“Peaceable Kingdom” — a view of heaven from the book of Isaiah

louisa coverNOTE: I just found out my publisher, ACTA, is giving away 15 free copies of Louisa May Alcott Illuminated by The Message in honor of our favorite author’s birthday. Go here http://actapublications.com/louisa-may-alcott-illuminated-by-the-message/ and type in code HAPPYBIRTHDAY at checkout.

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I could not resist posting this video of my song, “A Shoot from Jesse” from my album, Wait with Me: Advent of the Promised Son. It is today’s first reading from the lectionary, Isaiah 11.

I invite you to listen to the song and read the lyrics for a look at a truly Peaceable Kingdom, the one we all long for.

lyrics to “A Shoot from Jesse”

I also invite you to visit pray-as-you-go.org for a wonderful 12 minute reflection on this reading.

We surely need a Peaceable Kingdom in our world. Christmas heralds its coming in the birth of Jesus, in history and in our hearts.

Here’s a sampler video from Wait with Me to put you into the mood. Enjoy!

Happy Advent. Come Lord Jesus, come!

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Dreading the holidays? Finding your secret quiet space in the midst of the noise and chaos

from http://macooshoes.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/christmas-madness/
from http://macooshoes.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/christmas-madness/

Here we go again! Daylight savings time is over, the decorations are up in the stores: the march towards Christmas begins.

And there’s so much to do!

  • from decorating our homes …
  • to cooking, entertaining and party-hopping …
  • to buying and wrapping gifts … and mailing them …
  • to making out cards … and mailing them …
  • to volunteering our time and giving to our favorite charities …
  • to spending time with family …

All good but …

Don’t get me wrong; all of these things are worthwhile, so long as we do them freely and we have the means to do so.

But …

  • What about people who are hurting financially and feel the pressure to buy gifts?
  • What about those dealing with complex family relationships who are obligated to spend time with that troublesome parent, sibling, aunt or cousin?
  • What about people (like me) who have no talent in cooking, decorating and entertaining but are expected to do them anyway?
  • And what of the poor souls who work in retail and are bombarded with the holidays 24/7?

Do the demands and the frantic pace of Christmas make you want to withdraw
to a quiet and peaceful space? How do you find that space?

There is a best-kept secret in our churches, that of the Advent season. Beginning after Thanksgiving, Advent presents a quieter and simpler approach. It’s a spiritual safe haven where we can retreat, be quiet and prepare for true purpose of Christmas, that of welcoming God come down as a human child to live among us.

In a series of blog posts, I will be presenting some of that treasure through songs, videos and readings in the hopes that this will lead you into that quiet space within yourself, the “inner room” where Jesus encourages us to go when we wish to pray.

Carry it with you

Advent introduces  you to a gift, a sacred space which you can carry around inside of  you long after Christmas is over. It’s a place to go to when you need to recharge your battery. It’s where you will find the endless welcome and acceptance from a God who longs to lavish love and mercy upon you.

Jesus retreated regularly to his inner room to be with the One he loved most. We can do the same.

Click here to listen to the Advent music I will be spotlighting.

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Music for the Second Sunday of Advent and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

This song from my Wait with Me CD is derived from the Sunday liturgy’s first reading from Isaiah:

And here is a song in honor of Mary for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception:

advent wreath with votives

Part of the Catholicmom Advent Wreath Link-Up

Click to Tweet & Share: Music for the Second Sunday of Advent and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception http://wp.me/p2D9hg-yO

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Music for your waiting

advent wreath with votivesIt’s hard to believe Christmas is only a month away.  The waiting can be filled with much shopping, parties, busyness, noise, rushing around … not bad things, but the waiting can also be filled with quiet expectation.

Time alone.

Silence.

So one can think, ponder and imagine the scene of the coming Messiah, born as a helpless babe in the cold and dead of night.

This period of waiting, known in the Roman Catholic Church as Advent, is one of the most beautiful seasons of the church year. The decor in individual churches is simplified, featuring a single large wreath with four candles (three purple, one pink) waiting to be lit.

advent liturgyThe priest wears the purple vestment, signifying a time of preparation of the heart, repenting of past sins, and turning back again towards God.

Scripture readings from the prophets, especially Isaiah, proclaim in compelling prose the coming of the Savior of the World. The Gospel of St. Luke introduces us to the most influential woman in the world, disguised as a humble, poor young girl whose brilliance and wisdom was revealed in saying “yes” to God.

Services feature meditative songs and chants sung acapella rather than with full organ accompaniment.

Music for your waiting

insert createspace.inddOf all the music that I recorded, my favorite by far was my Advent/Christmas collection known as Wait with Me: Advent of the Promised Son. Drawing upon the rich scripture tradition of Advent, these songs proclaim the biblical truths from Isaiah and St. Luke. The collection begins with songs of expectation and build to the birth of our Lord on Christmas Day. Unlike my other CDs, this one features earthier arrangements: acoustic guitar, hand percussion instruments, plentiful harmonies. Listen to samples here:

I can send you a copy of the CD, Wait with Me so that you can have it to prepare your heart in waiting for Jesus.

Click here to place your order.

Click to Tweet & Share: Beautiful Advent/Christmas Music for your waiting by Susan Bailey http://wp.me/p2D9hg-xB

Would you like to learn along with Susan how to live your life
in single flow?
Send an email to susanwbailey@gmail.com
to subscribe, and never miss a post!
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Listen to Susan’s music Read Susan’s blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion