Posted by: L. E. Barnes | December 12, 2010

Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

Looking for Catholic blogs? Or are you a Catholic blogger wanting to attract readers or join a Catholic blogging community? Then visit “This That and the Other Thing” each week for “Sunday Snippets.”

I only did a couple of posts this past week. The first was about a former Jehovah’s Witness talking about being a part of that sect and why he left it, and in the second I shared a really cool Hanukkah song.

If you’re like me, you probably get discouraged at times in your endeavors to grow spiritually. I often feel that I’m taking two steps forward and 1 and 1/2 steps back, or that I’m even having no progress at all. But here’s some encouraging wisdom from Henri Nouwen that we would all do well to keep in mind:

The beginning of the spiritual life is often difficult not only because the powers which cause us to worry are so strong but also because the presence of God’s Spirit seems barely noticeable. If, however, we are faithful to our disciplines, a new hunger will make itself known. This new hunger is the first sign of God’s presence. When we remain attentive to this divine presence, we will be led always deeper into the kingdom. There, to our joyful surprise, we will discover that all things are being made new.

This is the beginning of the 3rd week of Advent. Today our priest wore pink vestments, and the pink candel on the Advent wreath was lit. Christmas is fast approaching. As a child, my biggest focus was on getting presents. However, as an adult, I feel I have enough “stuff” and am far more concerned with the spiritual dimension of this season–though I still enjoy the carols, decorations, Christmas specials on TV, and other aspects of the Christmas celebration. The homily at church today essentially boiled down to the same words of encouragement in the above quote by Nouwen, and I certainly needed to hear it! I struggle with various problems and temptations, and often it seems I’m going nowhere in my spiritual life. But the point is not to give up; just hanging in there is itself a sign of progress!

May this 3rd week of Advent be a blessing!




  1. Thanks for a reminder I needed.

    • It’s something we all need to be reminded of at times. I want to see spiritual progress coming in leaps and bounds, but often we have to be content with baby steps. The point is that at least we are moving forward or at least not throwing in the towel.

  2. 90% of prayer is showing up. Sometimes I just go thru the motions because that is all I can do. I think grace keeps us going and helps us through.
    I left you a link on my comment to you about the Silent Monks!

    • Colleen,
      That’s so true. Just “showing up” is sometimes all that’s needed, even if it doesn’t go exactly how we’d like for it to go. At least it means we’re trying and acknowledging our need for God’s grace.

      And thanks for the link!

  3. God bless you on the “stuff” business. My husband and I haven’t given each other Christmas presents for years. We have neither the money nor the space for any more stuff. Instead, we save so we can visit family for a few days over the holidays. The memories are priceless and they don’t take up space!

    • Barb,
      I agree completely! Being with loved ones is better than getting more odds and ends. I of course don’t criticize children for being excited about gettings news toys and other goodies (as I was the same way), but as we mature our thoughts should turn to more important things.

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