Authentic Joy Is Here

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I’m on break until after New Year’s, but I wanted to thank you all for another year of patronage. Thanks for spending some of your valuable time with me, and for all those who donated, used my Amazon links, or shared posts on Facebook and Twitter. This evening, as I listened to the reading from [Read More...]

The Days of Our Glory

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Darkness is a fearsome thing: concealing, obscuring, bearing with it an almost tangible sense of oppression. The promise of the savior in Isaiah is nothing less than the promise to banish the darkness: the people who walked in darkness shall see a great light. What does the Psalmist tell us? I wait for the Lord, [Read More...]

Kindling the Flame Of Advent

McDCandle

Each year, I try make a break with Ordinary Time, set up any new patterns of devotion I intend to observe, break out the Advent wreath, and get on with the work of active waiting in contemplation. This year, it didn’t happen. Recovering and weary from pneumonia, distracted by health problems all around me, and [Read More...]

Adelaide Procter: The Church in 1849 … And Now

Pconservative

I intended just to share one of Adelaide Procter’s Christmas poems, but “The Church in 1849″ seemed too relevant to skip. We all think we’re sailing through unique trials that will shake the church, but every generation faces such trials. We will have our difficulties, particularly since a majority of our coreligionists voted for a [Read More...]

“Coventry Carol”: A Bit of History

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From France to England, and a beloved Christmas song that takes on added poignancy this year. One of the things ultimately killed off in the English Reformation were the regional “mystery plays”: local pageant cycles in which the common folk performed dramatized Biblical stories. (The York cycle is the most famous.) Many of the surviving [Read More...]

“Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle”

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Okay, so I said I was signing off for the rest of the pre-Christmas season, but I think I’ll post some more uncommon Christmas songs and poems for the next few days, such as this dandy little French ditty. “Un Flambeau, Jeannette, Isabella” (also spelled Isabelle in some copies) dates to 16th century France, and [Read More...]

A Scene From My Home

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I’m down with a bad cold, so I’m just going to share a touching image from one of our many creches. No one talks about the Fourth Wise Man, but he brought the gift of braaaains: Nativity set from Playmobile. Also, for those not following the Twitter feed of daily Lego Advent pictures, today’s was [Read More...]

Dickens on Hope and Despair: “The Chimes”

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Charles Dickens’ deep Christian faith rings in all of his works, and especially so in his Christmas books. After the success of “A Christmas Carol,” Dickens published similar titles in the same format: novellas with supernatural elements and a clear Christian message. All of them were successes in their day, but none had the afterlife [Read More...]


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