Anyway, if I were there I would especially want to watch my main girl Mary and how she handled everything. What did she do? What did she say? How did her peace and her virtue transform the less-than-ideal situation of having a baby in a cold stable? What can we learn from her?
I love Mass. Not only is it the highest form of prayer, but it’s also my favorite.
Christmas is also my favorite Liturgical season. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been preparing my heart all of Advent or because of the arrival of my Savior (most likely both), but I’m always getting for Christmas Mass – especially Midnight Mass.
So, if you’re like me, this is probably the journey you take before, during and after Christmas Midnight Mass.
“Now therefore write this song, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me.” (Deuteronomy 31:19) Christmas music is everywhere right now. It’s not uncommon to be standing in line at the grocery or in a convenience store this time of year, […]
Long skirts. Morning prayer with the community. Some rendering of Jesus—whether in painting or statue form—staring down every corner. And crucifixes… crucifixes everywhere. It’s not a convent, but it’s the next best thing. That’s right: Catholic school. I went to Catholic school for 13 years. Jesus was everywhere. We talked about Him in class, we […]
This Advent we are given an opportunity to refocus our lives and redirect our hearts back to Jesus. Don’t miss out on this season of grace. Take time to honestly evaluate where you stand with the Lord. No matter where you are, no matter how close or far you feel, Jesus is inviting you to draw closer to Him.
As we learned from the first Christmas, Jesus is willing to enter into whatever space we’ve got for Him. Are we willing to open our lives to Him, to let Him dwell in even those areas where we’d least expect Him to make His home?
He was here, as a man, to walk with us and speak to us and live and die for us. We discovered that our God had some skin in the game. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.
And during this Advent season, as we remember the anticipation of His birth in Bethlehem as a reminder that we still anticipate His coming again, we have the chance, every day, to draw nearer. And He is doing the same. He’s coming closer still.
It’s almost as if those of us who are Christian all year round begin to fade into the background and blend in with the crowd at Christmas time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, I believe Christmas is a time when faithful followers of Jesus should stand out.
Fall… it’s that time of year best known for its pumpkin spiced lattes, orange leaves, and crisp, cool air. It’s also that time of year when stores start selling Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving napkins, and Christmas trees… all at the same time. While the holiday season is definitely exciting, it can also be a distracting season…
Even though they were late arrivals, that didn’t stop them from having a life-changing encounter with Jesus. When they finally made it the place Jesus was they were overjoyed. When they saw “the child with Mary his mother, they prostrated themselves and did him homage. They opened their treasures” to Him and allowed Jesus into their lives (Matthew 2:10-11).
When I think of Advent, I often think about how we witness so many historical events that led up to the birth of Jesus. From Old Testament readings, to Mary’s Annunciation, to purple and rose colored candles and more. I started to realize, though, that maybe my involvement in Advent has been more like spectating than participating.
Everyone knows the Christmas story and expects to hear it at Mass. You’d have to try really hard to live in America and not know the basics of the Christmas narrative.
But instead of hearing about shepherds scared by angels and a divine baby dressed in swaddling clothes, we hear the genealogy of Jesus all the way from Abraham down to Joseph (Mary’s husband, not the Old Testament Technicolor Dreamcoat guy). This probably leaves more than a few people wondering if maybe the priest messed up and is reading from the wrong book.
I’ll never forget when I learned Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25th. It shocked me. I felt cheated… like somehow my adolescent life had just lost some of its innocence. Thank God, I thought, Santa was still real… that would have really shattered my holiday season.
I’m not going to say all guys are like this… but it is how a lot of people place value on their lives. What you do and how much stuff you have is generally what a person is judged by – especially a man. Do more stuff! Buy more things! Wear good clothes! Work harder than Jobs at your jobs! Be more successful than Wayne Wright! Don’t know who that is? Me neither. But some dude has that name and he obviously wasn’t good enough to accomplish things.
It’s the Christmas season and that means carols, cookies, and remembering which week you light the pink advent candle. It also means family get-togethers and the inevitable gauntlet of questions and comments like: “My nephew got accepted to Harvard. Where are you going to college?” “I can’t believe your parents let you cut your hair […]
College kids – you did it! Finals are over, you’ve survived the semester, and now it’s time to kick off your shoes, relax, and… move back in with Mom and Dad? Oh, joy to the world, y’all.
You might be psyched to get back to the comforts of home, or perhaps you’re less than excited to leave the dorm behind. The transition of coming home and bunking up with the ‘rents is never easy.
Mary’s pregnancy was unlike any other pregnancy ever. No one around her could understand what she was going through. Despite all these unknowns, Mary’s trust and confidence in God was steady and strong. During her pregnancy (after traveling about 80 miles to visit her cousin Elizabeth) she spoke of God’s greatness, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47).
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.
Have you ever noticed that the Bible doesn't specifically say how many wise men showed up in Bethlehem? We're told that wise men from the East followed a star, interacted with Herod, and made their way to the manger (bearing gifts) but nowhere does it say how many men there actually were. So, how exactly did this idea of the 'three magi' begin if Matthew 2 doesn’t give an explicit number? Is this just the byproduct of an overzealous songwriter thinking that 'We Three Kings' sounded better than 'A couple of Kings' or 'About Four Kings'?
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.
What would you ask Him? If you had a chance to ask God one question, what would it be? When I was little, I imagined heaven as some eternal question and answer session where we would sit around asking God those impossibly difficult questions that our older siblings couldn't answer.