We have just returned from a 1,600-mile round-trip journey, traveling through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to spend Christmas with family. It was a blessed trip in so many ways, and surprisingly, the two 14+ hour days in the car were totally manageable! Highlights included:
*Our 5 year-old proclaiming, “I love you, Jesus!” in front of the manger scene at Christmas morning Mass
*Four hours spent at an urgent care clinic on Christmas afternoon, all because of a little green bead (part of a Christmas gift) that our 2 year-old had stuck into her ear – the removal took less than a minute with the right tools
*Hours spent playing with our new baby cousin, who humored us with smiles and gurgles.
*A black-out during dinner at the pizza parlor, which turned into a great adventure – nothing beats dinner by candlelight, especially when someone else is going to be cleaning up the spills afterwards! A great tip for our poor waiter was in order
*A movie date to see Les Miserables, my all-time favorite musical – it was amazing, so well-done, and a total tear-jerker! I would definitely recommend seeing it on the big screen if you have the chance.
Another highlight included a fabulous Christmas morning homily by a very thoughtful priest. As many of us are reflecting on the past year and making personal goals for the year to come, I thought that I would share a couple of his points here.
*We must know what direction we are going in, otherwise we will never end up at our destination. If we are taking a trip from Boston to Florida but travel North rather than South, we will end up on a snow-covered mountain rather than a sunny beach. We knew our destination but traveled in the wrong direction to get there! The same is true of our spiritual life. As a guide, we can remember the 2 questions, “Who created me? Why was I created?” and their answers, “God created me, to know, love, and serve Him in this life so that I can be happy with Him forever in heaven.” If we find ourselves on the wrong track, we can start by going to Confession – what a great gift we have in this sacrament as Catholics!
*He told us the story of a woman who had a grotesque facial tumor. A faith healer came to visit this woman in the hospital and told her, “Jesus can heal you!” She gave no response so he said again, “Jesus can heal you of your cancer!” She looked at him and said, “I know and believe that Jesus can heal me, but that’s His business.” This is the essence of true faith!
May God bless us all with true direction and faith in 2013! Mary, Queen of Families, pray for us!