Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Being Grateful for 2015's Graces

By Sr. Judy Donohue

In every thing give thanks! ~1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Today, as I was eating lunch with three sisters in my community.  I asked them “What are you grateful for from 2015?”  One referenced the three aims of Pope Francis letter on consecrated life.  He suggested looking back at the past with gratitude.  The other aims of religious are to live the present with passion and embrace the future with hope.  Keeping Jesus first is the key.  To grow closer, deeper to God. This is achieved through faithfulness to prayer, reading scripture and praying for the grace to love God wholeheartedly.  

I appreciate Sisters who share about their personal relationship with Jesus. Making God personal makes God real. It encourages me so much when Sisters speak about their testimonies.  Sharing what God has done for them inspires me to consider what God has done for me.  Hearing how God helped them through difficult times is reassuring that God will do the same for me.  

Another sister was grateful for community. As I struggle with community as a first year novice, this experience challenges me to see the benefits of community. Living with others reveals your selfishness, your ability to love and forgive. Some days I have it, others I don’t. Sometimes I’m the one who is merciful, and other days my community is merciful to me.  As with all the various vocation lifestyles, there will always be ups and downs. We are joyful when we do what God created us to do. 

Just think, if I did not have faith or my community, where would I be?  Miserable, lonely, wandering in life yet searching for direction.  I am called to develop my prayer life, relationship with God and my spiritual life.  As I am joyful, people will wonder what makes me tick.  They may want what I have.  Faith is caught more than taught.   St. Vincent de Paul suggests not just to feed the poor, but to give them Jesus, feed their spirits.  The bases of my joy is my personal relationship with Jesus. This intimate communion with God guides me, gives me peace and hope.  I am most grateful for God’s presence and help. In 2015, I am grateful for the grace to persevere when I want to give up.  What are you grateful for?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Believing is Seeing

By Whitney Schieltz

Growing up, I was under the impression that believing in God meant knowing God existed.  Since my brain was never convinced by any tangible evidence, I deduced that there was no such thing as God and thus did not believe in God.  It was not until graduate school that I began to understand the concept of faith and what it meant to have a relationship with God.  Living with four young women who openly discussed their Christian faith and modeled the compassion of Jesus, I realized that faith is not the effect of experiencing God—faith is the cause.  While it can be difficult to trust in God without being aware of God’s presence, it is through faith that we are able to grow closer in our relationship with God.

Lately I have been struggling with this.  My relationship with God has felt distant, and I have been frustrated with my inability to feel God’s presence or to detect a response to my prayers.  Discussing this with my spiritual director, she asked me about my image of Jesus.  As I usually do, I responded by saying that I view Jesus as a friend.  Even before my spiritual director continued, I knew where the conversation was headed.  Instead of being aware of God’s presence in every moment and every interaction throughout my day and trusting that I would receive what I needed when I needed it, I kept expecting some grand sign to renew my faith and help me trust in God’s plan.  Once again, I was looking for evidence.  I was not trying to renew my faith in God—I was trying to know that God was there.  I was thankful in the good moments and asked for support in the bad times, but I neglected God’s companionship throughout the rest of my day.  Although I said Jesus was my friend, I was not acting accordingly.  In order to have a close friendship with anyone, we have to include them in all the moments of our lives—good, bad, and boring—not just turn to them in times of excitement or despair.

After that discussion with my spiritual director, I found myself enjoying Advent with a greater awareness and enthusiasm for including Jesus in every seemingly mundane moment.  Amid the holiday preparations, while reminiscing about my favorite Christmas movies from childhood, a scene from The Santa Clause popped into my head.  As Tim Allen’s character looks around the North Pole, struggling to accept the reality of Santa and elves, Judy the Elf explains that “seeing isn’t believing—believing is seeing.”  I reflected on the line as I went to bed that night, appreciating its application to my recent struggle.  In the morning, as I checked my email, I opened my daily Bible verse and there read, “…for we walk by faith, not by sight.  [2 Corinthians 5:7].”  I smiled, and even laughed a little, at God’s perfect timing.  Sometimes it is difficult to feel God near, but sometimes the signs are clear.  We just have to be patient, spend time in prayer to deepen our relationship, and trust that God will give us what we need when we need it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Reflections on Christmas in Community

Members of the Future of Charity Blog Team responded to the following questions:

What is your favorite community Advent or Christmas tradition?


