Dear Father

DEAR FATHER | Origin of Advent calendar goes back many centuries

Such a timely, good question, and one that I have wondered about myself.

Once, I stopped by a coffeehouse to enjoy coffee with a good book and saw that they were selling chocolate Advent calendars. To me, it made for a curious sight — a secular coffeehouse chain selling a seeming religious item.

DEAR FATHER | Church’s concern about yoga goes beyond exercise

Father John Mayo

My priest recently gave a homily saying that yoga is spiritually dangerous. But I just do it to exercise! How is that bad? 

Yoga is a popular way for individuals to exercise, maintain balance and flexibility, and to feel more peace in their life. Yet the spirituality of this practice gives the Church pause.

Yoga is a discipline that originates from Hinduism. The original purpose is to seek enlightenment through uniting the body, mind and spirit.

DEAR FATHER | Burial of cremains repsents respect for deceased loved ones

Instructing the early Christians on death, St. Paul reminded them that to be with the Lord, we must die here on earth (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). After receiving recompense for what we did in this life, we wait with the Lord for the end of the world. Then, as St. Paul stated, we will receive our bodies back from the Lord incorruptible so that we may dwell with Him in the new heavens and new earth forever (1 Corinthians 15:50-55; Revelation 21:1-8).

DEAR FATHER | Infant of Prague symbolizes priest and king nature of Christ

Devotion to the Infant King of Heaven and Earth is a beautiful, Scripture-based devotion. Origins of such a devotion can be found in Isaiah's prophecy of a new shoot coming forth from the stump of David's father, Jesse. The Spirit of the Lord, it is prophesied, will come to rest upon this new ruler (Isaiah 11:1-2). This prophecy comes true in Jesus, whom the Angels declare to the shepherds on the night of His birth as Messiah and Lord (Luke 2:11).

DEAR FATHER | Remembering deceased at Mass just as important as remembering them at the grave

Bury my body wherever you will; let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing only I ask you, that you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be." — St. Monica, as recorded in the "Confessions" of St. Augustine

DEAR FATHER | Vatican II effected changes in readings at Mass

Before the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, nearly every Mass had only two readings as part of the Mass. The first reading was known as the epistle, as the lectionary tended to draw more from the letters of the New Testament than from the books of the Old Testament. After the psalm and Gospel acclamation would come the Gospel.

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