DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     December 11-13, 1998     vol. 9, no. 240

GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns. In this issue, she reminds us that in this hustle and bustle of the Christmas season we can get buried in material things and goals and forget the reason for the season. She emphasizes that it is more blessed to give than to receive but not necessarily gifts that cost money, add to our guilt or tax our bank balance, but rather giving of ourselves is the greatest gift we can give but it only becomes valuable when we align Jesus with the gift as she points out in her column PREPARE ANEW EACH DAY.

         Her column, along with columns by Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv., provide effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


PREPARE ANEW EACH DAY

          As I get older, time goes by faster. I was warned of this as a child, and somehow did not give the idea total credibility then. Now I do!

          For an example, Advent is now half gone with this coming Sunday being the third Sunday of Advent. Where did the first two weeks go? Frankly, I donít want to think too much about it, lest I be forced to face myself as I am -- a human being who has the best of intentions, but fails to live up to them all too often.

          Jesus once said: ďAfter you have done all of the things you should do, consider yourselves unprofitable servants.Ē As a young person I never quite understood that. It seemed to me that if I should complete all my duties, I should or could be pretty proud of myself. However, now that I am older, I understand what Jesus meant. And I understand that I should be pretty grateful that God has enabled me to even get the morning dishes washed. ďOf myself I can do nothing, but with Him I can do all things.Ē This was St. Francis Cabriniís motto, which was always before her consciousness.

          With two weeks gone in this Advent Season, I should be two weeks better prepared for Christmas. After all, the four weeks prior to Christmas should be the time we spiritually prepare for Our Lordís Birthday. Oh, believe you me! Iím not caught up in the bustleness of Christmas shopping. No, sirreee!!! I havenít even bought one present for anyone yet. Donít know that I will! Donít know that I can. I take care of my elderly mother and find it very difficult to get away without having someone stay with her.

          Iím sure my family understands this and hopefully they will accept as a ďChristmas presentĒ to them that I am taking care of OUR mother.

          Whatever!!! As I have often written: ďThere is less shame in falling than in failing to rise.Ē Most of all, you and I should be praying more. Thatís the best kind of preparation for the birthday of Jesus. That is something we all can do better and more often. We can pray even on the run, so to speak. How about praying while youíre on your way to buy a Furby? Thatís you, of course, not me. Iím not going to buy one.

          We can pray while cleaning house, doing dishes, driving to work. Even the thought of offering a prayer, came from God, you know. We are not capable of doing even that, with ourselves as a source of that good.

          We need to pray for ourselves, our families, our President. (Believe me, the country will not fall apart if he is impeached. And the economy???? Our economy does not depend on ONE person.)

          Letís give Baby Jesus a present for Christmas. Letís give Him our hearts, poor as they are, weak as they are. Heíll love that! Thereís something about our inadequacies that attracts Him to us.

          Letís keep trying! God bless you!


December 11-13, 1998       volume 9, no. 240
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

DAILY CATHOLIC

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