December 16, 2011

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

The holidays bring love and joy to almost everyone

Shirley Vogler MeisterAs I write this, I am happily humming Christmas music that I heard the night before at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Hall in Indianapolis. The building was formerly a bank on the near south side of the city.

The Indianapolis Maennerchor sang for parishioners and friends there for the first time. The choir hopes to sing at the church—which has a reputation for its beauty—sometime in the future. I so love to go with my husband, Paul, when they have such venues.

Paul has been a member of the Maennerchor for 50-plus years. He joined the choir after we moved from Illinois to Indianapolis a few months after we were married.

Through the years, we often took our daughters to concerts at the Athenaeum in downtown Indianapolis, especially during the Advent season when St. Nicholas came for the children.

If some readers don’t know the story of St. Nicholas, I recommend the books St. Nickolas, A Biography of a Legend by Charles W. Jones or St. Nicholas: Miracle Worker of Myra by Jeanne Ancelet-Hustach.

There are many adult and children’s books with various versions of the life of “St. Nick” and his ministry to the poor as the bishop of Myra.

As Catholics, we know that St. Nicholas should not be the center of attraction during the Advent and Christmas seasons.

We should focus on celebrating the birth of Christ the King, our Savior.

I feel so fortunate to be a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, where we have participated in Masses for many years.

Coincidentally, the parish in our youngest daughter Lisa’s neighborhood in Nashville, Tenn., is also named Christ the King Parish.

How wonderful I felt this year when we went to Christ the King Church for Mass while visiting Lisa and her family in Tennessee for Thanksgiving.

Lisa hosted the largest family gathering we have ever had in our extended family. What a blessing that Thanksgiving holiday visit was for us!

Christ, our King, is central to our Catholic faith and other Christian faiths.

The Advent and Lenten seasons are reminders that Christ should be at the center of our lives. He came as an infant in a miraculous manner to save us through his death and resurrection, and he can be held in our hearts every day.

Following Christmas, we have the New Year’s celebration when most of us make wonderful resolutions that impact our lives for the rest of the year. I wonder how many of us actually keep those resolutions for very long. I often slip up myself.

I pray that God will bless Criterion readers abundantly during the Advent and Christmas seasons, and throughout the New Year!

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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