I am in love with the idea of Christmastide. To rejoice in Christmas into the new year is fantastic. I am rescued from dismal post-Christmas days and have reason to continue rejoicing.
Back when I was growing up, my family relished the Christmas holiday as we rejoiced in the birth of our Savior. All the anticipation and excitement culminated in the climactical Christmas celebration, ending in a single day. But the let-down the day after was always excruciating, especially for a young child. It wasn't that Christmastide was forgotten, just overlooked.
Which is why I cherish the Church and its traditions and seasons. Our tree is still up; the candles are still lit; Christ is here and exalted. We are relishing Christmas. Alleluia, alleluia!
Thanks to our dear Princeton friend, J, who enlightened me today on the symbolism in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". You may learn a thing or two as well.
1. Partridge in a Pear Tree: Christ
2. Two Turtle Doves: Old and New Testament
3. Three French Hens: the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love
4. Four Calling Birds: the four Gospels
5. Five Golden Rings: the five books of the Torah in the Old Testament
6. Six Geese A-Laying: the six days of Creation
7. Seven Swans A-Swimming: the gifts of the Holy Spirit, e.g., ministry, prophecy, exhortation, teaching, compassion, giving, leading AND the seven sacraments (can’t forget them!)
8. Eight Maids A-Milking: the Beatitudes
9. Nine Ladies Dancing: the fruit of the Holy Spirit, e.g., love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
10. Ten Lords A-Leaping: the ten commandments
11. Eleven Pipers Piping: the eleven faithful Apostles
12. Twelve Drummers Drumming: the twelve tenants of faith found in the Apostles Creed
Seven young, Catholic mothers who graduated from Princeton University, seeking to build our families just as the architects of the great cathedrals built their detailed masterpieces: day by day, stone by stone, with attention to details that only He will see.
Seven bachelors degrees, four advanced degrees, and nearly 200 combined months of pregnancy have only convinced us of how much we have left to learn in matters of faith, family and vocation. We adhere wholeheartedly to every doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church, but the details beyond that, from co-sleepers and breast pumps to schooling options and professional life, are grounds for robust discussion with like-minded friends. Nothing written on this blog is intended to incite maternal guilt, anger or to advise on medical or legal matters. Virgin most prudent, pray for us!
About Our Title
"A mother is the most important person on earth. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any Cathedral -- a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body." -- Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty (as quoted by Danielle Bean)
"As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women."--Nicole Johnson, The Invisible Woman