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The Perfect Gift: A Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Advent.

What is the perfect gift? We tend to answer this question more in terms of what we want, but today’s Gospel teaches us that the perfect gift is what God is offering. One of the goals of the spiritual journey is to come to value, more than our latest desire, more than our perceived need—more …

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A Higher Love as Seen in a Commercial

Most of us begin by thinking the world can make us happy. But if we reach maturity, both spiritual and emotional, we realize that we were made for something higher, something more akin to our hearts truest longings. The body gets the most from this world, but our soul needs something else, someone else—and that someone …

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The Sin That Comes From Being a Busybody – A Meditation on a Teaching of St. Gregory

The term “busybody” usually refers to one who is intent on the matters of others but looks little to his own issues. Busybodies also tend to focus especially on the faults, foibles, and troubles of other folks. Seldom are they chattering away about good news related to other people; more often it is the scurrilous and scandalous …

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A Reminder in Advent: Christ Reigns, Rules, and Conquers

Advent is a season of waiting, waiting for God to fulfill His promises. We know that most of His promises from the Old Testament were fulfilled magnificently by Jesus, but as St. Paul reminds, we have received but the first fruits of His work in our soul (cf Rom 8:23). The created world and our …

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Modern Problems File: Losing God as the Center of Our Worship

I have noted before on this blog that one of the trends in modern liturgy is the shift of focus from God to “the assembly.” Too much of liturgy today is anthropocentric. Back in the 1990’s, in his book Why Catholics Can’t Sing, Thomas Day observed that modern liturgy often amounts to “the aware, gathered …

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Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There! The Importance of Experience

I want to give two thumbs up for good old-fashioned experience—just experiencing life to the fullest. Too often in today’s hurried age, in these times of 24×7 news, we rush past experience right to analysis. We insist on knowing immediately what something “means” and what we should think about it. This rush to analyze often …

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Who Was Isaiah, and What Does His Message Mean for Us?

During Advent, we read quite a bit from the Prophet Isaiah. Therefore, for my own meditation and yours, I offer the following reflection on Isaiah, the man and his message. Each of the issues with which he dealt is still with us, even though we live in a far more secular world than he could …

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A Prophet Who Prepares

The Second Sunday of Advent usually features the ministry of St. John the Baptist. He was the prophet who fulfilled the Office of Elijah, of whom it was said, See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the …

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Escape to a Nearby Tabernacle

It seems to me that the world is resembling an insane asylum more and more each day. If you think I exaggerate, just turn on the news for a moment. I don’t think you need me to provide a long list to know what I mean. A good example of the lunacy is that many …

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An Advent Hymn That Sings of the Great Wedding Feast of the Lamb

Another great Advent hymn to discuss is “Wake, O Wake with Tidings Thrilling.” Its original German title is “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme,” which is more literally translated “Awake, a voice calls to us.” The hymn was written in 1599 by Philipp Nicolai, and concerns the Parable of the Ten Virgins.  It is beautifully …

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