Catholic Carnival 203: Waiting in Joyful Hope

"... Christian joy comes from this certainty: God is near, he is with me, he is with us, in joy and in pain, in health and in sickness, as a friend and as a faithful spouse. This joy remains even through trial, in suffering itself, and it remains not superficially, but in the depth of the person who trusts in God and confides in him."

~ In Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI on December 17, 2007

The time is drawing near for the coming of our Savior. We expectantly and joyfully await His coming. But have we prepared our hearts? Are we ready?

The focus of this week’s Carnival is the theme of joy that we begin to express following Gaudete Sunday, as we eagerly await the birth of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Lord, You teach us to live in hope for Your coming.

Kevin at Heart, Mind, and Strength reflects on this past Sunday’s Mass readings and shares why and how we should rejoice as we prepare for Christ’s coming.

Easter at Mostly Prayers shares a bit of her reflection on the second reading for the Third Sunday of Advent during Eucharistic Adoration, which reveals God’s wonderful sense of humor and how it brought her joy to her heart.

During this Advent Season, have you been caught up in the material aspects of preparation or have you been focusing your eyes on the One whose birthday we will soon celebrate? Have you detached yourself from the assaults of the world that distract us from authentic beauty and truth? It’s often difficult to find that peace that opens up our hearts to Him, but it’s not impossible.

Let us pray that our hearts will be converted that we may receive Jesus in the fullness of His love and receive all the gifts that He has to give us this Christmas.

Elena, of My Domestic Church, shares some useful and practical tips on how to save Advent, reminding us that the gifts that matter most are those that come from the heart and not the pocketbook.

Sarah, of Another Day of Catholic Pondering, rediscovers the joy of silence with her Advent resolution.

Marcel at Aggie Catholics, instructs us on how to conquer the sin of presumption. This is particularly useful information at this time when we all need to cleanse our souls for His coming by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

James at Real Life Rosary Weblog shares a reflection on imitating St. Joseph and being a good father, which incorporates two mini book reviews, a personal father – son encounter, and some interesting insights on fatherhood.

Joycelyn at I Take off the Mask reveals how we are strengthened by God’s, all – encompassing, unconditional love for us, which accepts our imperfections, heals our hurts, and lifts us up in hope.

Tim at Army of Martyrs discusses the nuances of focus on the community & the individual specifically in regards to the Eucharist and to Reconciliation.

In Religion, Life, and Thermodynamics, MacKenzie Rohlfing presents us with a reflection on the distinction between the Christian (and ultimately Catholic) concept of prayer and the concept of "chanting for" intentions as practiced by a quirky sect of Buddhism.

Lord, You are great and do marvelous deeds!

In order to protect ourselves from the daily assaults of the mainstream media, there are precautions we need to take. We need to evaluate what we learn in the secular world in the light of Church teachings and the Word of God.

You deliver us from darkness, Lord, and make us children of the light.

Sue at Half the Kingdom presents a five part series on The Legion of Decency, which deals with living as a Catholic faithful amidst the sea of imagery and messages delivered through the media, of all forms, which can compromise the souls of those endeavoring to live in a state of grace, and seeking to ensure theirs is a solidly stable, wholesome, traditional, God-centered family.

Joseph at Ho Kai Paulos shares a recent Newsweek article, which claims to use the Bible to counter Christian beliefs about marriage and relationship. Already, many catechists and apologists have set to listing counterarguments. At the end of the Newsweek article, he discovers a single statement that shatters the entire presentation - a statement that misses the very central point of Christianity.

Another assault we often face in growing closer to Christ is the deceptive voice of those in leadership positions, who either do not know their faith or have not yet accepted it completely and cling to secular views. They are desperately in need of our prayers.

Show me, Lord, Your way, that I may walk in Your Truth. Help me to know the teachings of my Catholic faith and to live them out in my life.

