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Medjugorje Blog - From this world to the next. He said to the woman: Your faith has saved you; go in peace. ~ Luke 7:50
By: Peace Pilgrim

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Thursday, 7-Dec-2006 17:42 Email | Share | | Bookmark

~ Advent Wreath, compliments of Curt Jester

Wednesday, 6-Dec-2006 18:41 Email | Share | | Bookmark
MEME: 2006 Christmas Meme

I was tagged with this light-hearted meme. Gentle Reader and Fellow Blogger, I'm now tagging you. C'mon, be a sport. You know you want to join in on this reindeer game!


Change all the answers so that they apply to you.

1. Eggnog, Cider or Hot Chocolate?

Hot Chocolate with a spoonful of instant Folger's coffee crystals stirred into it and baby marshmallows floating on the top. A splash of peppermint schnapps would ratchet this up another level.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

He wraps 'em after Midnight Mass. Unwrapping them, one by one, is a big part of the riotous fun and chaos of Christmas morning.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?

Big, fat colored ones when I was a child. These days, little white twinkly ones.

4. Which of Santa's reindeer -- Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Donder, Blitzen, Cupid and Comet. -- are you? And why?

Vixen. Because I am one. Hehehe. (And you thought I'd say Dancer)

>> This silly test, however, says I'm Rudolph. According this very reliable and sensitive test, I am: "Sweet and shy, you tend to be happiest when you're making someone else happy. Why You're Naughty: You sometimes stick that nose where it doesn't belong. (Moi?) Why You're Nice: Christmas would be a sad affair without you!"

Vixen...in my dreams.

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Fake tree wired with lights up at the cabin was assembled right after Thanksgiving. As much as I love the smell of real evergreens, I just can't see killing one without a more practical reason.

Indoor creche is out all year long on the bookshelf. Outdoor creche on the cabin's balcony will go up when we get up to the mountains.

6. What is your favorite Christmas dish?

Too many to list. I'm a foodie. I'll start with Roast with Wasabi Demi-glace. My husband would say his favorite dish is me. *cough!*

7. Favorite Christmas memory as a child?

Christmas Eve, fighting to stay up, to get a peek of Santa. Oh, and bubble lights. Nope, I never got to see Mama kissing Santa Claus. And even if I was not Catholic then, I did love to see the Nativity scene in front of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pahoa.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

What truth about Santa? What are you trying to say here?

Studying the Saints this year, I did learn about St. Nicholas, who had a reputation of secret-gift giving. He inspired the "urban legend" of Santa Claus. >> More info

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

No, gift opening only on Christmas morning. Nothing like waking up to coffee, gifts, and happy kids.

10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him?

Whatever's available. He's not picky. But if I were him, it would be oatmeal cookies with raisins.

11. Snow! Love it or hate it?

Love it. We're dreamin' of a white Christmas. Let it snow! Let it snow. LET IT SNOW!

12. Can you ice skate?

Funny, but I 've never ice skated in my life. This surprises me. I ski. I rollerskate. I skateboard. I don't really know how this got past me. No excuses. Michelle Kwan has her brand-new skating rink closeby. How hard can it be?

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

Dried persimmons. Serious. This year, I got my newest favorite gift early: the viewing of the film, THE NATIVITY STORY on opening night. We loved it! Saying The Joyous Mysteries will never be the same. We can "see" it in our minds' eyes. Next year, I hope to get the DVD as my future favorite gift. Now if that wasn't a broad hint! (Please make note of this, Sweetie.)

I also will giving away them as (meaningful) gifts next year.

14. What's the most important thing about Christmas to you?

The Word was made Flesh, and dwelt amongst us.

15. What is your favorite Christmas dessert?

Dried persimmons. No kidding. Usually I'd say pumpkin pie, but I overdid it this year. I had pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Eve, as breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, and as dessert on Thanksgiving Day. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, after all.

I've never had Christmas pudding. Is it any good?

16. Favorite Christmas tradition?

Dining. Now that I'm a G-Ma, I'm collecting ideas for traditions for the wee ones. Feel free to suggest a few in the comment section. Thank you, Catlady Deb, for that idea with the reindeer's sleigh bell and "hoof prints" in the snow.

17. What tops your tree?

An angel.

18. Which do you prefer--GIVING OR RECEIVING?

Both. I'd like to say giving, but the honest truth? The little kid in me likes receiving as much as the adult in me likes giving. I just went to confession yesterday, so I am bound to telling the truth as I am determined to keep my slate clean this year as long as I humanly can. The new liturgical year has just begun.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol?

