Christmas in 9

With only 9 days until Christmas, the pressure mounts on those who procrastinate. One thing to keep in mind, (which one of my recent reflections talks about) is that too often we find we are buying presents so that we will appear to be someone we are not (though this may be unintentional or not foremost in our minds). We could be trying to keep up with other relatives and their buying habits, trying to buy the admiration and love of our spouse/children/etc., or just wanting to appear the magnanimous one.

I suggest instead consider who you are – and what gift(s) would reflect you the best. Of course, at this time you’ll also come across the old saying (I’m not sure how old it really is, though), of ‘presence, not presents’, and though this states the obvious about which is more important, I don’t believe it goes far enough.

What else could you do to extend that presence, even with a small present?

Peace, John

Black Friday – Cyber Monday encircle Advent

I always find it appropriate that Black Friday and Cyber Monday occur near if not around the first Sunday in Advent. In this case, they bookend it. I’ve written my reflection for this Sunday and one comment I received was from a friend and priest wondering how others viewed the eschatological texts, the readings about the end of the world.

My thought was that we spend too much time focusing on the end, and miss the being here. So I turn the focus to the now, not the future. I didn’t shop on Friday (okay, I had to work), but that’s nothing new. I’ve maybe gone once in the last ten years. And other than ordering something I need for the house, I don’t plan on doing Cyber Monday either. Notice how they’re extending the sale days, anyway?

Stay simple, stay real,

John

St. Louis signing and new links

Greetings, all,

I attended a church conference in St. Louis the last week in October and signed, sold and gave away more books than I had anticipated, to people from California to Colorado to Chicago and points beyond.

It’s a humbling experience to me to see the reactions of people who have read the book. The store website is up – only a few pages left to modify and set up but the ordering and shipping module are set up now.

On this site, I’ll be talking about faith and how to live it. I’m adding a link to Dr. Margie’s website. She offers a testimonial on the back cover of the book. Her organization is currently working in Haiti and is a non-profit.

I’ve also added a link to the St. Francis Virtual House of Studies where they produce the Progressive Catholic Review. They are part of the Franciscans of Reconciliation, a Franciscan organization in the Ecumenical Catholic Communion (ECC).

May the peace of Christ fill your life with joy,

John

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