, whose “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” children’s program ran on public television for years, you may remember his song, “Let’s think of something to do while we’re waiting.”
One of the reasons I love the Christmas season is its music. As you know, I like to sing, but what truly moves me is the rhythm and cadence of the notes and the power of the words; these really touch my heart when I listen to Christmas songs. I like to include music in the Mass, sometimes in prayer, sometimes even in my homily, because the chords and chorus join in unity, as our voices together rise up as one to give honor and praise to God.
“My favorite book of the year is ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ by the pope who gives me hope.”
That’s the word from Father Greg Esty, and he’s not alone in enjoying Pope Francis’ work; it appears on the top 10 list of book sales at St. Patrick’s Guild, then St. Paul merchant of religious goods. Father Esty, who is pastor of St. Genevieve in Centerville, was one of several clergy who responded to a Catholic Spirit email survey that asked what books they either were giving as Christmas gifts or recommending to others.