Faith Alive

By: Father Graham R. Golden, O. Praem. (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9826-12/20/18

As we journey through Advent each year we encounter a threefold sense of Christ's coming: in history, in mystery and in majesty.

 

The most concrete experience for many of us is a preparation for the Christmas season. This is when we celebrate and re-encounter the truth that Christ has come in history. We remember that the Messiah has come into our world and that salvation has been won.

 

By: Susan Hines-Brigger (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9826-12/20/18
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
 
That iconic line from the 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” seems pretty off-base just a little more than a week away from Christmas, doesn’t it? Stop and look around? There’s no time for that.
 
There’s shopping and wrapping to be done. The house has to be cleaned and Christmas cards have to be mailed. Cookies need to be baked, plated up and distributed. Who’s got time to stop or slow down?
 
By: Father Geoffrey A. Brooke Jr. (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9825-12/6/18

Be watchful and Be alert! are two traditional spiritual commands often heard by Catholics during the Advent season in preparation for the birth of Christ at Christmas. To the contemporary Catholic, they can also present somewhat of a conundrum.

 

Being watchful and alert both imply a void, an emptiness, something lacking, an expectation to be fulfilled. On the other hand, the Advent season in today’s society seems to be an overflow of noise and images, these days all about Christmas.

 

By: Nancy De Flon (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9825-12/6/18

Advent is a season of expectation, of waiting for promises to be fulfilled — God’s promises, to our Israelite ancestors in the faith and to us. Isaiah promises the birth of a child named Emmanuel, “God with us.”

 

The prophet Malachi foretells the rising of the sun of righteousness (note those words in “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”). Zechariah prophesies that his son, John, will be the “prophet of the Most High.” In Nazareth a young virgin becomes pregnant under puzzling circumstances.

 

By: Shemaiah Gonzalez (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9824-11/22/18
Advent, the four-week period preceding Christmas, is a time to slow down as we wait in hopeful expectation for Christ’s coming. It’s a time to take stock of what’s important in our lives, casting away extra commitments and wasted energy we’ve added throughout the year.
 
Here are a few traditions that an individual or a family can practice to slow down and draw closer to Christ during Advent.
 
— Advent candles
 
By: Cecilia A. Moore (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9823-11/8/18

From the 1920s through the 1960s more than 300,000 African-Americans across the country chose to enter into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Their choices to become Catholic set them apart from most African-American Christians who were members of Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal and Holiness traditions.

 

By: Father Geoffrey A. Brooke Jr. (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9822-10/25/18

The rosary simultaneously manages to be one of the easiest and the most difficult prayers of the Catholic Church. Easy because it was developed to simplify the Gospels and contains the most commonly known prayers, the Hail Mary and Our Father. Difficult because it is so easy to get distracted while repeating the same prayers over and over.

 

By: Gretchen R. Crowe (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9821-10/11/18

It was one of those days you never forget. Sitting on the beach one summer evening last year, my husband and I decided to pray the rosary. Close by on a blanket was our son, only 8 weeks old. As we started praying out loud, our son began to coo along with every word.

 

Maybe he didn’t know their meaning, but he sensed the rhythm of every Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. That was my first lived experience of the rosary’s power as a family prayer.

 

By: Moira McQueen (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9820-9/27/18

The concept of “synodality,” originally applied to bishops meeting together to discuss church teaching, has become increasingly important and extended since the Second Vatican Council.

 

St. John Paul II emphasized that “a synodal assembly cannot be reduced to a consultation on practical matters. Its true raison d’etre is the fact that the church can move forward only by strengthening communion among her members, beginning with her pastors.”

 

By: Kristin Colberg (CNS)
Originally Appeared in : 9818-8/30/18

The topic of “synodality” has generated rich conversation in recent years, especially since the election of Pope Francis. This term can seem foreign or technical, but in reality it refers to a practice that is both ancient and fundamental to the church’s life.

 

The word “synod” comes from the Greek, “synodos,” which can be rendered as “traveling on a journey together” (“syn” means same, “hodos” means road or way).

 

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