What surprised you as you celebrated your first Advent or Christmas in community?

See what they had to say!

Beginning on December 17th, our community gathers each day to pray the O Antiphons.  These prayer experiences deepen the meaning of the final days of Advent, and heighten the anticipation of Christ's coming at Christmas.  ~Sr. Annie Klapheke

Our local community took the weekend to Bake chocolate chip cookies, fruit cake, date nut bread, and other goodies. We sorted them out into plates and pans, and then distributed them to our neighbors. We sang, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," as they opened their doors. This was a great way to be of service to others and spread God's love to help others have the holiday spirit.  ~Sr. Judy Donohue

Not only is this my first Advent living in community, it is my first Advent living on the U.S.-Mexico border and ministering at the margins.  My greatest joy this Advent has come from spending the season with people of different cultures, sharing in their traditions and experiencing new ways of celebrating our faith. ~Whitney Schieltz

My favorite advent tradition is praying with our house community in the morning darkness and then the evening darkness.  As we light the candles of Advent, it reminds me of God's light and that the darkness will soon turn into longer days of sunlight!  ~Sr. Mallorie Gerwitz

During my last few years of living in Cincinnati during formation, I've been able to participate in the Christmas caroling day at Mother Margaret Hall, our congregation's nursing facility.  You'll see a mass of young and old sisters and associates dressed in red and green, capped with Santa hats, traipsing through the 7 floors of Mother Margaret, and you'll hear all of the favorite carols floating through the air.  It is a day of joy when I am reminded what it means to be sister - through the presence of the carolers and the flame of hope in the eyes of our older, wiser sisters as they sit in their wheelchairs, tapping along to tunes they will always know.  ~Sr. Tracy Kemme

My first Advent Season with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth has brought me great joy and awe. It's the little moments of 'the baby leaping in the womb' that bring us closer to God and to one another. One way is simply being & praying in community. The SCN sisters received a beautiful advent booklet with inspiring reflections from the larger community to help us pray our own Advent season. My favorite part of Advent is the waiting and wonderings of what is to come in my prayer life.  ~Melissa Catherine Fisackerly

My favorite community Christmas tradition is our Christmas Novena.  Hearing everyone sing together all the O Antiphons is so special to me.  It also is a great to know all the Daughters of Charity throughout the world are singing it as well!  ~Sr. Meg Kymes

Though I've only been participating for a couple of years, there are so many special traditions that I already love:  caroling for the sisters in nursing care, the communal prayers and Mass on Christmas Eve, lining the front drive with luminaries, decorating the grand staircase at the motherhouse...! But in each community I've lived with, from the formation house in New Mexico, to the Novitiate House in Cincinnati, and now at our newly established residence, Visitation House, one tradition stands out as being especially meaningful to me. Each of these communities made a point to choose something to do together during Advent in service or support of our sisters and brothers who are less fortunate and in need of someone to be Christ-bearers to them. In New Mexico, weeks of planning activities, gathering gifts for the children and preparing vast quantities of food went into a providing a beautiful Christmas celebration at the Santo Nino center across the border in Mexico. Last year the Novitiate community spent a day volunteering at Salvation Army downtown helping families load the donated gifts into their vehicles as they pulled up. And this year, our house plus Annie and Tracy's parents went to a posada in our low-income neighborhood where we cheered for a free children's orchestra, ate food prepared by the many Guatemalan immigrant mothers, and enjoyed a live mariachi band as we built community with our new neighbors. In each of these examples, I was blessed to witness and be a part of the birthing of Christ anew, and the gift of the realization of Emmanuel-God With Us-is the best gift I ever receive, filling my Advent heart with Christmas joy!  ~Sr. Andrea Koverman

My first advent/Christmas/New Year holidays as a Sister were very international!  I was in Seminary with a Sister from Vietnam, one from El Salvador, and one from the Philippines.  We celebrated each of their traditions- Posadas, Simbang Gabi, and addition to my American traditions.  One of my favorite Advent practices that I brought with me was a Taize style Advent prayer.  ~Sr. Roberta Treppa

My favorite community Advent tradition is singing the Christmas Novena each evening with my local community.  We gather in the stillness and silence of the evening, and sing the words of the Messianic prophesies, sacred O Antiphons, and Mary's beautiful Magnificat with one voice.  The Lord, the King who is to come, come let us adore!  ~Kara Davis

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Can I go to them?

