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As we prepare to celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, we are reminded of our joy in waiting for the coming of Christ. We have cause for rejoicing in the Lord and his never-failing fidelity to his people that he will come again to gather us to himself for all eternity.
Q. We recently had a funeral for a family member. I was a bit annoyed by how much the priest talked about Jesus and how little he talked about the person who died. Isn’t the funeral supposed to be more of a celebration of the person’s life?
It is not an uncommon phenomenon: Just at the moment when we are trying the hardest to draw closer to the Lord, spending more time in Advent prayer and the devotions of the season, we are met with a spell of aridity. All of the spiritual masters write of such periods, whether it is John of the Cross’ “dark night of the senses,” or Teresa of Avila’s “second mansion,” or more simply, a loss of the desire to pray. If you’re experiencing this in the holidays, you are not alone.
The chapel at St. Catherine University is the focus of the recently published book “Our Lady of Victory Chapel: Monument – Mystery – Mission.”
I always enjoy bringing guests from out of town to visit our Cathedral. As we step through the front doors, there’s always that “wow moment” when they have the first opportunity to take in the confident vision of Archbishop John Ireland, the brilliance of Emmanuel Louis Masqueray and the generosity of the faithful of this Archdiocese all at once. The Cathedral — strong, enduring, instructive and inviting — intentionally symbolizes and embodies this local Church.