Christmas is a celebration of the infinite love of God, a love that is unbounded, a love that loosens limitations and dissolves boundaries. It is the feast of a God whose love obscures the separation between divinity and humanity, God and man.
Advent is a time of anticipation. We wait, marking the passage of time with our Advent candles, counting the days. Drawing closer to Bethlehem. This year has felt more Lent than Advent, but it has been a time of waiting, a year of mandated patience.
“Peace be with you,” Jesus says in the Gospel reading for Pentecost Sunday (Jn 20:19). Peace — as in harmony, or even as in a lack of noise — is not exactly plentiful these days. Certainly not in an election year, when cacophony seems to be the (dis)order of the day.
On a recent Sunday, my 4-year-old and 2-year-old were “having a moment” during Mass. Either they both wanted me to pick them up at the same time or they were fighting over one of their Church-approved books. Whatever the cause, I’d taken them outside to sit on a bench in the Church courtyard until they calmed down.
Do I remember St. John Paul II? Yes, I remember him well. I write of him as the centennial of his birth May 18, 1920, approaches. It would be impossible to list all my lasting memories of him in one article. So that is not my goal.
“Lord, give me strength.” This has been my mantra of late, every morning when I start to hear the first whines and cries from my 17-month-old around 5:20 a.m.
With the rapid changes brought on by COVID-19, there is an incredible level of stress for everyone in the country. We have worries about our families, our work, finances and loved ones living in areas that may be experiencing an even greater impact than where we are.
The other day, I was walking our dog, Xena — who would be worth a column all to herself — when I noticed that one of the neighbors had her front lawn all decorated for Easter. This neighbor is known for having her front lawn all decked out for every holiday — Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, you name it. Often, they are lit up at night, which is a sight I look forward to on my walks with Xena.
Lent is always a desert journey that we make with Jesus, Who fasted and was tested in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. The prophet Hosea says the Lord leads His people into the desert to speak to their hearts. This Lent, it seems that the entire world has been led into a desert.
There’s an old adage that one shouldn’t discuss religion or politics in polite company. The same could be said about science and religion. There seems to be no end to the clashes between the creationists and scientists over the existence of God as manifested in the history of the universe.