|Augustine noticed this morning I hadn't left mine out... Bad St. Nick!|
Hello out there! Well I was really excited initially for it to be Friday, the Feast of St. Nicholas, because I had a few last-minute ideas of my own to celebrate his feast day today - to make it truly about praying for children, the unborn, and those in need. Last night, Bishop Nicholas dropped by some PJ's for the kids before bed, and wala....
|$4 gems from my Black Friday evening shopping a week ago.|
This morning when they woke up, they each had a small treat we'd placed in their boots, and we reminded them again that we needed to go do something to serve the poor today. So we took that opportunity to pack up the food for our Parish's Advent Giving Tree, bundled everyone up for
-3degree windchill, and unloaded our stuff under the Advent Giving Tree. When someone asks for rice, pinto beans, and cream of chicken soup, it's extremely humbling... it feels like you can't do enough for them. Explaining to a 3year old that some children go to bed hungry every night is hard. At what age does it click? He looked distressed when I was trying to explain it. Hopefully it sinks in this time around.
Then, as we were getting ready to head back out to the van, and I noticed Children's Adoration going on inside the church and we stopped to say hi. I LOVE THIS!
|Jesus is on the other side...|
"Are THOSE the poor children who need the rice and beans?"
We loaded back up, and drove past Tiller's old clinic, Southwind. Which has had a TON of traffic for abortions lately - a lot of out-of-state cars drive in.... which makes us think something sketchy is going on (esp if people are driving in from NY!). A couple of groups of Catholic high schoolers were there praying the rosary and holding signs peacefully, so I wanted to drive by a few times, honk, and wave... it might lift their spirits in the frigid air. It is so beautiful to see young people, on the feast of St. Nicholas, the patron of children, standing to protect the life of unborn babies. I need to go down there more often to pray.
Finally, we headed to noon Mass at the Cathedral (first Friday) and it all kinda went downhill from there. I walked in late, joined grandparents in the first pew, only to have Grace slip and bust her lip on the floor (I carry her out screaming, still haven't taken my coat off); the baby shoots poop up his back through his new jammies, what else. It was like a three-ring circus. But we made it!
And finally tonight, we'll close the evening off with one of our favorite videos, Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa.
Here are a few favorite books, too, for the Advent season & St. Nicholas' feast day.
For those who don't know the history behind St. Nicholas, from my friend Fr. Dylan James:
"This week we celebrated the feast of St Nicholas. You've probably heard about how St Nicholas was a 3rd century bishop whose generosity to the poor and to children grew into 'Santa Claus'. You've probably not aware of the following: orthodox icons of St Nicholas typically picture him with Our Lord and Our Lady presenting him with a copy of the Gospels and a pallium -there is a reason for this. At the council of Nicea in 325AD the heretic Arius denied that Jesus was truly God and had always existed as God. St Nicholas was so offended at this impious suggestion that he promptly punched Arius with his fist. This violence was judged inappropriate for a bishop and St Nicholas was stripped of this rank and of the two symbols of his rank: his pallium and his copy of the Gospels. That night he was locked in a prison cell. The Lord Jesus appeared to him and asked him, “Why are you here?”, to which he replied, “Because I love you, my Lord and my God.” Christ then presented him with his copy of the Gospels and the Blessed Virgin vested him with his episcopal pallium, thus restoring him to his rank as a bishop. When the Emperor Constantine heard of this miracle, he immediately ordered that St Nicholas be reinstated as a bishop. The bishops at Nicea sided with Saint Nicholas and Saint Athanasius and they condemned Arius as a heretic. To this very day, we still recite in the Nicene Creed that Christ is "God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father."
Head on over to Jen's for 7 better quick takes!