Michael J. Matt writes about “Reclaiming the Catholic Feast of Christmas”. Hint: It’s all about the Christ Child!

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Over the years many Catholic families have adopted the old Christ Child tradition, believing it to be a beautiful means of restoring the true meaning of Christmas while strengthening Catholic identity in children. And it can be gradually implemented, of course.

Santa Claus (St. Nicholas), for example, can still be invited to visit the Catholic home on Christmas morning but in a dramatically reduced capacity, perhaps leaving a few stocking stuffers above the mantle and moving on.

As it was in Catholic homes throughout Christendom, Christmas must become all about the Christ Child once again. And a truly merry Christmas remains forever predicated on careful observance of Advent. No Christmas trees, no lights, no good things to eat until December 25, when the time of waiting comes to an end and all of Christendom rejoices at an event so magnificent even a two-year-old gets it. Christ is to be born—and the world, the flesh and the Devil will never change that reality, no matter how hard they try. 

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Fr. Dwight Longenecker declares: I Love Lucy.

Not Lucile Ball, but St Lucy is the one I love. It is her feast day today, and here are some reasons why she’s important:

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USCCB Advent Calendar and Other Resources

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Advent poem – from the inside out


ADVENT

I live my Advent in the womb of Mary.

And on one night when a great star swings free

from its high mooring and walks down the sky

to be the dot above the Christus i,

I shall be born of her by blessed grace.

I wait in Mary-darkness, faith’s walled place,

with hope’s expectance of nativity.

I knew for long she carried me and fed me,

guarded and loved me, though I could not see.

But only now, with inward jubilee,

I come upon earth’s most amazing knowledge:

someone is hidden in this dark with me.

Submitted by Joan V.

What is the meaning of Advent, and what do we understand by the term?

What is the meaning of Advent, and what do we understand by the term?

The word Advent signifies coming, and by it is understood the visible coming of the Son of God into this world, at two different times.

It was when the Son of God, conceived of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the immaculate Virgin Mary, was born, according to the flesh, in the fullness of time, and sanctified the world by His coming, for which the patriarchs and prophets had so longed (Gen. 49:10; Is. G4:1; Lk. 10:24).

Since Christ had not yet come, how could the Just of the Old Law be saved?

Immediately after their sin, God revealed to our first parents that His only-begotten Son would become man and redeem the world (Gen. 3:15). In the hope of this Redeemer and through His merits, all in the old covenant who participated in His merits by innocence or by penance, and who died in the grace of God, were saved, although they were excluded from heaven until the Ascension of Christ.

When will the second coming of Christ take place?

At the end of the world when Christ will come, with great power and majesty, to judge both the living and the dead.

Excerpted from “Explanation of the Epistles and Gospels” by the Rev. Leonard Goffine (1874)

Submitted by Bob Stanley

A host of Catholic Advent resources

The Internet is loaded with Advent activities, prayers, and traditions. Here are some which will help make this season a holier one for you and your family:

See them all at Catholic Fire

Something Really Important To Contemplate On This New Year’s Eve

My Italian missal offers a helpful reminder of this fuller dimension of the mystery of the Incarnation in one of its auxiliary prefaces for Advent:

“You have hidden from us the day and hour in which Christ your Son, the Lord and judge of history, will appear upon the clouds of heaven clothed in power and splendor; on that great and glorious day, the present world will pass away, and new heavens and a new earth will arise. Now, Christ comes to meet us in every man and in every time, so that we may accompany him in faith and bear witness in love to the blessed hope of his reign.

And so, anticipating his final advent, together with the angels and saints we sing as one the hymn of your glory…”

Now that’s something worth staying up late to ponder: the Yom Yahweh, the Day of the Lord, in which every tear will be wiped away and all things will be made new; the day when the Father brings to completion, in the Supper of the Lamb, the work of salvation first announced in the call of Abraham; the day which begins that endless day called the Kingdom come in its fullness; the day on which that often-hollow phrase “the international community” takes on real meaning.

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