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adamandeveapple
Serpent and Forbidden Fruit, from TheBashfulDaisy

I found TheBashfulDaisy, another seller on Etsy, who is selling these cute Jesse Tree ornaments made out of clay.

On her description of the ornaments, she adds a few words about the Jesse Tree: “Today, the Jesse Tree has found renewed popularity. With an ornament and Scripture reading for each day of December, it vividly highlights God’s hand throughout the Old Testament as He made way for the coming Messiah.”

The story of Adam and Eve is so powerful that even the littlest of my children will start firmly and loudly and passionately warning Eve about the serpent’s evil intentions. It doesn’t ever work, and Eve and Adam ultimately end up disobeying their Creator. It doesn’t end there (thankfully) and God promises a Saviour and Redeemer, who “makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.” [from the Catechism. Read that bit when you have a moment. It’s cool.]

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Check out this Fra Angelico painting: with Adam and Eve on the left, sadly leaving the Garden of Eden, and the Angel Gabriel and Our Lady on the right (bonus points if you find the Holy Spirit), right in the middle of the line described in the Angelus, The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. And between these two events are all the people, famous and featured on the Jesse Tree or otherwise, waiting waiting waiting for God’s promised Messiah.

O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ,
desire of every nation,
Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell among us.
(the Advent Wreath prayer for the first week)

The season of Advent starts on Sunday, November 30. Hanging each of these ornaments (or even just thinking about hanging these ornaments) is helping me revisit Bible stories that I take for granted and discover layers of meaning that they have for me. It’s also a chance my husband and I have to share them with my children, during a season that’s perfect for that very thing: tracing through the great stories of the Bible in anticipation of Jesus’ birth.

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I spied this beautiful art book about Fra Angelico (1395-1455) on the clearance table at our local Chapters bookstore and couldn’t resist. Tonight we found ourselves with some extra time before bedtime (maybe that was on purpose) and the “three and up” group got a chance to leaf through the book together.



(If you look at the left carefully, you’ll see Adam and Eve having to leave the Garden of Eden, seemingly unrelated story from the Annunciation…)

We talked about Jesus’ wounds. We talked about angels. We talked about halos. We talked about the Annunciation – a theme that Fra Angelico painted multiple times. Our conversation bounced around from topic to topic, each topic inspired by the beauty of Fra Angelico’s work, who “never handled a brush without fervent prayer[note]“. When we were done, I closed the book and it went back on the shelf. Considering the sorry state of many of the books on the shelf, I think the fancy art book will be in for a surprise. But after the initial shock of being “loved” as only a three-year old can, I’m sure it’ll settle in fine. After all, not many fancy art books will get to bring kids in to the life of Jesus like it’ll be able to.

I found a site where you can leaf through the first few pages of the book. Not enough to do justice to all the great art that’s in it, but it gives you an idea.

What is this?

Here a volunteer parishoner at St. Clement shares her personal experiences as her young family tries to keep the Catholic faith alive in their homes, living out the promises of their Baptism. Thank you for stopping in and be sure to share some of your stories as well!

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