Viewpoints

THE CATHOLIC DIFFERENCE | The crèche and the gap

For the past decade or so, I've been assembling a mid-sized Judean village of Fontanini crèche figures, including artisans, herders, farmers, vintners, blacksmiths, musicians, weavers and a fisherman or two. It's a reminder that the Lord Jesus was born in the midst of humanity and its messy history: the history that the child has come to set back on its truest course, which is toward God.

GUEST COLUMNIST | Growing as effective witnesses to Jesus Christ

A phrase I hear too often is "I don't feel comfortable evangelizing."

This expresses a significant challenge in the world today: excessive desire for comfort and convenience. Christianity often is not comfortable. A relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church can be difficult. Being Christian means being willing to practice fasting and mortification, and proclaiming the news of salvation through words and actions — whether we feel like it or not. The cross is the most perfect sign of the Christian life because it shows us how we will rise. There is no running from the cross.

IN THE LIGHT OF FAITH | Vocational discernment and anxiety

"The purpose of vocational discernment is to find out how to transform (our choices), in the light of faith into steps toward the fullness of joy to which everyone is called." These words from the introduction to the Vatican preparatory document for the upcoming synod on "Young people, faith and vocational discernment" reiterate Pope Francis' call to our Church today: to live the joy of the Gospel.

TWENTY SOMETHING | The art of giving, the challenge of Advent

Oprah Winfrey sang and clapped when presented with the $69 lunch box that made her 2017 "Favorite Things" list.

"I looooove!" she belted out in mock falsetto.

She didn't need to finish her sentence by naming the object of her love. The list of items is expansive; in a video of the selection process for her biggest gift guide, it covers 102 items, totaling $13,400 in value and ranging from a $2,000 55-inch Samsung high-definition TV down to a $10 earbud case.

GUEST VIEWPOINT | Despite Maria’s devastation, Puerto Ricans celebrate God’s gifts

Have you ever given thought to how you would build a community from scratch? What would you build? How would you design it? What would be the important parts of this community? Would there be things in your life that you wouldn't incorporate into the new community? Think about your responses.

FAITHFUL FAN | CYC soccer teams, Musial Awards show sportsmanship is alive

When athletes behave badly, the public knows about it. Take, for example, University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield who last month taunted and made an obscene gesture toward the University of Kansas team in a game won by Oklahoma 41-3. Reports have detailed similar incidents in the NFL.

But sportsmanship is alive and well in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and across the country.

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