November 27, 2015

A Wake Up Call for Shepherds

This is the season when we remember heaven’s wake up call to the shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. The divine alarm sounded a brilliant “Gloria!” and the angel enlivened them with “good news for all people.” The shepherds were awakened with the gospel of the newborn Savior. Pope […]

Advent with Christina Rossetti (4)

Christina Rossetti’s most familiar poem for this season of the year was penned in 1872. She called it simply, “A Christmas Carol,” and it was first published in Scribner’s Monthly Magazine. The poem weaves its wonder through the vivid use of contrast: overall, the hard, cold bleakness of winter vs. the warmth of a newborn […]

Lisa Dye: Parousia!

When my children were little, I diligently taught and enforced their close adherence to my side as we got in and out of the car, walked into stores, church or any other place. Looking back, I wasn’t strict or controlling in most respects. In fact, all my daughters voiced at one time or another that […]

iMonk Classic: The Mood of Advent: We All Need A Savior

I have several friends who are doing Advent in their Baptist churches for the first time, and they have lots of questions about candles and logistics. I wish there were more questions about Advent itself. For example, the mood of Advent is dark and serious. It’s not the mood of Lent, which is a particular […]

Advent with Christina Rossetti (3)

The third Sunday in Advent is Gaudete Sunday. In the midst of the Advent fast, we encouraged to rejoice in the Lord. This day has a counterpart in Lent: Laetare Sunday. Both come just past the midpoint of a penitential season and are designed as merciful reprieves from the demands of fasting so that the […]

Advent with Christina Rossetti (2)

Friday was Christina Rossetti’s birthday. She was born December 5, 1830. During this Advent season we are considering some of her seasonal poems, using them as material for meditation and contemplation as we prepare for celebrating the birth of Christ. The following excerpt from Rossetti’s biographical page at The Poetry Foundation explains her religious affiliation […]

Advent with Christina Rossetti (1)

On Advent Sundays this year, we will encourage contemplation using some of the seasonal poems of Christina Rossetti. For years now, a favorite book in my library has been an old worn copy of The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, published in 1904. A brief note in fountain pen ink inside the cover says […]

Homily for Advent IV: How Silently, How Silently

How Silently, How Silently A sermon for the fourth Sunday in Advent, 2013 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a […]

What Is Advent?

We are now in the third week of the liturgical season of Advent.  Okay, what does all that mean?  What is Advent?  To quote from my 1964 Mass missal (from the days when Mass was still said in Latin): The ecclesiastical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent.  The season of Advent is a […]

Homily for Advent III: In a Prison Cell of Doubt

In a Prison Cell of Doubt A sermon for the third Sunday in Advent, 2013 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Go and […]