National Catholic Reporter

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Christmas

Pope: Don't miss Christ this Christmas; take time, be ready, let him in

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God is knocking to come into people's lives, so be attentive, humble and courageous to let him in, Pope Francis said.

"When we feel in our heart: 'I want to be good, to be better ... I feel sorry for what I've done ...' This is Christ who is knocking," he said before praying the Angelus with those gathered Sunday in St. Peter's Square.

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis talked about Mary showing the way to be ready, humble, generous and courageous when God calls people in their lives.

Christmas in America: belief in the virgin birth and visits from Santa

Nearly one in three Americans, including many with no little children at home and those with no religious identity, say they pretend Santa will visit their house on Christmas Eve.

Overall, 31 percent of U.S. adults play up the Santa role in their holiday season, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

Jesus, however, is still the star of Christmas.

The survey finds that 73 percent of adults believe Jesus was born of a virgin -- the act of God at the theological heart of the Christmas story, the birth of the Christ child.

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