Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Concerning Weird Analogies for the Spiritual Life and Keeping Christ in Christmas

Hey there! We are in the final hours of Advent--I hope you are enjoying it! Gasp! So exciting!

As some of you are probably aware, I love to draw connections between random things and the spiritual life. Weird analogies for aspects of the spiritual life are one of the best things ever. When I'm not trying to create strange analogies, I love to hear what analogies other people create.
     It just so happens, Venerable Teresita Quevedo, a shining example of modern sanctity, had a very strange analogy for the spiritual life.

A letter from one of Teresita’s siblings to another mentions Teresita’s unusual fandom: bullfighting. 
Instead of being swept up in the pageantry or goriness of the event, Teresita sees a deep, underlying spiritual depth. Teresita’s sister, Carmen, writes: “This is how Papa quotes Tere to me: ‘The poor bull always reminds me of myself, Papa, and the picadores (the horsemen who incite the bull with spears) recall the legion of temptations that come my way to incite my soul. Like the toreador, Satan has hope of finding me a blind, raging victim, utterly confused—like the bull—when the picadores finish with me. Then he makes his final charge to overthrow my soul. Our Lady, however, helps me to toss him into the air, as the bull sometimes tosses the toreador…I love to go to the Plaza with you, Papa, because each time I do, I return with a renewed resolution to fight temptations with the strength of a bull—and the calmness of a saint.’”

I believe that where Catholics abound,
this bumper magnet is plentiful.
I even know a family that has
two of these on their van! : ) 
From this one story, we can see that Teresita--a fun-loving, modern, vibrant woman--brought the Faith into all aspects of her life. She tried to take every situation and glorify God through it, using every means she could to become a holier woman. The Faith was such an integral part of her that she couldn't not bring it into her daily life! Let's strive, during this upcoming epic season of Christmas, to bring God and the truths of the Faith into every activity, every ounce of awesomeness that we experience. 

"Keep Christ in Christmas," many people say. And lots of Christians try to do this. As we keep Christ in "Christmas," we go to Mass with our families, so that we "remember the reason for the season." But unfortunately, it can be really easy to leave Christ at the church. People "keep Christ in Christmas"--but keep Him out of their lives and celebrations. Their parties, meals, and down-time at home don't have any kind of religious celebratory-ness. Instead, they are all about a time of family, warm fuzzies, and the "spirit of Christmas" (which usually translates into "giving," it seems). Now, all of these aspects are good and beautiful, but if these are the main focus, I think there's a little displacement here. After all, it's Jesus's birthday-shouldn't He be a part of everything? 

I totally grew up with this book. And I loved it. 
There are so many ways to do this--Pray together at the Nativity scene in your home. Read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible. Sing Christmas carols to the Baby Jesus at home-heck, it's His birthday, after all! Pray the Liturgy of the Hours together. Watch a Bible movie about the birth of Christ (sometimes, while growing up, we would watch that specific portion of Jesus of Nazareth or we'd watch part of the animated video about Jesus' birth). Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary together. Read religious books about Christmas as a family (some that come to mind are The Legend of the Candy Cane and The Tale of Three Trees). Find something awesome that works for you, and do it! Don't just "keep Christ in Christmas," but let Him reign over your Christmas! 

May the Joy of Christ fill your hearts, homes, and lives for the rest of Advent and the glorious season of Christmas! 

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