feasts and festivals

We Have a Right to Life, Mr. Biden—Not the Eucharist

The Reverend Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, South Carolina, denied former vice president and leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden Communion during a Sunday morning Mass in late October. Rev. Morey told a local newspaper that Biden, who was in Florence for a campaign stop, was denied Communion because of [...]

St Joseph, Dispenser of the Treasures of the Sacred Heart

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; it is a feast that helps us to reflect more deeply on the magnitude of Christ's love for souls. It is a feast that comes with an invitation to experience the "abundance of healing waters, that is, heavenly gifts of divine love, [...]

Reflections on the Feast of the Ascension

After Christ rose from the dead and before he ascended to heaven, he made various appearances to certain of his followers and “spoke of the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). Many of us would love to have the manuscripts from those discourses. During this interim between the Resurrection and the Ascension, his followers ask him [...]

Why We Feast: A Matter of Life and Death

“I have come that you may have life and have it to the fullest.”  (John 10:10) “The glory of God is man fully alive.”  ∼ St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies The Church tells us that we exist for the purpose of giving glory to God. We see that happening most directly in the liturgy of the [...]

Can Halloween be Christianized Again?

As Halloween approaches, the debate over whether Catholics should join in the celebrations has reignited. Many claim it is a harmless holiday for children that Catholics may freely participate in. Others affirm that it has now descended into dark regions with the return of pagan and Satanic imagery; it should thus be off limits. And [...]

A Novena in Honor of the Body?

Since 2012, the Catholic bishops of the United States have dedicated the two weeks before Independence Day as a “Fortnight for Freedom,” to highlight the growing threats to religious liberty and free exercise of religion in the United States. I would like to suggest a new idea for the bishops: a novena to affirm the [...]

Counting Christmas: Celebrating the Twelfth Night

Eight octave days, culminating in a New Year. Twelve days before Epiphany. Forty days until the Presentation. This is how we count the days of Christmas. The octave and forty days are biblical, prescribed by the Mosaic Law for Circumcision and the dedication in the Temple of a male who opens his mother’s womb. Through [...]

On Celebration and Lamentation

A writer can learn a lot from people who comment on his writings. My Thanksgiving Day piece on the “Secular Puritan Covenant” elicited one reader’s opinion that we should celebrate a “Native Americans’ Day” to celebrate the contributions they made and the experiences they suffered during the settlement of North America. I initially demurred, noting that [...]

Why Can’t Americans Enjoy Life?

Modern American society promises to make life so much easier. No longer do most people have to labor long and hard to make ends meet. Americans should have plenty of time to enjoy their leisure. But many don’t take this time. They have a problem with leisure. According to a report commissioned by Project: Time Off, the [...]

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