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The Advent Calendar for Optimists 2020

"Christmas Day is the festival of optimism." (Helen Keller)

There's a new entry each day with a relevant quotable quote for optimists, a bible verse and an activity.  You may get your daily Advent reminder by email or whatsapp message or social media - email advent@centreforoptimism.com and let us know how you would like to receive it.  

Day 5 of the Optimists' Advent: Thursday 3 December 2020

Quotable Quotes

"Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism, nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots into an awareness of our freedom, and the sure knowledge of the power of grace."Saint Josemaria Escriva

Bible Reading

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Bible Verses for Optimists and Optimism

Mark 13:33-37 Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” 

Activity for Today: Think Like an Optimist

5. Think Like an Optimist

It's a habit involving you contradicting negative thoughts as they appear. 

Not every cloud has a silver lining but people often ruminate negatively on small matters.

We commend two exercises:

We like the way Norman Vincent Peale puts it for argument in general, "Avoid argument, but whenever a negative attitude is expressed, counter with a positive and optimistic opinion."


"Put it in Perspective" - An Exercise for These Times Finding Silver Linings

Optimists on their Optimism Kindness and Optimism Passion and Optimism

Christmas Recipe

Australian Lemon Slice

Perfected by Amanda Noz and popular in France!

Ingredients

  • Two packets of Marie Biscuits
  • a tin of sweetened condensed milk
  • two cups of coconut
  • 60g of melted butter
  • few cups of icing sugar made into icing with lemon juice. 
Method 

Crush the biscuits roughly and mix with melted butter, one cup of coconut, and condensed milk. 

Spread this mix on the bottom of a greased tin and refrigerate until firm.

In the meantime, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice to make a nice firm icing. Add some butter if you want it to be richer and stiffer.

Spread on slice and sprinkle the other cup of coconut on top.

If you can find it, it is nice to use desiccated coconut in the biscuit base and unsweetened flaked coconut on the icing, otherwise just used desiccated coconut for everything.

If you like it extra lemony, grate the lemon rind finely and add into the biscuit base.

Note: you can also make a passionfruit slice by using the same recipe but making passionfruit icing and adding a few passionfruits to the biscuit mix. In this case, reduce the condensed milk accordingly. You can replace the lemon with lime but honestly, don't bother. Lemon or Passionfruit slice tastes better.


Most Reverend José H. Gomez,  Archbishop of Los Angeles

"Above all, let us try to make Christ present in the hearts and lives of others. Yes, we have to be, each one of us has to be a source of hope and optimism for other people. What a beautiful Advent and what a beautiful Christmas we will have if we really have the joy of knowing that we are disciples of Jesus Christ who came to save us and to make us happy. "

Rev Kenneth Padley

"Hope is optimism. Hope is certainty. And hope is engagement. That is why we hope with expectation of the future, trust in Christ, and patience in waiting. Christian hope is bigger and better than we can begin to conceive. But in Advent, the season of hope, we come close to catching a glimpse."

Rev. Dr. J. Barrington Bates

"Jesus showed an unquenchable, confident optimism—even in seemingly dire situations. And he commanded us not to fear, but live in hope."

St Michaels with St Marys in St Albans  The Advent Wreath on Tour 2020 at Prae Wood School

Fr Dave Austin osa

"Advent opens us to the ‘refreshment’ and ‘renewal’ of the Christmas celebration – two more ‘Christmas words’ perhaps, expressing God’s optimism for each of us in our human living and his gift of hopefulness that we so badly need. On this Gaudete Sunday, St Paul’s words from Philippians 4 should ring in our ears: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.’"

William Willimon

"For some, Christ's [second] coming is terrifying. Old verities give way at his arrival. Those who make their living by the status quo do not rejoice when the status quo is threatened. Caesar trembles, empires topple, and the earth shakes. For those tied to the old age and its gods, its armies, its delusions of immortality, its false securities, the arrival of the Son of Man is bad news. `Apocalypse now,' cry the prophets of doom. Let us put away these prophets, close our eyes and speak optimistically of tomorrow. But those who have watched, who have heeded the signs, who have never made peace with the status quo, who have lived as if there were no tomorrow prick up their ears, straighten, stand on tiptoes. The Anointed One comes, their redemption is near and the world's doom becomes their deliverance".

Thomas Merton

"The certainty of Christian hope lies beyond passion and beyond knowledge. Therefore we must sometimes expect our hope to come in conflict with darkness, desperation and ignorance. Therefore, too, we must remember that Christian optimism is not a perpetual sense of euphoria, an indefectible comfort in whose presence neither anguish nor tragedy can possibly exist. We must not strive to maintain a climate of optimism by the mere suppression of tragic realities. Christian optimism lies in a hope of victory that transcends all tragedy: a victory in which we pass beyond tragedy to glory with Christ crucified and risen."

Monsignor Sabino Vengco Jr.

"Our present life is a matter of what is still to come. At no point is it everything already, nor is everything there. Our life is about birth, growth, and maturation; there is even fullness expected in the end of life, in death, into what is eternal. There are depths and dimensions in one’s life and in the world at large still to be discovered and explored, forces to be unlocked so that life can be brought to its full potential. Creation is in progress and its plenitude and completeness are waiting: an optimism that is an essential component of Christian faith."

ADVENT REFLECTIONS 2019 Notre Dame Catholic Church Kerrville, Texas

"God imbued us with some innate desire to look to the morning sun, to find optimism in the new leaf, and through it all to know that He loves us and will never abandon us."

The Very Reverend Dr James Rigney

"John the Baptist blends simple moral instruction on how to live in this climate of expectation, with words about the coming of the more powerful one. John is the route to Advent optimism."

Billy Graham, Evangelist 

"I am an optimist not because I blindly hope - all evidence to the contrary - that somehow everything will work out all right. Nor am I an optimist because I believe in man's unlimited ability to solve his problems. I am an optimist ultimately because I believe in God." 

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