Secular Heretic provides us with one such example. He shares a post about Tony Blair, who despite his purported conversion to Catholicism after stepping down as Prime Minister has not yet renounced any of his anti-life views. Steven shares that Blair sets a bad example for “weak minded” Catholics.

As Catholics, we face the never-ending battle with the culture of death, whose lies destroy life and hurt so many in our world today.

Lord, You lead us out of the darkness of deception and into the light of Your truth.

Colleen Spiro at Thoughts on Grace gives us three top reasons why she is now pro-life. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the first one listed is hope. Here is the prayer she shares with us in her post: Lord, in this advent of our lives, please increase our hope in you.

In A Catholic View, Christine shares that President - elect Barack Hussein Obama may have a dilemma on his hands once he gets into office. The pro-aborts worked hard to get him elected, and now they want payback. They have high expectations; however, she has no doubt that he will deliver.

Many of us wisely prepare for Christ’s coming by working on developing Christian virtues (which is no easy task).

You teach us to live in hope for Your coming!

David, at The Apostolate of the Laity, has chosen the one virtue that is necessary for all other virtues to flourish and that is the virtue of humility. He proposes: “As one prepares for the final two weeks of Advent, let all prepare the way of the Lord by discovering the power of humility which proves a potent antidote to the deadly sin of pride.”

Kate Wicker at Momopoly gives us a special insight into the mystery of suffering, developing empathy and charity for others who suffer, and strengthening our faith, by sharing a recent crisis in the life of another mother.

At Building the Ark, Jane shares an inspirational reflection on developing perseverance during the Advent Season – something we all could use more of in our lives.

Lord, You give us a future bright with hope.

Bob Kenward at Prepare for Mass focuses on the Source of our hope in a reflection for the 4th Sunday of Advent.

Christian Personal Finance shines light on a touching story of company kindness during the Advent season in Peer Bearing Co. gives $6.6 million to employees.

Owen at Luminous Mysteries shares an intriguing story about an automobile accident and his guardian angel. The car he was driving crossed into the next lane. He was charged with careless driving that night and a series of so called miracles were about to be realized.

Evann at Homeschool Goodies shares a heart-warming post on her family’s special devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 2002, they discovered just how special they were to her. Warning: Get your tissues and hankies out for this one.

It is in the simple, everyday activities of family life that we experience the joy of the Lord.

Steven McEvoy’s review of the children’s book, “Read Me a Book” by Barbara Reid, a world renowned Canadian author and illustrator, is a great example of this. Be sure to check out Steven’s other reviews while you’re over at Book Reviews and More.

Rosemary at A Catholic Mother’s Thoughts shares a beautiful inspirational post with us on a miracle she was a part of that brought hope to her family as they prayed for her mother who was in the very advanced stages of Alzheimer’s

Lisa McClatchy shows us how to unselfishly and joyfully give to others this Advent in her humanitarian gift guide at A Life of Benevolence.

And what is one of the most joyful and loving activities you can perform for others this Christmas?

Make sure you are ready to seize the opportunity to evangelize many lapsed Catholics who will be at Mass on Christmas. Read all about it in Denise's post Catholics Come Home For Christmas.

Rejoice, Rejoice, Emanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!


  1. Lovely carnival, Jean! Thank you for hosting.

    God Bless,

  2. What a great job you've done here, Jean! God's abundance of blessings be yours!

  3. Great job on the carnival! I don't know which one to read first. Thanks for hosting, Jean!

  4. Great job hosting. Thanks so much.


  5. p.s. My blog's actually Momopoly, but no worries. :)

    God bless.

  6. Sorry about that, Kate. :( I changed it. Thanks for letting me know. :)

    God bless you!

  7. Thanks for hosting. You do a wonderful job with it. And I enjoy your blog. God bless.

  8. Wow, I can't wait to read all these great sounding posts. Thanks, Jean. Great job!

  9. Jean, you did an
    Thanks for hosting with such flair and genius! :)

  10. Thanks for hosting.
    That is my all time favorite Christmas song!


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