For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hallelujah Chorus from Alaska (Subterranean-Homesick-Blues-Style)

I know this is a day late... okay, two days late, but I've been traveling most of the Christmas holiday and purposely left my laptop at home.  I didn't miss it.

Be sure to watch the whole video above.  It's cute and hilarious.  And although many churches are imitating this presentation on a smaller scale, THIS one is the ultimate to watch.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas To All, And To All A Good Night!

I was invited to a friend's place this year to spend Christmas with him and his family in Chicago, but due to some mix-ups with my employer I wound up home in Pennsylvania instead late last night  Just as well since I am sick with bronchitis, which I believe is contagious.  The fact that it's contagious means I won't be going to the priests retirement center in our diocese to find an old retiree to hear my confession and grant me absolution.  They're about the only ones available after the 23rd, but the older guys don't handle bronchitis well.  That means no Communion.  But I can't really go to church knowing I'm sick and risk giving my illness to someone else, because old ladies and small children don't handle bronchitis well, either.  And this also makes doing volunteer work, ie, serving food for homeless people in a soup kitchen, out of the question.

So what am I doing for Christmas this year?  I could still do a number of things.  There are all those Clint Eastwood movies I could watch, or the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or Hogan's Heros reruns.  Perhaps a CSI marathon!  Or I could sit and stare at my Christmas tree and wonder..."why me?"

Nope.  I'll spend much of it staying focused on God and praying Liturgy of the Hours.  Here's the Hymn from today's Vespers:

Unto us a child is given,
Christ out Savior bring release;
Counselor, Eternal Father,
God made man, and Prince of Peace.

Born of Mary, gentle virgin,
By the Spirit of the Lord;
From eternal ages spoken:
This the mighty Father's Word.

Love and truth in him shall flower,
From his strength their vigor take.
Branches that are bare shall blossom;
Joy that slept begins to wake.

Praise the everlasting Father,
and the Lord, his only Son;
Praise them with the Holy Spirit, 
Perfect Trinity in One.

Although being by yourself at Christmas isn't as much fun as having friends and family around helping you celebrate, you are never really alone at Christmas when you have God in your life.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christ Is Born This Day! (The Reason For The Season)

Although I do not usually gravitate toward paintings of Jesus with blonde hair and blue eyes, there is something about La Vierge Au Lys by William Bouguereau that draws me in and captivates my imagination.

Bouguereau's depiction of Mary holding Jesus (Pieta) after being lowered from the cross (same Mary, same outfit, only looking older) inspired Mel Gibson to search for an actress with the same intense look to play Mary in The Passion.

Anyway, Merry Christmas to all!

Below is an excerpt from A Christmas Sermon by St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.):

“Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man.  Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.

You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death. You would have been lost if he had not hastened ‘to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.

Let us then joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption. Let us celebrate the festive day on which he who is the great and eternal day came from the great and endless day of eternity into our own short day of time.

He has become our justice, our sanctification, our redemption, so that, as it is written: Let him who glories glory in the Lord.

Truth, then, has arisen from the earth: Christ who said, I am the Truth, was born of the Virgin. And justice looked down from heaven: because believing in this new-born child, man is justified not by himself but by God.

Truth has arisen from the earth: because the Word was made flesh. And justice looked down from heaven: because every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.

Truth has arisen from the earth: flesh from Mary. And justice looked down from heaven: for man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

Justified by faith, let us be at peace with God: for justice and peace have embraced one another. Through our Lord Jesus Christ: for Truth has arisen from the earth. Through whom we have access to that grace in which we stand, and our boast is in our hope of God’s glory. He does not say: “of our glory”, but of God’s glory: for justice has not come out of us but has looked down from heaven. Therefore he who glories, let him glory, not in himself, but in the Lord.

For this reason, when our Lord was born of the Virgin, the message of the angelic voices was: Glory to God in the highest, and peace to men of good will.

For how could there be peace on earth unless Truth has arisen from the earth, that is, unless Christ were born of our flesh? And he is our peace who made the two into one: that we might be men of good will, sweetly linked by the bond of unity.

Let us then rejoice in this grace, so that our glorying may bear witness to our good conscience by which we glory, not in ourselves, but in the Lord. That is why Scripture says: He is my glory, the one who lifts up my head. For what greater grace could God have made to dawn on us than to make his only Son become the son of man, so that a son of man might in his turn become son of God?

Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Slow Down, Take A Breath....It's Advent

How easily we get caught up in Stressmas and lose track of the real meaning of the Christmas Season we call Advent.  Nothing should matter more than the birth of the Christ Child at Christmas.  All other traditions and celebrations, however important, are secondary.

(H/T:  Brutally Honest)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from St. Blogustine

Make the time to attend Mass tonight. Yule be glad you did.
(pic borrowed from Jeff)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Reader Contest: Name that Tune

Happy day after Thanksgiving, the kickoff for the month-long shop fest punctuated at the end with what most of us still regard as a blessed holiday. My kids' behavior during the TV commercials is, well, exactly what my own was at their age. That's what the TV guys want them to do.

It inspired me to parody a certain overplayed Christmas song with this little ditty I composed. I'll send one of our stickers to the first correct guesser with the title of the original song:

Puh-leeze Mom and Dad
Puh-leeze Mom and Dad
Come here quickly, look at the TV
Can we get that?

I want a whole lot of toys for Christmas!
I want a whole lot of toys for Christmas!
I want a whole lot of toys for Christmas,
like they're showing in the ads!

(Repeat a zillion times for the next month).

Place your entries in the comments if you sign in with a Blogger account or URL traceable to a site with your email contact info. Otherwise, email me your entry at blogpoon(a)gmail(dot)com.

Ties will be determined by timestamp.

Update: I've altered a word in the first two lines to make it a closer match to the original. Is it a giveaway?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Humanist Group Tries To Rain On Christmas

A humanist group, who does not revel in the Christmas spirit due to their inability to relate to Christianity or any God in general, has chosen this Christmas to post ads on buses in Washington D. C. with the following slogan: Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake.

The American Humanist Association spent $40,000 on this holiday ad campaign to reach out to those "agnostics, atheists, and other types of nontheists" who feel isolated and alone during the Christmas season. The organization's website is posted on the ad so that the God-haters can congregate together online and discuss their revulsion toward the rest of us having a great time.

This is not how other non-christian groups act. I became aware while living in Chicago that many Jewish people felt left out at Christmas, but the Jewish people didn't try to rain on our parade with provocative ads. They simply came up with the annual Oy Vey party and the Matzo Ball, a Jewish singles party held on Christmas. Fair enough.

So instead of trashing Christmas and attacking Christian faith, why can't these party-poop humanists create their own celebration? Perhaps their beliefs, or lack thereof, constantly remind them of their ever-looming mortality which dampens their spirits. After all, how festive can one feel when one believes he is on this earth for no reason or purpose, and that he is some sort of accidental combination of cells that will die off and rot someday? Some people are not happy unless they share their misery with others.

(h/t: CNN and Wild Thing)