I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Christ heals our inconsistent and fickle hearts that long for relief

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

A new liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent, and the readings help us get in touch with our collective cry of lament and frustration. We're frustrated because of our repeated failures to live up to the desires for the infinite put into our hearts by God.

Beneath it is a weariness with our fickle and undependable efforts to live up to God's expectations. However, good news comes in the form of our need for a Savior to rescue us. The shortcomings, failures and sins confirm our realization that we need loving help from above.

POPE’S MESSAGE | Amid the darkness, hold fast to light of hope

Pope Francis attended an Advent reflection given by Capuchin Franciscan Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, Dec. 2 in the Redemptoris Mater chapel at the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY — Christian hope is not the same as being optimistic about the future, but is knowing that whatever dark or frightening things are going on in one's life, God is there offering protection and light, Pope Francis said.

Holding his general audience in the Vatican audience hall decorated with Nativity scenes and Christmas ornaments from the state of Queretaro, Mexico, Pope Francis announced Dec. 7 that he was beginning a series of audience talks about hope.

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.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Repentance is a gift God offers humanity

Bishop Robert J. Hermann

The readings for the Second Sunday of Advent validate the hunger our hearts experience for a lasting peace and harmony that eludes us now. As St. Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless, until they rest in you, O Lord." God placed in our hearts a profound hunger for unity, harmony, happiness and fulfillment, and that hunger nurtures our hope for what God promises in the depths of our spirit.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Prepare your heart by visiting the Lord’s dwelling place

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

Let it be done for you according to your faith" (Matthew 9:29).

When Jesus heals two blind men, He said this to them. If Jesus said that to us, would anything happen?

Editorial | Let’s embrace Advent

After an intense national election season, we need a diversion.

We look forward to the First Sunday of Advent, Nov. 27.

Beginning the Church's liturgical year, Advent (from, "ad-venire" in Latin or "to come to") is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas.

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