"Joseph rose from sleep and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt." - the third antiphon for Lauds for the feast of the Holy Family, which is today. Detail from the west window of Ampleforth Abbey church.
From Fr. Lawrence Lew OP's phenomenal Flicker stream.
...let's look at what my own gift of prophecy tells me about what is coming in 2012 in the field of religion. If, by the end of the new year, you don't recall seeing any of what I predict coming true, you may be sure that it's only because you missed it.
*As a promotional tool, the United Methodist Church will ask Garrison Keillor to quit making fun of Lutherans and start making fun of Methodists.
*In city after city, new franchise liquor stores will spring up not far from Catholic churches, and each store will be named "And With Your Spirits." Church members who can ask for merlot in Latin will get an automatic 10 percent discount.
*To investigate what all of its previously appointed committees have been doing in recent years, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will appoint a committee.
"Today on The Washington Post chat a reader mentioned something beautiful that I had never noticed: When Linus recites the story of the Nativity in 'A Charlie Brown Christmas,' he unexpectedly drops his security blanket. With the Word of God he has no need for any other security."
Linus's video explanation behind the title; just click!
The couple, looking tired and overburdened from the many things they had to do to prepare for the holiday, scrambled onto the crowded elevator at the department store, trying (with only partial success) not to drop any of their packages. As the elevator door closed, the husband let out an exasperated sigh and said, "Whoever invented Christmas ought to be shot."
From the back of the elevator, a quiet voice said, "Don't worry. We already crucified Him."
It was a mighty quiet ride down to the first floor.
(used with permission from Fr. Mark McKercher on facebook)
People look upon [the Church] and say, "She is about to die. Soon her very name will disappear. There will be no more Christians; they have had their day." While they are thus speaking, I see these very people die themselves, day by day, but the Church lives on. St. Augustine
New York, NY: The gasps in the home office quickly turned into an internet roar.
The Delilah and Bill Johnson family's Christmas card-- 4' x 6', gilt-edged, and glossy-- has on its front a picture of the Blessed Mother and baby Jesus.
What disturbed recipients was the 10 point bulleted section on the inside, titled "Why I am not sending you a picture of my family and you shouldn't either".
The points begin softly, noting "1. I just saw loads of your pictures on Picasa," "2. Little Joey is having a bad hair month" and "3. I never know when I can take your picture off my fridge and not feel guilty about it anymore, so I'm begging you to take my feelings into account."
But people began sputtering over some of the others: "6. In an age of self-glorification, I can do without saying I'm so obviously the reason for the season." "8. Look at an icon, for crying out loud. It's a freaking RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY" and "10. Joy to the World! The Lord Has Come! Wait, where's Jesus? Oh right, I CAN'T SEE HIM BECAUSE I'M FLOODED WITH PHOTOSHOPPED CHRISTMAS PICTURES OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS DRESSED IN MATCHING RED AND GREEN SWEATERS!"
In the comments section of Commonweal, James Martin (in a similar spirit, and with our spirit) has helpfully provided this blessing for Christmas cookies:
“O God, who see the cookies that you have graciously deigned to allow us to bake here according to this recipe that you have given us that we may give to others that which you have given to us here, bless, we pray, them, O Lord, that you may allow us to offer them in return to many, as we seek to preveniently nourish these your holy people, we pray, with the ineffable taste of the flour that you have graciously allowed us to refine, O Lord, with the milky milk that milkily issues forth abundantly from the many bovine animals which you have made and from the sweet sugar that sweetly comes from the sweet sugar cane plants which you have created for we your people, who humbly implore your blessings, that all of us may humbly eat of them, in order that you might, O Lord, we humbly beseech you, bless us and them, and, we pray, O Lord, and I forgot what where I was going with this prayer.”
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