The Church’s celebration of Christmas continues with the Feast of the Holy Family, which this year falls on 30 December. Jack Mahoney marks the occasion by contemplating the relationship between Jesus and his mother as it is expressed in an intriguing yet non-biblical tradition, a tradition which also has an important place in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Might Our Lady have been the first person to see Christ after his resurrection?
Jack Mahoney suggests ways in which the magi, who were full of hope even though their own journey to the crib was long and uncertain, can inspire our prayer.
James Martin says of Between Heaven and Mirth that it contains jokes but is not a book of jokes. That is a very important distinction, because the humour throughout its pages is serious insofar as it conveys meaning and, frequently, a moral. This book is not merely a lesson in the spirituality of joy, humour and laughter. It also contains valuable guidance for those whose lives are not particularly happy and joyful and for those who find themselves in a joyless environment.
Belief in the Second Coming of Christ is often radicalised and even distorted in popular discourse, and as such may not be a strong tenet of faith for many Catholics. Sr Cathy Jones asks if there is a place for belief in 'the rapture' in the Catholic consciousness.
How do our Advent hymns and the context in which we sing them both reflect and shape the character of the season?
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