25 Dec It Isn’t Just About Christmas

Your Journey Is Just Beginning

Thank you for joining us for Best Advent Ever. We hope you had an incredible journey. Keep choosing the most important things and you will discover true peace and happiness.

If you want to go deeper, check out Matthew Kelly’s book, The Rhythm of Life. Much of this program was inspired by this book, and we’re offering Best Advent Ever participants a special discount! You can get the paperback for FREE + $5.95 shipping or the hardcover at 50% off. (Original price of the paperback is $17.95 + shipping.)

On behalf of all of us here at Dynamic Catholic, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Transcript

Merry Christmas!

It’s finally here! We made it!

The gifts are unwrapped, the cookies have been eaten, friends and family are gone, the songs have been sung! We did it!

Christmas can be one of the most wonderful times of the year, but preparing for Christmas can be one of the most stressful.

We spent the last few weeks figuring out how to sort through the noise and distractions to discover what matters most this Christmas.

We began by asking what we really want out of Christmas and out of life, and how our wants and needs lead us to the best way to live. We pondered our journey to become the-best-version-of-ourselves, and asked Jesus to help us see what we can do differently to have a great Christmas.

I hope you laughed a little more this Christmas. I hope you hugged your loved ones a little tighter. I hope your home seemed a little warmer. And I hope the birth of Jesus means more to you now than ever before.

But Jesus didn’t come for just a day. It’s about more than that.

In the same way, this journey to choose the most important things—to discover true peace and happiness—isn’t just about Christmas. It’s about your whole life.

Thank you for joining us for Best Advent Ever. It brought us incredible joy to journey with you these past few weeks.

If you want to go deeper into the topics we covered, I recommend you check out Matthew Kelly’s book The Rhythm of Life.” You won’t be disappointed.

On behalf of everyone here at Dynamic Catholic, we wish you a merry Christmas and a blessed new year!

We encourage you to comment on this reflection. All viewpoints are welcome, but we ask that you remain on-topic and respect other members of the discussion. Please remember that we are trying to help each other become the-best-version-of-ourselves. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. Be Bold. Be Catholic.®

  • Carlos

    Thanks to all the Dynamic Catholic staff and Best Advent Ever collaborators who put these reflections together. Thanks especially for the positive and encouraging words in your reflections. I am also very thankful to all the commentators for sharing their stories and for reaching out to one another in love! You helped make my Advent journey a special one that I will never forget. As you can see from the comments, including mine, we have had a challenging year, but these trials do not define our lives. With God’s direction and the help of our friends, family, church and community, we all can triumph and proactively pursue the best versions of ourselves. Thanks again and God bless you all! Have a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year.

  • M. Cor

    Thank you Dynamic Catholic… I had the Best Advent Ever.. Merry Christmas everyone..

  • Barb Stuart

    Thank You all for the Best Advent Ever. Between the stories, reflections and comments, my thinking has changed on how I look and see and think about my walk with God on a daily basis. His presence gives me hope and peace and joy. Sometimes I take baby steps and other times I take big ones!.Let your journey with the Almighty be everyone’s direction in life. Mery and blessed Christmas to you all!

  • Eleanor Rabnett

    Thank you so much for these daily messages and invitations to reflect further. They have been a gift.

  • Paula Stone

    Thank you. This ministry is so needed with the troubles and distractions. This guided journey made the “Best Advent” ever. I looked forward to taking special time each day to focus, reflect and pray. Merry Christmas Dynamic Catholic. Looking forward to 2017 and becoming the best version of myself with those who feel the same.

  • Jo

    I’ve participated in Best Advent Ever and Best Lent Ever in the past, but this is the first season I have made use of the comments board. I’ve enjoyed commenting daily, because it helps me put my thoughts into words. I will continue commenting during the upcoming Lenten season. I can’t wait to see you all in March for Best Lent Ever! Have a blessed Christmas Season, and don’t forget to keep up with everything we’ve learned during Ordinary Time!

  • Javier Samayoa

    Indeed it has been the Best Advent Ever, in big part because it’s my first Advent back home in Guatemala with my family after 12 years living abroad. Bless you all for being open to growing in love, let’s all pray together. And HUGE thank you to all at Dynamic Catholic!
    Mary Christ-Mass! 🙂

  • Lynne

    Thank you so much for the gift of the Best Advent Ever. Have loved the daily reflections. Happy New Year to all the friends I have made here.

