Dear Father: Please Stop It

In all the sixteen documents of the Second Vatican Council, is there any prescription more regularly violated than General Norm 22.3 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy? Which, in case you’ve forgotten, teaches that “no . . . person, not even a priest, may add, remove, or change anything . . . . Continue Reading »

Come, Lord Jesus

The Bible begins with an Advent. After Adam and Eve sin, they hear the “voice of Yahweh walking in the garden in the Spirit of the day,” coming to confront and judge and promise a deliverer. The Bible ends with another Advent, a coming of Jesus after the coming of Jesus. The very last words of . . . . Continue Reading »

Bonhoeffer's Last Advent

One year before Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis on the morning of April 9, 1945, he wrote from prison to his friend Eberhard Bethge: “What keeps gnawing at me is the question, ‘What is Christianity, or who is Christ actually for us today?’” To that question we must now pose . . . . Continue Reading »

Your Advent Playlist

Forget the War on Christmas. The real battle raging out there is the War on Advent. Rather than beginning a season of prayful preparation for the Lord's coming, the commercial world would have us believe we are already over a month into an early, raucous Christmas feast. An inverted White Witch has . . . . Continue Reading »

Bonhoeffer in Advent

The year was 1943, and another Advent had dawned for Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer loved Advent and had often preached sermons on this holy season of waiting and hope as a metaphor for the entire Christian life. Just one year earlier, during the Advent of 1942, Bonhoeffer had written a circular letter to some of his friends and former students. Continue Reading »

Spirit in Flesh

God has come to the human race many times and in many ways. He came to form Adam from the dust, and he came walking in the garden after Adam sinned. He came to deliver Israel from Egypt, descended on Sinai to give the Law, and led Israel through the wilderness into the land. He came in judgment when his people polluted the holy land, and he came to stir the heart of Cyrus to let them go. Biblical history is filled with advents of God. Continue Reading »

Advent of Unity

John famously begins his Gospel with a piece of theology: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Matthew starts with a genealogy. John celebrates Advent with a hymn, Matthew with a list. For John, Jesus is the Word of creation in human flesh. For Matthew, he is a name. Continue Reading »