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Essential Reading for Advent and Christmas 2014: The Best of Aleteia


Aleteia - published on 01/01/15

From Advent through the New Year

The presents are all unwrapped, and the needles have begun to fall from the tree, but we all know that Christmas isn’t over. As you continue to celebrate and reflect on Christmas through the Epiphany, here are twelve of the best of Aleteia’s articles of the season: from Advent through the New Year. 

 1. In “Keeping AdventJoseph Bottum observes how Christmas loses its meaning the more (and the more excessively) we celebrate it, and how Advent is designed to “keep Christmas on Christmas Day.”

2. The Canonry of St. Leopold reminds us of Christ’s invitation to us to let him into our hearts in  “Advent: A Time to Ponder the Question Jesus So Gently Whispers to Us.”

3. Mark Gordon recommends the silence of Advent, which he says Catholics do better than anyone except possibly Quakers, in “The Silent Grace of Advent.”

4. In “Welcome the Stranger, Even at Christmas Eve MassCari Donaldson suggests our attitude to those we only see at church on Christmas Eve should be one of joy, rather than thinly veiled contempt.

5. Tom Hoopes captures the magic of the Christmases of our childhood and shows us how they can be brought to life again in “Four Joys of Christmas.” 

6. In “We Need More Scrooges, GrinchesThomas Szyszkiewicz makes a case for repentance – the first step to sainthood.

7. In “What More Would God Need to Give You for an Extra 30 Minutes of Your Time?" Fr. Robert McTeigue offers advice on how to prepare one’s heart for receiving Christ at Christmas or anytime of the year.

8.  Fr. James Schall ponders the beauty of the Nativity in “The Wonder of the Birth of Our Lord.”

9. The Canonry of St. Leopold celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family with a reflection on the meaning of Christ’s birth in “What Was God Thinking, Sending Jesus to Earth as a Helpless Baby?”

10. In an excerpt from his moving memoir on growing up in South Dakota, Joseph Bottum shares his reminiscences in “Christmas Hills.”

11. In "Persecuted Christians: Their Struggle Is Also Ours" Rachel Lu calls on us to remember our brothers and sisters in Christ on Christmas.

12. Catherine Ruth Pakaluk, in "The Only New Year’s Resolution  Worth Making," writes about the call to Holiness, especially within one’s own family.

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