This past Saturday we finally took down our Christmas decorations. I know some are amazed that this late into January we still had our Christmas decorations up. But we had a very good reason.
Chris likes putting the Christmas decorations up as soon as Thanksgiving is over. I was totally against this, but I also knew that I couldn't make him wait until 2 weeks into December. So I told him he could start putting things up once Advent started. So everything went up the first weekend of Advent.
The only thing that was not complete was the nativity scene. We have a very large nativity set and we put it on the top of the entertainment center in the family room. When we first set it up we left the manger empty and the wise men were placed in a cabinet. The baby Jesus was placed in the manger on Christmas Day (although in our case, about 3 days after Christmas since we were in Atlanta). But the wise men weren't placed with everything else until Epiphany, January 6. Well, who wants to take everything down the same day that the wise men finally make an appearance?
So we left everything there another week. This past weekend was the Baptism of the Lord. The Gospel reading was from Matthew 3:13-17--in a nutshell: Jesus comes to the River Jordan and is baptized by John and the Holy Spirit descends upon Him. This past Sunday was considered part of the Christmas season. The Church still had all the wreaths and trees and lights up and they had the full nativity scene on the altar. So we were in good company.
Now that Christmas is over a new season starts, but only for a short time. We are now in Ordinary Time for a few short weeks. Ash Wednesday is on February 6 this year, so Lent starts very early. With the start of a new season is a good time to start reflecting on what we can do to improve our own lives.
This morning during my Adoration hour I spent time reading about prayer and I spent time praying about being a less judgemental and more accepting person. That's when I remembered the Patron Saint of the Year. I had recently seen someone refer to this on their blog and remembered seeing it last year. If this was something I needed to work on, maybe a saint would choose me this year who can help me work on this attribute! So when I had a free moment today I went looking for the recent post I saw to find the link I needed. Guess what! The Patron Saint of the Year Ministry has grown so much they created a blog devoted to it. I added the link to my sidebar so if you are interested in a patron saint go visit the blog and check it out.
By late this afternoon I found out which saint selected me and I was totally surprised. Not by who the saint was, but because I had never heard of him and it took me a while to find any info. St. Aelred is my patron saint for 2008. The Catholic Church has not named him a patron saint of anything in particular, but apparently he us "unofficially" the patron saint of friendship.
Over the course of the year I hope to learn a lot more about this saint nad I'll share what I learn here. I do hope and pray that this is the perfect saint to help me with those areas that I most want to work on in myself. From what I've read so far this seems to be the case.