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This Week’s Mass Warm-Up

Second Sunday of Advent – Preparing the Way of the Lord

Second Sunday of Advent – Preparing the Way of the Lord

“Prepare the Way of The Lord” is an urgent call not unfamiliar to us. But how do we do that? What exactly is “the Way”? Is this something we do on our own?

We look into this familiar yet mysterious calling we all receive from John the Baptist in this week’s Mass readings, and we recognize the call in the first reading from Baruch, Psalm 126, and Paul’s letter to the Philippians – so it must be important!

And it is most appropriate to look into this as Advent gears up. The Lord is coming, and amidst the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas, this is the time for a gut-check to learn how to prepare the way of The Lord all year, and to kickstart that renewed effort now.

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This Week’s Podcast

The Sacred Role of Women in the Church – Episode 124

The Sacred Role of Women in the Church – Episode 124

The sacred role of women in the Church goes back to the time before Jesus came to Earth – way before!

In this episode, we talk about that – after a short disclaimer from my lovely bride – and how there is an important significance to women being in the Church and the role they play in salvation history.

We claim that the first Catholic was Mary (a woman, BTW!), and share who “the first Apostle” was, as well as “the Apostle to the Apostles” – both women!

But it is way more than a title, and these women were not ordained by Jesus as were the Twelve – which is significant, and a true blessing for women and the Church!

And, yes, we answer THAT question, along with the question of why women are integral to the survival and thriving of the Church.

And I get a little snippy about men and how they handle their responsibilities in the Church.

But what’s new?  -Kristofer

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Letters Home: Our Blog

Read thoughtful, heartfelt commentary and discourse on life, the Church, and being Catholic from five different authors

Second Sunday of Advent – Preparing the Way of the Lord

Second Sunday of Advent – Preparing the Way of the Lord

“Prepare the Way of The Lord” is an urgent call not unfamiliar to us. But how do we do that? What exactly is “the Way”? Is this something we do on our own?

We look into this familiar yet mysterious calling we all receive from John the Baptist in this week’s Mass readings, and we recognize the call in the first reading from Baruch, Psalm 126, and Paul’s letter to the Philippians – so it must be important!

And it is most appropriate to look into this as Advent gears up. The Lord is coming, and amidst the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas, this is the time for a gut-check to learn how to prepare the way of The Lord all year, and to kickstart that renewed effort now.

First Sunday of Advent – Climbing the Mountain

First Sunday of Advent – Climbing the Mountain

Life is a journey.

That’s nothing new.

But why and how do mountains give us such clarity in what that journey is like?

As we constantly strive for heaven, that summit is clear, but the valleys, hills, and crooked paths and steep cliffs stand between us and the goal.

The One on the mountain is also with us.

This week as we begin a new liturgical year at Advent, we explore these challenging readings and discover something about ourselves:

Heaven is no hill, at least for a climber!

Christ Our Superhero

Christ Our Superhero

How does our view of superheroes affect our relationship with Christ?

Do we want Jesus to swoop in and “save the day”?

Or do we even ask Him for help when we need it?

Or rather looking to our own self-reliance, or escaping from the problems at hand in some unhealthy way?

Jesus came to save us, but it takes more than just passive reception to receive the Salvation He offers.

The Second Coming

The Second Coming

Jesus is Coming!

This week the readings are all about that; like blazing headlines!

So, we discuss when he is coming, and how we know it is happening.

The Second Coming is in process as we speak!

That’s no surprise to Catholics when we understand what the end times are, and our role in them.

This day has been anticipated since before Jesus came the first time, and we get to be in on the VIP pre-party!

And hopefully the eternal after-party…

God of the Living

God of the Living

“He is not God of the dead, but of the living!”

Our witness to God’s life in us is what sets us apart, it is what makes us a target, and also a magnet.

The life we live on earth either takes us closer to God or further from Him.

Choices we make now have eternal consequences.

This week, let us learn from the witnesses who went before us – the saints – how to witness to others and live the life God created us to live!

Constant Love and Mercy

Constant Love and Mercy

God’s constant love and mercy abounds!

They are present everywhere and every time, every place and every moment.

This week’s readings are all about seeing, recognizing, and experiencing His constant love and mercy.

Our discussion helps us see that, and our activity gives us the opportunity to knowingly, actively participate in it!

Hundreds of other searchable Letters Home articles…

The Sacred Role of Women in the Church – Episode 124

The Sacred Role of Women in the Church – Episode 124

The sacred role of women in the Church goes back to the time before Jesus came to Earth – way before!

In this episode, we talk about that – after a short disclaimer from my lovely bride – and how there is an important significance to women being in the Church and the role they play in salvation history.

We claim that the first Catholic was Mary (a woman, BTW!), and share who “the first Apostle” was, as well as “the Apostle to the Apostles” – both women!

But it is way more than a title, and these women were not ordained by Jesus as were the Twelve – which is significant, and a true blessing for women and the Church!

And, yes, we answer THAT question, along with the question of why women are integral to the survival and thriving of the Church.

And I get a little snippy about men and how they handle their responsibilities in the Church.

But what’s new?  -Kristofer

Is Some Music Bad – Episode 123

Is Some Music Bad – Episode 123

One man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric.

So says the Supreme Court of the United States, and, coming from that secular view, I begin with the answer that, “Yes, some music is bad.”

But there’s a BIG but – and we’re not talking Bobby Jimmy and the Crickets!

