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Advent/Christmas

Living the Liturgical Year: A Bastion against Secularism

January 24, AD2018 1 Comment
Living the Liturgical Year: A Bastion against Secularism

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and […]

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A Christmas Carol, Luigi Taparelli, Economics, and Almsgiving

January 1, AD2018 2 Comments
A Christmas Carol, Luigi Taparelli, Economics, and Almsgiving

For maybe a few weeks or so during the Advent and Christmas seasons and into the New Year, many people take Charles Dickens’ message in A Christmas Carol to heart. It’s a good message. Dickens’ neatly sums up his message to the world when Ebenezer Scrooge says to Marley’s ghost, “you were a good businessman,” […]

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God Had a Plan: He Asked Mary’s Permission

December 31, AD2017 7 Comments
God Had a Plan: He Asked Mary’s Permission

God had a plan to save us, billions of people, from our alienation from him due to Adam’s sin and due to our personal sins. He asked Mary’s permission. She said yes. Hail Mary, Cause of our Joy! When Adam sinned, it seemed that he and all his offspring were doomed to lives of futility, […]

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Blessed John Duns Scotus – A Christmas Theology of Love

December 31, AD2017 0 Comments
Blessed John Duns Scotus – A Christmas Theology of Love

My school report was so bad that my eldest brother was commissioned with the task of teaching me to read. But when he could not even manage to teach me how to read the Beano, he resigned his commission and commended me to St Jude of hopeless cases. But even St Jude failed. It seems […]

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Just Another New Year’s Eve: A Reflection on Communion and Community

December 30, AD2017 2 Comments
Just Another New Year’s Eve: A Reflection on Communion and Community

Sunday night, as others are preparing to ring in the new year by getting plowed on mixed drinks, I will most likely be writing or editing an article. Most of my friends live 700 miles and more away, while the rest will likely have dinner parties on New Year’s Day rather than drink on New […]

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In the “Presents” of God

December 30, AD2017 0 Comments
In the “Presents” of God

Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what [God] has made [Romans 1:20]. When we lift our sights toward Heaven, we begin to see God’s beauty here on earth. Whether it is in nature from the tiniest wild […]

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Christmas: A Bad Time for Alcoholics and Addicts?

December 29, AD2017 0 Comments
Christmas: A Bad Time for Alcoholics and Addicts?

For some, the sights, signs and smells of the holidays bring joy and a warm feeling. But, while others are joyously diving into the season, some of us are dipping into conflict, guilt, and a sense of guilt. —Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go, Dec. 24. If I could speak to other parents facing […]

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“The Word Became Flesh”: A Reflection on the Incarnation

December 28, AD2017 3 Comments
“The Word Became Flesh”: A Reflection on the Incarnation

Now that the liturgical season of Christmas is upon us, I cannot help but reflect upon the great mystery of the Incarnation. Whenever I find myself reflecting on the Son of God becoming man, I become overwhelmed by the sheer gift of love and generosity that God has for us. I am awed by the […]

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Christmas Morning: Secretly Cynical, Surprised by Joy

December 25, AD2017 0 Comments
Christmas Morning: Secretly Cynical, Surprised by Joy

Do we wait for Christmas morning with a joyful expectation or has life’s disappointments left us jaded and closed to any spiritual surprises or gifts from God our Father? Come to think of it, how many of us actually expect to receive any spiritual joy on Christmas morning? When we are secretly cynical, we will […]

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Christmas and the Wonder of Children

December 25, AD2017 0 Comments
Christmas and the Wonder of Children

A month or two ago I started wondering about the Christmas season. Specifically, I wondered why it seemed so much more magical to me as a child than as an adult. Now, there could be a variety of reasons for this—maybe it was because as a child I loved the sparkly tree and presents, or […]

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Christmas Two Thousands Years Later and Grace Is Still New

December 24, AD2017 0 Comments
Christmas Two Thousands Years Later and Grace Is Still New

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  (The Summer Day, Mary Oliver) We are in the midst of something new and something old.  Hundreds of years have passed since the birth of Christ and yet we have never before been in this place, at this time, with these […]

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Through the Looking Glass – A Christmas Message

December 24, AD2017 0 Comments
Through the Looking Glass – A Christmas Message

I saw my grandfather forty years after he died. I loved I him with all my heart, not because he gave me toys, bought me ice cream or took me to the funfair, but because he loved me so much. I was only eight years old when he died of a heart attack and I […]

