Saturday, December 5, 2009

Gifts for the Infant Jesus

In an attempt to cultivate a spirit of giving and generosity, I ask my sons each year what they would like to give for Christmas to help others, along with what they would like. My family has made a donation to Heifer International for the last few years, to help the poor.  I read an article years ago, which suggested that we ask children, "What would you like to give for Christmas," instead of, "What do you want to get for Christmas?" 
I was reading in the Long Island Catholic this morning about an idea developed by the Office of New Evangelization in the Diocese of Rockville Center, that I loved.
The Office is initiating a week of prayer for all children. The director of the new office, Franciscan Brother James McVeigh was quoted as saying, "As we prepare for Christmas we are trying to awaken in the hearts of all the faithful to look to the Infant Jesus. The Infant Jesus embraces all, especially needy children....As children get ready for Christmas, it is important for them to learn that there are many children who are suffering." The week of prayer will begin on Sunday, Dec. 13th. There will be prayers with different petitions for each day of the week. Children will be praying for homeless and hungry children, orphans and victims of war, and others. Brother James said, "We are uniting in prayer to the Infant Jesus for our children and youth by encouraging our families to pray for different groups of children each day. Showing our love and concern for these troubled children witnesses a powerful example that the Catholic Church cares for the spiritual and temporal welfare of all our children."
What a great Advent idea! The prayers will be available online and I will download them to pray along with all the children, youth and families that will be praying these prayers during Advent. 
Prayers are available at the office's website at- evangelization.html

Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.  St. Augustine

Everything that lives, lives not alone, nor for itself.  William Blake