My schedule reminded me “routine colonoscopy in two weeks” until the mail arrived with an invitation to an Advent luncheon and program.
What to do?
Lets just say, I really enjoyed the Advent gathering, drinking Christmas cheer instead of some solution determined to keep me seated in a small room for hours on end. Something to anticipate in the New Year.
The mail arrives and I can hardly wait to see who’s come to visit. A couple of weeks ago, Rev. Margery Kennelly,Episcopal Chaplain at Harvard, taught our adult Sunday School. “Letters of Spiritual Encouragement: Recovering the ancient Christian traditions behind our modern Christmas card greetings.” It did my heart good to learn more of our faith-full heritage.
While I appreciate and use technology(ex.this blog), there’s something about going to the mailbox and finding a card, letter, thank-you note from someone who gave the gift of time, thought and postage.
For one, I bought myself a Christmas pin and attached it to my coat this year.
I have laments, like the loss of Woolworth’s, Sears, penny candy or penny anything, aprons, handkerchiefs, good manners and a time when Sundays were for church or, at least, not business as usual.
But, during this season of Advent, who dares stay in lamentation mode or Christian’s “slough of despond.” As Marshall Shelley wrote in an Advent devotional from Denver Seminary, “Pope Francis warned his church leaders of the dangers of, ‘the sickness of the mournful face’, thinking it represented serious faith and not their fears and insecurities.”
Marshall Shelley continued his letter of encouragement through this prayer from Sir Thomas More, a Saint(1478-1535):
“Lord, give me a good digestion and also something to digest. Give me health of body and the good humor necessary to maintain it. Give me, Lord, a simple soul that is able to make a treasure of all that is good and is not astonished in view of evil but rather always finds the way to put things back in place. Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumbling, sighs, laments, and do not permit me to trouble myself with that very cumbersome thing called ‘I.’ Give me, Lord, a sense of good humor. Grant me the grace to understand a joke, to discover in life a bit of joy, and to make others part of it. Amen.”
Pope Francis prays this every day and said, “It does me much good.”
There are a few in my family who need “grace to understand a joke,” especially mine.
Then again, I need to “make a treasure of all that is good and to discover a bit of joy and make others part of it.”
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