Fragrant (Merry) Christmas Grooves!

“Jesus in your heart! Eternity in your mind! The will of God in all your actions! But, above all, love, God’s love, entire Love!” Saint Catherine of Genoa


May petals of fragrant Love from the Heart of Jesus give you grace to face the good and thorny in your life today and each day of the New Year. Thorns are part and parcel of life as a rose, but roses persevere with fragrance grooves (the effervescent keep on blooming anyway kind.)

Wishing you a Merry Christmas filled with Grace, Hope, Joy, Peace, (persevering) Love & lots of fragrant good cheer!

grace, peace & fragrant Christmas grooves

Virginia : )

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A Christmas Eve “Divine Yes”

“Every time we give in to selfishness and say ‘No’ to God, we spoil His loving plan for us.” Pope Francis

Tonight Advent ends and Christmas begins. Think of Mary, her “yes” to God, her “yes” to what seemed impossible, her “yes” to what God asked of her.

“Let it be to me as you have said…”

“Jesus is the Divine ‘yes!’ to our human ‘we’ll see’ or ‘kind-ofs.’ It is the relationship to which Jesus has said and does say ‘yes’ that allows us to live with our inconsistencies. Actions speak loudly and words are whispers of hope. We will eventually do what we know ourselves to be. Jesus comes to give us ourselves so that we can give Him to others.”  Larry Gillick, S.J.

May this Christmas and New Year be filled with “yes-es” to God…

grace, peace & Divine ‘yes-es’

Virginia : )

“God gives that we may give.” Pope Benedict XVI

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ADVENT – Persevering Love & Joy

“Perseverance means the flowering of the love of God. It grows and grows, descending upon a soul like a cascade of flowers.” Catherine Doherty

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. As our Advent journey ends, Christmas and the path to a New Year begins. Are we ready to be surprised by joy? Are we ready to persevere so that God’s love may grow new buds of hope in our hearts in the New Year?

“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, Who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.” Brother Lawrence

“Every joy, great or small, is akin and always a refreshment.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“You are God’s Good News. You are God’s love in action.” Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

 “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you.” Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

grace, peace & persevering Christmas Love

Virginia : )

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#ADVENT: Dewdrops of Mercy and Light

On this fourth and final Sunday of Advent (with Christmas just around the corner), Virginia is contemplating walking in the Light of God’s love…

“Arise, shine, for the Light of the world is come…” (Isaiah 60:1)

“Walk in the Light, beautiful Light, come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright…” Thomas Whitfield

“May Your waxen candles flaming spread their warmth, as their glow flickers darkness into light. May Your will be done to make us one again; may Your love’s glimmering hope illuminate our night.

When now the silence spreads around us, O let us hear the sounds You raise, of world unseen in growth abounding, and the children chanting hymns of praise.

The forces of good surround us in wonder, they firm up our courage for what comes our way, God’s with us from dawn to slumber of evening, the promise of Love at break of each day.”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

grace, peace & dewdrops of God’s Love

Virginia : )

Photos: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond (VA)

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#ADVENT – Bleak Midwinter Blues-busters

As Advent winds down, bleak midwinter blues may loom on the horizon.

Yesterday while listening to Annie Lennox’s Christmas Cornucopia (that sees playlist action all year around) the words to In the Bleak Midwinter made me pause…

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ…

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Our hearts may feel like frozen bleak mid winter landscapes, made cold and brittle by our fears, failures and tears of years past. Or maybe our hearts have been broken by beanheads (or beanheadettes) and we are not letting anyone else in.

Lift up ye heads, oh ye gates, be lifted up, ye ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in… (Psalm 24:9)

Give up (all those dreary fears.)  Open up (dry your tears.)  Step up (and try again.)

Let the King of Glory into the stables of our hearts.  Let Him be born anew in us today.

grace, peace & bleak winter blues-busters

 Virginia : )

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“My faith is brightest in the midst of impenetrable darkness.” Mahatma Gandhi

Advent is about Light in the darkness. There’s a famous proverb that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.  As we see the beautiful lights decorating our homes and cities, may they remind us to choose Light, because lighting a candle in a dark place is a choice, oft times a challenging one.

Darkness doldrums can definitely pull us down. Instead of complaining, however, we can choose to have faith and walk in the Light.

We can choose to be Light.

Light of Christ, illuminate us …. that we may be Your light in the night of this world.

grace, peace & LIGHT grooves

Virginia : )

“Arise and shine for the Light of the world is come…”  Isaiah 60:1

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Christmas (all year ’round) Love

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.Winston Churchill

On this 19th day of Advent Virginia is contemplating her Nightmare Before Christmas ornaments. As blogged previously (click here: Happily Ever After @ Halloween) Skeleton Jack fails spectacularly taking over Christmas, but (spoiler alert) with Sally’s love and support he rescues the real Santa Claus in the nick of time.

“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”  Bob Hope

grace, peace & all year ’round love

Virginia : )

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