Articles from December, 2015

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Holy, or False, Innocence?

holy innocents

Marc Bauerlein has an insightful essay on false innocence in the recent issue of First Things, describing those who feign an innocence that, perhaps at some level they think they have, but, deeper down, in their heart of hearts, in that still, small voice of conscience I alluded to in my last post, they know they do not. Today we celebrate true innocence, and true innocents, on this blessed feast of the Holy Innocents, a commemoration of all the 'male ... (Continue reading)

How to Receive Gifts, by František Nepil

(translated by Peter Hala) So you see, it’s Christmas again, as if one painted it. Above all, you are smarter and wiser. Now you know what to do next year. You will get your gifts much sooner. Yes, that is the best. To buy gifts in September or October, when you still have plenty of money. But you must also remember that merely buying gifts and placing them under the tree is not enough. You can disappoint the giver, and take ... (Continue reading)

Thoughts on Life and Death on the Feast of Saint Stephen

saint stephen

A very merry, holy and joyous Christmas to all our readers!  The twelve days of Christmas traditionally goes until the solemnity of the Epiphany, on January 6th (in Canada, as with so many of our feasts, transferred to the nearest Sunday).  But Christmas began yesterday, so continue the celebration! But to the point at hand:  Quebec makes one more giant step towards its own cultural and demographic suicide just in time for Christmas, with the top court of the province siding ... (Continue reading)

The Art of Giving and Receiving Gifts

The Art of Giving and Receiving Gifts

The highlight of Christmas is the Midnight Mass. There is an aura and smell of festivities, the church is beautifully decorated, elegantly dressed people are filled with joyous expectation, the choir is at its best singing angelic carols, and children ceremoniously start the mass by placing Baby Jesus into an empty crib.   The sermon about the Good News is usually magnificently simple and direct, but this year Father Joseph used two props, two gifts, which he had hidden under the tree ... (Continue reading)

Theotokos, or Christotokos? A Christmas Heresy


I will often ask my students in class whether Christ was a human person.  The answer may seem straightforward:  Of course He was (or is that is)? But the correct response is that He was not.  This may at first glance seem counter-intuitive, but, in fact, is a central truth of our faith, without which there would be no real Incarnation.  To put this into a Christmas perspective, which was in fact was how the question was first raised in the ... (Continue reading)

Being Santa: A Family’s Perspective

(Whatever your stance on the Santa Claus legend, and whether you maintain said legend in some way, shape and form for your children, this article from a young mother offers a perspective on what Santa might mean not only for young people, but for all of us, just in time for Christmas.  Editor) Yesterday was not my finest parenting moment.  Our youngest daughter, who is 11, told me that she doesn’t believe in Santa.  This is understandable given her age, and actually, ... (Continue reading)

The Theology of Christmas Presents

(A classic by the master essayist, on why we give Christmas presents, for those of us who still who sometimes wonder what is the point of it all.  As Chesterton says, Christ is the first Christmas present, and, we may conclude, the gift of ourselves to another is the greatest gift of all.  Ed.) Those modern theologians who insist that Christianity is not in doctrines, but in spirit, commonly fail to notice that they are exposing themselves to a test more ... (Continue reading)

He Descended into Hell


(As we begin these latter days of Advent, awaiting the imminent arrival of our Saviour, it would do us well to ponder what indeed He is saving us from.  Hence, this piece by Father Callam is quite a propos, that the Child in the manger is also the Redeemer of all men, the vanquisher of Satan, who was destined to carry in His own body and soul the sins of all time, and all of their heinous effects, in this ... (Continue reading)

He Will be There: The O Antiphons

o sapientia

I try, in some small way, and not, I must admit, very well, to resist the celebration of Christmas before Christmas.  I know this is a weathered lament, but one that merits restating:  We prepare for Christ in the season of Advent, and we celebrate his arrival with Christmas.  The zeitgeist of the age, outside and, to some extent, even within, the Church, is difficult to resist, with everything from social events to advertisements in shops to songs, but resist ... (Continue reading)

Nota in Brevis, December 15th: Trudeau, Trump and Refugees

*The photo op of Justin Trudeau and Kathleen Wynne welcoming Syrian refugees at Pearson airport warmed the cockles of many hearts.  There was Prime Minister Trudeau, offering a parka to one poor soul stepping off the plane, stating the obvious that 'it gets cold in Canada'.  No kidding, eh?  And the current refugees are being spared the worst of it, with this bizarrely, but welcome, warm winter, due, one may suppose, ... (Continue reading)

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