  • R. Formano

    Great job everyone. Definitely worth viewing and contemplating each day. Blessings!

  • Joanne

    Thank you, friends, for being with me on this Advent journey. I am a very busy person by temperament and viewing the videos and reading the comments made me STOP and think. I needed that. It’s been a challenging year and I suspect 2017 will be challenging in its own way for me and my family. I will try very hard to remember to STOP and think and, especially, pray. I’m returning to my daily formal meditation today. I asked for peace in my first post (I normally don’t participate, just view). You all helped me. Thank you for our leaders here and for Jesus Christ, who leads us all to peace. If we stop and listen. And pray.

  • Daragh Coulter

    Thank you for this wonderful program. I have never been one to get caught up in the commercialism and busyness of Christmas that much, but my faith is in need of renewal. I got a copy of “Rediscover Catholicism” a few years ago and have started reading it and already love how Mr. Kelly writes and speaks about Catholicism.

  • LitaC.

    After doing this Advent program on Christmas Eve I found myself so lost and alone and it was so much worse because it was so unexpected. My son, who is 27 an individual with Autism who also suffers from anxiety and stress, did this program with me. When my husband died 5 years ago my son’s condition worsened because his dad was his best friend and now he was gone. This grief manifested itself into stress and anxiety that has not lessened over the years. On Christmas Eve we decided to go to the Christmas Eve Vigil Service. We both enjoyed it so much. After doing an errand we went out to eat dinner. While waiting for our orders to be taken my son started acting angry with me. I asked why? Then he started verbally abusing me because of how I parked. I finally got up and had to leave the restaurant. I was numb with grief and then as I tried to exit the parking lot this mentally ill man accosted me, cursing me, saying horrible things. I just managed to get away from him and drove off. I got him feeling devastated, bruised and wounded. Christmas Eve was ruined. I turned to Jesus asking a lot of questions but most all i asked for comfort. I didn’t feel like celebrating Christmas, I didn’t feel much of anything really. I was already having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit because two weeks prior my sister called me to let me know that she had been drugged unconscious and raped in a facility that was supposed to be taking care of her. I flew out to be with her and then I came back already somewhat numb from all I had learned while there but I was trying to be OK and still doing Best Advent Ever and beginning to feel some hope again when my son destroyed even that. He has a disability. It’s not his fault he has a disability. But I am so tired. So very tired. I wish I could feel Christmas the way I used too.

    • voteprolife

      I am sorry to hear about all these bad things happening in your life right now, especially this time of year. Keep seeking the Lord and asking him for his peace and comfort. It won’t necessarily take all these bad things away, but let our Lord comfort you, let him give you the peace you long for. I will say some extra prayers for you and your family. Wishing you peace, love and joy in your heart this Christmas season and in the new year!

    • Mike

      I don’t normally offer replies. My Christmas was less than it could have been as well. However I would like to offer one positive experience. I went to confession to ask forgiveness for expressed anger and was given absolution. The next day I found myself in the same cycle of frustration and anger with my spouse. As chance would have it (nothing is by chance if I am open and seeking God) I walked into an opportunity for confession again. I told the priest that I was not so much there to hear his counciling, but to receive absolution he could give me through the power invested in him. In addition, I stated that I also wanted him to ask God to speak to the quiet of my heart to lead me to a resolution of this anger cycle between my wife and I. While kneeling after confession God did speak to the quiet of my heart. He said I want you to carry your rosary beads always with you and when you feel the tension of anger rising to squeeze my rosary beads. I will do that, there is power in the rosary. In addition during prayer time this morning, reflecting on the daily readings together with thoughts of a conversation with a friend, I searched the internet for coping skills for anger. What I found was information on how emmotional responses are quicker than forming intelectual responses in the defense of perceiving personal threat to a belief we hold. This was valuable information to me. All of this happened because of an openness to God, asking and expecting a reply. God does so much speak to the quiet of our hearts. Has it solved the situation – no, but it has brought me peace of mind and a direction in which to live for. I offer this prayer of enlightenment for you and in some small way in the quiet of your heart God speaks gentlely to you. He does walk with us, He does experience our pain and our joy.

    • edhfan

      Lita, my heart goes out to you. I know exactly what you are saying about being tired, so tired. As parents of adult children with autism we all eventually get to that place of fatigue. Find a support group, no one understands better than other parents in the same place. Keep doing what you’re doing, turning to daily reflections, turning to God. Focus on the fact that you and your son enjoyed Christmas Eve Vigil not on the part of what happened at the restaurant. It sounds like he was stressed about something, maybe the noise in the restaurant, maybe overwhelmed by all the activity even though it was mostly positive, and he vented on you, his safest person, to release the stress. Not an excuse, but an explanation. It’s hard, very hard to stay patient. I have the same struggles. I’m so sorry about your sister. it sounds like life just piled it on you. It’s a lot to cope with. I’ll pray for you, and you pray for me.

    • Veronica Meidus-Heilpern

      Lita, I am praying for you as well as for myself. I’ve been having strong anxiety for several weeks, and am making it through one day, sometimes one moment, at a time. With God as my support and my Rock, I continue on each day, giving thanks to God for His gifts. I can’t imagine the stress you have been under with all you have experienced lately, as well as for the past several years. But i can ask God to show you how to deal with it, to move through it, and to help your son deal with and move through it as well. God keeps his promises, and Jesus did promise us to be with us always.

    • Arthur Brown

      LitaC I understand how you feel. on December 23, my wife blood pressure went to 60/40 and we were at a routine exam and she was admitted to the hospital and we spent that time in the hospital because she did not take care of her diabetes. Then she didn’t even have the ability to go to her daughters Christmas Eve but fortunately she was able to be up for about 4 hours on Christmas day but then went back to lye down while we all played a game without her. Christmas just wasn’t like it has been in the past. It was alright because God wants me to take care of my wife and life is not perfect and has a lot of undesirables that take advantage or hurt people because they can. As we know they don’t have Jesus in their heart. I made it through after I went to Mass on Sunday to realize God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit wants us to do their will and I need not to always like it but obey in what they want me to do. I am a Dynamic Catholic Ambassador and what I did was give out 50 copies of Rediscovering Jesus to the Monastery that I attend and told them to give them to those who came for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass. They were not to tell anyone who they were from, just that they were a gift from an anomyonous person. I could afford it and maybe it will change someone’s else life. You have had a rough time and I don’t know why some individuals have more to suffer; through. Christmas was also a time of great celebration for me as I know that Jesus came to save us from our sins and grant us salvation when He died on the cross for you and me. I know that Jesus loves you and tonight I will pray that he will comfort you and give your wisdom in all that you do. This is one of the prayers I say at night, “Give me the direction from the Holy Spirit to serve Christ I this world as He sees fit, direct me where, when and how will be His decision. To give me wisdom in all that I do. If you would like a copy of Rediscovering Jesus send me another email to me with your name, address and I will send it to you since I have an extra copy lying around. Try to find others in the faith that they can befriend you and you can befriend them. Maybe someone in your church can assisting your needs of understanding and help comfort you through prayer and companionship as God will lead you. My regular email is thechief324@cableone.net. I think if you reply to me I will get your email and then I will send you the book but just in case since this is the last one you have my email if you want it.
      God bless you in your spiritual journey.
      Art

    • Joyce W.

      LitaC, It seems to me that the enemy is having a heyday with you, trying to destroy your peace in many ways. I am so sorry you have been going through these painful trials, which I don’t believe are from God. We are vulnerable, and sometimes we unwittingly expose ourselves to attacks because we have inadvertently allowed entry. If you have anything of occult nature in your home, get rid of it, and if you have, however innocently, been exposed to the occult (fortune telling, horoscopes for example), renounce this and confess it and be set free. There is no room for this stuff in the life of a Christian who is a child of God! Too often Christians, even devout Catholics, do not know the risks.

      I want to suggest that, (if you do not do so already) you put on the “Armour of Christ” in prayer every morning – according to St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians – Gird your loins with truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness and on your feet the equipment of the Gospel of peace. Take the shield of faith with which to deflect the arrows of the evil one, and the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, the word of God.

      Another prayer is a prayer of protection for the family:

      I Sign My Home And Family
      With The Cross Of Jesus Christ.
      I Cover Us With The Blood
      Of The Lamb Of God.
      I Surround Us With
      The Power And The Presence
      Of The Holy Spirit,
      So That No Evil
      Of Any Kind
      Can Come Near Us
      This Night Or Day.

