preparation

Remembering the Holy Innocents

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

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 […]

Watching and Waiting During Advent in Carmel

Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, however, to write about it. […]

A Practical Plan for Advent 2020

The Annunciation (detail) by Caravaggio

If we lose our focus on the Lord, neither his coming in past history, nor his coming at the end of time will have much meaning for us. We will be like the people who Isaiah describes, “There is no one that calls upon thy name, that bestirs himself to take hold of thee” (Isaiah 64:7). “Take heed, watch and pray…” […]

Remembering the Holy Innocents

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

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 […]

Advent Reflection — Wonderfully Made

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.” (Psalm 139:13-14) We are not accidents of nature. Every single one of us is made intentionally by God because He loves us. No exceptions! Imago Dei—in His image He made us. […]

Watching and Waiting — Advent in Carmel

Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, however, to write about it. […]

Daily Reflection — Wonderfully Made

“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.” (Psalm 139:13-14) Every single one of us is made intentionally by God. No exceptions! Imago Dei—in His image He made us. Although we lost His likeness through Original Sin, we have […]

Daily Reflection — Refreshed by the Lord

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29) We are closer now to Christmas Day than to this […]

Daily Reflection — Hear the Baptist’s Cry

A Daily Reflection for Advent… “All praise, eternal Son, to thee, whose advent doth thy people free; whom with the Father we adore and Holy Ghost for evermore.” * – – – * Closing verse from “On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry” by Charles Coffin. The  words of this hymn serve to remind us of the incredible gift we anticipate […]

Focus on the Lord this Advent

We should allow the clarion call from this great saint to reverberate in our souls. Today we enter the Advent Season. It is past time to get ready… One of my strongest, most enduring memories from my childhood is the time spent preparing for Christmas. We did not have any family traditions involving the Advent Wreath or the Jesse Tree. And most certainly, like all […]