As you saw last week, people benefited from the Christmas book gift last year (Matthew Kelly’s The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic). Based in your feedback the Pastoral Council has decided to offer another gift to people who come to Mass this Christmas. This year’s book is also by Matthew Kelly, but it’s very different: It’s called Resisting Happiness, and it’s a step-by-step guide to finding and living in the joy that comes from Christian discipleship.
The book is broken into 37 chapters, each only a page or two long. Each is summarized in a “key idea” and an “action step” that follows from the contents of the chapter. Here are a few of the headings:
- Life is messy
- Ordinary things
- Soulful living
- Interesting people
- Falling in love
- Learning to listen
- The power of habit
- Are you a pilgrim or a tourist?
- Don’t let the critics win
In very simple and ordinary examples Kelly shows how traditional spiritual disciplines make us not only holy, but happy – because we are living the way God designed us to live. When I received the book this past fall I read it all the way through in a weekend, and have been rereading parts more slowly ever since. It’s a wonderful collection of wise practices that can benefit the daily churchgoer as well as the Christmas-only parishioner. It could change a few lives, and that makes it worth the investment. I hope you’ll look forward to receiving and reading it. You’ll get a copy when you come to Mass at Christmas.
I hope you’ll spread the word, and invite some people to come with you; tell them the parish has a gift for them, because they’re part of us and we care about them, whether they come every week or once a year. God wants to reach out to them at Christmas, and we’re part of the way God will do that.
You can help by inviting your friends and neighbors to come to Mass with you; I don’t meet those people every day the way you do. Please use this as an occasion to talk with them about coming to Mass!
And if you’d care to do more, we’re asking for a $5 contribution to help with the cost of the books. (The books cost the parish $1.50 each, so $5 will pay for yours plus two more.) There will be baskets at the doors of the church for the next three weeks; you can drop a contribution of whatever amount there. (Last year we had one contribution of $500; but whatever you choose to give will help Christ to invite someone to come closer to Him, and to return to the practice of the faith.)
Have a blessed Advent; until next week, peace.