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Entries related to: christmas

Mary: The Woman at the Heart of the Christmas Story

A Quiet Reflection from Pope Francis At the message of the angel, she does not hide her surprise. It is the astonishment of realizing that God, to become man, had chosen her, a simple maid of Nazareth. Not someone who lived in a palace amid power and riches, or one who had done extraordinary things, but simply someone who was open to God and put her trust in him, even without understanding everything: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). That was her answer.
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Advent with Mother Teresa: O Root of Jesse

O root of Jesse's stem, sign of God's love for all his people: come to save us without delay! When we sing the line of the popular Advent hymn, “O come, O Rod of Jesse’s stem, From ev’ry foe deliver them,” the significance of this phrase is lost on many of us. In reality, this line contains the reason for our joy, for it reminds us that no one—no one—is beyond the reach of God’s mercy.
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Friar Pat on the Peace of Christmas

Why is peace so important during Advent and Christmas? How can we spread peace in our homes and in our communities? The best way, Pat McCloskey, OFM, says in this video, is to honestly and humbly live out who we are before God. Enjoy this short meditation. 
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Make Room to Give This Christmas

Everything I own fits in 5-foot-tall, 2-foot-wide, 1-foot-deep locker. Of that space, about 1 square foot is devoted to my clothes. I’ve been wearing the same pair of sweats for three years. I’ve finally decided that I need to buy another pair of sweatpants so that I can work out in the cold and not get my sleeping pair dirty. The main thing holding me back is that I don’t know if I have enough room in my so-called closet.
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St. Anthony Messenger’s 2017 Christmas Gift Guide

We at St. Anthony Messenger have pulled together a few items not only to help you with your Christmas list, but to help others as well. Enjoy these gift suggestions—and Merry Christmas! 
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And a Child Shall Lead Us: An Advent Meditation

“Mom, can you play video games with me?” There it was. That ever-dreaded question I hear all too often. My 5-year-old son, Alex, loves to play video games. I, on the other hand, can’t stand them. Mostly because I can’t seem to work the controller and pay attention to what’s going on in the game at the same time. (Insert walking and chewing gum joke here.)
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The Sanctity of Santa

If you know any Romance languages or have traveled, you’ve come across the word santa many times. Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Santa Lucia, San Francisco. Santa means “holy” or “holy one.” There in the name is a hint, not just about the origins of his name in St. Nicholas but also about his nature. He’s not just a goblin; he’s a saint, the object of religious awe and honor. What if we treated him like a saint as much as a gnome?
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Making Room at the Inn This Christmas

With all the joy and celebration that accompany Christmas, it’s easy to forget that the first Christmas was a harrowing and, at times, dehumanizing experience for the Holy Family.  In Luke 2:7, we find out that Mary gave birth to Jesus in a manger, “because there was no room for them in the inn.” Perhaps there truly wasn’t a square inch to spare at the inn, but I wonder if the Holy Family, being outsiders to Bethlehem, were rejected in part because they were strangers in an unfamiliar land. 
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Christmas without Kids

“The guys want to hang out,” said our 26-year-old son after breakfast Christmas morning. “So, do you need me around for any . . .” he looked at me as he annunciated, “traditions?” Rob and I exchanged looks. We exchanged more looks than presents that Christmas. Of course, we expected the children to begin pulling away as they grew up, but we were still caught off guard when the holidays rolled around that year. “Sure, son,” my husband said. “Have a good time.” Because, really, what else could we say? It’s the bittersweet truth that we raise our children so they will leave. But that Christmas Rob and I found ourselves sitting in stunned silence, flipping channels, and napping.
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A Mary Christmas: The Adoration of the Magi

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:
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