Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma: The Wexford Carol

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We Are All Meant to Be Mothers of God

“We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I do not also give birth to him in my… Read more

Look at the Stars

On a clear, dark night, go outside and look at the stars. If it’s cold, bundle up the kids in pajamas and blankets and look up and out. What do you notice? Ask children what they see in the sky and around them. Paying attention and watching are two of the habits we cultivate during Advent.   Excerpted from Sybil MacBeth’s new book, The Season of the Nativity: Confessions and Practices of an Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany Extremist (Paraclete Press, 2014).  … Read more

The Longest Night

Blessing for the Longest Night All throughout these months as the shadows have lengthened, this blessing has been gathering itself, making ready, preparing for this night. It has practiced walking in the dark, traveling with its eyes closed, feeling its way by memory by touch by the pull of the moon even as it wanes. So believe me when I tell you this blessing will reach you even if you have not light enough to read it; it will find… Read more

Here Come the Sun: James Taylor and Yo-Yo Ma

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Only Love

Willa Cather’s Christmas story, The Burglar’s Christmas, portrays a young man named William, the proverbial prodigal son, who had moved away from his family back east and was now in Chicago. Impoverished, having been without food for several days, William decides on Christmas Eve to break into a house and steal some food. He had never stolen before, but it’s Christmas Eve, he’s hungry, and he thinks at least he deserves some food. When he breaks into the home, he discovers… Read more

Merry, Messy Christmas

Advent is a strange time of year. We look forward to the Christmas, the coming of Christ, and then when we get to Christmas, we remember what happened at Bethlehem. What is the point of this time of year? Are we just to remember what happened? Look back and say, “wish we could have been there”? This time of year we keep reminding one another that the real meaning of Christmas is not found at the mall. Then we go… Read more

Kairos Time

One of my favorite things about all the rituals and traditions attached to this time of year is the way they mess with time. My husband and son and I decorate our Christmas Tree, and as we hang each ornament — the ones we brought from our parents’ houses and the ones we got together — we tell their stories. As we do, we find that we are not just standing in the living room we share, but we’re also… Read more

Shining the Light

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”, and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” – Luke 2:22-24 At this time of year,… Read more

Practice Hopefulness

Advent emphasizes the anticipation that something exciting and life-changing is about to happen. Christians really believe “God is up to something”! Hopefulness is a practiced attitude. It takes diligence to not be overwhelmed by the violence, injustice, poverty, and sorrow in the world. Some people think God is up to something when they see bad things happen. But I believe God is in the business of salvation and encourages change for the good. What is the evidence you see that… Read more


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