For many, many years now our family has engaged in a lovely tradition. I don’t think it’s an original concept, and I’m not really sure just where we picked it up. We call it our Holy Advent-ure…
BTW…last year a holy priest revealed to another Catholic blogger that this tradition has very old roots in the monasteries of Europe. We were delighted to discover this…it certainly adds depth to the tradition! For those of you who’ve been readers for many years, you know how this works…for those of you with questions, here’s what we do:
Every year, for the past several years, our family has endeavored to emulate the virtues displayed by the various “characters” of the Nativity of our Lord. Slips of paper containing the names and virtues of each are folded and placed in a hat.
This year’s selections brought considerable laughter…once we ask the Holy Spirit to help us choose our slips, we do the “reveal” together. Sweet Max! For three years in a row, he’s the ox. He wasn’t the slightest bit dismayed…he says he’s learning pretty well to be patient and to serve. I agree! Last year’s lamb is this year’s shepherd…she’s not exactly pleased. She likes being little, but I think our Good God is asking my little one to grow up a bit. We all have much to learn: humility, obedience, docility…but what a wonderful season for those growing in virtue…
Here are the slips as they were drawn:
The Christmas Star: Daddy (everyone feels this was perfect for Dad…he’s so very steady and wise!)
Virtues: Provide a steady light to guide the weary pilgrims. A source of guidance and illumination.
The Angel: Abigail (she was very “proud” about this choice…we had to remind her what happened to the proud angels…she gave us a sheepish smile…)
Virtues: Proclaims the “tidings of great joy”. A source of inspiration. Obedient to the will of God.
Blessed Virgin: Mom (we all acknowledge that the one who chooses the “Mary slip” has a tough job ahead! Mama Mary, help me to be a better mama!)
Virtues: Meek, humble, modest and pure. Full and complete obedience to God. Holiness.
St. Joseph: Zachary (my good young man is such a natural leader…now for that humility and obedience part!)
Virtues: Humility, leadership and humble trust in God. Chastity and patience
The Shepherd: Rylee (Last year’s lamb is growing up…)
Virtues: Leadership. Listens to God. Kindness to the “lambs.” Goodness.
The Lamb: Michael (Time for a little more obedience and trust, dear Michael!)
Virtues: Docility, innocence, obedience and trust.
The Ox: Maximilian (hmm…three years in a row, Max…working towards perfection!)
Virtues: Hardwork and diligence. Patience and sacrifice.
The Donkey: Joseph (Mom had this one for 4 straight years…this is Joseph’s second, time to bear those burdens, son!)
Virtues: Humility and docility. Patiently bears all burdens.
We’re on our way, journeying towards Bethlehem…we hope to meet you there!