In every age and in every culture, people seek God just as the Three Kings did and, in every age, with the help of the Holy Spirit, they find him in the surprising humility of a baby born in a manger, Pope Francis said.
The crying of Baby Jesus is not the only cry people should hear on Christmas; many children around the world are crying because of war, maltreatment and abuse, Pope Francis said.
One of the reasons I love the Christmas season is its music. As you know, I like to sing, but what truly moves me is the rhythm and cadence of the notes and the power of the words; these really touch my heart when I listen to Christmas songs. I like to include music in the Mass, sometimes in prayer, sometimes even in my homily, because the chords and chorus join in unity, as our voices together rise up as one to give honor and praise to God.
“My favorite book of the year is ‘The Joy of the Gospel’ by the pope who gives me hope.”
That’s the word from Father Greg Esty, and he’s not alone in enjoying Pope Francis’ work; it appears on the top 10 list of book sales at St. Patrick’s Guild, then St. Paul merchant of religious goods. Father Esty, who is pastor of St. Genevieve in Centerville, was one of several clergy who responded to a Catholic Spirit email survey that asked what books they either were giving as Christmas gifts or recommending to others.
Tucked behind the Austrian capital’s well known Museumsquartier — a complex of art, natural history and cultural museums — is a little side street Christmas market called Spittelberg.
As Advent got under way, Pope Francis included in his morning Mass homilies specific graces Catholics should pray for as they prepare for Christmas.
The following Advent wreath prayer is intended to help busy households make Advent a prayerful time during the rush of Christmas preparations. The language is fairly simple, intended to be used for personal prayer and reflection or by groups of adults or adults with children. Options are noted to allow for participation by a variety of members of a household.
Nearly three decades earlier, I had picked Andrea/Andrew because I thought it sounded so cool with the rest of my name: Alyssa Marie Andrea Bormes. God, who cannot be outdone, gave the pretentious teenager her sound, but he slipped in a mission along with it.
“There was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7) when Jesus was born on the first Christmas.
Mary and Joseph went off to a stable or cave, off by themselves, off alone. No space was reserved for Jesus when he came. There was no hospitality, no welcome. There was severe overcrowding in and around Bethlehem, and the local residents and visitors alike were unwilling or unable to receive Jesus when he was born.