1. What I am singing now:
We are learning this hymn in choir for Advent and Christmas.
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2. What I am watching now:
The Star: A Must-See Christmas Movie
The Star is a delightful, funny, and inspiring animated film about the first Christmas told from the point of view of a lowly donkey named Bo, who dreams of joining the royal caravan and escaping his boring and tedious job at the village mill. He has high ambitions for himself and wants to make it big in the world. Instead, he becomes the companion of the pregnant Mary and her husband Joseph on their trek to Bethlehem. Read more.
3. What I am reading now:
Way of Perfection by Saint Teresa of Avila
You can find it online here, but I have a 1957 copy in hardcover. I prefer to read a book I can hold in my hands.
Those Who Saw Her: Revised and Updated: Apparitions of Mary by Catherine M. Odell
Marian Shrines of France by Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate
Julia’s Gifts by Ellen Gable Hrkach (Historical Romance, Inspirational, Christian) — a new Catholic book!
4. Saints I am celebrating now:
St. Elizabeth of Hungary — Feast day: November 17
We are frequently fascinated by the lifestyles of royalty and their romantic adventures in books and movies. However, St. Elizabeth was a real-life princess, who served as an exemplary model of the heroic virtues of charity and humility. Her life is not a fairy tale, but is a true story of authentic love.
Born in Bratislava, Hungary in 1207, Princess Elizabeth was the daughter of King Andrew of Hungary and his wife Gertrude. Her aunt was St. Hedwig and her great niece was St. Elizabeth of Portugal.
Elizabeth was betrothed at the age of four to Prince Herman of Thuringia (in central Germany) and grew up in his father’s court. In 1216, Hermann, who Elizabeth was to marry, died. After this, she then became engaged to Ludwig, the second son. The couple married when she was fourteen and he was twenty-one. She loved him and bore him three children. They were very happy together and deeply devoted to one another. Ludwig was protective of his wife and the couple often prayed together, holding hands while kneeling in prayer.
In the real world, unlike the fairy tale world, this princess was not content with living a life of luxury, but dedicated herself to caring for the poor, the sick, and the elderly. She was so moved by the plight of the poor that she sought to become one with them. Instead of wearing luxurious gowns, she dressed in simple clothing to display her solidarity with them.
In 1226, when floods, famine, and disease created chaos in Germany, and Princess Ludwig was attending to business in Italy, Elizabeth came to the rescue. Not only did she distribute food (bread) and clothing to hundreds of the needy, but she built a hospital with twenty-eight beds and personally cared for the patients. When Prince Ludwig returned from his business trip to Italy, he assured Elizabeth that she had done the right thing and was pleased with all that she had done.
A strong and courageous man, Ludwig joined the Crusades, but died within the year. Elizabeth, who received the news just after giving birth to her third child, cried out: “The world with all its joys is now dead to me.” She was twenty years old.
Elizabeth chose to leave the castle which had been her home for sixteen years. Her royal uncle made a castle available to her and began making plans for a second marriage for her. However, she had taken a vow never to remarry, but to become the bride of Christ.
On Good Friday 1228, Elizabeth became a Third Order Franciscan, sold all that she had, and worked to support her children. She settled into a small house and spent the few remaining years of her life serving the sick, the poor, and the elderly. Elizabeth’s strength was expended by her charitable work, and in 1231, she passed away at the tender age of twenty-four. She was canonized in 1235 by Pope Gregory IX and is known as the “greatest woman of the German Middle Ages.”
St. Elizabeth is the patron saint of bakers, the homeless, nursing services, Catholic charities, widows, and young brides. She is also the patroness of secular Franciscans.
Image: Venerable Henriette Delille (1812 – 1862)
Venerable Henriette Delille died on November 17, 1862, at age 49. In 1842, she founded Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family, in New Orlean. She is the first U.S. native born African American whose cause for canonization is ongoing at the Vatican. Read more.
5. What I am writing on now: Fathom the Four Last Things — BOOK PICK: The Four Last Things: A Catechetical Guide to Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell by Jean M. Heimann at the National Catholic Register
6. What I am cooking now: Skillet Garlic Parmesan Chicken Thighs
These were absolutely delicious! Be sure to check out this scrumptious recipe!
7. How I am praying now: From the heart for all those who do not know the Lord and for the healing of our country. I am also thanking God daily for my many blessings!
~ copyright Jean M. Heimann 2017.
For more Quick Takes, please visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
The post 7 Quick Takes: Music, Movies, Books, Saints, and More appeared first on Jean M. Heimann.