By Kara Davis
Postulant, Daughters of Charity

Pope arrives at mosque in flashpoint neighbourhood of Central African capital
Pope Francis arriving to a mosque in a neighborhood in the Central African Republic 
capital Bangui on November 29, 2015.  Photo taken from
On the First Sunday of Advent, a news article was featured on my Facebook newsfeed with a picture of Pope Francis and the headline, “Can I go to them?  Pope Francis’ stunning response to alleged murders.”  As Pope Francis concluded his visit to Africa, “Popemania” infiltrated social media once again.  Something about this particular article, however, grabbed my attention as I curiously clicked on the link to discover to where and to whom Pope Francis was drawn to go this time.

The article stated that there were reports of violence in a nearby neighborhood where Pope Francis had previously ate with local bishops.  Upon hearing the news, the Holy Father immediately asked the Nuncio, “Can I go?  Can I go [to them]?”  The Nuncio replied, “No Holiness.  It is very dangerous.”

The words, “Can I go to them?” have remained with me throughout these weeks of Advent, and have been the focus of much of my prayer during this season.  I imagine Jesus hearing of the violence and suffering of the world and pleading with The Father, “Can I go?  Can I go to them?”  I hear The Father’s response, “It is very dangerous,” and then Jesus’ answer, “I will go to them.”

I am struck by the Divine desire to be with us, to dwell within our human messiness.  During Sunday Mass when we sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” I think, “Emmanuel, God with us.  Do I really want God to be with me, to dwell in my messiness, my vulnerability?”  Then I hear the response, “Can I go to them?”  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.  Give thanks!  God has chosen you.  God wants to dwell with you!

When we sing, “O Come Divine Messiah,” I think, “What are my expectations for this long awaited Messiah?”  Will hope sing its triumph?  Will sadness flee away?  Will He break the captive fetters?  Will He be made lowly, clothed in human weakness?”  Then I hear the responses, “It is very dangerous,” and “I will go to them.”  O Come Prince of Peace.  Dispel violence and hatred, and reveal the face of mercy to the world.

As we begin the fourth week of Advent, I ponder how I am to receive Christ as He comes to me, and how I am called to share the face of mercy with those around me as we continue this pilgrimage of mercy for the coming year.  Just as Pope Francis responded, “Can I go to them,” may we respond with those same words as we bring mercy and joy to the world.  Peace be with you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


By Sr. Mallorie Gerwitz
Novice, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth 

For the last six months I have been concerned for the welfare of a child who comes into our Sister of Charity sponsored ministry, Welcome Central.  Welcome Central defines itself as, “helping you find, the help you need.”  Our ministry connects people with food, utility assistance, housing, medical referrals, clothing, essentially a clearinghouse for individuals to receive what they are most in need of.

My heartstrings have been pulled quite tightly in trying to serve the needs of the mother, while also trying to protect the child who has been living on the streets with mom.  The little boy and I build houses with Lincoln logs, or play with making towers out of Jenga pieces, or we will go on walks, while mom works on paperwork or just takes a needed break.  The boy calls me Memory, (as it is hard to say L’s at the age of 4), which makes me think, how coincidental, that is!   A memory is something that each of us has tucked away in our brains, hearts, and our inner most being.  The fact is my presence to him is a blip on the radar of his life.  It’s sad, but real.  I will be a ‘Memory’ very soon.  It leaves me with the feeling of the way God gave his only son, Jesus to us.  Jesus was, what some may call, a blip on the radar, only living until, the generally accepted age of thirty-three; but I look at the ‘Memory’ he left us.  The love he showered upon us.  The presence that Jesus gave to the people of his time and the presence that continues today.   

