Category: Motivational

4 Amazing Catholic Songs to Prepare Your Heart for Christmas

4 Amazing Catholic Songs to Prepare Your Heart for Christmas

Catholic music artists continue to emerge on the scene. Some have gained status as Catholic music stars like Audrey Assad and Matt Maher. While other lesser known artists strive to become more visible in the Catholic and Christian world.

Advent hymnody like O Come Divine Messiah and O Come, O Come Emmanuel, resound throughout our churches leading up to Christmas. In recent months, songs from various Catholic artists struck a chord in my heart and I realized some of them were perfect songs to prepare us for Christmas, even though they were not specific to Advent.

Here are four non-traditional, and contemporary songs to prepare your heart for Christmas.

1) Dana Catherine – The Greatest Love Story

Dana Catherine emerged this year with her debut album Glorious Horizons. I happened to catch an interview Dana did with Jennifer Fulwiler on Sirius XM’s Catholic Channel. What impressed me most about Dana’s interview was the depth of her spirituality which she conveyed and comes alive in all her music.

One song quickly became my favorite: The Greatest Love Story. Dana tells us that the greatest love story ever told “started with a girl who brought him to the world and in a manger laid, the one who came to save.” Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem is the greatest love story, because it God who is love, comes to dwell among us and die on the cross for our salvation. His birth makes us strong, when we struggle, we can place our trust in God. This advent learn the Greatest Love Story ever told and allow that story to change your life and help you write your own story.

2) The Thirsting – Come Hold My Son

A friend of mine introduced me to the band The Thirsting several years ago and more specifically to their album Companions of the Lamb. Based out of Oregon, their music focuses on topics of faith including confession, the Eucharist, the Trinity, and Mary. One song has a specific Marian focus, Come Hold my Son. This song highlights key moments in the life of Jesus and Mary’s participation in those mysteries.

For me, the song evokes imaginative prayer and led me to realize some new insights into Marian meditation. Most striking in the song is Mary’s invitation for people to come and hold her son.

This Advent season you are being invited to the manger in Bethlehem. Will you go and hold the Christ child? Spend some time in imaginative prayer. Allow Mary to entrust the Christ child to your arms as you behold the Son of God and Son of Mary.

3) Danielle Rose – Mysteries Album

Followers of Danielle Rose have their favorite songs; for me, it is See You in the Eucharis. Danielle has had many amazing experiences in her life from volunteering with Mother Teresa’s order in India to spending two years discerning her vocation in the convent, and now as a wife and mother.

One of her albums is Mysteries, containing twenty songs corresponding to the twenty rosary mysteries. The rosary is an excellent way for us to prepare for Christmas, especially by praying the Joyful Mysteries.

Allow Danielle Rose to lead you through music into the depths of the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity.

4) Marian Grace – Behold the Mystery

Artist Marian Grace offers a rhythmic song Behold the Mystery on her album Ancient Hymns and Chants. The song emphasizes the Eucharistic mystery by beholding and adoring the Lord. In view of Christmas, many people came to behold the mystery in Bethlehem in the scriptures—magi, shepherds, and the unknown people not mentioned in the sacred pages.

In our churches, many people will come to adore Jesus on Christmas day. Let us pray for one another, that we might all behold the mystery on Christmas morning.

A Simple But Powerful Daily Prayer To Prepare For Christmas

A Simple But Powerful Daily Prayer To Prepare For Christmas

Sometimes a simple prayer is all we need to remind us of what we are celebrating.

Christmas is getting closer and festive decorations are already surrounding us, preparing us for a season of little elves, reindeer, and fluffy snowmen. In the midst of all the exterior preparations and the looming need to go Christmas shopping, it is easy to forget the “reason for the season.”

One simple way to stay focused is by saying a brief prayer at the start of each day. Here is one prayer, called the “St. Jude Prayer,” that is very powerful and can return our thoughts (and our hearts) to what celebrating Christmas is truly about.

Lord Jesus, your power is infinite, your glory, everlasting. Quietly you come, as a tiny baby. Ready my heart for the miracle of your birth. Bring light to this dark world, waiting silently for your warmth in the coldness of the night. Waiting is itself your gift, animating my heart with anticipation.

Bless me with needed patience and faithful discipline to prayerfully prepare to welcome and greet you. St. Jude, eternal hope, let your holiness flow into me.

May Christmas joy and burning love take root in me and grow until they bloom on Christmas Day, to carry joy to the world and inspire hope to renew the face of the earth. Amen


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The First Girl With Down Syndrome To Compete In Miss Minnesota USA Beauty Pagent

The First Girl With Down Syndrome To Compete In Miss Minnesota USA Beauty Pagent

Mikayla Holmgren

The First Girl with Down syndrome To competed in Miss Minnesota USA

“I want to be a light shining for acceptance.”

When Mikayla Holmgren, a 22-year-old student at Bethel University, received her invitation to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant, she knew she had to accept. Having been dancing since the age of six, Mikayla was crowned Minnesota Junior Miss Amazing in 2015, and now she’s making headlines as the first woman with Down Syndrome to compete in Miss Minnesota USA.

Mikayla was awarded the Spirit of Miss USA Award and the Director’s Award at the pageant. She told CBS, “I’m just really excited it’s out in the world, and people are going to know about it.”

But Mikayla is far from finished yet. In the future she hopes to continue dancing, to teach young children, and to use her voice to advocate for others. On her Facebook page in October she wrote:

“I hope to continue dancing. I want to teach art to young children. And would love to model. I want to live independently and continue to be an advocate for inclusion. I want to be a light shining for acceptance.”

May that light reach every corner of the world.

Do Not Abandon Me – Prayer Of A Catholic On Death Row For Blasphemy

Do Not Abandon Me – Prayer Of A Catholic On Death Row For Blasphemy

Do not abandon me in the day of trouble, do not deprive me of your presence.

On June 14, 2009, Asia Bibi was thrown into jail. A year later she was sentenced to death for blasphemy, and since 2013, after two transfers, she has been languishing in one of the three windowless cells on death row in the southern province of Multan in the Punjab Penitentiary. A year after the Supreme Court of Pakistan postponed her appeal amid death threats by 150 muftis (Muslim legal experts) against anyone who would assist “blasphemers,” the case has not progressed by one iota. On August 30, Asia Bibi had spent 3,000 days in prison.

This is the prayer she composed last year on the occasion of the Easter celebrations, and which accompanies her in her detention:

Resurrected Lord, allow your daughter Asia to rise again with you. Break my chains, make my heart free and go beyond these bars, and accompany my soul so that it is close to those who are dear to me, and that it remains always near you.

Do not abandon me in the day of trouble, do not deprive me of your presence. You who have suffered torture and the cross, alleviate my suffering. Hold me near you, Lord Jesus.

On the day of your resurrection, Jesus, I want to pray for my enemies, for those who hurt me. I pray for them and I beg you to forgive them for the harm they have done me.

I ask you, Lord, to remove all obstacles so that I may obtain the blessing of freedom. I ask you to protect me and protect my family.


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