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This Sunday the Season of Advent begins! Millions of the faithful throughout the world, will bring the advent candles out of storage and set it them in a prominent place.The formal celebration of Advent dates back to the fourth century but the practice of preparing for the coming of the Lord by living as though he is always coming goes back to the very beginnings of the Church.

To Begin Again: Why we Need Advent

By • Catholic Online • 12/18/2011

In a culture where the influences of Christian traditions are waning many are again asking 'Why do Christians celebrate Advent?' DUCK, N.C. (Catholic Online) - For many of our readers in the United States of America, the smell of Thanksgiving still permeates the indoor air but the celebratory ...

Gaudete Sunday – The “Selah” of Advent

By • Catholic Online • 12/15/2011

On the Third Sunday of Advent a rose candle is lit on the Advent wreath. It's Gaudete Sunday, a day to rejoice as we reflect on the wonder of His Coming - both His first and His Second. WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) - Years ago I preached a sermon entitled “Selah – the Pause the Refreshes.” This ...

Icon of St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross: 'Do Not Seek Christ Without the Cross'

By • Catholic Online • 12/14/2011

"[if someone] should try to persuade you of any lax doctrine, do not believe in it nor embrace it; even though he might confirm it with miracles. But believe in and embrace more penance and detachment from all things, and do not seek Christ without the cross"  (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of ...

The largest Christmas tree in the world found at Gubbio, Italy

A Benedictine Monk Reflects on Becoming a Light and Source of Joy for Others During Advent

By • Catholic Online • 12/14/2011

We need to believe that the Light of Christ is capable and ready to pierce our own particular darkness, to illuminate our hearts and give us a steadfast hope by allowing Him to come near to us, welcoming Him anew . such that we entrust ourselves to Him and feel His presence with us, accompanying, ...

How can we strengthen our hearts? asks Pope Benedict. 'We do not lack help: The Word of God is there. Indeed, while everything passes and changes, the Word of the Lord does not pass.'

Pope: Be Constant, Patient, Have No Fear Of Being Adrift

By • Catholic Online • 12/14/2011

In his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Benedict XVI reminded us of what St. James writes: "Learn from the farmer, he awaits with constancy the precious fruit of the earth until it has received the first and the last rains. You too must be constant, strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the ...

John stands as a sign on this Gaudete Sunday. He points  the the way to find lasting joy and happiness through living the lifestyle of self emptying.'He must increase and I must decrease.'

Gaudete!: ‘Rejoice in the Lord’ Sunday

By • Catholic Online • 12/14/2011

As we draw closer to the joyful Feast of the Nativity of the Lord, the Church, as mother and teacher, proclaims "Rejoice" CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - “Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete : modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed ...

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Advent: Time for Reflection on the God who is Here

By • Catholic Online • 12/13/2011

Let us truly and with purpose thirst for Christ’s coming. Let us be absorbed, moved, persuaded and changed by Advent. GLADE PARK, Colorado (Catholic Online) - On Saturday, November 28, 2009, during the Celebration of First Vespers of Advent, Pope Benedict XVI gave a homily regarding the season of ...

John the Baptizer

Congregation for the Clergy: John the Baptizer, Sent by God to Show us the Way

By • Catholic Online • 12/12/2011

The Lord Jesus is greater than the Baptist, who says he is not fit to even undo the Lord's sandal-strap.  Even though the Baptist 'was not the light', he was called from the very depths of his heart to 'bear witness to the light' and so became the most excellent witness ever sent to prepare ...

Pope Benedict XVI in Rose colored Guadete Vestments

Gaudete Sunday: The Way to Christian Joy is Through Self Emptying Love

By • Catholic Online • 12/12/2011

As we walk through the remaining days of Advent, the two biblical persons held before us in our readings at Mass and in the Liturgy of the Hours will be John the Baptizer and Mary. We are invited to find the way of humility and thereby find the happiness of heaven - beginning  here ...

On this Sunday they are replaced with vestments of a rose color, a symbol of joy.

Gaudete! Rejoice because the Lord is near!

By • Catholic Online • 12/12/2011

'I am every day more convinced that happiness in Heaven is for those who know how to be happy on earth.' (St. Josemaria Escriva) CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – In just a matter of days we will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord. The Church as mother and teacher called us on the ...

Great Christmas Gift Ideas