We have a God who deals in the impossible. This is huge, life-changing, and has everything to do with Christmas. I think we’re so used to the story of “Christmas” that we can easily forget to spend time just letting ourselves be amazed by the story.
Tag Archives: Christmas
The people of the Old Testament were waiting 400 years to hear something, anything, from God. In our Bibles, it takes less than a second to turn the page from the Old Testament to the Gospels when in reality, there was about a 400 year gap.
So what would He say? When God finally showed up, when the Messiah arrived, what would be the first thing He says? A message of condemnation? Reminding us of our sins? Telling us to be more patient? Giving us new rules to follow?
But no . . . the shocking reality was that Jesus, the Word of God, the King of Kings, and Savior of the Universe came in silence, unseen or heard of by the world.
No trumpets were played, no Youtube videos were released, no “likes” on Facebook were given. He entered the world not as a heroic muscular man, but as a frail vulnerable baby.
But have you ever thought of the significance of that?
Our God loved us so much, He let himself become small and vulnerable, unable to walk, drooling, baby Jesus. Who became so vulnerable and frail, and in need of Mary’s nurturing.
I love it when people use my name. “Nice to meet you Christina.” “Thanks Christina.” “Christina, where are my shoes? Give them back.”
There’s something so affirming and personal about it. My name represents me – who I am. When someone says my name, I know I’m not just another face passing by. I matter.
As it is with the Christian life, if we want to see clearly – as God sees – we have to look at the “big picture” of salvation. If we want to understand Jesus’ death, for instance, we need to begin with His birth and when we do, we will undoubtedly learn something very interesting . . . that He was born to die.
If you want to get technical, that “pieta” moment first occurred not on Calvary, but in Bethlehem. The manger’s wood was a foreshadowing; it is the “cross” of Christmas. There is far more going on at Jesus’ birth than many of us realize upon first glance.
Oh Catholic guy, oh Catholic guy! Wait…that’s not how the song goes.
Our very own Mark Hart was on “The Catholic Guy Show” with Lino Rulli on Sirus/XM radio to talk about everyone’s favorite holiday: Christmas! You don’t want to miss this episode as Mark schools Lino about everything Christmas.
Do you ever have those days where you feel like you don’t even know yourself anymore? You look in the mirror and think: Who am I? What is my life all about? In my freshman year of college, I faced an identity crisis. Okay, I know what you’re thinking – identity crises = 50 year old dude who buys a red ferrari and moves to the coast. My crisis was on a lesser scale. But it was a time I didn’t know who I was as a college student. In an effort to “reinvent” myself, I cut my hair off (don’t Read more [...]
In case you haven’t seen a calendar, looked at people’s front yards, or watched enough of those ridiculous cars-with-huge-ribbons-on-them commercials (because most people we know regularly get a Lexus for Christmas) . . . Christmas is coming soon.
The Church celebrates Advent – a time of preparation – for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. I never really used to get into Advent; it seemed like an unnecessary reminder when we already have radio stations playing Christmas music, Christmas episodes of our favorite TV shows, and those red Starbucks cups to let us know that Jesus’ birth is just around the corner.
Christmas is right around the corner and gift shopping was sooooo 2 weeks ago.
“But the malls are crowded!”
“But everything is so expensive!”
“But I don’t have time to be creative!”
“But where do I find gifts with a hint of Catholic flare?”
We hear you. That’s why we’re electronically swooping in superhero style to save the day for you with this gift guide. You’re welcome. Feel free to send us the cookies you’ll bake with all the time and money you’ll save. And most importantly, have a blessed Advent preparing your heart for Jesus’ birth.
Nicholas was known for his generosity. As tradition goes, he was so selfless that (although he, too, was poor) he helped his likewise poor neighbor support and pay for his daughters’ weddings. Nicholas snuck up to his neighbor’s house at night and dropped a handful of gold coins through the open window so that the eldest daughter could afford to get married. He would later repeat the generous act two more times. From there, the Santa legend grew into what we now know today – stockings, chimneys, a belly like jelly and all that good stuff.
The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things “wrong” with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so “mindlessly” follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?
“Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day, even every moment in the interior temple of your spirit, remaining like a baby in the bosom of the heavenly Father, where you will be reborn each moment in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ.”
- St. Paul of the Cross
If we’re focused on what we can get out of God and not what we can give to Him, then our worship is selfish. Christ is faithful, but when we expect something in return we put Him in a box. Shifting our focus on what we can give Him frees us to receive His love the way He wants to give it.
The Magi did exactly that, and to Christ the true present was their presence.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .
Twelve drummers drumming.
A few years ago I got to attend a drum line competition for one of my teens. I’d say it was pretty much like twelve drummers drumming. Actually, I had no idea that a percussion only band could sound like that. It was pretty cool. Today we come to the end of the song and the end of the Christmas season.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .
Eleven pipers piping.
Have you ever heard bagpipes? They have a distinct and loud sound. When in I was in high school, a family friend was visiting. She was an accomplished musician who played many instruments, including the bagpipe. For whatever reason that afternoon, she actually played the bagpipe in the house. It was so loud. It became my and my brother’s instant opinion that bagpipes are made for outside spaces or very, very large indoor spaces—never inside the house!
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .
The dancing continues today with the lords getting involved. For a better context of lord, think Lord and Lady, Duke and Duchess, Prince and Princess, etc. The United Kingdom has a “House of Lords,” which is part of the Parliament. Of course, I doubt they are physically leaping . . . or playing leap frog, for that matter.
So, let’s just jump (or leap) right in to what the ten leaping lords can represent.
Day 9 On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . Nine ladies dancing. Adding to the good food from yesterday, we now have dancing. Don’t these dancers evoke images of the great Christmas ballet, the Nutcracker? Not only are there at least nine ballerinas dancing, there are mice and nutcrackers and swords and more dancing. Can’t you hear Tchaikovsky’s music of the Sugar Plum fairies? Whether you like ballet or any kind of dancing, you will like what these nine Read more [...]
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .
Today we begin the celebration phase of the song; we have had the perfect number of birds. Now, we have a festive gathering. Let the celebration begin!
We start with food. Have you ever milked a cow? The closest I ever came was visiting a dairy farm as a child. I remember looking at cows and the distinct, unpleasant smell. Moreover, I remember the end of these trips which always resulted in great ice cream. From milk comes a lot of great party food, including nacho cheese.
Whereas there are geese (day six) in my neighborhood, there are not swans. Never fear, though, there is a nearby lake whose owners brought in swans.
Or at least, there were swans. They were picked off and eaten one by one by a river otter who would hunt them from under the water. The swans had no chance of escape because their wings were clipped. The otter was eating a rather expensive supper because swans are not cheap.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .
Today we have reached our half-way point of our 12 Days of Christmas. Are you still celebrating the birth of the Messiah or have you moved back in to your normal routines? Do you still have your nativity scene up, inching the magi closer to the stable each day as we get closer to Epiphany? Are you moving closer to Christ or away from Him?
The six geese-a-laying can represent the six days of creation.