Advent Reading Recommendations 2013 – UPDATED

advent at ephesus

Julie Davis beat me to it, but as usual, I have some Advent Reading ideas -- and more than one of them would also make terrific Christmas gifts:Topping the List, because I just think it's so cool to have music specific to Advent to access at this time: The Benedictines of Mary's must-have recording, Advent at Ephesus. If you didn't get it last year, do yourself a favor and gift yourself with this glorious music, which is the antidote to all the noise that is about to come upon us. Listen … [Read more...]

Wood-Grain Pens; Advent Candles; Wreaths! It Begins!

summit pen a

It's late for me; usually I am halfway through my Christmas shopping by now, but I'm doing a lot of "custom" stuff this year, and we'll know whether that was smart or not when we're ten days from Christmas.But my hubby, who loves pens, was looking through a writing instrument catalogue and wistfully eyeing a few. "They're so nice," he said, "but they're too nice. I could never be comfortable spending that much on a pen, and besides, I'd eventually lose it. Then I'd feel awful."The … [Read more...]

You Balance Out the Keening Pain of Newtown – UPDATED

“In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give, and life cannot be rich without such gratitude. It is so easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements compared with what we owe to the help of others.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from PrisonMy goodness, you guys, I'm not easily moved to tears but the response to this request for toy donations on behalf of an outreach that had none to give -- and the kindness and generosity that is so e … [Read more...]

Advent: Love Words and Expectations in the Dark – UPDATED

choosing joy

I am so grateful that Advent is upon us; my favorite time of year! It is all hope, depth, mystery and promise of light, and it feels like we need it; it feels as though we have all been so occupied with politics, natural disasters, willful (and unpersuasive) belligerence and our own daily anxieties and stresses -- so many people I know are anticipating Christmas with dread rather than joy -- that we need our heads turned toward something great!In my column at The Catholic Answer I put it … [Read more...]

Our “Yes” to God Brings His More Perfect “Yes” to Us

I love this month's cover of Magnificat Magazine -- Madonna and Child, by Marianne Stokes (1855-1927), Wolverhampton Art Gallery, West Midlands, UK. (© Bridgeman Giraudon) -- it captures the simple youth and energy of Mary, who would have been about 14 years old: her gaze is direct and open, and so is the child's. It almost harkens to Christ's ministry, and his command, "Ephphatha, be opened!"We are living in urgent times, where illusions are swirling all about, making it difficult to … [Read more...]

Anchoress Crashes and Burns. Film at 11:00.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

So, as sometimes happens in life, everything came to a head yesterday afternoon. After a so-so day at work, during which I made arrangements with my pediatrician to get a second cardiologist opinion on a situation with Buster (my brother is not long for this world, and my 15 year old is routinely clutching at his chest and turning purple - can we say stress overload?) I took a look at my schedule for the day. It included many errand-y, Christmas-themed type things, ending with the hour's drive … [Read more...]