February 10, 2016

Epiphany V: An Introduction to Lent by Mark D. Roberts

A reader wrote this week and asked for basic information about Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season. I couldn’t think of a better introduction than this piece by Mark D. Roberts, who blogs at Patheos. • • • How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts […]

midwinter

midwinter in long and deep midwinter dreams of spring arise of fulsome brooks and fragile buds of warmer winds and skies that, moaning, pour the anguished tears of childbirth on the land and ‘midst the muddy, messy muck transform the slender strands weaving a carpet ‘neath the trees which don their own green gowns and fill […]

Randy Thompson: That We Might Be Happy Together

Sometimes at Christmas we get so caught up with the magi, shepherds, and  the barnyard animals around the manger that we forget about the birth that the birth of Christ set into motion. Sometimes, the familiar nativity display so dominates our imagination that we forget the purpose of the One who was born. The One […]

Jan Richardson: This Luminous Darkness – Searching for Solace in Advent and Christmas

Note from CM: One of my favorite sites on our blogroll (listed as “J Richardson”) is Jan Richardson’s The Painted Prayerbook. Her art is evocative and profound, her love for the seasons of the Christian Year instructive, and her writing talent remarkable. She maintains several different sites, including a blog for Advent called, “The Advent Door: Entering […]

Beverly

“I had a dream about not long ago,” she said. “My sister and I were at the roller rink, skating together to that wonderful music. I never did get very good, but she could really skate. In fact, we all saved up and bought her skates and then later we even got her a case. […]

Mondays with Michael Spencer (+ a bonus!): December 21, 2015

It was at school that I first discovered the beauty of music — in “Lo! How a Rose, E’er Blooming.” Seventh graders were required to take music class. We were not music enthusiasts, to say the least. There was about us all the sense of artistic compulsion, but in the cause of sheer endurance. Nothing […]

The Haunting of Christmas

There’ll be scary ghost stories And tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year • • • As with other posts this Advent/Christmas season, we’re exploring some of the strange and interesting ways people celebrate the season. The way we as Americans celebrate Christmas hasn’t essentially […]

Another Look: Why do we love this season?

Why do we love this season? I would suggest that aesthetics have much to do with the answer to that question. Advent and Christmas are made sensible to us by means of the things we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch at this time of year. Spiritual truth comes out of the closet of the abstract and makes itself […]

Jonathan Aigner: Ten reasons to follow the liturgical calendar

Note from CM: For this Jubilee Year of Mercy (which begins officially today), the Catholic Church has produced some excellent handbooks to help ministers and congregants focus on the theme of mercy. I found it interesting that the very first chapter of book one (called Celebrating Mercy), emphasized that the place to start was with a fresh […]

Putting a Krampus in your Christmas

In the benign stories of “Santa” most of us were told, the jolly old elf knew who was “naughty or nice.” He checked his list (twice) and gave gifts to the good children, and, tradition says, a lump of coal in the stockings of children who had been bad. Bummer on Christmas morning, but hey, […]