Minute Meditation – A Time for Children

Often we hear the phrase “Christmas is for children” and while it may seem like a cliché, it really is true. Children have an ability to abandon themselves to the joy, the anticipation, the expectations of this marvelous holiday that we lose when we become adults with responsibilities and budgets and hard economic realities. They enter into preparations with a glee that knows nothing of the perfect Pinterest project or decorations inspired by glossy magazines. Watching children create worlds out of their imaginations and doing our best to take part in their visions shows a respect for God’s movement within them and reminds us of our own more carefree days. There’s no doubt that the pope follows the one who encouraged us to become like little children: dependent, needy, but open to the grace and protection and providence of God. 

Find ways to include children in your Christmas preparations as well as the celebration of the day itself. Let them decorate their rooms themselves. Encourage them to help with decorating cookies, even if they use half a bottle of colored sugar on one cookie in the beginning. Overlook the five ornaments on one branch of the tree because that’s where the four-year-old could reach. Take delight in the Fisher-Price donkey on the roof of the stable where an adult would put the star. Christmas reminds us that there’s more to life than the workaday adult world.

—from the book The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

//Franciscan Media//

Minute Meditation – The Mystery of Human Desire

The mystery of being human lies in the mystery of desire, which shapes our lives and can change us. Only prayer can transform us into what we desire, that is, if we truly desire God. Prayer is to make real the Word made flesh—in our lives and in our world. Prayer is the Spirit of the Word that transforms our flesh into the body of Christ. It is an awakening to who we are in Christ and to the fact that we are the path to peace. The Franciscan path of prayer leads one to proclaim by example and deed: Jesus Christ lives!

— from the book Franciscan Prayer