1) Advent reminder! The Church's new liturgical year began last Sunday, on the First Sunday of Advent. There are four Sundays in Advent, after which the Christmas season begins at the Vigil Mass on December 24.
So, remember that we are not in the Christmas season yet, and we need to spend these weeks in preparation for the coming of the Lord. (Easier said than done, I know!)
I posted this fun two-minute video last year (on the differences between Advent and Christmas), but it's worth another look:
My only caveat is that the liturgical color is not technically pink, it's rose. (As priests in pink vestments like to remind us, ha!)
Oh, and today is St. Nicholas' Feast Day. Happy Feast of Saint Nick! Which is simply another way of saying "The kids ate candy for breakfast today."
2) Un-freaking-believable. Look at this, from those trying to socially engineer African families (for their own good, of course):
“The demand for children [among Kenyan families] is still high and is unlikely to change unless substantial changes in desired family sizes are achieved among the poor in general….Thus the challenge is how to reduce further the continued high demand for children.” (Kenyan Population Situation Analysis)
Put it in context by reading this:
You know how it is. Those Africans, they like their children. Heck, they love their children. They want big families and they see those big families as a great good. The western elites cannot have that, no sir-ee!
I showed this article to our dear sister in Christ, Obianuju (Uju) Ekeocha, and she (the great crusader for maintaining a pro-life Africa) said this:
They want us to have a birth rate of 2.1!!! In a continent were there is NO pension plan at all and no old people's home.
We are 6 kids in my family and my parents depend on us for everything Leila, how can we have 2.1 kids?That is a brilliant question, Uju. I guess they don't have an answer, because I doubt they ever thought of the question in the first place. Or cared, frankly.
By the way, if you have never heard Uju's melodious, elegant voice, please listen to her Catholic Answers radio interview just this week:
Poor Patrick Coffin (my new best friend, by the way) had the flu so could not conduct the interview as planned. But the stand-in host was wonderful.
3) I may be losing the facebook war with myself. I made my daughter give me the new password to my account, and I'm sort of back on. I need to find a way to moderate, maybe go on only M-W-F? Or something. I don't know. Sigh.
I missed all the "Omgosh Pope Francis is a Commie Marxist!!" facebook discussions (thankfully), so here are some links that will be helpful for anyone who needs to be talked off a ledge.
George Weigel had a great one (if you can only get the partial story by clicking due to lack of subscription, just google the title and George's name and it will get you to the full article):
Tom Hoopes (in response to the unfortunate Adam Shaw piece):
And from my friend Trent Horn:
Honestly, everyone needs to calm down. There is nothing said by this pope that has not been said by his predecessors.
Can we please begin to focus on our own holiness, and rejoice that this "irrelevant" institution of the papacy is the talk of the world, and that folks are returning to the Sacraments? God is at work here, people! Count on it.
4) So, I've been meaning to get a post out about the devil. It will come. In the meantime, I saw a few articles about this beyond-disturbing incident at a Catholic cathedral in Argentina recently:
God bless those wonderful gentlemen, and (I truly mean this) God have mercy on those women who attacked them violently and sought their humiliation.
5) Comic relief. This made me laugh!
And since it's his feast day, some Nicholas humor!
If you don't get the joke, go here to Brandon's post and learn some remarkable Christian history:
6) Arizona residents, save the date: February 7, 2014.
One of my very closest friends, Bridget, conceived an idea to help families in crisis in our area by putting on a night of family-friendly stand-up comedy. Laugh 4 Hope is going to be SO.MUCH.FUN, and it's clean laughs, so you can bring your teens and older children!
It will be held at Grand Canyon University's 5,000 seat arena, so let's pack 'em in. I cannot wait. I love good stand-up comedy, and I hope to see you all there. I also know the emcee personally, and trust me he is awesome. Put it on your calendar, and find out more, here:
Tickets go on sale 12/16, and all proceeds go to the charities designated (check the site). Please spread the word on facebook and blogs if you can. Who doesn't love to laugh, and help people in crisis at the same time?
7) Do you remember when Carla lost her son Henry? It was a heartbreak beyond telling. But today, she is back in Henry's country and has adopted a sibling group (three!) in need of a home. Read about this amazing redemption on her blog.
And Kara, who lost Nico when the Russian ban on American adoptions was imposed, will soon be back from Eastern Europe after adopting Maks! They live here in town, so I can't wait to meet him! Read more about that wonderful story, here.
I love telling the happy endings. :)
Now, let's get a happy ending for Shaw:
This little cutie, abandoned at 6 months old, just turned three. If you cannot resist his face, then click his image for more info!
God bless you all, and thanks to Jen for hosting Quick Takes!