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Advent

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Santa Claus – How Do We Deal with Him?

Christmas, at least in the USA, is hard to imagine without Jolly ole Saint Nicholas, aka "Santa Claus."  Since some focus on him to the neglect of the Christ child, some propose that he be banished from an authentically Christian celebration of Christ's birth.  We...

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Saint Nicholas & John 21 – Augustine

This excerpt from St. Augustine's Treatise on John's Gospel (Tract. 123, 5: CCL 36, 678-680) is read on the feast day of St. Nicholas, December 6. It focuses on the real meaning of the gift-giving for which St. Nicholas is famous--the self-giving love of a...

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St. Joseph, Model of Faith – Podcast

14 minute podcast in which Dr. Italy discusses St. Joseph as an often overlooked hero of the Advent - Christmas story.  He shows how St. Matthew's gospel presents him as a model of faith....

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Three Comings of the Lord – Bernard of Clairvaux

St. Bernard of Clairvaux says there are three comings: Advent prepares not just for the first coming of Christ to Israel, or even the second at the end of time. There is a third coming between these two in which Jesus comes in spirit...

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St. Joseph’s Claim to Fame – Father of Faith

Saint Joseph always appears in Manger scenes during Advent and Easter time and even has a special Solemnity or Feast in his honor, St. Joseph's Day, March 19. This essay makes a case that St. Joseph teaches us some crucial things about the nature...

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Advent of Peace – Fast before the Feast

Christmas is a joyous celebration of the birth of Peace. So why does the Church precede the feast of December 25 with a somber season of fast and penance? A meditation for the Second Sunday of Advent, cycle A. ...

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Advent as the Season of Hope

Advent is a season of joy & hope. Paul says to rejoice in hope. But what is hope, anyway? How does this theological virtue differ from faith and what does it have to do with rejoicing?...

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Two Fold Coming of Christ – Cyril of Jerusalem

This Advent reading on the two comings of Christ is an excerpt from Cyril of Jerusalem's famous catechetical instruction of adults getting ready for baptism around AD 360. Cyril contrasts Christ's first coming in humility with Jesus' second coming in glory....