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On this day

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On this day, the winter solstice, in the first reading at Mass, the Beloved "comes leaping on the mountains, bounding over the hills".

"For see, winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth.
The season of glad songs has come,
the cooing of the turtledove
is heard in our land."

In the Gospel, more hills and more leaping. "Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit."

On PBS: 'The Calling'

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On Dec. 20-21, PBS will air a documentary exploring what it means to be “called” to serve as clergy in the 21st century. It relates a fascinating set of personal stories, featuring seven young people who have felt a “calling” to serve God as either as priests, ministers, rabbis, imams or Islamic chaplains.

On this day

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On this day, 150 years ago, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published "Paul Revere's Ride".

LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; t
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, ‘If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light, --
One, if by land, and two, if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be, t
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.


There's more; it's 130 lines long. And it's much more than a fictionalized version of Revere's ride. Jill Lepore explained in an op-ed piece in The New York Times yesterday, that " 'Paul Revere's Ride' is less a poem about the Revolutionary War than about the impending Civil War -- and about the conflict over slavery that caused it."

As Christmas approaches, let's reach for meals that make us truly happy

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A battle royale has been engaged by a mother who is seeking to prevent McDonalds from "luring" children and their parents from buying Happy Meals with toys.

Today's New York Times editorial rightly points out that parents are the responsible party for their children's diet. At what point, however, do states and the federal government have to intervene before a large percentage of our population literally explodes as if in a cartoon?

On the crisis, does the pope have it right?

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Pope Benedict XVI’s blunt language on the sexual abuse crisis in his annual address to the Roman Curia this morning is generating headlines around the world, especially the pontiff’s unflinching insistence that the church must examine “what went wrong in our proclamation, in our whole way of living the Christian life, to allow such a thing to happen.”

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In This Issue

April 22-May 5, 2016

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