As we draw closer to Christmas and the festivities of holiday parties, shopping, and decorating, these activities tend to distract us from the present moment.  I think: In what ways are we present to the living God? And in what ways are we present, to the coming of God’s greatest gift of love?  

As we take this time to remember, reflect, and look upon the ‘Memory’ of the coming of God’s greatest gift, may we go forth with our light, which shines in the darkness, in this waiting period, for all to see.  The realization I am coming to is to not spend too much time living in the future, but to live now, in the present.  Our lives are blips on the radar, of the lifespan of the Universe.  In what ways are we living ‘Memories’ for those we meet everyday?  How will the legacy of our lives, reflect the Memory of Jesus, God’s greatest gift?

Sunday, December 13, 2015


By Sr. Amanda Kern, DC

From my office desk, at any given time between 3:30 to 6pm, I can hear it shouted from the next room, sometimes even from the hallway. It’s an almost daily occurrence with my office sharing a wall with the young preschool classroom. You can hear the joy and even the thinking behind the child’s voice – Mommy’s here, Love is here, everything will be okay because she’s here now.

My ministry is to work with those “mommies” (and “daddies” too!). I work at DePaul Children’s Center (part of Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio) as the Family Care Coordinator, a ministry created when employees here saw there was a need for a special caseworker for our parents, who are majority low-income. In my year here, I have quickly learned the high cost of diapers, the technicalities of sliding-scale tuition requirements, and how to file for child support.

The truth is, while the child can joyfully shout out “MOMMY’S HERE!” when they see her walk through the classroom or appear on the playground, most of these parents can’t do the same. They can’t reach for their own mother for support when they’re stressed, when they’re about to break down, when life seems to be falling apart. Some have no support system whatsoever for one reason or another. Some were disowned from their family because of the father of the child; some just don’t have family in the area; others haven’t shared with me why.

I live and work in San Antonio. If you know anything about San Antonio, you know that San Antonio is not quite all-Texan, but not quite all-Mexican either. It’s this great blended mix of both – a city that names its celebration of the Battle of the Alamo “Fiesta”, a city that hosts the famous San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo but also is known for its amazing breakfast tacos, etc.

Of course, with all of that, comes Our Lady of Guadalupe. And hey, San Antonio – let’s admit, Catholic or not, pretty much everyone has a framed picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  What’s important to remember is that Our Lady of Guadalupe is more than just culture; it’s more than just some apparition in Mexico. The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of hope.  Our Lady more than just appeared to Juan Diego. She spoke to him, just as a mother would speak to a child. Just as the mothers I serve here speak to their children, just as I wish some of their mothers still spoke to them. One of the many things Our Lady said was: 

Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear sickness nor any other anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything” – Our Lady to Juan Diego, December 9, 1531

“Don’t worry. I’m here. I’m your mom, remember?”

It was a message for Juan Diego, an indigenous peasant in the 1500s. It’s a message for any person on-the-fringes, ignored or rejected by society. It’s a message for someone who lives one day at a time, not knowing what the future may bring.  But it’s also a message for all of us, no matter who we are – low-income or wealthy, childless or parent, sinner or saint. And isn’t it all we want to hear? 

“Don’t worry. I’m here. I’m your mom, remember?” 

We all want that familial love. Some of us were fortunate enough to receive it from our parents, others not. We want to know we’re incredibly loved, despite whether we feel we are worthy. We want to know that someone’s with us, no matter what. So, Our Lady gives us herself as a Mother from heaven in addition to the Father we already have.  

“Don’t worry. I’m here. I’m your mom, remember?” 

If we let that message truly sink in, if we have the courage to believe it, we will echo that child’s shout of joy – “MOMMY’S HERE!”- when we see her face in various images and we will long for the day when we can embrace her as the children here at DePaul Children’s cling tightly to their mommies at the end of the day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Advent(urous) Companions

By Sr. Andrea Koverman, SC

Two unlikely companions adorn the top of my dresser: a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and a little carved marble donkey. Strange as it may seem, they stand together offering me the gift of a shared wisdom.

