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Seasonal Features View Calendar
Advent
For each day of Advent, we offer reflections from The Little Way of Advent: Meditations in the Spirit of St. Thérèse of LisieuxClick here to go to the main calendar page. You can also use the link in the upper right corner of this column.
Catholic Greetings
Advent Family Activities


Click here for more information about Susan's new book,
A Catholic Family Advent.
Catholic Treasures
Advent Catholic Treasures
with Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.


Don't miss these other Advent Catholic Treasures:
Advent key figure #1: the Blessed Virgin Mary
Advent key figure #2: St. John the Baptist
How do we get from the First Sunday of Advent to Christmas without detouring into the traffic-jammed regions of Distraction, Frustration or All-out Anxiety? Gloria Hutchinson assures us that if we "walk mindfully, taking one Scripture-formed step at a time, we can get there from here in a spirit of calm readiness and joyful anticipation." These Day-by-day Advent Reflections can help to sharpen our awareness and bring a reflective calm into a hectic season.
The celebration of Christmas is not a sentimental waiting for a baby to be born, but much more an asking for history to be born, according to Franciscan Father Richard Rohr, author of Preparing for Christmas With Richard Rohr: Daily Meditations for Advent. Catholics, he says, do the gospels no favor when making Jesus, the eternal Christ, into a perpetual baby, a baby able to ask for little or no adult response.






Matthew: Matthew was a Jew who worked for the occupying Roman forces, collecting taxes from other Jews. The Romans were not scrupulous about what the "tax farmers" got for themselves. Hence the latter, known as "publicans," were generally hated as traitors by their fellow Jews. The Pharisees lumped them with "sinners" (see Matthew 9:11-13). So it was shocking to them to hear Jesus call such a man to be one of his intimate followers. 
<p>Matthew got Jesus in further trouble by having a sort of going-away party at his house. The Gospel tells us that "many" tax collectors and "those known as sinners" came to the dinner. The Pharisees were still more badly shocked. What business did the supposedly great teacher have associating with such immoral people? Jesus' answer was, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' I did not come to call the righteous but sinners" (Matthew 9:12b-13). Jesus is not setting aside ritual and worship; he is saying that loving others is even more important. </p><p>No other particular incidents about Matthew are found in the New Testament.</p> American Catholic Blog The most appealing invitation to embrace the religious life is the witness of our own lives, the spirit in which we react to our divine calling, the completeness of our dedication, the generosity and cheerfulness of our service to God, the love we have for one another, the apostolic zeal with which we witness to Christ’s love for the poorest of the poor.

 
PICKS OF THE WEEK
Padre Pio
New from Servant! “It is always a joy to read about Padre Pio, and one always comes away a better person.” —Frank M. Rega, OFS
Zealous
Follow Jesus with the same kind of zeal that St. Paul had, guided by Mark Hart and Christopher Cuddy.
Fearless
Learn about the saints of America: missionaries, martyrs, bishops, heiresses, nuns, and natives who gave their lives to build our Church and our country.
New from Servant!
"Valuable and inspiring wisdom for everyone." —Ralph Martin, S.T.D., author, The Legacy of the New Evangelization
Spiritual Questions, Catholic Advice
Father John's advice on Catholic spiritual questions will speak to your soul and touch your heart.

 
CATHOLIC GREETINGS
Catechetical Sunday
Catechists serve a vital role in the Church's mission of modeling and handing on the Good News of Jesus.
St. Francis
Promote peace among communities, nations and governments by promoting peace among individuals.
Catechetical Sunday
Send a Catholic Greetings e-card to the catechists who hand on the faith in your parish!
Sacrament of Confirmation
Is someone you know preparing to receive this sacrament? An e-card is a quick reminder of your prayers.
Pet Blessings
Many pets are like family members. We thank and praise God for bringing them into our lives.



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