Though this topic is right up my alley, DJ Duck doesn’t go too far down that road, but Beth and I use that as a springboard to talk about why some music is bad, while that same music is good.

Huh?

While some music may not be art in the ear of the beholder, where does music – and lyrics – lead us? -Kristofer

Raising Kids In These Times – Episode 122

Raising Kids In These Times – Episode 122

Raising Kids In These Times is HARD!

How do we do it?

How do we raise our children to be in this word but not of it?

What is the secret?

Is there a formula, a road map, a sequence of strategies and tactics?

In this episode we continue our discussion inadvertently begun a couple of weeks ago, focusing on kids and what they and we have to deal with, and how to handle it.

How different is it from the past?

And, yes, there is a formula, which we gladly share!

Being a Family of Prayer – Episode 121

Being a Family of Prayer – Episode 121

In the past, Beth and Kristofer have talked about how to do family prayer.

In this episode, they discuss how to be a family of prayer.

They answer how long it takes to “get there” and share some of what it takes, without getting into tactics or strategies or specific practices.

Being a family of prayer is a way of life, not a set of check boxes!

With that in mind, they discuss why it is important to be closer to God and our family, what it means to be a harmonious family, and how to be it.

Moral Relativism – Episode 120

Moral Relativism – Episode 120

What is Moral Relativism?

What is wrong with it?
How do I counteract it?

In this Episode, Beth and Kristofer discuss Moral Relativism and what we can do to fight it and overcome it, despite the Devil’s attempts to stop them from sharing the secrets!

(You’ll have to listen to the first part at least to hear the story!)

All Souls Day – Episode 119

All Souls Day – Episode 119

All Souls Day is an often overlooked day of remembrance.

Beth and Kristofer explain why the Church celebrates the lives of all the Souls not yet in Heaven.

They touch on Purgatory and the path to Heaven.

They talk about why we should pray for our deceased loved ones and even those souls who nobody prays for.

Also,  Beth and Kristofer answer why it is an important day to us as Catholics., why we should remember and celebrate it, and why we pray for the souls in Purgatory.

Watch our 3-5 Minute Video Series!

Fruits of the Spirit: Conclusion

Fruits of the Spirit: Conclusion

Mom and Dad summarize the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in this episode. As well as a paragraph from the catechism. No fruit can be external without being internal. Just like any orchard, or tree, we need to cultivate it. -Nathaniel

Fruits of the Spirit: Chastity

Fruits of the Spirit: Chastity

What is Chastity? Mom and Dad explore this including the fact that it is not only, although it’s a big part of it, keeping our purity outside of marriage. There are so many opportunities for unchaste actions after marriage. Getting married does not automatically mean we are chaste! Chastity is the call to love sacrificially with our bodies.

Chastity is the fruit that is borne from a healthy relationship. We can be unchaste before or after marriage. There is always regret after we have been unchaste. Chastity is a fruit that is simply following natural law. -Nathaniel

Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

Mom and dad explore the fruit of Gentleness. How is Mary related to Gentleness? Gentleness is probably the easiest Fruit to understand. Gentleness is having a soft touch in our truthfulness. In Gentleness we are called to “speak the Truth in Love”

It is the manifestation of the Golden Rule. We don’t know someone’s story. we don’t know where they came are coming from or where it is going. It’s one of those Fruits that we can “Fake it ’till i make it” -Nathaniel

Fruits of the Spirit: Self Control

Fruits of the Spirit: Self Control

Mom and Dad explore Self Control in this short video. Self Control is much like Temperance. Being Self Controlled is watching what we say, do, and think. When we have true Self Control, we recognize our sins immediately. When we lack self control, we can fall into a state of sin very easily.

It also provides us the grace in apologizing. The more we do it, the more we realize we should be doing it also the more we do it the less we need to do it. The true fruit of Self Control is how we act when we’re alone.

Fruits of the Spirit: Goodness

Fruits of the Spirit: Goodness

Will Goodness always stay? What is it? Mom and Dad talk about how the Goodness that we practice is not done for a motive, but that it is natural for us to do it. They say that if we have God in us, we have Goodness. One of the Transcendentals, or attributes of God, is Goodness. The Fruit of Goodness is us cooperating with the Divine Life in us known as Grace; it is a reflection of God within us.

Remember those bracelets that said “What would Jesus do?” If we were using Goodness, we would not need to have the reminders. So, we should not DO good for the sake of DOING good; we should BE good, and the Doing will soon follow. Goodness comes from God; therefore, if we cooperate with the Big Guy, we will BE good. If we are not being good we soon realize it, and then we would have done good. Focus on BEING good as opposed to DOING good, and we are well on our way. -Nathaniel

Fruits of the Spirit: Modesty

Fruits of the Spirit: Modesty

Mom and Dad explore Modesty in this episode. The thing that probably comes to mind first is CLOTHING! We seem to stretch the meaning of modesty in that regard, thinking that to look beautiful, we need to be immodest.

But, it’s not all about clothing! Remember, Fruits have multiple manifestations. We will automatically find that DOING Modest, or dressing appropriately, will come if we ARE Modest. Modesty has to do with how we think of our own selves.

Modesty is like the opposite of sinful Pride. It means we are selfless. A combination of Humility, selflessness, dignity and Prudence.

Modesty is also in thought, speech, and dress. Also, it is how we treat ourselves when we’re alone. -Nathaniel

I Love Being Catholic at Lent