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Mary, Mother of God?

January 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics not because it is New Years, but because it is the octave (8th day) of Christmas, the feast of Mary the Mother of God. This feast helps bring home the reality of the incarnation, that...

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The Deeper Meaning of Christmas

We all know the elements of the Christmas story: Caesar's census and Herod, shepherds and Magi, ox, swaddling clothes & manger, a stable and not room in the inn, Emmanuel and the Prince of Peace. But underneath each of these people, places, and things,...

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Mary’s Magnificat – Bede

Bede the Venerable, one of the greatest Christian writers of the early Middle Ages, here reflects on the Magnificat, the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin Mary proclaimed during her visitation of her cousin Elizabeth and sung every night in the Church's evening prayer, part of...

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The Visitation & Mary’s Magnificat – Bede

Writing in the early 8th century, Bede explains why the Magnificat, Mary's prayer on the occasion of her Visitation of Elizabeth, is used daily in the liturgy of the hours (a.k.a the divine office) for evening prayer....

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Christmas: Origins of the Feast

Where did December 25 come from as the celebration of Christmas, the birthday of Jesus?  What are the origins of the feast of Christ's Navity?...

Unfinished Business of Vatican II

The Second Vatican Council is often called a pastoral council since it issued so many practical directives for the renewal of the day to day life of the church.  Many of the objectives of the council fathers have been implemented since Vatican II's close in...

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Creator of Time is Born in Time – Leo the Great

Saint Leo says the genealogy of Jesus given us in Luke and Matthew's gospels shows that Jesus was truly one of us, possessing a complete human nature. He did not merely appear in human form, as in the biblical types and scriptural symbols of the...

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Catholic Church as Prophetic Institution

People often think of the Catholic Church primarily in terms of being an institution.  While the Church does have an institutional dimension, it is entirely at the service of proclaiming the word of God.  It is a prophetic institution....