Nov 27, 2020 filed under Gratitude.

Girl thanking God for Christmas gifts

My pastor once said that Advent is a time of gratitude “for the gift to come.” “Thank God ahead of time” is how Blessed Solanus Casey put it.

During Advent, we gratefully contemplate meeting the Lord face to face at the end of our lives and we look forward to the memorial of His birthday as true God and true man. The Word was made flesh and pitched his tent among us (John 1:14).

Father suggested three ways to gratefully anticipate Christmas:

  1. Be open to sharing what you have and who you are. Don’t think it’s not enough. Be like the little boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish (John 6:9), whose small offering was more than enough when combined with God’s grace. Or the little drummer boy in the carol whose humble offering made the baby Jesus smile.
  2. Be fishers of men. Invite someone to come back to Faith who’s been away for a while. It’s amazing what a friendly invitation can do.
  3. Be open to an encounter with Christ in Confession. Allow God to pour His love and forgiveness into your heart. Knowing we’re forgiven opens up the floodgates of forgiveness in us — just in time for the holidays!

And, Father added, “Wish to be a saint.” Imitate Bl. Solanus, whose friend described him this way: “When he was speaking with you, you felt that he was constantly God-centered, on fire with love for God. He seemed to see everything as flowing from God and leading back to God.”

Let’s pray for each other that we include a good share of gratitude and joy on our to-do list as we go about preparing for Jesus’ birthday party!

Love always,

9 Responses to “Advent: Thanking God Ahead of Time”

  1. Maria

    Be a person of steady and regular prayer; don’t allow your relationship to the Lord to fall into disrepair. Avail yourself regularly of the sacrament of Reconciliation; bring your sins before Christ and seek his forgiveness. Don’t let grudges and resentments fester; keep your relationships in good repair.

  2. Linda Hartzell

    My list of positive outcomes of the pandemic continues to grow.
    My traditional to-do list is very small this year leaving lots of room for gratitude, joy, and creative sharing. Perhaps my close neighbors will get a surprise solo Christmas Eve hymn from me this year ?

    Thank you, Rose, for the description of Blessed Solanus. To be so grace-filled….

    • Joyce Miles Miles

      Happy Sunday !
      Keep Jesus in our hearts forever.
      We can’t do anything without Jesus.Let Jesus order our steps on a daily basis.
      Heart Felt Article

  3. Valorie Russell

    Thank you Rose. How I love Blessed Solanus. He had such wisdom. May your Advent journey be holy and peaceful .

  4. Nida

    Thank you Rose for this wonderful message about the Advent. May God continue to bless you with His wisdom and love and compassion. ,! Happy Advent Sunday to you and your family!

  5. Tom Roberts

    My father ran a business with about 65 employees, unskilled laborers mostly. Every Christmas he gave them all bonuses equivalent to $3500 today. He was an atheist but admired those who practiced their faith, especially the ones who practiced it diligently, whether Muslim, Jew or Christian. Our American origins were Puritan, refugees from troubles with the Church of England. For his own part he was a scientist of the 1930s and once told a Protestant minister while holding up a chemistry textbook, “This is my religion.”

    What a surprise when he greeted with approval and support my announcement that I was in RCIA intending to become a catholic. Like me he had encounters with people of faith along the way. In my father’s case back around 1910 a local catholic priest used to take him and his brother, Fred, fishing in Lake Koshkonong. The deal was that the boys dug up the worms. Their father was away a lot with the Soo Line Railroad and their mother was busy with her three women’s wear shops and the priest, with no family of his own, wanted to share some simple together times; no hard sell, just talking and fishing. That’s how I came in. Advent is a good time to remember these stories of caring and sharing.

    • Suzanne Landis

      Thank you for sharing your story, Tom. What a wise priest who shared time and good experiences with a man who may not have wanted to hear about Jesus. You heard what he didn’t say and came into the Church. Praise God!

  6. Rose Folsom


    I love your letters. I don’t know how I came to be on this mailing list but am glad I did! Thank you for sharing your calming, reassuring words! — Becky

    Thank you for your messages. They are spiritual blessings for me.
    I am a grandmother to a teenage granddaughter who can sing well. She sings in drama programs in high school. She also likes to sing at the church service First United Methodist church) They are beautiful songs of praise and worship. Sometimes because the other girl who sings at that service wants to be only one singing with drummer and guitarist, she doesn’t want anyone else singing at same service which I think is not being Christ like so my granddaughter doesn’t sing with the group. My daughter doesn’t want to make trouble so she doesn’t say anything to anyone (pastor or anyone) about it at the church.
    Please join me in prayer that the Lord touch the other girl’s heart so she will not feel that someone else singing will take away from her singing songs in praise to the Lord God
    In Jesus mighty name I pray. — MaryAlice

    Happy Sunday !
    Keep Jesus in our hearts forever.
    We can’t do anything without Jesus. Let Jesus order our steps on a daily basis.
    Heart Felt Article — Joyce