God Has Done the Impossible! Do We Believe?

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Today in his Ubi et Orbi message, Pope Benedict challenges us with the reality of Christmas: In this world there is a good soil which God has prepared, that he might come to dwell among us. A dwelling place for his presence in the world. This good earth exists, and today too, in 2012, from [Read More...]

Let Us Go to Bethlehem

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From B16 at the Christmas vigil Mass: Let us go over to Bethlehem, says the Church’s liturgy to us today. Trans-eamus is what the Latin Bible says: let us go “across”, daring to step beyond, to make the “transition” by which we step outside our habits of thought and habits of life, across the purely [Read More...]

For Your Sake

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(And mine!) How about a little Saint Augustine to get us into the Christmas Eve groove? Via the Liturgy of the Hours today: Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became [Read More...]

The Chart-Topping Nuns of Ephesus

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Are you a glass half empty or half full kind of person? I think a good test is what you find more fascinating news story here: That Benedictine nuns managed to knock the 50 Shades of Grey soundtrack off the top of the Billboard charts this fall (or that the sadomasochistic novel even has a [Read More...]

Ephesus Gets Us Closer to Nazareth, Closer to Bethlehem

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At the Council of Ephesus, Saint Cyril of Alexandria delivered a sermon in praise of Mary, Mother of God: Mary, Mother of God, we salute you. Precious vessel, worthy of the whole world’s reverence, you are an ever-shining light, the crown of virginity, the symbol of orthodoxy, an indestructible temple, the place that held him [Read More...]

The Seven-Year-Old Who Doesn’t Ask for Toys, But Jesus

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Christmas gratitude to those who preserved and shared this letter from a young Joseph Ratzinger: Dear Baby Jesus, quickly come down to earth. You will bring joy to children. Also bring me joy. According to translations in the news, he wrote: I would like a Volks-Schott (a Mass prayers book), green clothing for Mass (clerical [Read More...]

What Is Catholicism?

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People hear things about what Catholics believe. Some of it is true. A lot of it is not. The most compelling education about what exactly it is Catholicism is and teaches comes from the example of lived witness. In an interview about his conversion to Catholicism at age 76, the late Judge Robert H. Bork [Read More...]

Silence!

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Yesterday in Rome, before his op-ed hit the Financial Times, Pope Benedict XVI alluded again to silence and contemplation at perhaps the busiest time of year. Cliff! Family arrangements! Lines! (And don’t forget to thank the delivery men!). During his Wednesday audience B16 reflected on that woman who said yes and pondered the Incarnation of [Read More...]


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