Reclaiming Christmas from the Mall

November 27, 2009

On this Eve of Black Friday, it turns out that there are people who don’t worship at the altar of the retail gods the day after Thanksgiving.

What I find striking about this article, coming from the Catholic tradition, in which Mass is available every day of the week, is that the Unitarians have to have a special service on Black Friday. They have nothing scheduled otherwise. Apparently they just go to church on Sunday and call it good.

Granted, I live in a historically Catholic area, and there are churches with Mass in the morning, convenient for people before work; but there’s a church three blocks from my workplace with 12:10 Mass every day. And there are several in the area with 5:15 pm daily Mass. Sometimes, like Thanksgiving, the schedule is curtailed, and there’s only one Mass and no Confession.

Tomorrow? Many churches with daily Mass will be on their regular schedule. If not? The Cathedral where I live is on its regular schedule. I bet the Basilica is too. If you need a respite from extreme shopping, there’s a Catholic Church near you with Mass, Confession and Adoration.

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WYD: Benedict Bedazzles at Sydney Harbor

July 20, 2008

Having been to two WYD’s (Toronto and Cologne) I can attest that they are supremely powerful experiences. To have the gospel sifted for its specific message for today’s youth by the greatest spiritual authorities on earth is just impossible to express. It is overwhelming.

But, it can be hard to convey that experience to those who were not there.

However, Benedict’s words in themselves, even without all the experiencial props to heighten the experience, have a power to clear ones thinking and set ones heart aright. He seamlessly weaves together concerns for the environment, sexual exploitation, materialism and secularism all in light of the universal spiritual hunger for the Gospel. Powerful!

Here are some of his words at Sydney Harbor on Thursday:

“…Dear friends, life is not governed by chance; it is not random. Your very existence has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose (cf. Gen 1:28)! Life is not just a succession of events or experiences, helpful though many of them are. It is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this – in truth, in goodness, and in beauty – that we find happiness and joy. Do not be fooled by those who see you as just another consumer in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth. Read the rest of this entry »