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The Wait: A True Advent Story of Hope

December 23, AD2017 0 Comments
The Wait: A True Advent Story of Hope

My strawberry-blond, freckled-faced, non-stop mother, Jeannine, was the youngest of four and as such was hopelessly spoiled. Nicknamed “Peaches,” she was a very welcome addition to my grandparents after the loss of two babies beforehand. She was also quite a bit younger than her oldest brother, Dick, who graduated high school the year Mom received […]

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T.S. Eliot and Dreading Christmas

December 23, AD2017 0 Comments
T.S. Eliot and Dreading Christmas

Few people have likely ever been so dismayed by the passing of Christmas as the Magi and the prophet Simeon, as least as the poet T. S. Eliot portrays them. In his poem “Journey of the Magi,” the Magi travel all night through the “worst time of year” with tired camels while missing the comforts […]

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Advent: A Time for Being Molded in Love

December 22, AD2017 0 Comments
Advent: A Time for Being Molded in Love

Recently before the start of Mass, I was going over the readings. Though I don’t normally pay attention to the reflection above the first reading, this time I took notice. It said Advent is a time to prepare. “Advent is significantly shorter this year. Last year Advent began on November 27; this year it begins […]

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Christmas Movies: It’s a Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown

December 21, AD2017 0 Comments
Christmas Movies: It’s a Wonderful Life and Charlie Brown

I recently bumped into an old friend from grammar school and we began reminiscing about our favorite Christmas movies. Apart from realizing that all of the candidates were over 50 years old(not surprising given what spews out today), we ended up agreeing on two winners, one originally a theatrical release and the other a now […]

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Persevering This Christmas

December 20, AD2017 0 Comments
Persevering This Christmas

In the first weeks of Advent, my intellect and faith have been assaulted by many things going on outside and inside the Church. Its been a challenging time of preparation for Christmas. These things are troubling, but perhaps, in contrast, they can help us understand better the darkness of the world into which the Christ […]

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Mary the Blessed Mother, Full of Grace

December 19, AD2017 0 Comments
Mary the Blessed Mother, Full of Grace

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the ultimate expression of both mother and believer. Her immaculate character, her sacrificial love, and her total surrender to God’s plan should draw us to God and His perfect plan for His Church. Mary’s life stands as a powerful example of what it means to follow Christ to the […]

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The Crib of Greccio – Bringing Christ back into Christmas

December 17, AD2017 1 Comment
The Crib of Greccio – Bringing Christ back into Christmas

A friend took me to a Christmas dinner at a local pub noted for its good food. It was also noted for something else too that nearly forced me into a fight. I am referring to its seasonal cider punch, served hot with a sprinkling of spices. It was so moreish that you couldn’t help […]

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The Masculinity and Mortification of Auden’s St. Joseph

December 16, AD2017 3 Comments
The Masculinity and Mortification of Auden’s St. Joseph

After two millennia, our veneration of Mary might make it somewhat difficult to imagine how St. Joseph might have seen her when he first heard of her pregnancy. Our familiarity with the joy of Christmas obscures the shock and embarrassment of what was surely seen to be a profound betrayal. Even the recounting of St. […]

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An Advent Devotional: God’s Promises and The Second Coming

December 15, AD2017 0 Comments
An Advent Devotional: God’s Promises and The Second Coming

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.—2 Peter 3:8 The Second Reading at Mass last Sunday, 10th December, was from Peter 2 (from which the opening quote was taken).  Our priest gave a homily based on this […]

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Our Advent Journey — Days of Comfort and Restoration

December 14, AD2017 0 Comments
Our Advent Journey — Days of Comfort and Restoration

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak to the heart of Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service has ended, that her guilt is expiated, That she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1-2) For as long as I can remember, Advent has […]

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Are You Hoarding Your Blessings?

December 9, AD2017 2 Comments
Are You Hoarding Your Blessings?

The Parable of the Rich Fool began, “There was a rich man who had a good harvest.” I knew the passage well but had never really applied it to myself.  It was about a “foolish” man who wanted to store up his abundant harvest for himself so that he could eat, drink, and be merry “for […]

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Advent Lessons from an Old Testament Priest

December 8, AD2017 0 Comments
Advent Lessons from an Old Testament Priest

The Scriptures in Advent present us with a number of excellent role models of faith, but the father of John the Baptist is not one of them. Zechariah, a priest of the Law of Moses, serves rather as a negative example, at least at the beginning of his intriguing story. The account of how he […]

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