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The Truth of Fairy Tales, Ten Amazing Catholics, When is Christmas Anyway, and much more! (3117)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/27/2011 Comment

Ten Amazing Catholics of the Year. Click on the link by Mary O'Regan to read who they are.

Book Review: The Catholic Briefcase by Randy Hain - Stacy Trasancos PhD, Catholic Lane

The Truth of Fairy Tales - Ink and Quill, Ignitum Today

Ten Amazing Catholics of the Year - Mary O’Regan, Catholic Herald

The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of the Lord - David Clayton, Crisis Magazine

When is Christmas, Anyway? - Terry Mattingly, On Religion

Hark the Herald Angels Sing - Donald R. McClarey, The American Catholic

The Betting Window is Open - Steve Kellmeyer, The Fifth Column

The Shoddy Business of Lesbian Parenting Studies - Wendy Wright, Turtle Bay and Beyond

Ecclesial Backbone Award 2011: Time to Vote! - Anthony S. Layne, The Impractical Catholic

Nigerians Fear more Church Attacks...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, archbishop allen vigneron, bishop armando ochoa, catholic blogosphere, christmas, lesbian parenting studies, mental health problems, michael voris, nigeria, the catholic briefcase

Vaclav Havel and Kim Jong Il (3701)

Good and evil in the lives and deaths of two world leaders

12/27/2011 Comments (5)

Two very different leaders died last weekend, Vaclav Havel, 75, former president of both Czechoslovakia (1989-1992) and the Czech Republic (1993-2003) after it split from Slovakia, and Kim Jong Il, 69, dictator of North Korea since 1994.

The first helped defeat communism in 1989, ushering in freedom for a huge swath of Eurasia, from Berlin to the Bering Strait; the second prolonged it into the 21st century, with disastrous consequences, especially for the North Korean people.

A simple narrative, accurate in a minimalist sense, calls one man good and the other evil. Catholic theology calls us to deeper considerations.

Havel, who died Dec. 18, was buried with an exquisite Catholic Requiem...READ MORE

Filed under communism, john paul ii, kim jong il, vavlav havel

Pope Benedict's Christmas Message Calls for Prayers for Peace (2388)

The Holy Father says in urbi et orbi message: 'The Child whom we contemplate is our salvation! He has brought to the world a universal message of reconciliation and peace. Let us open our hearts to him; let us receive him into our lives.'

12/26/2011 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas message on Dec. 25 called on believers to “turn to the child of Bethlehem, the son of the Virgin Mary” to ask for peace in “the land where he chose to come into the world.”

In his address delivered from the loggia of St. Peter’s Square, the Pope stressed the need for peace in the Middle East and other conflict areas, including North Africa and Southeast Asia.

Below, the full text of Pope Benedict’s Christmas message:

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world,

Christ is born for us! Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to the men and women whom he loves. May all people hear an echo of the message of Bethlehem which the Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under christmas, peace, pope benedict xvi, urbi et orbi message

Mytical Visions of Jesus Birth, Why Did God Become Man, About Those Christmas Animals, and more! (3449)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/26/2011 Comment

About Those Christmas Animals. Click on the link by Ray Sullivan to learn why they are there and their significance.

The Birth of Jesus, Revealed to St. Bridget - Fr. Ryan Erlenbush, New Theological Movement

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s Mystical Vision of Christ’s Birth - Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

The Priest Whose Preaching was like a ‘Spiritual Earthquake’ - Catholic Herald

Christmas Myths & Furrowed Brows - Rich, Over the Rhine and Into the Tiber

The Activism of the Ordinary - Nathaniel Gotcher, Ignitum Today

“What, Really, is the Point of Christmas? Why did God become Man?” - Carl Olson, Ignatius Insight Scoop

Washington at Bay - Donald R. McClarey, The American Catholic

About Those Christmas Animals - Ray Sullivan, Catholic Lane

Blood, Bones And Flesh: God Joins The Human Race...READ MORE

Filed under blessed anne catherine emmerich, cardinal pell, catholic blogosphere, christmas animals, fr. james martin, george washington, ku klux klan, lgbt, nigeria, st. bridget

Kateri Tekakwitha (5614)

First Native American saint from present-day United States has inspired generations.

12/26/2011 Comments (5)

Oldest known portrait of Kateri Tekakwitha, circa 1690 by Father Chauchetière.

– Wikipedia

As Kateri Tekakwitha lay on her deathbed, adorned in her finest clothing in preparation to meet her heavenly Spouse, those gathered around her knew they were losing a saintly young woman advanced in the spiritual life.

More than 300 years later, the universal Church will finally know what the small community of Mohawk Indian Christians witnessed in 1680: Kateri Tekakwitha, the daughter of a Mohawk war chief and Christian Algonquin mother, is a saint.

“We’ve been waiting for this for so long. Now that it’s here, it’s unbelievable. We’re overjoyed,” said Sister Kateri Mitchell, a Mohawk religious sister and executive director of the Tekakwitha Conference in Great Falls, Mont. Sister Kateri...READ MORE

Filed under american saints, kateri tekakwitha, native americans, pope benedict xvi, saints

The Irrepressible Joy of Christmas (2383)

Christmas column from Dec. 18 issue.

12/25/2011 Comment

– Shutterstock

“All who would win joy,” George Gordon Lord Byron once remarked, “must share it; happiness was born a twin.”

I am fond of this statement and have used it many times in class over the years to indicate the social dimension of the human person. The reason it is not good for man to be alone is because solitude is joyless.

Nevertheless, as the Christmas season approaches, I have two quibbles with Byron’s bon mot. First, I do not believe it is quite accurate to identify joy with happiness. “Joy” and “happiness” are not exactly synonyms. The latter can burn with a low flame and can provide a comfortable background for our lives. But joy burns with a bright flame. It is piercing, rhapsodic,...READ MORE

Filed under christ, christmas, faith, joy

Pope Benedict: The Christ Child Asks for Our Love (2274)

Christmas Eve homily of the Holy Father.

12/25/2011 Comments (4)

– Wikipedia

At his Christmas Eve Mass, Pope Benedict XVI invited those celebrating the holiday to “set aside our false certainties and intellectual pride” and recognize God’s appearance as a child.

In his sermon at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pope warned against the“bright lights” of commercialism that “hide the mystery of God’s humility,” as shown in his incarnation. 

Christmas, he said, calls believers to “dismount from the high horse” of supposedly “‘enlightened’ reason” to find “the God who conceals himself in the humility of a newborn baby.”

Below, the full text of Pope Benedict’s Christmas Eve homily:

Dear brothers and sisters,
The reading from St. Paul’s Letter to Titus that we have just...READ MORE

Filed under christmas

How Christmas Is Heaven (1777)

User's Guide to Sunday, Dec. 25.

12/25/2011 Comment

– Shutterstock

Sunday, Dec. 25, is the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas!


Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalms 98:1, 2-6; Hebrews 1:1-6; John 1:1-18 or 1:1-5, 9-14

Our Take

Christmas gives us the answer about heaven.

Heaven is, the Catechism tells us, a “communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed” (1024).

What scene does that remind you of? It’s the Christmas scene: Mary, the angels and our loved ones.

“Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness,” adds the Catechism (1024).

Where do we find that? With our family, focused on God, and in the peak of our expressions of...READ MORE

Filed under christmas

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