As a Catholic mom, you’re not satisfied with ordinary holiday stress. Oh no. You want more. As the nation gears up for another holiday hurricane, you enjoy a special, additional layer of anxiety.
What are you doing for Advent?
Truth is, it’s not (just) guilt. You want moments of peace this year. A real Advent, not a blur.
Try this. Learn the Christmas stories from Luke and Matthew by heart. One verse per day.
Now, don’t panic. This isn’t the “memorization” you think you know. No crazy memory prompts. No flashcards. You’re not studying for a test. Instead, you reflect, imagine, and pray.
LearnLukeThisAdvent.com makes it easy. Through Advent and Christmas, you’ll get your new verse each day, for free, via email, Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. We move through Luke 2:1-20, then Matthew 2.
You’ll also get short, free memory lessons. Some essentials:
Speak the Verses Out
Step one: speak each verse out loud! Mumbling or silent reading won’t help you remember.
- Speak loudly and slowly
- with expression (ditch the “reverential monotone”)
- and rhythm
Yes, the Bible has rhythm. Jesus preached in an oral culture. He used rhythm, and so did the Gospel writers.
And it came to pass that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.
Becomes a poem:
And it came to pass
that in those days
there went out a decree
from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world
should be enrolled.
Which would you rather learn?
You can rewrite the verses yourself, or have LearnLukeThisAdvent.com deliver the rhythmic verses.
Short, frequent renewals are key. Forget “practice”. You’ll enjoy saying these verses.
Whenever you hesitate, reread the words. Don’t struggle. Soon, you won’t need to check the page.
Renewing is a new habit. For best success, hook into your existing habits:
- Morning: When you get up, say everything you’ve learned so far. Then learn your new verse.
- At breakfast, lunch, and dinner, say only your new verse.
- Evening: Before bed, say everything again, ending with your new verse.
It’s the perfect Advent devotion. See what you’re doing here? Talking and thinking about Christmas. Five times a day!
You can’t say that about swearing off chocolate, enduring the treadmill, or even adding a daily Rosary.
Enlist Your Kids
Bonus synergy: if your kids get bedtime stories, tell them your evening verses too. They love the “extra” story.
In fact, they’ll “keep you accountable” with extraordinary vigor. They might even learn the verses too.
So, to recap:
- Learn one verse each day.
- Find the rhythms.
- Say the verses out loud.
- Say them often, at regular times.
- And sign up at LearnLukeThisAdvent.com, to get the rhythmic verses delivered daily for free. Plus those free memory lessons, like tips on using your imagination, or how to remember these stories long-term.If you favor paper, see my book below, Christmas by Heart. And get excited. In a couple months, you’ll know the complete stories of Christmas. Happy learning!
About the Author
Bill Powell has learned tens of thousands of words by heart, including the entire Gospel of Mark.
His new book, Christmas by Heart: How to Memorize the Christmas Stories from Matthew and Luke guides you through learning these stories, one day at a time, through the Advent and Christmas seasons. Short memory lessons alternate with a daily, rhythmic verse.
Bill Powell (firstname.lastname@example.org) lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his wife Beth, their four children, and a young forest garden.
Copyright 2012 Bill Powell