      You are so precious to God and His Love for you is unconditional and everlasting. God bless you and may He give you the strength and wisdom and sense of His loving presence that you need for each day.

      • Veronica Meidus-Heilpern

        UNSUBSCRIBE PLEASE.

        Veronica Meidus-Heilpern mhveronicab@gmail.com
        *You are a Blessing.*

  • voteprolife

    Thank you for the gift of “Best Advent Ever” and the gift that Dynamic Catholic is to me! It really helps to listen to these reflections and read all the responses. They truly help me figure out where I am and how it is I am feeling about certain things. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!!

  • Cindy

    Thank you Dynamic Catholic, you always put together a beautiful program. Really helps me reflect and look at how to improve my life so myself and those around me benefit. Merry Christmas and may God bless your 2017 abundantly!

  • RAB-G

    Thank you for the gift of a peaceful Christmas. Blessings to each of the speakers & to all who listened.
    From Rose Ann & Family, we hope you had a “HAPPY CHRISTMAS” . . . . we did!

  • Michael Estep

    We really enjoyed Best Advent Ever and look forward to Best Lent Ever. All the Dynamic Catholic Staff were very dynamic in sharing their thoughts and suggestions to be the Best Versions of Ourself. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017 to everyone!!

  • Angie O’Mara

    Thank you to all the Dynamic Catholic Staff, for your daily words of wisdom, and teachings. You really helped me to make this Advent an extraordinary experience!!!

  • mjtav240

    What a beautiful season this has been!! Thank you Dynamic Catholic and all the bold Catholics who have shared their joys and sorrows. You all have been in my prayers, especially those of you whose life struggles are hard every single day! May God bless you in His loving care and may you know there will be a special place in Heaven once this journey leads you home!! God Bless Us All in this new year of 2017!!

  • Harriet Wetherell

    I appreciate all the thoughtful hard work that went into these postings and have used the time as a quiet reflection. Thank you for making this available to me , Happy New Year and continued success.

  • Julie Concannon

    Thank you so much for your reflections. I especially love the reflection on secret Santa gifts and other traditions. I asked the family to give a compliment (just one) to their secret santa. It was very revealing. We do love each other, just need to take the time to say it! This has been a bonus year; two confirmations, based on Mathew’s book, and reflections for adven,t have brought us closer together as a family. So appreciate your efforts.

  • Marguerite Donahue Quinn

    Thank you all for doing the best advent ever series. I did the best lent ever last spring, but this really kept me centered. As a working Mom of 3, I am the cook, laundress, cookie baking baking, magic maker for Christmas. I help run the Live Nativity at our church before Christmas Eve mass. Usually by Christmas, I am counting the days until it is over. Through these daily reflections, this series helped me keep my priorities straight and enjoy the preparation for Christmas day, instead of checking things off my to do list. Thank you again for the whole team at Dynamic Catholic to keep me centered and help me find the best Christmas ever.

  • Mary Eggermont

    Thank you so my for making my Advent the Best Ever. I have learned so much and plan to continue to put what I have learned into practice in the coming year. This Christmas I gave each of my seven adult step-children a copy of Matthew’s book “Resisting Happiness” and, as I gave it to each one, I told them why I love them. So looking forward to seeing Matthew again in January when he comes to present his Passion & Purpose program at our Surprise, AZ church

  • Maria R. Peon Romero

    Thank you all for your assistance as I walked through this incredible Journey. Best Advent Ever has truly helped me by becoming the Best Version of myself. Though I’m not quite there yet. I’m close.

  • Erich Wallace

    Thank you SO MUCH Dynamic Catholic for all of the amazing work you to to bring other people closer to Jesus Christ. You guys are truly inspiring and bring joy to my heart. Thank YOU.

  • Arthur Brown

    Dynamic Catholic thank you for everything and all those that shared through the process. My spiritual life has been lifted up through your ministry and those who participated. God Bless Dynamic Catholic and all that participated and my their daily spiritual journey be lifted up by Christ as He loves and comforts everyone in the good times or the bad times.

  • Pauline Lambert Reynolds

    Just another Thank You. Thank You for being a little ground to keep me grounded this Advent.