The Seven Joys of Mary: An Advent Reflection

At every Mass we assert that we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is not a better time to reflect in joyful waiting than the quiet season of Advent, which comes before the celebration of Christmas. And there is no greater model of joy for us than Our Blessed Mother, Mary.

Tales of Santa Claus

Just in from the US Postal Service is an email announcing their “Letters from Santa” program. The press release claims that Letters from Santa is a memorable Thanksgiving Day family activity. Here is the link, if you want further information. The basic idea is how to get a personalized response from Santa for the cost of some postage.

Advent with Mother Teresa: Choosing Oneness

Advent Reflection, Week 1

Mother Teresa: Our Guide through Advent

 

Clad like her spiritual daughters in a simple blue-and-white sari, this diminutive yet undeniably charismatic nun traveled to more than a hundred countries with a message of faith, hope, and unrelenting love. With humility, Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, sought out the poorest and loneliest, those who endured both physical and spiritual poverty. In each of their faces she saw her beloved Spouse, “Jesus in distressing disguise.” Though she was “Mother” to thousands, she did not always feel the love and joy she espoused; rather, she chose it, and in so doing she embodied the kind of faith that speaks hope and courage to those who likewise struggle. For those who wander in darkness, Saint Teresa of Calcutta is a true patron of joy yet to be discovered.

Take the Commercialism Out of Christmas

Last Advent, a religion class in the Catholic grade school where my wife teaches took a poll of the students that asked only one question: “What do you think of when you hear the word Christmas?”

The good news is that Jesus won because his name came up most often. Unfortunately, he took only 42 percent of the vote. “Presents” was first runner-up with 25 percent.

Advent 2016: A Church without Joy Is Unthinkable


A Word from Pope Francis

The human heart desires joy. We all desire joy, every family, every people aspires to happiness. But what is the joy that the Christian is called to live out and bear witness to? It is the joy that comes from the closeness of God, from his presence in our life. From the moment Jesus entered into history, with his birth in Bethlehem, humanity received the seed of the Kingdom of God, like the soil receives the seed, the promise of a future harvest.

Christmas: The Image of the Child


Christmas is the time to focus on the child: your childhood, perhaps your children, the world’s children, your child spirit, fragile beginnings, innocent rejection of the world’s adult ways. It the season to be unreasonably generous, interested in toys, and given to playing games and giving attention to dolls and puppets and electric trains.

Advent with Mother Teresa: The Gift of Trust

Single Around the Holidays

I’m always drawn in by the hopeful anticipation of Advent. This season of waiting is the perfect metaphor for the single life. What characterizes singlehood more than anything else is that it’s a time of openness, watching, and waiting to respond to God’s presence.