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The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Snow that has fallen in the night Blankets at last the sodden clay And offers such peace to our sight As if it were the eternal day. Yet shoppers, now, begin to fight Among stripped shelves, and husbands say Some stinging thing to frazzled wives Just before the first guest arrives. What blessing . . . . Continue Reading »

Fire Up a Candle

Fire up a candle for the Advent wreath. The birth is a week away. Let the deer browse peacefully on their heath, our rifles locked away. Last remnant in our Liturgy of Greek, let all sing Kyrie, Christe eléison. Let all who seek salvation, let the stray sinner come to the church whose Lord is . . . . Continue Reading »

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 »

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