“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you…” (John 14:27)
Christmas is a time for us to create lasting memories with those we love and to celebrate the peace of God. Yet sometimes in the world around us, within families, and even in our own minds, peace is hard to find. Many of us admit to feeling stressed or overwhelmed with the “extra” of the holidays. Perhaps we are coordinating or interacting more with others. Maybe we are coping with loss and this year feels different. Or we simply feel pressured to meet the expectations of what Christmas “should” be like.
One of the best gifts we can offer is the gift of peace – to others and to ourselves. Spending time in prayer can help us notice on the positive elements in our lives while developing a personal understanding of our areas of need and growth. When we reflect on God’s word, we are reminded that the beauty of Christmas is simply being with those we love. We can release the stresses we feel and embrace peace in our hearts, minds, and homes.
Today’s Wellness Wednesday explores ways to give ourselves the gift of inner peace and share His gift of peace with others.
As a group, class, or family:
- Talk about what Christmas means to each person. (Consider: What does Christmas mean to you? What traditions do you enjoy at Christmas? What things add stress or pressure? Is there a way to redesign Christmas to focus on traditions that matter to you and your loved ones?)
- Invite people to share their thoughts. · Together, pray the Examen (LINK: https://smho-smso.ca/fwsecondary/positive-motivation-and-perseverance/expressing-gratitude/examen-prayer/.)
- Bless yourself and take a few minutes to think of things for which you are grateful.
- Spend time asking God to show you how he has been present with you today.
- Mentally review your day and consider the moments when you were calm, filled with happiness or simply felt on top of your game. Consider how God was present in your day as you think about these things,
- Ask for forgiveness and continued blessing.
- Think about ways you will improve tomorrow and ask for God’s help.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
How do my expectations impact my peace?
How can I give myself the gift of peace?
What is one way I can share the gift of peace?
Connecting to our faith:
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” (Colossians 3:15)
“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
The 4th Sunday of Advent symbolizes Peace with the "Angel’s Candle" reminding us of the message of the angels to share with others peace and good will. The peace of God is a safeguard for our hearts, a defense against the worries and cares of the world. We can place our trust in God and rest in his love.
CHILDREN’S BOOK: “What Does Peace Feel Like” by Vladimir Radunsky
CHILDREN’S BOOK: “I Am Peace” by Susan Verde · ARTICLE: “How To Find Peace: A Lesson In Daily Life” https://catholicexchange.com/find-peace-lesson-daily-life
AUDIO: “Examen Guided Prayer” https://pray-as-you-go.org/series/3-examen-prayer
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