The Hope and Despair at Christmastime

DECEMBER 20, 2021 from Catholic Exchange DR. DONALD DEMARCO We can all agree that 2021 has been a most difficult year. Some have succumbed to despair, while others are still searching for hope. We experience the tension between the weight of gravity and the lightness of grace. Saint John Paul II was well aware of this tension. “Do not abandon yourself to despair,” he implored us, “We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song” (Angelus, November 30, 1986). This “song” is appropriate not only for Christmas, but for every day in the liturgical calendar. At the same time, the former pontiff emphasized the critical importance of hope: “I plead with you, never, ever, give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid” (In My Own Words). Hope and despair are opposite poles. Therefore, they differ as day and night, being and nothingness. Despair is not a virtue. It is a concession. It is a moment when a person gives up, calls it quits, surrenders to the dark night of oblivion. No resources are required in order to despair. In fact, despair is the rejection of the resources that are still available...

The Word Was Made Flesh: An Advent Reflection on the Incarnation

DECEMBER 20, 2021 from Catholic Exchange FR. JOHN S. HOGAN Editor’s note: The following is a homily from the Fourth Week in Advent, 2008. It was given at St. Peter’s Church, National Shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett, in Drogheda, Ireland. You can find it and other homilies in the book Advent Reflections, which is edited by Brandon McGinley and published through Sophia Institute Press. Loreto is a small medieval city, perched atop a small moun­tain overlooking the Adriatic Sea on the east coast of Italy. If you look up from the plains below, you see a great wall reminiscent of a fortress, a forbidding citadel; in reality, it is a spiritual doorway, a place of meeting. Within the walls is a great basilica and, beneath the dome of the basilica, a marble chapel within which is an ancient house, simple in its construction but resonant with history. This is the house of Nazareth where the Annunciation took place, where it is believed the Holy Family lived and St. Joseph died — the Holy House that was and is a witness to the mystery of the Incarnation. Loreto is a place where it is easy to pray. The ancient stones of the Holy House seem to...

CATHOLIC EXCHANGE: Gaudete Sunday Calls Us to Rejoice

Original article: CatholicExchange.com   GAYLE SOMERS “Rose” Sunday in Advent calls us to rejoice, even in a penitential season. Will our readings show us how? Gospel (Read Lk 3:10-18) Traditionally, Catholics observe the third Sunday of Advent as “rose” Sunday, or “Gaudete” Sunday, which is Latin for “rejoice.” This is a beautiful reminder that although our preparation for the coming of the Lord has directed our attention inward, calling us to be ready to face our sin in an active way, the reason for this self-examination is one that should bring us boundless joy. Our Gospel reading helps us begin to see this. St. Luke tells us that John the Baptist’s preaching aroused a response in the crowds who came to hear him.  They understood he was calling them to a decision about how they lived their lives with God:  “What should we do?”  This is the same exact question that the crowds who heard St. Peter first preach the Gospel on the Day of Pentecost asked, too (see Acts 2:37).  John had a ready answer for them, and it is not, perhaps, the answer they might have expected.  He did not tell them to pray more, give more alms, or spend more...

RITIRO A MIAMI – FAMILIA SALESIANA – 4 DICIEMBRE

Aviso importante para la Familia Salesiana….este SÁBADO…4 de diciembre 2021….tendremos una mañana de REFLEXIÓN en preparación para el ADVIENTO…… LUGAR: Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción….4497 West 1 Avenida, Hialeah, Fl. 33012…teléfono 305-822-2011…dirigido por el Padre Isidro Perez…en el Salon Parroquial….HORA: de 9:00am a 1:30pm….terminaremos con la Santa Misa….Hace mucho que no podemos reunirnos y nutrir nuestro espíritu pero de nuevo Nuestra Madre Auxiliadora nos da esta oportunidad. ¡¡¡¡Les esperamos!!!Important News from the Spanish Speaking Branch of the Salesian Family…this Saturday….December 4th, 2021…we will have a day of Reflection for Advent….it will be in Spanish…Place: Immaculate Conception Church … 4497 West 1st Ave. Hialeah, Fl. 33012…phone number: 305-822-2011….It will be given by Father Isidro Perez….At the Parish Hall….TIME:  from 9:00am to 1:30pm…ending with the Holy Mass.  It has been a long time since we have been able to gather to nourish our spiritual needs but once again Our Lady Mary Help of Christians have come to our aid. Please do not miss this opportunity. ...

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – Daily Free Podcast every day of December 2021 from Relevant Radio!

What will happen when the bell tolls? Don’t be haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past!This season, we have a special gift for you – a first-of-its-kind audio Advent calendar. Bringing you world-class audio entertainment fit for the whole family, The Merry Beggars’ debut at Relevant Radio is an exclusive audio series of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Join your favorite characters from the timeless classic, brought to life by professional actors and exceptional sound design.Click and gain access to The Merry Beggars site. There you can get the series, explore other exciting content and subscribe just like your favorite streaming services – except this one is FREE!GET THE SERIES! New episodes of A Christmas Carol will drop daily from December 1st until the 25th. Be sure to sign up and subscribe today!God bless us, every one!Your Friends at Relevant Radio  The Relevant Radio® Mission: Bringing Christ to the world through the media© 2021 Relevant Radio,...