Advent Calendar - Xt3


No Darkness Can Overcome the Light of Christ

"At a time of such great distress we turn to Jesus, who is with us always, even in our most difficult moments, and extends His healing graces in the midst of our pain. We pray for those who lost their lives today, trusting that they have been received into the presence of the Lord, for their families and for all who are impacted by this national tragedy. Coming together with genuine care and concern for all people, we will find the strength to support one another going forward, confident that there is no darkness that can overcome the light of Christ” (Cardinal Se├ín, Roman Archdiocese of Boston).

After a loss, grief is the natural process of recovery.  From losing a job to death of a loved one, it is important to learn how to process feelings in a health way.  A panel of experts is joined by Terry Cogdon, a father whose daughter was tragically killed, as he offers insights into working through the emotions of grief (Second Opinion TV, Published October 25, 2012).

Resources: Grief, Loss and Healing
      • Faith

Holding Jesus: Reflections on Mary, the Mother of God

Deepen your devotion to the Blessed Mother with this unique look at Mary’s relationship with her son throughout Jesus’ life - and beyond. Fr. McBride invites us to know Mary not only as the young mother of a newborn but also as the nurturer and caretaker of her son through his adolescence and into his adult ministry. We see Mary in grief at Christ’s death, and we meet her as the mother of the infant Church at Pentecost.

"For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nothing already in existence and nothing still to come, nor any power, nor the heights nor the depths, nor any created thing whatever, will be able to come between us and the love of God, known to us in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

Te lucis ante terminum

To thee before the close of day,
Creator of the world, we pray
That, with thy wonted favour, thou
Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.

From all ill dreams defend our sight,
From fears and terrors of the night;
Withhold from us our ghostly foe,
That spot of sin we may not know.

O Father, that we ask be done,
Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee,
Doth live and reign eternally.


Published: 12.14.2012
Updated: 12.08.2013

    All that I am

    Preparing breakfast early one morning this week, my little ones (now ages eight and six) sat at the table and waited for their favorite part of the breakfast, hot chocolate.  I balanced preparing their snacks, lunches for school and my thoughts.  I asked my girls, if you were visiting the baby Jesus, what gifts would you take?  My oldest one chimed in with a bright smile and said, “I would take him my prayers…”  My youngest, shortly thereafter exclaimed, “I would take him all that I am.”  Each of my daughters reminded me of the essence of what it means to have an authentic relationship with God.

    Thinking about my daughters' responses, I recall a colleague of mine who was heavily involved in the last political campaign.  In his early sixties, he relentlessly and kindly shared his views when the opportunity presented itself.  He educated himself on the issues, shared his opinion, and more than that, simply handed out bumper stickers to anyone who accepted them.  Like my children, he exemplified what it means to give.  He is not a prominent figure in the community, or a commentator on a popular news channel.  He is a warmhearted man giving all that he is for what he believes important.

    JoanChittister (1992), in her book, The Rule of Benedict states, “We can study church history forever and never become holier for the doing.  There are theology courses all over the world that have nothing whatsoever to do with the spiritual life.  In the same way, we may think we are a community or assume we are family but if we do not serve one another we are, at best, a collection of people who live alone together" (p. 169).  There are many challenges in the world to deal with, but in them we find opportunities to have an authentic relationship with God by giving and serving our neighbors.  In choosing this path, we deliver to Jesus the greatest and most important gift we can give.  When we give all that I am, home life is enriched, our communities more neighborly and the world is a better place, but it must first begin in the mind and heart that springs forth in prayer and continues with a heart that is open to exclaim, I will give all that I am.