Spirituality

The Secular Christmas Season is Actually Secular Advent

Here’s why I no longer get annoyed when I see Christmas décor in stores in September. It was usually the last Sunday of Advent, and sometimes even Christmas Eve, that my parents would put up the tree. The familiar crackling sound of the antique record player and Andy Williams crooning Sleigh Ride in the background always filled me with that warm Christmassy feeling. My father was a liturgical musician, and the one thing he was...

Pope Francis: Be Surprised by Jesus This Christmas

Pope Francis in the Paul VI hall Dec. 13, 2017. (Daniel Ibanez/CNA.) The Holy Father said Christians must help ‘at least one poor man’ to celebrate Christmas and avoid a celebration filled with the ‘shimmering glow of the world.’ Vatican City — Make space for wonder and surprise this Christmas, Pope Francis asked Christians Wednesday, explaining that the first Christmas had many surprises — including that God came into the world as a tiny baby....

The One Simple Thing Everyone Should Do for Advent

Let Christ in and let the love of this tender child cleanse the miserly temple of your heart. Advent is a time that includes so many beautiful traditions and pieties to help provoke a melting of our hard and grimy hearts before the baby Jesus comes anew on Christmas Day. These traditions can weigh us down instead of lifting us up if we do not have the right spirit. Simplicity is everything, and being attuned...

A 10-Point Primer on the Lord’s Prayer Kerfuffle

Is Pope Francis likely to approve a change in the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer? What’s the real story, and what does it mean for us? Several newspapers are reporting that Pope Francis is likely to approve a change in the Italian translation of the Lord’s Prayer. This is causing concern in some quarters. What’s the real story, and what does it mean for us? Let’s take a look … 1) Is Pope Francis...