THE O ANTIPHONS and the Beatles: Great Secrets Revealed?

First, I mean no disrespect—but if you are a theologian or a historian or a liturgist, please pop in here to explain something for me.I’ve been reading about the O ANTIPHONS, those profound anticipatory verses from Isaiah which, in the Catholic tradition, are read at Vespers from December 17 through December 23, leading up to the Christmas season.  Lovely prayers, most certainly!  But over and over in the literature, as an after-note, I read that the first letters of the seven Antiphons, wh … [Read more...]

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On a Wing and a Prayer: Astronauts “Touch the Face of God”

If you’re as old as I am, you may remember the tension in our nation when the first astronauts rode a rocket into space.  In my elementary school classroom on May 5, 1961, we offered a wide-eyed prayer for Alan Shepard when he careened through space for 15 minutes in sub-orbital flight.  (Shepard himself is reputed to have uttered the first unofficial and irreverent “prayer” in space, saying “Dear Lord, please don’t let me f--- up.”)When the space shuttle Atlantis lands at 5:56 a.m. July 21, … [Read more...]

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O CHRISTMAS TREE: A Brief Chronology

Age 1 – Oh!  Oh!  Look at the twinkling lights!  I’ve never seen anything like this!  Look at the shiny balls—Wouldn’t they taste good...?  Mommy, why are you running and pulling me away?  Do you always get so excited?! Age 5 – I LOVE the pink Teddy Bear ornament from Grandma!  And the Santa ornament from Uncle Joe.  And the ballerina!  And candy canes!  They’re the best!  And Santa’s coming, and we’re going to leave him some cookies!  I LOVE Christmas! Age 10 – Christmas Tree?  Oh yeah, it’s … [Read more...]

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