Advent and Christmas Retreat: Christmas Time, First Week

Merry Christmas! We continue our seasonal retreat by reflecting on Christmas. Please share your retreat experience with others here in the comments. Christmas Time, First Week: Jesus Is Light in the Darkness. Petition: Ask for the grace to receive Jesus, the Savior, as the light of our path. Jesus is here! We now have a way to follow. We have a loving and patient teacher to help us live the destiny for which we were […]

Advent Retreat: The Second Week of Advent

If you are following along with our Advent retreat, this is the place for brief reflections to jump-start your week. Please share your retreat experience with others here throughout the week in the comments. The Second Week of Advent: Prepare Yourself for the Lord’s Coming. Petition: Ask for the grace to prepare the way for the Lord in one’s own heart, in the family, in the parish, and in the human community. Soon we will […]

Hallelujah Chorus at Macy’s

Two Saturdays ago  the Opera Company of Philadelphia and hundreds of local choristers sang the Halleljuah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah at Macy’s.  This video of the event is great fun.  Click here if you can’t see the video.  (H/T to Tom McGrath.)

Halloween Giving? Yes, Giving.

What for years seemed like extreme cruelty, now impresses me as heroic parenting. The parent in this case was my mother who, back in the 1950s, thought the Three Stooges were too violent, carrot and celery sticks were excellent snacks, and putting a piano in my childhood bedroom would inspire me to practice in between lessons.* Shouldn’t be too difficult to guess what Halloween was like during my formative years – I collected pennies for […]

A Meditation for Labor Day

The Call of the King is a meditation in the Spiritual Exercises that invites us to join Christ in his work of healing the world. Christ is a king leading an army, but he’s a leader who works alongside his troops. He says, “I want to overcome all diseases, all poverty, all ignorance, all oppression and slavery–in short, all the evils that beset humankind. Whoever wishes to join me in this undertaking must be content […]

Happy Holidays?

I often flinch inside when someone wishes me “happy holidays.”   “What’s wrong with saying ‘Merry Christmas?’” says the annoyed inner voice. Nothing, of course, but nevertheless I’m trying to get over my flinching. Hardly anybody who says “happy holidays” does so out of disrespect for the Christian feast.  They do it out of politeness.  There are some people who might receive Christmas greetings uncomfortably, and a tiny handful who are actively hostile to Christianity.  But […]

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