Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Advent 2012: Are You Afraid to Say “Yes”?

posted by mpratt

Image courtesy of lamnee/

Advent Day 7: Are you afraid to say “Yes”?

Receiving a diagnosis of an illness is never easy. In fact, it might be nearly impossible to understand. Each of us has our own way of dealing with it. For some, the news of putting a name to symptoms is a relief. For others, it is a thing of terror. Still others cannot face such news and do everything they can to avoid or deny it.

Today, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are reminded of one woman who said, “Yes” when asked by God to do something completely outside her realm of understanding.  Not “I’ll think about it.” Not, “Can I get back to you?” Not, “Oh, I could never!”

When the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary and told her that she would conceive and bear a son, Mary asked a very good question, “How can this be..?” And, when the angel answered her question, she immediately and completely agreed. And then, she was able to walk along the path God willed for her.

For us to walk our path this Advent season and beyond, we, too, need to strive for “Yes,” even with and in spite of illness and pain. Yes, these are not easy burdens. But if we deny them, we would be denying part of what makes us us.

Fear is a natural reaction to anything startling or unwelcome. Mary was afraid when Gabriel first appeared. But her fear quickly turned to acceptance, signaling that trust in God can overcome fear.

Acceptance does not mean our lives will get worse or better. But it does mean that we stand ready to do God’s work, as Mary did, no matter what we are called upon to do.

Blessings for the day,


Advent 2012: How Far Have We Come?

posted by mpratt

Image courtesy of lamnee/

Advent Day 6: How far have we come?

As we hurry about, preparing for Christmas, another important day is remembered: Pearl Harbor. Each year, fewer people remain with us who were here on that day and who recall when and where they were when the news hit. The question today is not so much about politics and world affairs as about the underpinning of why days such as this are remembered. To be sure, they enable us to look back and commemorate sacrifice, bravery, and the hard work that people of that generation have accomplished.

But today is also a good day to look back and ask, “How far have we come to bring peace and reconciliation, for people in each generation?”

Perhaps we do not have the ability to move mountains or convert nations. But peace begins in our hearts and reconciliation is best begun person-to-person. These are within our abilities, especially at Advent when we look forward to joy once again in the gift of the Christ Child.

Indeed, how far have we come?

Blessings for the day,


Advent 2012: Word Play: How Do You Say, “Merry?”

posted by mpratt

Image courtesy of lamnee/

Advent: Day 5

Word Play: How do you say, “Merry?”

“Merry Christmas!” “Merry Merry!” Meeerrrrrry Christmas!”

We say it so often this month that we find ourselves saying it differently, whether just for variety or for emphasis.

But, what does “merry” mean, anyway? Or, more precisely, what does it mean to each of us. For, as much as we might be pressured by things and people around us to all be celebratory and merry in the same way, the truth is that even this most festive of feelings is very individual.

For some, “merry” is synonymous with parties, eating and drinking - ”making merry.” For others, “merry” is a mild smile, a glint in the eye, and a desire to spread humor and joy (think of the person who wears a Santa hat to the office on the day before his or her vacation). For still others, it might be difficult to express merriment fully because of other things they are experiencing – loss, pain, illness, personal struggles that seem to weigh down and take the fun out of the season.

Mindful that we each have a unique and different sense of what “merry” is inside, when I tell someone “Merry Christmas,” I’m thinking “Good Christmas.” That is, I hope that in the joy of God made man, the birth of the Christ Child, all will feel a stirring of merriment that comes from receiving a precious, wondrous gift.

Blessings for the day,



Advent 2012: Do You Hear What I Hear?

posted by mpratt

Image courtesy of lamnee/

Advent Day 4: Do you hear what I hear?

Yes, there’s a Christmas song with those lyrics (one of my favorites, actually). And there’s also a potent and pertinent sentiment behind them.

As we rush through these Advent days, do we take time to enjoy the atmosphere, the sights and sounds of the season, together?

Do we take a moment to put an arm around a friend and breathe in the scent of cinnamon and pine needles and crisp air?

Do we lift our heads up from the work at hand and smile together at a whisp of Christmas to come in the form of a child eagerly helping with mixing batter or clumsily tying a bow?

As we wait for Christmas and prepare ourselves and our spirits, there is much about Advent that we can enjoy together. And in so doing, we can build fellowship and faith even more than if we were only going it alone.

Blessings for the day!Maureen

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