Christmas Eve

A Catholic America Would Be Worth ‘Conserving’

History is a funny thing in that it takes no prisoners. One thing American Conservatives have wrestled with since the foundation of the republic is just what it is they are supposed to be conserving. Europeans and Latin Americans were fairly clear on the point, with a rejection of the principles of the French Revolution [...]

The Gift

 Show forth, we pray thee, Lord, thy power and come, and with thy great strength assist us, so that by the aid of thy grace, the work that is hindered by our sins may be hastened by thy merciful forgiveness: who art God, living and reigning with God the Father in the unity of the [...]

The Promise and Fulfillment of Christmas

Some years ago, when I was recently ordained, it fell upon me to celebrate the Vigil Mass of Christmas at my parish. The pastor, as was his prerogative, always celebrated Midnight Mass, so the other parish Masses were divided between myself and the other associate. The gospel for the Christmas Vigil Mass is the beginning [...]

Benedict XVI on the Christmas Readings

If your family regularly attends the evening Christmas vigil mass, on more than one occasion you may have dreaded the proclamation of the Gospel for this particularly liturgy: “Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram. Joram the father of Uzziah….” The list of names goes on [...]

Make Each of the Twelve Days Festive

The following article first appeared in the December 2000 issue of Crisis Magazine.   To maximize your Christmas cheer, the Crisis editors and writers put their heads together to produce this guide to the twelve days of Christmas. According to Fr. George W. Rutler, the neglect of the octave of Christmas -- the eight-day extension [...]

The government doesn’t know how to raise kids

"You're nuts." That's what a man with 11 children, 15 grandchildren, and a successful legal practice told me after the middle sister of my two foster children was welcomed into our home on Christmas Eve. Of course, he said it in jest (I think). His comment wasn't about accepting children that weren't mine into my [...]

An Anti-Nativity Scene in the Bleak Midwinter

A poem by Christina Rosetti, published posthumously in 1904, became a favorite Christmas carol after Gustav Holst set it to music for the English Hymnal two years later. The poem underscores the harsh setting of the nativity -- the first stanza reads: In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, [...]

Let the Santa Wars Begin

   "How can you lie to your children?" one mom demanded of another on an online message board last week.   "How can you deprive your children of the magic of Christmas?" came the retort.   It happens every year -- let the Santa Wars begin!   On one side, we have the Die-Hard Believers. [...]

Messy Little Christmas

Do you know what two straight days' worth of candy cane breakfasts, cookie lunches, and cupcake dinners -- all washed down with sippy cups of juice -- does to a 2 year old's digestive system? If you don't, Merry Christmas! Enjoy the blissfulness of that ignorance. If you do, Merry Christmas! And join me in [...]

Catholic Women/Common Wisdom: Remembrance of Christmas Past

It should have been the worst Christmas of my life. An only child from New Jersey who had not been farther west than Pennsylvania, I made a quantum leap when I took a job in San Francisco. This was the fifties, not yet the mobile society. But the lure of the position, coupled with determination [...]

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