5150191997_9252575b6a_zI really think candles are underused these days.  They are such a peaceful thing and since we have… you know… electricity, we don’t think about candles that much anymore.  My appreciation for candles has really grown as I’ve watched the enthusiasm my children have had for them.  They look at them with awe and wonder.  They are careful around then, gentle with them and usually quiet too.  It’s quite a miracle!

And of course candles are a big part of the Catholic faith too.  We light the Paschal candle at Easter to represent the symbol of Christ’s Paschal Mystery – His passion, His death and His resurrection.  We use this candle to light baptismal candles when we bring a new baby into the church.  We light candles in the church as prayers that will burn brightly even while we are away.

We have white candles and a St. Michael the Archangel candle that we do prayers with as well.  Pick something that works for you and light it before you open you bible.  Think of it as inviting Jesus into the room.  Jesus is the light, he lives there.  I think of the warmth from the fire as His warmth for me. It has a calming effect on me and it helps me to quiet my mind and focus on reading the word.

MY BIBLE REFLECTION:

“Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16

One of the things I love the most about being Catholic is the rich heritage it boasts and the many traditions that we have.  The church has a beautiful rhythm throughout the year weaving in celebrations and times of penance and prayer.  My life has begun to take on these rhythms and they give me comfort.  I feel like I’m part of a big church family that stretches all over the world.

Even though I feel like our family is still young and we haven’t done a great job of establishing our own traditions, we take on a few new ones each year that we can then look forward to.

My favorite tradition that we started last year was going to Mass on my birthday to celebrate the Presentation of Mary.  My husband and I did this after making our 33 Days to Morning Glory retreat and we decided we’d celebrate that anniversary every year.  And even though I’m a girl who LOVES to celebrate my birthday, I am surprised how much I like sharing this day with our Blessed Mother and offering the spotlight to her instead.  To me that is one of the many examples of how Christ has changed me from within.

Image Credit: Harsh Agrawal, Candle (2010) Flickr, CC

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