Advent is given to us as a time to prepare our souls for the coming of the Lord. Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter. In modern times we are tempted to skip over the penitential aspects of Advent and focus on the joy of Christmas. This is a great tragedy. Focusing only on the joy denies the truth: the Christ Child is our Lord and Savior who will suffer and die for our salvation.
Just as Jasper has been used to cut away and bring out the best in other stones, so do we need to cut away what is unnecessary and ugly in our souls to be prepared to receive Christ at Christmas. When He comes, He skillfully and lovingly carves away everything in our hearts that keeps us from living fully and freely in His love.
I have lots of memories of Christmases from my youth. I vividly remember making delicious holiday meals, singing in the children’s choir at mass, and excitedly buying presents for my siblings and parents, among many other things. But I don’t remember too much about Advent growing up, except for lighting the Advent wreath every night […]
Getting ready for the Advent and Christmas season? We’ve put together an ultimate gift guide listing our top holiday sellers all in one spot. Each of the products listed here were our best-sellers from last season. It was tough doing this research and putting this article together, but we’ve done it just for you!
The Holy Souls in Purgatory are members of the Church who await the purification of their souls before joining the saints in heaven for all eternity. The souls in purgatory cannot pray for themselves, they cannot do anything to hasten their entrance into heaven. But we can pray for them. St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) was a bishop, founder of the Redemptorists, Doctor of the Church, and patron saint of moral theologians. He composted the following novena (9 days of prayer for a particular intention) for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
If you walk into any store or shop online between now and December 25th, you will see an increasing amount and variety of Christmas cards. Snowmen, snowy landscapes, reindeer, wrapped presents, snow-covered evergreen trees, Santa Claus, cute baby animals in the snow . . . so on and so forth. After evaluating the images, you […]
Prayers for the faithful departed pleases God, who makes use of our prayers to help purify these souls that He loves. It is an act of charity that we can give for those we have known and loved, for our ancestors who gave us life, for those souls whose memory is lost, and for those who have no one else to pray for them. Here are some ideas for praying for these suffering (and often neglected) souls, especially during the month of November dedicated to their memory.
The Three Hail Mary novena is a very beautiful prayer recited in honor of three of Mary’s special gifts given to her by God: her power, wisdom, and mercy. In this novena we ask her to use these gifts on our behalf to obtain our petitions from God, and most importantly, to help us lead a holier life.
We probably all know at least one person who has fallen away from the Catholic faith, whether it be after a tragic event, a pulling away from family and tradition, or after having doubts about the Faith that have grown over many years. Our hearts ache to see this, because the very strength these people […]
At Mass and other liturgical services we see the altar servers and priests swinging censers, sending clouds of incense wafting through the air. In Catholic liturgy, everything symbolizes a theological truth. So, what does incense symbolize?