John Paul II — “Christmas is the Feast Day of Man”

When I came back to the Faith in 1981, one Scripture passage became the rudder of my spiritual life. It is Ephesians 1: 3-4. Through the years, this passage has spoken to me in many ways and has sustained me through many trials.

Verse 4 , however, is particularly relevant for this time of the year, and was echoed by Pope John Paul II in a Christmas reflection. It states this, “God chose us in him before the world began to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love.” Those first five words tell us something about ourselves that is amazing and astounding — each one of us was distinctively and individually chosen by God to have life. Read the rest…

Advent Week Four: A Time for Caring, A Time for Sharing

star-of-bethlehem1As we approach the solemnity of Christmas tomorrow, we would do well to ask the Holy Spirit to help us enter into the mystery we are celebrating. Implicit in the glory of the birth of Christ, is His death. It is already present, as it has been since His conception in the womb of Mary, in His flesh.

A season of joy, to be sure. A season of wonder, most definitely. A season of magnanimity, most assuredly. For this is the season that proves God’s love for us. His Son has been sent for one mission, and one mission only, to pour Himself out for us. 

The Incarnation is the Redemption begun. It is consummated at the conception and culminated at the crucifixion. As we gaze upon the Christ Child lying in the creche, how can we ignore that He is already on the bed of wood?

It is this we celebrate: that in the midst of our depravity, God sent His Son in the fullness of time, born of a woman (Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4). It is in this that we find cause for rejoicing.

Carol Houselander, an English author of the last century, asks us to focus our attention on this reality during the Advent season. It is not too late to ponder the cause of our joy in these last hours before Christmas day.

Writing in Reed of God, Houselander offers us these words for meditation and contemplation. She invites us to consider the role of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, as we consider the coming of the Christ Child: Read the rest…

Any Sign of the Apocalypse Yet?

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Well, it’s December 21, 2012, the day many believe the world will end along with the Mayan calendar. So if you haven’t seen any signs that the earth’s rotational axis has shifted, or seen the start of the fiercest solar storm in recorded history, or caught a glimpse of the never-seen-before planet Nibiru hurtling toward earth, chances are this day will pass as quietly as yesterday.

Read the rest…