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Christmas gifts should be for those in need

December 15, 2014

No gifts for me at Christmas. It's not my birthday or anyone else's we are celebrating. It's Jesus' birthday. How can we give a gift to Jesus? See Matthew 25.31-46. "As long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it for me" and "as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me; and these will go into everlasting punishment, but the just into everlasting life." No Bible? It would make a good birthday present for your children and grandchildren.

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Petition opposes modern agriculture

December 15, 2014

After Sunday Mass we were reminded to sign the petition at the back of the church concerning farmers saving seed. As a farmer, this caught my interest, and I went looking for more information. The petition stems from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. The information on the website to support its position is misleading and contains incorrect statements, I suspect for the purpose of furthering an agenda which opposes modern agriculture.

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Living with limits could halt seasonal frenzy

Joe Gunn

December 15, 2014

"I'm dreaming of a (insert your favourite word here) Christmas, just like the ones I used to know . . .". My wish would be to insert the word "sane" if my Christmas dream was to come true. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the Christmas season. But a "sane" Christmas would mean less hustle and bustle, no crowded parking lots at chain stores, no pressure to find the "perfect (store-bought) gift," and fewer guilty feelings about leaving my ecological values aside in the rush to encourage the "Christmas spirit."

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Christmas: God's Word comes among us

Mark Pickup

December 15, 2014

I love the Christmas season. I love it for the lights and music and excited anticipation I see in my grandchildren and every other child but mostly because the divine love given to us in the incarnation fills my heart. Such a love is unfathomable. All I can do is take in its warmth. God made man. God is with us. I feel sad for those who have not had an encounter with Christ, do not know or love him, and who do not live within the nurture of the Church. At best, Christmas for the unbeliever is superficial traditions, unfocused songs of vague sentimentality and a silly flaccid caricature of St. Nicholas we all know as Santa Claus. The world often refers to the true meaning of Christmas but rejects the true meaning of the incarnation.

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Spirit's presence at incarnation inaugurates the new creation

Visits with Mary Logo – Small

December 15, 2014
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

At both the first creation and the new creation, the Bible records the presence of the Holy Spirit. Even before God created light, the author of Genesis tells of "a wind from God" sweeping over the face of the waters (Genesis 1.2). At the Annunciation, Mary, puzzled that she should give birth to "the Son of the Most High" while a virgin, was informed by the angel Gabriel "the Holy Spirit will come upon you" (Luke 1.35). Mary, as is often noted, is the new Eve whose obedience overcomes the disobedience of the first Eve. St. Irenaeus in the second century described this as Mary untying the knot of disobedience that had been tied by Eve, an image that has recently gained new currency through Pope Francis' championing of devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of

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Grandma helps boy find the true Santa

Dr. Gerry Turcotte

December 15, 2014

For the last three years I have faced insistent questioning from my 11-year-old daughter Sophie about whether there is a Santa. Her sense of hopeful wonder has been struggling mightily against the majority of her classmates and their clear certainty about the ruse. As we talked this through, I told her about a wonderful story I have always loved. It was about a similar child who, upon hearing from classmates that Santa was fictional, fled to his matter-of-fact grandmother for the truth. His grandmother never sugar-coated anything, and he secretly feared she would support his classmates. Instead, she insisted that Santa did exist and took little David to a general store to prove it.

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How did Christmas greetings get so complicated?

Lasha Morningstar

December 15, 2014

Bicker. Bicker. Bicker. During recent years, people began snapping at each other, debating what greeting should be exchanged during this holiday season. It used to be "Merry Christmas." Now, with our influx of people from other countries, plus those who have stepped away from their Christian faith, "Merry Christmas" is often frowned upon. Various countries – especially those in the Nordic lands where it is dark for so many months – have their special hailings too. Now conversations, radio programs, schools are caught up in the proper seasonal words to use. What if the person is Jewish? Or maybe Muslim? Or maybe they do not celebrate this season at all. The fear of offending them is thrashed around in search of political correctness.

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Young or old, we need to rely upon the Lord

WCR Logo

December 15, 2014

Pope Francis provided the European Parliament with a grim diagnosis about the state of Europe when he spoke to the body Nov. 25. (See story on Page 13.) The continent, he said, is like an aging grandmother who is no longer fertile or vibrant. (Actually, we do know many vibrant grandmothers.) In glorifying individual rights, Europe is disregarding the right to life and treating some people as objects who can be discarded, "mere cogs in a machine." The selfish live opulent lifestyles and are indifferent to the suffering of the poor. Multinational corporations form "unseen empires" of economic power, and religious minorities are persecuted.

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Shepherds' plight is keen reminder of why Jesus came

Brett Fawcett

December 15, 2014
Christmas Midnight Mass
December 25, 2014

When we hear the familiar Nativity story from Luke's Gospel, we often forget that the shepherds who heard the angels' message went back to being shepherds afterwards. They may have had a privileged, beatific, empowering encounter with the newborn Messiah; they may have been some of the first evangelists in history; they surely left the experience with a newfound joy that swallowed up all other emotions they felt for days thereafter. But, when all was said and done, they went back to being shepherds.

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At Christmas, share the abundance of God

Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi

December 15, 2014
CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS

We are just at the threshold of Christmas, a great event which – if we welcome it – is capable of changing our lives. A story by Tolstoy which I learned from Pope Benedict XVI helps me to share the light and life that springs from Christmas: Leo Tolstoy, the Russian writer, tells in a short story of a harsh sovereign who asked his priests and sages to show him God so that he might see him. The wise men were unable to satisfy his desire. Then a shepherd, who was just coming in from the fields, volunteered to take on the task of the priests and sages. From him the king learned that his eyes were not good enough to see God.

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