The mother of one of my best friends gave the statue of Mary to me. It had belonged to her husband’s mother, and was a very special gift at a time when I was doing some serious early discerning about religious life, and sorely missing my own mother, who had died of cancer not long before. By that time, I felt a particular closeness to Mary, though during my early childhood, her total obedience and docility were a bit off-putting. I found it difficult to relate to her because she was so perfect, and I was…well, not. I did my best to imitate her virtues and a simple devotion to her developed from the sense of motherly patience and encouragement that consoled me when I prayed to her for her intercession.

I gradually began to realize that there was much more to this woman than the fairy-tale version I knew as a small child, especially as I began to more seriously consider that I might have a religious vocation. The parallels between Mary’s fiat and discerning a call to religious life become very clear and so helpful in the process that I don’t know a single woman religious that doesn’t recognize the connection between her own “yes” and that of Mary’s. I turned to her time and again and was strengthened by the example of her resolve to set aside whatever fears and doubts she must have had, and her willingness to let go of her future hopes and plans so that she could be God’s handmaid and do God’s bidding. I could imagine her own bewilderment in the change of events in her life that transformed her from a young peasant girl into the mother of God, and how it must have required so much more than a robotic auto-response from someone who had been born in such a state of total perfection that there was no question of what her response would be. I could relate to that real kind of struggle.

The carved donkey came as part of a vow gift from my spiritual director, Sr. Anne Flannagan, SNDdN. I have to admit, I was both baffled and amused when I opened my package and found the statue and a little DeGrazia painting of a girl riding a donkey. I was intrigued, but wondered, “What’s with the donkey theme?”  The mystery was finally solved one evening a few weeks later as I came upon one of my journal entries, made during the retreat I took just prior to making my first profession of vows last June.

I remembered that I entered that week feeling very anxious and unsure about taking vows, and really upset to be feeling that way after two challenging years of Novitiate. My journal entries and conversations with Anne were stormy and emotional. I felt a profound sense of longing and loneliness, and I feared religious life might mean feeling like that the rest of my life. I had a litany of complaints as I focused on what was not perfect at that point in my experience, as if I were building a case against making a commitment. I was feeling weighed down by my own pressure to be perfect, to have all the answers, to get it all right, wondering once again if I was making the right decision. To clear my mind and center myself, I spent long days out on the beautiful grounds of the retreat center, soaking up warm sunshine, walking and running the trails through the woods, and sleeping twice the normal number of hours I usually do. I worked on letting go of the need to be sure and to accept a state of uncertainty, praying for the grace to trust that God was with me in all my messiness. As I stopped trying to force a decision, I began to feel reconnected and the joy of being intimately in love with God overtook my anxiety. I reconsidered my options and confirmed that I could not rule this one out, at least not yet. It was still the right choice for right then, and that’s all I needed to know. The future would hold whatever God wanted, and I relinquished control of it once again. I felt peaceful, ready, and incredibly eager to publicly profess my vows. What a rollercoaster ride of a week!

On the last night of the retreat, an optional prayer session using poetry was offered. One of the activities was to choose from an array of pictures clipped from magazines, reflect on what it was about the picture that attracted you, and then write about it. The picture I chose was of a docile little burro, typical of what you might see used for transporting goods in Peru or some other such place. I was attracted to its solid stance, lowered eyes, and attentive ears. That night, I dreamt about a wild little donkey that bucked and kicked and strained against the rope it had been lassoed with. I entered the scene and understanding its fears, was able to calm the donkey down in a way reminiscent of the horse trainer’s ability to silently communicate with a disturbed horse in the movie The Horse Whisperer. Rather than trying to tame it by force, I was very gentle with it. With patience and encouragement, it began to relax and its panicked panting slowed to even breathing. The donkey’s ears pricked forward in curiosity as I moved about. I walked over to a pile of bundles and packages and it followed and allowed me to load them on its back. Then it lowered its furry head so that I could put a bridle and reigns in place. There it stood solidly, a study in tranquility, able to bear the load it was given, listening attentively, and not roaming about but willing to wait to be led to where it would go.

