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Managing Holiday Stress

Tom and Brandi have four kids and a very busy life.  While their kids look forward to the holidays, it’s a very stressful time for Tom and Brandi.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to accomplish all the things that need to be done.  Instead of being a joyful time of year, Tom and Brandi simply saw it as something to simply get throu...

12 16 2019

Evangeline’s Story and Christmas: Expect the Unexpected

Nothing about our third child, Evangeline, has been ordinary. In 2015 Julie and I thought we were done having children. We had a boy in 2003 and a girl in 2006 and our three-bedroom home was just the right size to fit the four of us, our crazy Goldendoodle and all of our stuff. But God had other plans for us, and an openness to life is always and o...

12 24 2018

Christmas and the American Religion

There are two competing religions at work on Christmas Day. Religion 1: Christmas should make us tremble in holy fear! God, our maker and judge, has come to us. And yet, he comes as a little baby, calming our fears and enabling us to approach like the shepherds to receive our salvation. We show him our love and humble ourselves before him. We hono...

12 23 2018

Reflections on Christmas from A Convert’s Perspective

G.K. Chesterton once said, “There is no more dangerous or disgusting habit than that of celebrating Christmas before it comes... It is the very essence of a festival that it breaks upon one brilliantly and abruptly, that at one moment the great day is not and the next moment the great day is.” As a convert to The One True Faith from American...

01 05 2018

How Will You Respond to Christmas?

Msgr. Romano Guardini said of the birth of Christ that “the glorification of that joyous happening will never be muted on this earth” (The Rosary of Our Lady, 89).  Even while Christmas has become highly commercialized, highly secularized and highly sentimentalized, Msgr. Guardini’s words nonetheless remain true.  There will always be humbl...

01 02 2018

Keep Christmas Going – Journey with the Wise Men

Christmas day has passed. Now what? Do we return to normal? Where do we go from here? How do we build on what we’ve experienced? We have a few more days before our next major feast commemorating the manifestation of Jesus as Lord and Messiah at the Epiphany. The wise men steal the show, but the feast also includes the Baptism of Jesus and the ...

01 02 2018

A Closer Look at Joseph’s Response To Mary’s Pregnancy

During the Christmas season, our thoughts turn naturally to the Holy Family: the birth of Jesus, the feast of the Holy Family, the solemnity of Mary’s motherhood, and the Epiphany. The foundation of Christmas starts nine months earlier with Mary’s fiat. Joseph has his fiat as well, recorded in Matthew’s Gospel. Some have even called it the An...

01 02 2018

Stop the Holiday Insanity

The Advent and Christmas seasons should be a time of great anticipation and joy for Catholics.  However, for many, it’s a time of great stress and aggravation.  Every day in my office, I talk with people who struggle with the holidays.  One of the main reasons why they struggle is unrealistic expectations they place themselves. We all have ...

12 13 2017

How to Avoid Rushing Through the Holiday Season

If Thanksgiving were a person, it would be a pitiable fellow. Halloween is anticipated all through autumn with lots of decorations, costumes, and candy. Then society rapidly shifts focus to preparing for the “holiday season” which obviously begins with Thanksgiving, but everyone knows is really all about Christmas. Ever seen “Happy Holidays...

11 30 2017

This Christmas: Become like St. Joseph – the Faithful Father

“It’s no mistake” I said to Mike, “that every Catholic church has an image of St. Joseph up front.” Mike had come for confession and counseling over his failures as a husband and father. He had got caught up in the trap of pornography and ambition. He made some bad, short cut decisions. Stress built up and workaholism began to bite. Mi...

By Fr. Dwight Longenecker 12 24 2015

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