Advent Reading Recommendations 2013 – UPDATED

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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!

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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...]

O Oriens! O Radiant Dawn!

Roma St Peters at Sunrise Beatification JPII

O Morning Star, splendour of eternal light and sun of justice, come and illumine those seated in darkness and the shadow of death. … [Read more...]

O Clavis David! O Key of David!

O Key of David

O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, who open and no one shuts, who shuts, and no one opens, come and free from prison him who sits in darkness and the shadow of death.O gates, lift high your heads; grow higher, ancient doors. Let him enter, the king of glory! Psalm 24 … [Read more...]

You Balance Out the Keening Pain of Newtown – UPDATED

light in darkness

“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 i … [Read more...]

O Radix Jesse, O Root of Jesse!

Root of Jesse

Chanting these beautiful antiphons has really served to keep me centered, this week:O Root of Jesse, who stand as an ensign to the peoples, at whom kings stand silent and whom the gentiles seek, come and free us, delay no longer!And perhaps, in light of all we are grieving just now, it is good to sing this verse of O Come, O Come Emmanuel:O Come of Rod of Jesse, free Thine own from Satan's tyranny; From depths of hell thy people save, And give them victory o'er the … [Read more...]

O Adonai, Leader of the House of Israel!

O Adonai Icon

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and gave him the Law on Sinai, come to redeem us with outstretched arm! … [Read more...]

“Born of the Father before all Ages. Wait, What?

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As the Year of Faith got launched, Melanie Bettinelli of The Wine Dark Sea undertook the ambitious project of enlisting various writers to take on single, separate lines of the Creed, and create a series that focuses on these lines throughout the year.When I learned that "born of the Father, before all ages" was unclaimed, I happily nabbed it -- it is my favorite line.So far, Melanie's writers have hit home-runs with their lines -- these writers have all been splendid, instructive, … [Read more...]

Benedictines of Mary: EWTN Gives a Glimpse of Ephesus

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The Benedictine in me is a little giddy in anticipation of this Advent gift!EWTN – the Eternal Word Television Network – has announced multiple broadcasts of a 30-minute special on the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, and the making of Advent at Ephesus, which is available now worldwide from De Montfort Music and Decca Records.The special debuts at 11 a.m. ET on Dec. 2, the first Sunday of Advent. Other broadcasts are set for 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET on Dec. 5, 6 p.m. ET on Dec. … [Read more...]

Advent: Love Words and Expectations in the Dark – UPDATED

Madonna and Child, by Marianne Stokes (1855-1927)

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...]


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