I have several. Mele Kalikimaka. Adeste Fidelis. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Silver Bells. The Holly and the Ivy. O Holy Night. This year any Christmas song on Keali'i Reichel's new Christmas CD, Maluhia.

20. Candy Canes?

Love them, especially in hot cocoa. Candy canes meant very little to me until I read the Candy Cane Story. As I have since learned, thanks to Curt Jester (see comment below), like Santa Claus, this story is yet another "urban legend." The candy cane story, though not true and from someone's imagination, is sweet and beautiful. It will continue to serve to help me think of the symbology it cites, so here it remains, disclaimer and all. Enjoy!

P.S. Is one of my favorite stories of St. Peter and the star fish yet another "urban legend"?

The Candy Cane Story

A candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would remind people of the true meaning of Christmas; so he made the candy cane to incorporate several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ. He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and the firmness of the promises of God.

The candymaker then shaped his cane into the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to the earth as Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down to to reclaim the fallen lambs who, like sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life.

Friday, 1-Dec-2006 19:59 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Nativity Story

The Nativity Story

I went to see this last night, opening night. As a recently baptized Christian, I will tell you that this was a most welcomed, meaningful and revolutionary movie for me. It centers around the mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

A superbly crafted and thoughtfully directed movie, it deserves a high rating. It is an unprecedented tribute to a woman who has been relegated to backdrop scenes. Finally, Mary gets to have a movie about her spiritual journey. In my own life, Mary was in the far distant background, giving her fleeting thought if I came across a Nativity scene at Christmas or if I heard the Beatles song, "Let It Be":

"When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be."

It was made for a certain niche -- the ~200 million or so Americans who consider themselves Christians. Two years ago, I was not in this niche, being "spiritual, but not religious." Long story, short, it was Mary who pointed me to her Son, lead me on my own spiritual journey and caused a revolution in my heart, mind and soul.

Those who take the time to learn about her and her role do not, as I was mislead to believe, worship her. They simply respect and venerate her. Leading folks to her Son, as I learned, is her job. In this movie, her character is doing exactly that again for me and viewers who are called to see it.

Ever since she lead me home, Christmas has taken on such meaning as I never imagined. This year, I've started the season -- called the Advent season -- with a faith-based movie that allowed me to slide right into it in a beautiful, gentle and do I dare say, beatific way.

This movie experience is an exquisite gift for the heart and soul. Moreover, it is a feast for the eyes. I went past the inanimate objects of Nativity displays to a visually rich and "fleshed" out Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, shepherds, Magi and stable animals. The director of the movie, Catherine Hardwick, referred to a line in the script: "...the greatest of kings born in the most humble of places."

"Power," she says, "is not a physical power. It's not riches, it's not money, it's not control of governments and nations. It's a deeper power, spirituality."

At the end of the movie, the audience burst out in spontaneous applause. For each of us, Christmas is not at all about holiday parties, frenzied shopping and the trappings and physical accouterments. Now, THAT'S revolutionary.

When this comes out in DVD, it will be a part of our yearly Christmas tradition, reminding us what it is all about.

"Merry Christ-mas!" I hope you will make it meaningfully merrier by giving yourself this movie experience of the life of Mary.

>> http://watkins.gospelcom.net/cmasstory.htm

Monday, 13-Nov-2006 23:07 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Pardon my absence...

I may not be here in word, but my heart is still with all of you who have frequented this blog. I'm taking a break from this blog. God bless each and every one of you.

In the meantime, please enjoy this post by Mark Mallett: Medjugorje: “Just the facts, ma’am”

It's been said that some of us who return from Medjugorje, return as apostles. And so it is with me. I have been actively living my faith in my community and within my family. There will be a time when I will again reflect and write here, but for now I am being an active Martha in the faith, while listening to Our Lord as Mary, her contemplative sister, did.

Because Mary, our Mother, loved me as she did when I was in Medjugorje, I have been busy spreading her love around with those I work with, my neighbors, my community, and especially my family, in particular my mother Mary and sister Sandy who have been visiting us.

Monday, 13-Nov-2006 12:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Krisevac Memories

Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind
Precious mem'ries how they linger...
I'll have to remember to take shots like these next time I'm in Medjugorje...

Photos by a man who cleverly incorporated his souvenirs into the sites:
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/michael_hughes/sets/346406/

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