As many as 300 people eat at Dorothy Day each day. This year’s Christmas meal will be the last time its guests eat a holiday dinner at the longtime site, according to Catholic Charities’ timeline. Next year, meals are expected to be served in a transition space as Catholic Charities completes two new buildings designed to better meet guests’ needs.
When entering into the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, one has to duck because the door is smaller than a normal door. It was designed that way to keep people from bringing their camels into the church. This church has been continually in use for more than 1,700 years, and it looks like it.
The birth of Christ is a reminder for Christians to take a moment and reflect on the hope of salvation given by God to the world, Pope Francis said.
Heaven has never been won by denying sin or weakness. Sometimes we forget this. Sometimes we can think that if we can accumulate more good deeds than bad, that is what will bring us into the kingdom. We think that the well intentioned people win heaven by not falling too far into sin.
Christmas is a time to open your heart to the little and wondrous things found in baby Jesus — born poor and defenseless so he could be near and bring hope to everyone, Pope Francis said.
Even the Christmas decorations seem more cheerful this year in Bethlehem.
One of my habits in recent years has been to prepare for Christmas proper well in advance. I shop for presents throughout the year, order my Christmas cards in October, and I refuse to buy any new Christmas ornaments during Advent — what I have is what I have. Once Advent hits, I’m finished. If the present has not been purchased, it doesn’t get purchased. If the Christmas tree lights don’t work, I go without them. I need my Advent to be Advent. I need this time for recollection and prayer, and as I get older, I protect it more fiercely.
To celebrate the season of anticipating Christ’s birth, music is a common element for parishes, schools and other Catholic entities in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.