Saturday, December 25, 2010

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Putting the Christmas Back in Christ   - "We must never suppose that Jesus abandoned the innocence of that night in Bethlehem. We must not transform Him into those sorts of grownups we readily understand and readily dismiss: as if the 'real' Jesus would only appear once He began to preach in Galilee and Judea, or once He began to reinterpret the old covenant and the law of Moses."

Paradoxes of Christmas - "As we approach Christmas I would like to list some of the paradoxes of Christmas....the word paradox means something that defies intuition or the common way of thinking. It unsettles or startles us to make us think more deeply."
Fathers of the Church - "My Christmas present to readers of this electronic journal this year will be to tell you to go read the Church Fathers...I'd been disposed, by the Protestant environment in which I was raised (as everyone in North America is raised), not to expect the earliest Christian writers to be very Catholic. Only recently has this "nervous twitch" been entirely cured..."

The Christmas Light in the Shopping Madness - "Christmas is a match struck to darkness; its steady light—despite the best efforts of Mad Men and Marketers—still pierces and warms our awareness; we are not wholly overcome."

Facing the scandal of Christmas, will we turn away? Or believe and obey? - "No one, other than the occasional Scrooge, is opposed to celebrating family or giving gifts or singing joyful songs. The scandal of Christmas, however, is that the Incarnation is not a vague, sentimental concept, but a stunning, concrete reality. It is an Event that is a Person. And that Person, Jesus Christ, requires a response."

Defending Christmas in a Secular world - "As Christians, our response should always be: We’re here to share a gift of eternal life and peace with Our Lord Jesus Christ during our time on earth - and turning all your sorrow into joy."

Archbishop Fulton Sheen on the Advent and Christmas Mystery - "With characteristic insight and eloquence, he penetrates to the heart of the Christian life with practical reflections on love, holiness, spiritual power, miracles, and Christ-like living."

The Old Testament and the Messianic Hope - "The Messianic expectation of ancient Israel consisted of several strands, some of which were highlighted or stressed more at one time or by one prophet than others, but all together they introduce this multifaceted Messianic hope, which God presented in a more and more definite way over the course of the salvation history of the Old Covenant."

Did St. Joseph suspect the Blessed Virgin Mary of sin? - Interesting analysis (from Traditional sources such as the Church Fathers) of Joseph's motives in initially wishing to "quietly divorce" Mary upon finding her "with child." 

2010: The year that Christmas surrendered to mob rule - "...many shopping centers, food courts and malls, from Cleveland to Seattle, have staged these wonderful 'spontaneous' performances of the 'Hallelujah Chorus.'"

Christmas Without Apologies - "NPR legal correspondent Nina Totenberg reached the front lines in the perennial 'Christmas Wars' with an odd comment during a roundtable discussion "

Barbara Walters’ Question on The View Gives Pregnant Pause - "The View co-host Barbara Walters is getting an earful from popular pro-life blogger and family advocate Rachel Campos-Duffy." 

Take a Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel  - "The level of detail is superb, making it almost as if you were there, inside the room itself where conclaves are held and popes are elected. Check it out."

Being on God’s Side: An Open Letter to the Religious Right  - "There are those who call us 'Christianists' and claim we are attempting to 'impose a theocracy' - because name-calling and scaremongering are easier than engaging us in debate."

Why Taking Marriage for Granted Fails - "...equality and justice are indeed crucial to the debate over civil marriage law, but that to settle it—to determine what equality and justice demand—one must answer the question: what is marriage? So this is what the debate is ultimately about."

The Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell - "Yes, we respect the dignity of all human beings. But the homosexual agenda is about changing our moral order."

New Census Numbers Make Obama 2012 Re-Election Tougher - "Ultimately, states voting against Obama in 2012 gained eight electoral votes while states supporting him in 2008 lost eight — a total shift of 16 electoral votes."

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