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Waiting in joyful hope this Advent season

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It has always been difficult, at least for me, to imagine Advent as a season of penitence. In our tradition, the days leading up to Christmas are second only to the days leading up to Easter as an opportunity to practice abstinence, consider our sins and prepare the way of the Lord. Where do the candy, the tree trimming, the lessons and carols, the teas and the sleigh rides fit into all of that?

Where does nature live?

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One of my most cherished memories from college is of a guest lecture by the late Fr. Jim Edmiston, hosted by my friends and me at The Catholic University of America's chapter of Pax Christi. Fr. Jim, a Franciscan friar and an entomologist, and gave us a small window into the joy and awe he witnessed in the study of fly DNA. His message that day: Get St. Francis' love of nature "out of the birdbath" and into the metaphysical meditations of Christian faith.

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July 18-31, 2014

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