Tag Archives: christmas

PSA- St. Andrew Christmas Novena Starts Today!

I know I haven’t posted in forever, but I am breaking my silence today to remind you to start your St. Andrew Christmas Novena!

I try to make a point of sharing this novena with you all every year. It is one of my favorite ways to prepare for Christ’s coming at Christmas.  A couple of years ago, I ordered a handful of 5x7s of this graphic to be printed out so I would be reminded every day to meditate on the prayer. Feel free to download the image and do the same!

(The “rules” are to pray the following 15x each day from now through Christmas Eve. Fix a specific intention to offer to our Lord each time you pray it, and trust that the same Jesus who humbled Himself to be born at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold over 2,000 years ago, will hear your prayer and answer it according to His perfect will.)


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By the way, Blessed Is She has a great devotional today reflecting on who St. Andrew was in the ministry of Jesus. Here is a brief excerpt:

Throughout his life, Saint Andrew played second fiddle to his dynamic and well-known brother Simon Peter. Peter was an incredible teacher. He was the first Pope. He resurrected Tabitha. Everyone remembers Peter, few remember Andrew—he is often only referred to as Peter’s brother. However, without Andrew, there is no way to know who would have introduced Peter to Jesus. (John 1:40)

-Emily Wilson-Hussem via BlessedIsShe.net

Happy Advent!

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Christmas Gift Guide: For the Lukewarm Young Catholic

This post is for all of you mothers, aunts, grandfathers, or loving friends of young (albeit selectively practicing) Catholics.  In addition to getting them those new shoes, or whatever it is they may have wanted, this year, try one of these gifts to remind them of the family they will always belong to in the Catholic Church—no matter their doubts or shortcomings.

A Wall Crucifix
Every young person should have a crucifix hanging in his or her room.  It serves as both a constant reminder of Christ’s sacrifice, and as an invitation to prayer and mediation each time the recipient of this gifts looks at it.  Be sure to have it blessed by a priest before giving it to them.  Bonus: If you are shopping for your son, daughter, brother or sister, they really have no choice but to hang it up (since you’ll obviously see whether they do or not).  Nothing wrong with a little Catholic guilt every now and then 🙂

A Rosary with Special Significance
God knows that we are physical beings as well as spiritual.  Sometimes we need the shiny, pretty, or “cool” material things to bring us to the deeper spiritual significance that we truly long for.  This is why a rosary is often a great gift for the young person in your life who may not know or be so into his or her faith.  Make sure it’s not just any generic rosary, though.  It has to be special and specific to them.  Make one yourself (or pick out the beads you want and find someone who can make it for you).  Again, make sure to have it blessed by a priest and to include a short, clear, guide on how to pray the rosary with it as well.

A Small, Leather-Bound Bible
Today’s young person is constantly on the go.  A compact, portable Bible is a must.  I recommend the Ignatius Catholic Bible – RSV that you can find on Amazon.  It is small and zips up.  Perfect for fitting inside of a backpack, keeping in the car, taking to the beach, or for pretty much anywhere.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Why buy a Catechism for a lukewarm Catholic?  Because it likely answers almost every question or doubt they have about the faith.  Sure, at first it may be little more than a paperweight to them—but at least it is their paperweight.  If you want to give the young person in your life some ownership of the faith into which they were baptized: buy them their own Catechism.

The young person on your heart already have all of these items?  Great!  Stop worrying so much and just continue praying for him or her.  No amount of wall crucifixes or pages memorized out of the Catechism will ever amount to what God’s grace can do as a result of your prayers.