January 20:  Two squirrels were conversing with each other wondering about the liturgical church year, the calendar for the church!  They knew that he Feast of the Baptism of our Lord marks the end of the Christmas Season, but on the very same day is the 1st Sunday of Ordinary Time.  We all know what is so special about the Christmas Season, but what makes Ordinary Time so special?  Well I had to remind them that every season of the church was special, it’s just that Ordinary Time doesn’t have a specific event it commemorates!

For example, Advent is all about the anticipation and preparation of Christ’s birth, right?  And of course Christmas IS the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Lent is a longer time that prepares us for the Resurrection of Jesus.  We all know that prayer, fasting and almsgiving are practiced during Lent.  And of course Easter is the awesomist season of all celebrating the Risen Christ. 

Well, Ordinary Time is the season outside of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter.  We are reminded that Christ is with us, even in the most ordinary times of our lives – which makes the most ordinary times Extraordinary!!  This is a split season, which will last until Ash Wednesday (this year March 6) and commence at Pentecost Sunday, which is June 9th. 

January 13:  So, I came across this article in one of my Dad’s periodicals that caught my attention – especially today as we’re celebrating the Lord’s Baptism and via our baptisms we are introduced to a new family.  Family is so important!  All the squirrels know that and family is worth fighting for.  So perhaps this is something to think about….
Satan’s 7-Step Strategy to Ruin Families:  
Dr. Peter Kreeft a professor of philosophy at Boston College and a well-known author and speaker, gave a talk in Ohio, USA.   In his talk, he outlined what he calls “Satan’s spectacularly successful 7 step strategy…”   This is his explanation of how the devil is working in our world right now to destroy families and even the whole human race.

Here it is:
Step 1 in Satan’s strategy – This is the devil’s ultimate foal: winning souls for hell.
Step 2:  In order for Satan to win many souls for hell, society must be corrupted.
Step 3: To effectively destroy society, family life must be undermined – because strong families are necessary in order to have strong societies.
Step 4: In order to destroy the family, you must destroy its foundation – stable marriage.
Step 5: Marriage is destroyed by loosening its glue, which is sexual fidelity.
Step 6: Fidelity is destroyed by promoting and defending the sexual revolution.
Step 7: The sexual revolution is promoted and defended by the media – through which the seeds of destruction are sown into the minds of millions of people every day!

January 6:  So many people have already put their Christmas trees away and stored their lights and decorations bidding this awesome season farewell, at least for another 11 months.  We’ve begun a New Year and forge ahead with monumental tasks ahead.  But something seems to be missing…..  You see, Christmas really isn’t over, but has only begun. There’s a beautiful poem, written by Howard Thurman in 1981, that captures the spirit of Christmas in the days following:
When the song of the angels is stilled
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among one another,
To make music from the heart.

December 30:  So we’re in the great and awesome Christmas Season. Question:  When does this season end anyways? It would seem as people are taking down their Christmas trees, the radio stations no longer play those beautiful Christmas Carols, no more Christmas commercials (thank heavens) and even when you go into the stores already there’s Valentine Decorations!!!
What’s with that?!!
Don’t those store managers and the whole world know that Christmas lasts until the feast of The Baptism of Our Lord?! Today we’re celebration the Feast of the Holy Family, next Sunday Epiphany, a super important day in the life of Christ and then of course the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus. 
All these are important events in the life of Christ which lead us through this beautiful Season.

So enjoy the Carols we still sing at Mass, enjoy the lights and trees that decorate the Cathedral and may we all enjoy the spirit of Christmas all the whole year around - the spirit of love!!

And you know what?....  I’ll even try to love those pesky squirrels more in 2014!

For more of Maggie's musings, see our online bulletin archives.  Maggie's column appears on page 3.