I shared my dream with Anne in our closing conference and was delighted by how neatly and precisely it captured my journey through Novitiate. I keep the statue of Mary and the donkey where I can see them everyday. They remind me always and in a special way during Advent, that I too am called and capable of transformation. When doubts and fears arise, as they certainly will from time to time, when my spirit bucks and resists and it seems safer to run for the hills, they remind me that I want to be God’s handmaid, too, and I must be patient, attentive, and willing not to lead, but to be led. It is the disposition that transformed a peasant into a queen, and a wild animal into one trustworthy enough to carry her.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Take Mary on your Journey

By Melissa Catherine Fisackerly

On December 8th the Church celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  The Catholic Church teaches us that from the moment of Mary’s conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from original sin.  What this means is that Mary was in a state of grace from the beginning, sharing in God’s own life and free from inclinations of sin.  In other words, God preserved Mary.   We too are preserved by God, but maybe not quite like the Virgin Mary.  
The Immaculate Conception allowed Mary’s yes at the Annunciation to be limitless, without any restriction in thought.  This particular reading of the Gospel of Luke is one of my favorites.  I can relate closely to Mary’s emotions, doubts, questions, and thoughts throughout the reading.  As I recall being in my former religious community’s novitiate, this gospel reading became a part of my daily living.  Daily, I prayed specifically with Mary, that she would teach me how to prayerfully ponder her fears, thoughts, questions and doubts, and how she was able to have the faith that she had when she was completely confused at certain times.  
I’m sure Mary often said, “How can this be?” (verse 34).  I often ask God how can this be?  Why me?  Once I take a step back and ponder Mary’s yes, then I can respond accordingly.  I think too, in the readings of Mary, her words are so gentle and worded in such a way that keeps me in awe.  I feel like I pray better when I ponder with Mary instead of taking my focus off of what’s really important.  
She challenges me greatly!  There are times when I, like Mary, am greatly troubled at my journey.  I try to “ponder what sort of greeting this might be” when I come across hurdles (verse 29).  Mary had every right to question God because she was told and not asked for this great task.  Mary did not plan at age 15 to conceive a child and call him Jesus (verse 31).  I’m sure she wanted to live a “normal” life.   
When I prayerfully take apart my journey, whether it is a struggle or not, it is a greeting to something new in the walk with God.  If I allow myself to share in Mary’s fear and allow God to take over, there is no room for fear.  The angel said to Mary, “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God” (verse 30).   
As we allow time to seek favor with God, then we will be able to walk our journey with Mary’s YES.  My prayer is that we, as young women, take time to ponder our journey and question God, but not testing God with our questions; asking God how can we best put on the armor of God and ponder the journey that has been gifted to each one of us.  I hope this feast day of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is one of wonder and awe.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sharing Jesus with Joy

By Sr. Meg Kymes

As part of my Advent prayer, I have been reading a book called Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Virtues.  It is separated into several different sections and each section focuses on a particular virtue.  The first section focuses on joy. These stories about joy told tales of charity and simplicity, rather than the commercial Christmas that Black Friday tries to sell.  Stories about adult children creating a homemade Christmas without expensive gifts in JULY to cheer their ailing parents; children who didn’t have much themselves sharing the few dollars they had to contribute to their school’s  Christmas giving program; even a sports columnist starting an annual ball drive to give eventually thousands of balls to children in need of something on Christmas morning.  All of these were beautiful stories, but there was one that rose above the rest for me.

The story I read this morning was about a group of cousins on Christmas Eve that put on a Nativity play.  They created paper backgrounds and costumes from sheets and towels around the house to make a scene of a hospital.  Mary and Joseph were rejected from the inn as Scripture tells us, but instead of finding the manger they found shelter in Bethlehem Memorial Hospital.  There the nurse angels took in Mary to have her child while an anxious Joseph waited in the waiting room.  After time wore on with update of “She’s doing fine,” a tiny toddler angel came out onto the stage to bear the Good News.  After some prompting from her older cousins she proudly announces, “It’s a girl!”   I first chuckled to myself, but after more reflection I thought how true she was. 

Unlike the days when Mary and Joseph walked the long roads to Bethlehem, we await the presence of Jesus with us in our own hearts.  We look towards Christmas when we celebrate the day he came to Earth so that he later could live in our hearts.  We, like the children giving what they had to other children who had so little, and the adult child creating Christmas in July for their parents, have to share him with each other so we all can enjoy the true joy that only Jesus’ presence in our lives can bring.