Thursday, January 3, 2019

NCRegister: Christmas Joy is for the Suffering

Have you ever noticed how often joy is paired with suffering in the Scriptures? Abraham and Sarah long for a child into their old age before they are given the joy of a son. The Israelites only experience the joy of being freed from slavery, after having suffered for many years at the hands of the Egyptians. Job loses all his worldly goods, his children, his health, only to have it all restored back to him. Further, in the letters of St. Paul, we hear again and again the urge to rejoice in our sufferings: “Even if I am to be poured as a libation upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.” (Philippians 2:17-18)

We should not be surprised, then, that when God became man, the Christmas joy of the shepherds comes after years of waiting for a Savior while suffering at the hands of oppressive governments. Or that the very reason for our joy at God become man can only be realized after this God made Man suffers and dies for us on the Cross...

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Thursday, December 20, 2018

NCRegister: The Secular Christmas Season is Actually the Secular Advent

It was usually the last Sunday of Advent, and sometimes even Christmas Eve, that my parents would put up the tree. The familiar crackling sound of the antique record player and Andy Williams crooning Sleigh Ride in the background always filled me with that warm Christmassy feeling. My father was a liturgical musician, and the one thing he was strict about was not listening to or singing Christmas music in the home or even decorating until it was nearly Christmas.

So, we embraced the Advent traditions of the Advent wreath and Jesse Tree. My mother always put up an outdoor Advent wreath complete with pink and purple bows, which got switched to red on Christmas Eve. Some well-meaning neighbor would always stop by the first week of Advent and let her know that three of her candles were burnt out.

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Friday, November 23, 2018

NCRegister: The Xennial-Millennial Modern Traditionalist

When I tried to fit myself into a few of the caricatures of the Catholic Tribes in American put together by Michael Warren Davis and Damian Thompson I somehow fell flat in the middle of nowhere. However, I know that there are American Catholics that think like I do since I know many of them personally, and perhaps, if I put this out there, I will find more of them.

A few years ago I wrote about a group of people that I called “Hipster Traditionalists”—people who love the Traditional Latin Mass, also known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, but don’t quite fit in with other traditionalists. These days I think that the title Modern Traditionalist is a better fit.

A Modern Traditionalist is a lover of all things traditional, not out of a nostalgia for things pre-1965, but out of a real love of the beauty preserved in it. For them it is not just a preference, but the realization that the older liturgy is more beautiful and profound...

Read the rest at the National Catholic Register...
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