CHRIST CENTERED CONVERSATIONS

 

The Story of Santa Claus

I think every Christmas, apart from the Holy Family, another dominant figure plays an important role in the festivities, particularly that of popular culture: Santa Claus. Most of us already know that this popular red-faced and jolly character was inspired by the figure of St Nicholas, a bishop in the city of Myra. Aside from stories of his compassion and generosity (with said stories becoming the basis of the generous and compassionate nature of good old Santa Claus), many o

将临故事中的客栈店主

Chris 于此文章,分享将临故事中客栈店主的角色,试问我们是否有时也以客栈店主的身份对待圣家三口。 “他们在那里的时候,她分娩的日期满了,便生了她的头胎男儿,用襁褓裹起,放在马槽里,因为在客栈中为他们没有地方。”(路2:6-7) 我常想,当若瑟从客栈店主口中得知那里“没有地方”容纳他与身怀六甲的聘妻时,究竟有何感受?行路数日、历经坎坷的若瑟,必然气愤心烦,无比失望。我猜想,他甚至慌张失措。他有后备计划吗?夫妻俩总不能露宿街头吧?那怀有身孕的玛利亚呢?这样的生理状态下,仍要长途跋涉,肯定使她疲惫不堪,痛苦不已。听到一句“没有地方”,她是否也一时不能自己,无助痛哭?不知若瑟与玛利亚可曾感到消极、绝望?有时想想,也不禁感慨:我们熟悉的将临故事——那充满欢腾、盛满喜乐、灌满消费主义的故事——竟源于一次冷漠的拒绝。回首望之,倘若客栈掌柜知道自己拒绝的是圣家三口,他是否会腾出空间,让耶稣、玛利亚和若瑟三人入住? 诚然,我就是客栈店主,客栈就象征我的心房——一个满是担忧、顾虑,没有为圣家腾出空间的心房。无可否认,我在日常生活中,确实无数次拒绝了圣家。就因交际

修直道路

Greg 反思圣若翰洗者呼吁我们“修直道路”之意,从而发现自己有时误将“道路”视为“终点”。 有一个呼声喊说: “你们要在旷野中预备上主的道路, 在荒原中为我们的天主修平一条大路!”(依40:3) 将临期的福音中,我们常听见圣若翰洗者准备迎接耶稣的使命。这个使命即是依撒意亚先知所预言,且圣若翰洗者所重申的这一点: “我是在旷野里呼喊者的声音:修直上主的道路罢!” (若1:23) 将临期提醒我们要在心灵之中为上主修直道路,好为祂的圣诞做准备。教会教导我们,修直道路的方法有好多:阅读圣经,尤其反思将临期的读经;检讨良心,在心中为耶稣腾出空间;深入祈祷,加深与天主的感情,等等。我想,这些都是准备迎来将临期的好方法。对我而言,此文章实属自我告诫:重要的不是道路,而是耶稣。 在反思这段福音时,我赫然发现,自己虽总是一心想为上主修直道路,却多次弄巧反拙。何谓弄巧反拙呢?我想,简单来说,我们常徘徊于两个极端:一,因为道路不够直、不够平,而将其铲除;二,因为着重于道路的建设,而忽视了建设道路的目的。简而言之,我将精力都放在建设那条道路上,却没太专注于它是否能让主

A Christmas Song for Three Guilds: An Analysis (Part 4 of 4)

Garrett turns to G.K. Chesterton’s poem A Christmas Song for Three Guilds, which he believes, suggests a much more egalitarian idea of the Kingdom of God than we are likely to picture. (Part 4 of 4) Welcome back to our final instalment of our analysis of G.K. Chesterton’s poem, A Christmas Song for Three Guilds! As always, the previous three parts can be found on this very site, and I highly recommend at least reading Part 1 first to provide some of the context behind my anal

Make Straight the Path

Gregory shares more about what it means to make straight the path for him at Christmas A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3 In our Advent Gospels, we always hear of John the Baptist and his mission to prepare for the coming of Jesus. And part of this call is an echo of what Isaiah has foretold and what John the Baptist reaffirms in John 1:23: “I am the voice of one crying out in the

Silenced by Truth: Zechariah’s response to Angel Gabriel

Chris compares the differing responses of Zechariah and Mary towards Angel Gabriel’s proclamation of Good News. As a child, I often wondered why Zechariah, father of John the Baptist and husband to Elizabeth – Mary’s cousin – was “unable to speak” and became “mute” after his encounter with Angel Gabriel (Luke 1:20). Correspondingly, I found it even more interesting to compare the aftermath of his response to Angel Gabriel with that of Mary. Therefore, in this Advent season, I

A Christmas Song for Three Guilds: An Analysis (Part 3 of 4)

Garrett turns to G.K. Chesterton’s poem A Christmas Song for Three Guilds, which he believes, suggests a much more egalitarian idea of the Kingdom of God than we are likely to picture. (Part 3 of 4) Welcome to Part 3 of our analysis of G.K. Chesterton’s A Christmas Song for Three Guilds! Part 1 and Part 2 can be found elsewhere on this blog. I highly recommend giving a read through to Part 1 at least as over there I went through some important principles to take note of when

A Christmas Song for Three Guilds: An Analysis (Part 2 of 4)

Garrett turns to G.K. Chesterton’s poem A Christmas Song for Three Guilds, which he believes, suggests a much more egalitarian idea of the Kingdom of God than we are likely to picture. (Part 2 of 4) If you’re coming here after reading Part 1,welcome back! If not, do be aware that this is Part 2 of four-part series where I’ll be analysing G.K. Chesterton’s A Christmas Song for Three Guilds. We’re taking it one stanza at a time, and the first part does establish some very impor

A Christmas Song for Three Guilds: An Analysis (Part 1 of 4)

Garrett turns to G.K. Chesterton’s poem A Christmas Song for Three Guilds, which he believes, suggests a much more egalitarian idea of the Kingdom of God than we are likely to picture. (Part 1 of 4) What does Advent mean to us, on a personal level? How does this brief season, where we prepare for the coming of Jesus, relate to how we live our lives for the rest of the year? Before the dawn of Advent proper, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, where we recognize the sov

Placing the Inn Keeper in the Advent Narrative

Chris shares a bit more about the inn-keeper in the Advent narrative and wonders whether all of us are sometimes inn-keepers towards the Holy Family as well. “While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” – Luke 2:6-7 I often wonder how Joseph must have felt when he received the news that there was “no plac