Outside my window: It’s a dreary, rainy November Sunday late afternoon. Bleh.

Around the house: It’s me and the boy. I finished doing the bills (which should have been done yesterday, but…weren’t, and I had a delightful reason why, too!) and nothing says “procrastinate folding and let the dishes sit a bit longer” like doing a weekend daybook, wouldn’t you agree?

In my thoughts: I have Mary on my mind. I’m struggling in an extra-special way today, and though I’m doing my best to put a good face on Advent, I’m sort of failing, and, well, Mary’s in my thoughts.

In my plans: Ah yes, my plans. They seem to be upended by a series of circumstances that could have me laughing or crying. I’m holding on to the reality that I can choose my response.

In thanksgiving: For work. For family. For chocolate.

In my prayers: Those who grieve, those who hurt, those who struggle with forgiveness.

Nose inserted: I’m juggling two books, though I have hopes of finishing one of them today: Ten Universal Principles: A Brief Philosophy of the Life Issues, by Robert J. Spitzer, and Fatima for Today: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope, by Fr. Andrew Apostoli.

Recent reads: Michael O’Brien’s The Father’s Tale. I’m planning to write a review yet this week about it. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year (though it is, admittedly, VERY long).

Links I like:

  • Advent History: The Nativity Fast – Now here’s something I didn’t know about the history of Advent. What would it be like, I wonder, to go through a Nativity Fast of 40 days, a “Lent” before Christmas?
  • Feel the joy! – This picture of Mary and Elizabeth is one of my favorites. I almost made it the background on my desktop, it moved me so much. I love the Visitation, and this image is now the one I’ll be using and reflecting on when I’m praying.
  • Mary’s Last Words – This column considers the depth and meaning in Mary’s last recorded words in Scripture, “Do whatever he tells you.” There was a lot I hadn’t considered before and, as usual with Dr. Ted Sri, a thorough examination of Scripture in a way that, I think, will change my prayer and approach to it. Amazing stuff.
  • Gay, Catholic, and Doing Fine – I just came across this link this week, though it’s from a while back. Who says you can’t be gay and Christian? My experience (in other matters) has been very similar as what’s recorded here. Our pastor has worked with Courage, and I was shocked–SHOCKED!–when, as a new Catholic, I found out that the Catholic Church has an apostolate to help those who have homosexual tendencies. I consider this a must-read.

A favorite thing: Bare baby feet.

Food for thought: “Particularly in our faith, we do not stand alone; we are links in the great chain of believers. Nobody can believe unless he is supported by the faith of others, and conversely, through my faith, I help to strengthen others in their faith.” Benedict XVI

Worth a thousand words: The Birthday Boy