Posts Tagged With: Christmas

@PONTIFEXCELLENT: ‘Nolle timere’

<> on May 18, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican.To my memory, I have never been brought to tears listening to a Pope’s Christmas Eve homily. Until tonight.

Weeping as I type this, wrapping a few last gifts, listening to the replay of the Midnight Mass from St. Peter’s Basilica, I am so grateful for this man. “Sometimes there’s a man … he’s the man for his place and time.”

I am so grateful for this man, for our beloved Papa Frank.

Here’s the part of his homily that turned on the waterworks. It’s just so poetic, beautiful, clear, and true:


Papa Frank said:

The grace which was revealed in our world is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, true man and true God. He has entered our history; he has shared our journey. He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light. In him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the Father: Jesus is Love incarnate. He is not simply a teacher of wisdom, he is not an ideal for which we strive while knowing  we are hopelessly distant from it. He is the meaning of life and history, who has pitched his tent in our midst.

The shepherds were the first to see this “tent,” to receive the news of Jesus’ birth. They were the first because they were among the last, the outcast. And they were the first because they were awake, keeping watch in the night, guarding their flocks. Pilgrims keep watch at night and that’s what they did. Together with them, let us pause before the Child, let us pause in silence.

Together with them, let us thank the Lord for having given Jesus to us, and with them let us raise from the depths of our hearts the praise of his fidelity: We bless you, Lord God most high, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable.

On this night let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us. He so loves us that he gave us his Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). That’s what the angels said to the shepherds and I, too, repeat: Do not be afraid! Our Father Jesus is patient, he loves us, he gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Our father forgives always. He is mercy. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is our peace. Amen.

You can watch the replay of the Midnight Mass here:

And read the prepared text of the pope’s homily (spoken it was slightly different) HERE.

Merry Christmas everyone. May you see the light in the darkness, know God is with us, and be not afraid.

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Cry of a Tiny Baby: Merry Christmas, Everyone!

“The idea that there’s a force of love and logic behind the universe is overwhelming to start with, if you believe it,” he told me in his raspy brogue, sipping black coffee out of a Styrofoam cup. “But the idea that the same love and logic would choose to describe itself as a baby born in shit and straw and poverty is genius. And it brings me to my knees, literally. To me, as a poet, I’m just in awe of that. It makes some sort of poetic sense. It’s the thing that makes me a believer, although it didn’t dawn on me for many years.”

– Bono on Christmas and the Incarnation from The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People (p. 10) by Cathleen Falsani. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006. Kindle Edition.

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Give a Gift with Purpose from the ONE Shop

598430_509984075689869_726163983_nThere is still time to order #GiftsthatGive for Christmas and Hannukah from the ONE Campaign’s Shop — including the gorgeous scarves made by fashionABLE in Ethiopia exclusively for the ONE Campaign pictured above.

Read about the women weavers from fashionABLE who make them HERE.

Happily, fashionABLE is completely sold out of their inventory for the year (which means, among other things, the organization/company has been able to hire three more women since I visited their factory in Addis Ababa with ONE Moms in October!)

So the only place you can still order fashionABLE scarves in time for Christmas is the ONE Shop. Woot!

Please enjoy a special ONE Moms | ONE Dads | ONE Mums Friends and Family discount of 25%. At checkout, use code: ONEFRIENDS25

*Discount expires 12/21/12 at 11:59 pm ET
Ground=$6.99 order by 3 pm ET 12/19
2-Day=$10.99 order by 3 pm ET 12/20
Next Day=$18.99 order by 3 pm ET 12/21


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‘At the Sound of Mary’s Greeting, Elizabeth’s Child Leapt Within Her’

''At the Sound of Mary's Greeting, Elizabeth's Child Leapt Within Her'

A child at Little Church by the Sea portrayed St. Elizabeth in the Christmas pageant Sunday.

Can you see the living God in this girl’s face? I can.

Photo by Cathleen Falsani


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Out of the Mouths of Babes


Nativity image by Midiman via Wylio:

Trish Ryan is a writer you should know if you don’t already.

She’s the author two really fine memoirs: A Maze of Grace: A Memoir of Second Chances and He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: A Memoir of Finding Faith, Hope, and Happily Ever After. And she blogs regularly at Trish’s Dishes.

Today on her blog, Trish tells a story that so many of us parents will resonate with about driving her daughter, whom she calls “Princess Peach,” to school this morning awash in lingering fears that have descended like a low-pressure front in wake of the Newtown tragedy.

(On my own drive to school this morning, I felt unusually anxious, but did my best to hide that fact from The Lad. As we approached the school, The Lad shouted, “A rainbow!” I looked and didn’t see it at first. “Maybe I was wrong,” he said. But as we made the turn into the school parking lot there it was: A big rainbow hovering in the sky just above his school. I decided to take it as a good sign — all shall be well — told The Lad I loved him, he said he loved me to, grabbed his backpack out of the car, and off he went. As I drove away, I caught the vice-principal’s eye and mouthed, “THANK YOU.”)

Trish writes in part:

On the way to school this morning, flustered by the new level of fear hovering in the air and trying not to show it, I was SO frustrated to find that our usual route was blocked by construction, and the next two roads turned (inexplicably, without warning) into one way streets a block and a half down.

There were repeated three point turns (and suppressed four letter words).

Princess Peach is very tuned into the emotions of the adults in her world, so she asked me, “Are you angry?” “No,” I said, trying to sound reassuring, “I’m just frustrated – all these turn arounds are making it hard to get you to school.”

“JESUS, MARY, AND JOSEPH!” She yelled. I took a deep breath, trying to say calm.

We’re working with her on the whole “Not using God’s name as a swear word” thing (and how there is some language you don’t get to make choices about until you’re a grownup.)  Then I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw that she was pointing.

I looked, and sure enough: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  A manger scene, lit from within, covered in icy rain.

Read the rest of Trish’s post HERE.

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Get Wonderstruck This Christmas

ImageMy dear friend Margaret Feinberg has a new book out (i.e. the perfect Christmas gift for the word lovers on your list) called Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God.

Today Margaret writes about being left “wonderstruck” by a simple act of kindness by one New York City police officer to a homeless man.

Shoes as grace.officer-larry-diprimo-gives-bootssocks-in-nyc-nov-14th

She says in part:

Less than a month ago, a New York Times police officer Lawrence DiPrimo left us wonderstruck by an act of kindness when Jennifer Foster, a tourist from Florence, Arizona, snapped a photo of a member of NYPD kneeling down to give a homeless man a pair of boots on a frigid night.

The officer didn’t just hand the man a $100 pair of Skechers but took the time to slip socks and new boots on the man’s blistered feet—a scene reminiscent of John 13:1-17.

The photo was posted on Facebook and soon went viral with more than 20,000 comments. The story was the perfect reminder during the holiday season of the power of kindness, generosity, and love.

Read Margaret’s post in its entirety HERE.

To order Wonderstruck, click HERE.

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