The Anticipation of Christmas

There fared a mother driven forth Out of an inn to roam; In the place where she was homeless All men are at home. The crazy stable close at hand, With shaking timber and shifting sand, Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand Than the square stones of Rome. - G.K. Chesterton, The House of Christmas   I think it’s fair to say that there is no other day that brings as much anticipation a... More
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Show some Christmas love to Newtown.

I will make bold to share a note that I happened upon on Facebook this morning. In full disclosure, I was in seminary for one year with Father Luke Suarez, parochial vicar at St. Rose of Lima parish in Newtown, Connecticut. He is one of the gentlest and most generous souls I’ve known. As I remarked on Facebook when I saw the below picture, I had never seen him without a smile on his face and... More

Christmas and Chanukah Displays: “Congress Shall Make No Law…”

This image appears in the annual Leesburg Christmas ParadeEvery year around this time, the stories begin popping up about certain atheists battling with people of faith over religious holiday displays on public property. They say it’s a question of the Constitutional separation of Church and State. Religious folks say it’s about the free exercise of religion in a Judeo-Christian countr... More

We’re not even in Advent yet, folks. Prepare to Prepare ye the way of the Lord.

Not to be a wag, but until Saturday evening it’s still Ordinary Time, folks. Why am I already receiving “Christmas Season” fundraising emails, from Catholic organizations, no less? Okay, fine, play Christmas music on the radio and gussy up the shopping centers. The shopping centers are just about the epitome of secularism, while a lot of the music is the secular variety anyhow: Â... More
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Christmas vs. Christopher Hitchens

Hitchens in the new Vanity Fair. An infant and a corpse. They are the most common images of Christ ― the baby in the manger or his mother’s arms, the dead man on the cross ― and they offer a final refutation and a last hope for Christopher Hitchens for all time. Hitchens, the great pugilist pundit, died a little over a week ago, and he went out with a beautiful flourish. His last essay, “T... More

Ready for Christmas?

A little animated movie called The Greatest Miracle prompted these thoughts on going to Bethlehem this week: We have a tremendous opportunity this week, as we enter into the glorious gift of the arrival of the Christ child, to truly prepare our hearts and cleanse our souls and celebrate the Greatest Miracle with a full surrender to its call. I keep hearing from readers and friends and strangers a... More
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Photos: Pope Lights World’s Largest Christmas “Tree”, Shares His Three Christmas Wishes

Last week Pope Benedict, from his papal apartment at the Vatican, used an iPad to remotely “light” the largest Christmas tree in the world. The electric “tree” is located on the hillside of the Italian town of Gubbio: He also shared his three Christmas wishes: “Before lighting the tree”, he said, “I would like to express three wishes. This Christmas tree... More

WI Freedom from Religion Foundation To Setup “Winter Solstice” Display in Response to Nativity Scene

Why does it not surprise me this is happening in Madison, Wisconsin? A tiny figure of baby Jesus is surrounded by Mary, Joseph and the three wise men in a new nativity scene in the state Capitol rotunda. The conservative group Wisconsin Family Action set up the manger scene on Sunday, and its president Julaine Appling said they plan to display it through the end of the month. But the move angered ... More
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Why Christmas Is Awesome

Atchison's "Christmas House" We decorate today, Gaudete Sunday, and it reminds me why I love Christmas. Absolutely and completely. My reasons are obvious, have been said a thousand times, but never grow old. I could repeat forever how much I love Christmas. 1. Christmas gifts are awesome. Christmas is like a gift Ponzi scheme that never bottoms out. You give a few gifts and you get ... More

No Christmas without Advent

Advent is not really understood today. Some Christians don’t even know why we have Advent wreaths. So often in our consumer society, Advent is totally forgotten. We should remember that there is no true Christmas without Advent. In fact, the word Advent means coming or arrival. We anticipate the coming of the Christ child, and this is what prepares us for Christmas–the longing for the ... More

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