LIVING

Advent and Christmas stories to share

Every year of their childhood on the feast of St. Nicholas, December 6, my friend Rebecca’s children awoke to a stack of rectangular wrapped gifts next to their shoes. St. Nicholas always brought them books. On Christmas we celebrate the Word Made Flesh. Why not savor beautiful words from great stories during this Advent and Christmas season to prepare your heart — and the hearts of those in your family — to receive the Word with joy?

Seek the wisdom of Solomon this Christmas

I did not always like Ecclesiastes. For many years, I found this biblical book of reflections, traditionally attributed to King Solomon, disenchanting. God doesn’t speak directly in the book and it has a dark, almost melancholy tone. I felt as if Solomon was saying, “Can’t win, don’t try.” When I shared my complaints about Ecclesiastes with my pastor at the time, Father Jack Shrum, he told me simply, “You need to read it again.” It took me a while to do it, but I’m glad I did.