Christmases Past

We’ve almost made it to Christmas. Just being so close to the solemn celebration of the birth of Jesus brings memories of Christmases in my family’s parish church. Singing in the parish choir was a delightful challenge every Christmas. Learning the words for English, German, and Latin carols was fun...

Patient Waiting

On the first Sunday of Advent, I found myself in the express checkout line at the grocery store. The cashier rang up my items, put them in a bag, and handed me back my change, quickly and efficiently, then went on to the next person in line. Normally, what I do at that point is stuff the change and receipt...

The Light of Christ Shining in My Darkness

It has been an upside-down Advent for me. The other day, I attended the funeral of a 21-year-old man who took his life after a struggle with depression. I cannot imagine the devastation of his parents and siblings as they deal with their grief. All around, lights and decorations and upbeat music pervade the...

Christmas Novena Begins

Christmas customs are strikingly varied around the world. One custom is the Christmas Novena—the nine days before Christmas. Today, December 16, is the first day of the Christmas Novena celebration  in Philippines. One of the cultural shocks I had when I first went to the rural Philippines in 1979 was...

A New Beginning

I love the season of Advent. I like the colors, the smells, the rituals, all the good things that come with it. And at the end, we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus. With all the festivities and commitments attached to the season of Advent and Christmas I often forget that this is the beginning of a new...

True Meaning of Christmas

It’s less than three weeks until Christmas. Are things getting hectic in your life? Or are you ready to celebrate our Lord’s birth and incarnation into this world with a quiet, joyful spirit?   I hope you make some extra time during these last weeks of Advent to meditate on the Holy Family: Jesus, Mary...

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