December 2, 2015: Open A Holy Book To The Christmas Season

~by Susi Pittman


I love this time of the year, don’t you? We wait in joyful anticipation for the coming of the Lord as we celebrate His birth and it does seem to be a time where people smile more than any other time of the year.

I can hardly turn the television on that shop-shop-shop aren’t echoing to all corners of the country; materialism, big deals, little deals, in-store fighting and bickering and the constant talk of money, the lack of, the need of, the making of the almighty buck that saves us all!

So, this year, my eyes and ears are tuned-in to holy books. I am sharing the season of Advent every day with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I have an extensive library of wonderful books, some I read again and again, others I use more for reference and inspiration. But, there is a story I never tire of and it is the Birth of Jesus.

One of my favorite books is by Maria Cecilia Baij, O.S.B. who was Abbess of the Benedictine Convent of St. Peter in Monteflascone, Italy, from 1743-1766.

In it she writes, that heartache beset St. Joseph as he and Mary were turned away again and again from a room where they might rest. He was painfully given to the knowledge that Mary was in dire need of relief from the cold. So it was that Joseph remembered the cave not far outside of Bethlehem which served as a shelter for animals. It was here, in the impoverished abode of animals that God had intended the birth of His Son. It was in this place that Joseph was given over with his whole heart to the situation and to the will of his heavenly Father and he moved into surrender to divine providence.

With this offering, Joseph was blessed by God to be present at the birth of the Divine Infant, whose very body was light and illuminated the whole stable. The joy that he felt as he watched Mary pick the Christ Child up into her arms overwhelmed him. He wished that all creatures could eventually come to know and adore the Incarnate God, and he embraced Jesus the Christ thanking him in the name of all creatures for His salvific presence in the world.

What a beautiful moment! The foster father of Our Lord thanks the Christ Child for all of us, all of creation! I can close my eyes and see the moment and move my lips with Joseph in thanksgiving!

This is the reason I invite you to take the time to open your Bible to the Birth of Jesus or seek out the holy books of the season, especially those of the Saints.

These books lift me up to a place where I can almost see heaven, and feed my soul the manna that only truth and beauty can fill.

I encourage all of you to visit your Catholic bookstores or go on-line to places like Sophia Institute Press or to Tan Books to pick up some wonderful materials to make this Christmas season what it really should be for you AND your family.

Happy Advent!!

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Susi Pittman is founder of CatholicStewardsofCreation.com and Owner-President of Twin Oaks Publishing; she is author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!; an advocate for the Florida Catholic Conference; a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Council of Women in Jacksonville, Florida; an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Augustine;a member of the Florida Publishers Association, Independent Book Publishers Association, the National Association of Professional Women, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States and the National Audubon society.

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