Connecting Bethlehem to Calvary

The martyrdom of St Stephen & the Conversion of St PaulToday, on the Feast of St. Stephen, Pope Francis spoke briefly to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square before the praying the Angelus with them.

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning

You are not afraid of the rain, you are good!

The liturgy prolongs the Solemnity of Christmas for 8 days: a joyous time for all the people of God! And in this second day of the octave, in the joy of Christmas is inserted the feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr of the Church. The book of the Acts of the Apostles presents him as a “man full of faith and the Holy Spirit” (6,5), chosen with six others to serve the widows and the poor in the first community of Jerusalem. It also recounts his martyrdom: when, after a fiery speech that enraged the members of the Sanhedrin, he was dragged Continue reading

He has entered our history, shared our journey

Last night, Pope Francis celebrated Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s, which is always one of the most watched religious events in the world.

Here is Pope Francis’ homily from Midnight Mass:

1. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1).
This prophecy of Isaiah never ceases to touch us, especially when we hear it proclaimed in the liturgy of Christmas Night. This is not simply an emotional or sentimental matter. It moves us because it states the deep reality of what we are: a people who walk, and all around us – and within us as well – there is darkness and light. In this night, as the spirit of Continue reading

Need a last minute gift?

Today we start the “Great O” antiphons (more on that later), which means the count down to Christmas has begun!  If you are still in need of some last-minute gifts, we have good news for you.

Now available: A Christmas trio of Nonnavita Soap!

We are offering three of our top scents in a lovely gift bag, tied with a bow and ready to give away.

Contains one each of: Blood Orange & Bergamot, Monastery Garden, Woodsman 

We will ship it via USPS Priority Mail to get it there in time for Christmas. [Items must ship by Dec 21 for Christmas delivery, so please order by Dec 20]

Suggested donation: $25

It’s easy to order!

  1. Just click here for our secure order form.
  2. Type your donation amount in the one-time donation box.
  3. And in the special instructions box write Christmas Gift Bag.  

Hurry, before they’re all gone!

On today’s show…

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photo-76Don’t burn your Advent candle at both ends! Today on A Good Habit we’ll be talking about Advent, pre-Christmas burnout, and lots of other things. And as always, we look forward to hearing from you!  Tune in today at 1pm central on the Guadalupe Radio Network.

Saints of the Octave

Merry Christmas!  As the eight day celebration of Our Lord’s Nativity approaches its end this might be a good time to look at the different saints who are celebrated during the Christmas Octave.  They are many and varied, so what brings them together during this exalted celebration?

St. Stephen, St. John the Apostle, the Holy Innocents, St. Thomas Becket, the Holy Family.  Well, probably no one wonders why the feast of the Holy Family falls within the octave, but what about the others?  In their lives we see that the followers of Christ may come from any profession, any background, any culture.  The key is not where they came from, but where they were going – no matter which direction their lives were headed, when they heard Jesus’ call they followed Him unreservedly, even to Calvary and the shedding of their blood.

Martyrdom of St. Stephen

St. Stephen, the first martyr, whose blood bore great fruit for the Church – the grace of his sacrifice turned Saul the Pharisee into St. Paul the Apostle.

St John writing his Gospel

St. John, especially beloved of God, and entrusted with the care of Our Lord’s own Mother, his Gospel teaches us so much about the divinity of Christ.

The Slaughter of the Holy Innocents

The Holy Innocents – babies and toddlers, unable to speak the name of their newborn King, yet giving their lives for Him.  In their martyrdom we see God’s power in bringing grace and goodness out of even the most evil actions of man.

 Martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket

St. Thomas Becket – a close friend of King Henry II, but once consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, he didn’t shrink from opposing the king in defense of Christ and His Church, even when it cost him his life.

Though not all were called to follow Him to the same end, they all shared a life-changing love for Jesus Christ.  As St. Thomas Becket wrote in the second reading from today’s Office of Readings, “The whole company of saints bears witness to the unfailing truth that without real effort no one wins the crown.”

Each one of these saints won the crown of eternal life – some by the witness of their blood, but all by the witness of their life – through sacrifice, prayer, perseverance, and God’s grace; all of which are available to us today, if only we seek and ask.