Before Christmas


Levi, Finish Lapland

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In an atmosphere of prayer 

Christmas is approaching and with it our many preparations for that great celebration intensify. All of us wish to be, this period, in our best form so as to spend beautiful warm days with those we love.

It is generally accepted that in order to be in a good physical and psychological condition our body requires not only rest, but also regular exercise. The same holds true for our spirit. It needs repose, but first of all, exercise!

What is the spirit’s repose?

According to Saint Paul the following give rest to the spirit: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, put these things into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (Phil. 4, 8-9).

So, then, what is the spirit’s exercise?

Primarily the act of praying, prayer!

“Pray without ceasing” Saint Paul prompts us  (1 Thess. 5, 6).

What is there, then, that prevents us from acquiring the habit of often lifting our hearts up to God, not only in the morning and at night as tradition dictates, but during the course of the entire day?

When, for example, we swim in the blue clear sea or walk in a snow covered mountain path, when we get ready to meet with friends, when we enjoy the warmth of the sun or the coolness of the shade, when we drink a glass of refreshing water or have a hot cup of tea in the comfort of our home we may address a heartfelt “Thank you” to Him who loves us more than we dare think or imagine!

Let us, therefore, aim this winter to everyday find lots of opportunities to lift up our spirit, be it by a short spontaneous prayer or  by a brief thought of gratitude for all the good in our life and we shall be pleasantly surprised and astonished at what we shall discover!

“I pray”…like “I breath”


I love you, Oh my God, and my only desire is to love you to my last breath.

I love you, oh infinitely beloved God, and I would prefer to die loving you than to live without loving you. I love you, Lord, and the only favour I ask of you is to be eternally loving you ….My God, if my tongue cannot at every passing moment declare that I love you, I wish my heart to repeat it to you by my every breath.

(Saint John Vianney, 1786-1859)

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