Christmas

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Fast Comes Before the Feast

Christmas cards speak about it.  Christmas carols sing about it.  Even the angels at Bethlehem proclaimed it.  “Peace on earth.”  “The lion shall lie down with the lamb.” (Is 11).  “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever” (Ps 72). The coming of the Messiah obviously has something to do with the advent of peace. But […]

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Have an Old Fashioned, Blessed, Wonderful Christmas

Here we are in the hustle and bustle of the Advent season. I don’t know about you, but in this stressful year, in this charged political and cultural climate, I’m yearning for simplicity. I suggest we turn inward and look to yesteryear a bit, to see what we can do to create an old fashioned, blessed, wonderful Christmas for our […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The deeper meaning of Christmas lights

As fall moves onward towards winter we have places to go, things to do, people to meet.  Yet as we go about our business, we notice the days are getting shorter.  Sweaters come out of storage, we close the windows, and turn on the heat. Advent is a season where we stop and remember that the light of this world […]

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

God’s Search for You

We often hear of our search for God, but seldom, if ever hear of God’s search for us—or at least we do not think we do. But, the truth is that God first seeks us out, so that we might seek Him. He thirsts for us, so that we might thirst for Him (cf. CCC nos. 2560-2567). How do we […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Christmas JOY Amid Challenges

It was a blessed and happy Christmas in so many ways. My grandson was here for his very first Christmas! I was surrounded by my five children, my husband, my daughter’s husband, and one daughter’s significant other—all coming together to celebrate in the heart of my home. Needless to say, I was extremely thankful. It was a whirlwind of crazy […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Celebrating Mary as God’s Mother

Each January 1st (on the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. Some want to know where we can find these teachings in the bible. Some even suggest that Catholics pay […]

Nativity Stained Glass

The soul’s worth

As we continue to celebrate Christmas, it may be a struggle to remember to keep our eyes on the true meaning of the feast.  It’s especially difficult when the world seems to return to “ordinary time” a little too quickly.  We have numerous Christmas specials and movies trying to tell us what Christmas is all about (though these seem to […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

On Honoring Christ in Our Hearts and Being Authentically Catholic in the New Year

One of the most famous Christmas quotes of all time is this one from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Reflecting on this quote has made me think about resolutions a little differently for 2016.  I would like you to join me in a different […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra

Discover the Deeper Meaning of Christmas

In the days of Caesar Augustus, an era of peace was established in the Mediterranean world after centuries of strife.  But this peace was forged by the proud ambition of emperors and the edge of their armies’ swords. Upon this stage appears a baby acclaimed as king by eastern dignitaries.  Neither Caesar nor Herod will brook any rivals.  So brutal […]

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

Daily Reflection — Why Did the Holy Innocents Have to Die?

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a […]