Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christmas Cheer for the NICU


Looking for a great way to spread some Christmas cheer? Apple Mill Bakery is sponsoring a cookie drive! If you've never heard of the NICU, it's the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where premie babies have to spend a few weeks to a few months post-delivery, depending on the complications they may experience. 

My godson was a premie baby and I visited him several times during his stay in the NICU before coming home. It was a very moving experience to see such tiny infants fighting for survival (sometimes they're only 1 or 2 pounds!). They are connected to lots of tubes and sleep in an "incubator" with little human contact because they are so susceptible to germs. You have to "scrub up" sometimes to go inside the unit, and if you are allowed to hold the baby it is usually for a short time.

One of the hardest things to witness is how much the families go through whose child or sibling is in the NICU. The parents have to worry every day if their child will be able to come home with them. The baby can be in the hospital a long time, and they have to make daily visits to the NICU in order to be with their newborn. Worst of all, sometimes the baby doesn't make it. 

But YOU can help make their Christmas a little merrier! Visit applemillbakery.com and click on the listing for Christmas Cookie Drive for Children. Order a can of cookies and they will be given to a family with your name on it! What a special way to comfort parents and siblings of a little baby in the NICU.

Place your order now before Friday December 15th! The children will thank you.

                                                                                   ~ Therese


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Accepting Our Limitations

1st Sunday of Advent
Do you ever watch a superhero movie and think, gee that doesn't look so hard I could totally do that? . . . said no one ever. Some of us may be heroes in our own right like our servicemen and first responders, but we are all human. Being human means we will have limitations; we are not God, although some people think they can be. 

The Advent season reminds us of our human frailty and our need for a Redeemer. Our weaknesses do not serve as an excuse not to strive for sanctity and virtue, but they do remind us that sometimes there are goals we might not reach and achievements we may never accomplish. That should not make us sad, but joyful that we need to rely on God, and not only that we need to but God wants us to.

Our preparation for Christmas should not simply be decorations and food making. It is a spiritual preparation that requires a greater effort to receive the Sacraments, practice virtue, deepen our prayer life, and increase our works of charity. The reason for this is we are preparing for the solemn feast of the Incarnation, which surely must be the most profound mystery of our Faith that God would become man for our salvation.

Those moments when we most feel our weaknesses, we should look at the Infant in the stable. He understands the frailty of our nature and wants us to take comfort in Him. He doesn't ask for great deeds, but great love. St. John of the Cross said, "In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone." By this he means love based on sacrifice, giving, and self-forgetfulness.

Let us make this Advent our best yet, by taking one day at a time and adding a little charity to those around us. That may be a smile, a prayer, or a hidden sacrifice known to God alone. Blessed Advent!

                                                                          ~ Therese