Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holiday Heroics

The holiday season is almost upon us. Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas. We will cook, decorate, gather with family and friends. It's time for preparation, festivities, fun.

It can also be a time for heroics.

We talked, in our last post, about our call to be heroes of the faith in our everyday lives. I cannot think of a better season than this one for everyday heroism.

Such opportunities! And oh, how I have squandered them. For too many years, I've shoved aside chances to bake, chop, clean, serve, shop, plan and wrap heroically. I've been found grumbling instead of praying, resenting rather than thanking.

There is much to do in little time with little money. Some of us are surrounded by so many people that we want to run away to a quiet room. For others, the loneliness of yet another holiday can stab with the force of a sword.

In all of it, there are chances for heroism. I can offer up busyness or loneliness as prayer. I can complain about all this cooking and all this wrapping, or I can bring peace to others by simply keeping my mouth shut (for some of us, silence can be truly heroic).

And when I'm seated at Thanksgiving dinner next to that cousin who constantly, publicly, loudly criticizes my faith, I can stick up gently but firmly for Christ. True heroes have died for Him since the first days of the Church. I can die a little to myself by not scrambling to hide the fact that I truly believe in Jesus, and that I choose to live for Him today.  'To be criticized, denounced and despised by good men, by our own friends and relatives, is a severe test of virtue.' (St. Francis de Sales)

The season is almost upon us.  Let the Holiday Heroics begin.

Painting: Franck Antoine Bail, Carving the Pumpkin, 1910
This post is linked to Catholic Bloggers Network Linkup


  1. Nancy,

    You have said everything so well. This can be a stressful and busy time of year. I hope I can remember to do everything with love rather than complain. It must be an even busier time for you with Thanksgiving to celebrate. I like the painting. I don't think I've ever seen a painting featuring a pumpkin before!

    1. Thank you so much, Sue. Yes, over here Thanksgiving is the basic kick-off to the whole festive season. It tends to be a very busy time all on its own, with days of meal-preparation, and more people fly in the US for Thanksgiving than for Christmas... which I personally find amazing! The day after Thanksgiving is a huge shopping day (when some of us hide away and don't venture out our doors!). So it all sort of runs together.

      I like that painting too, and was glad to have a chance to share it here. I think the pumpkin looks so real!

  2. Wonderful painting and words of wisdom Nancy! I love the chance for heroism in which you write. In our daily duties and extra duties during this busy time I pray we find the beauty, peace, and love in what seems ordinary. Thank you for this reminder....

  3. Beautiful, Nancy. I am inspired to be heroic now!

  4. I've just come back from celebrating an early Christmas with my large extended family and your words were ringing in my ears, lol! There were plenty of opportunities for me to put this post into practice...thanks for helping me be a little more 'heroic' than usual this time, Nancy. It really worked! xox

    1. Thanks so much, Trish. I think I missed an opportunity for heroism yesterday.... but I have another chance coming up :) !


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