A cursory glance at contemporary society reveals that there is a battle taking place. Evidence of it can be found anywhere human beings are present–governments, workplaces, schools, and even families. Although it is primarily an invisible battle, the outcome concerns each of us. But who, exactly, are the contestants, and where is the battleground?
“Lent, are you kidding me?” one might comment. “Haven’t we had enough penance from Covid already?” However, Lent does indeed begin in a few days – and rather than another burden, it comes as a big help to us now!
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In his 2009 letter proclaiming a Year for Priests, Pope Benedict XVI recalled the words of those who had witnessed Saint Jean-Marie Vianney, the famous Curé of Ars, celebrating Mass: “It was not possible to find a finer example of worship… He gazed upon the Host with immense love.” Although more than 150 years have passed since the saint’s death, it is certain that our overstimulated milieu would not distract his loving attention from the little white Host if he were alive today.
Friends, there is a splendid, magnificent, grace-filled, experiment you might want to know about and possibly take up in the New Year. It is called a NOVENA, a nine-day exercise in prayer that just might change the trajectory of your spiritual life for the better in 2022.
Despite the saccharine depictions of the Nativity found on so many greeting cards and coffee mugs, there is nothing sentimental about the accounts of Jesus’ birth put forward in the Gospels. There is, however, much that God wishes to communicate to us about Himself through the words of the inspired authors.
Today, a light has shone upon us, for the Lord is born for us. This is truly a holiday booster maybe not as colorful as the article I read, about the long lines of giddy kids in candy-striped pants, toddlers in holiday shirts adorned with tiny Christmas trees, kids wearing thick Irish sweaters, moms and dads, cradling paper cups of hot coffee waiting the for arrival of the jolly, white-bearded man in black boots and red velvet suit.