On Christmas Eve, 1513, Fra Giovanni Giocondo, a Franciscan friar, wrote the following beautiful letter—what we’d now consider a Christmas card—to his friend and patron Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi:
Advent is a season short in duration but long in distance. It is the journey of a soul from Nazareth to Bethlehem—a mere hundred miles, yet really the span from here to eternity.
This week, a reflection on Easter by Frederica Mathewes-Green:
In 1974, a decade before joining the L’Arche community in Toronto, Henri Nouwen made a seven-month retreat at a Trappist monastery called The Genesee. He subsequently published his diary for that period, which ended on Christmas Day. Here is his final entry, dated Wednesday, December 25:
I love Christmas stories. Besides having several shelves full of Christmas books, I have an annual tradition of writing a new story to send out as a greeting to friends.
My Christmas story this year is an excerpt from my current project, a novel about angels. Usually we view the Annunciation from Mary’s point of view. But how would the angel Gabriel have experienced it? Read on.
Christmas, I confess, is my favorite time of year. And I say this despite the fact that it is also the most painful.
This year, once again, the Lord cut down a Christmas tree for us with His own hand. It’s the tipmost top of a splendid mugo pine from across the street, which blew down in last week’s big wind.
In my family we traditionally refer to the day before Christmas Eve as Christmas Adam. Similarly, Boxing day is Christmas Cain (or sometimes Christmas Candy Cane) and the day after is Christmas Abel, and so on.