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The Call to Childlike Wonder in Advent

by Annalise Deal

 

I recently saw a photo on social media of my high school youth pastor holding his 1-year-old daughter, whose face was lit up with the colorful glow of Christmas lights, captioned “Wonder at the parade of lights.” Aside from how adorable the photo was, it also made me recall the importance of wonder, especially during the season of Advent. Advent offers us time not only to sit in delighted wonder at Christmas lights, trees, and decorations, but also time to sit in wonder as we anticipate the mystery of the Incarnation.

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Pope Francis Visits Myanmar and Bangladesh

by Tess Daniels

 

In early December, Pope Francis concluded a diplomatically-tricky visit to Asia, where he visited the countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh. Many people apprehensively watched the trip to see whether he would speak out about the controversial term “Rohingya.” The Rohingya, who are described as “the world’s most persecuted minority,” are a Muslim ethnic group who have lived for centuries in the majority-Buddhist Myanmar. Nearly all of the Rohingya in Myanmar live in the extremely poor state of Rakhine and are not allowed to leave without government permission. Several governments, including the United Sates, have declared the recent violence against the Rohingya to be an act of ethnic cleansing, an accusation which the military has denied. Due to their ongoing persecution, over 600,000 Rohingya have been  forced to flee the Rakhine State towards neighboring Bangladesh, where they are denied refugee status.

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Joy to the World: The Geography of Christmas

by Adriana Watkins

 

It’s early December. You’re in the car. The radio DJ announces that “Silent Night” is playing next, with a verse in the original German. “German?” you think to yourself. You often forget this classic carol wasn’t written in English—and perhaps you feel a sense of discontent. Do you even know what Christmas looks like in Germany? Or in Kenya? Or in the Philippines? Your own traditions and memories of the holiday bring you plenty of joy—but what does this joy look like for others?

 

Here are a few ways other nations commemorate the birth of our Lord:

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2017

Christological Themes in Frosty the Snowman

by Ethan Starr

 

Most of us cannot help but enter into a festive spirit when we hear Christmas music over the radio and see weekly rounds of Christmas specials on television. Christians in modern America may often, and justifiably, decry the secularization of the Christmas season, as St. Nicholas gives way to the red-clad, sleigh-riding Santa of popular culture, and biblical Christmas stories are supplanted by stories of Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. Remembrance of the true spirit of Christmas should remain an important objective in our modern observation of the Christmas holiday, but there are some questions we should consider: Is the celebration of our secular holiday, characterized by Rudolph and Frosty, mutually incompatible with recognition of the birth of Jesus? Or, perhaps, do the Christmas specials actually reflect and educate children on the Christological meaning of Christmas? What could we possibly learn about Jesus from Frosty the Snowman?

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The Art of Celebration

by Hadley Hustead

 

Growing up I always knew there was something different about my family. My parents were perplexingly unconventional. They were so chill that I often found myself confused why they didn’t take my life more seriously. The other moms and dads I knew were running circles around their children, tending to every anticipated beck and call. I was fleetingly jealous, but it never got under my skin. Things in my home ran a bit differently than most. We had rules, chores, and bed-time, but structure was certainly not our holy grail. As a child, I was too naive to put my finger on what made us different. However, I have a developing theory that the spirit of my family is rooted in my mom and dad’s mastery of recreation.

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Christmas at the McMullen Museum

by David O'Neill

 

 

The 6.1 inches of snow that Boston received two weekends ago made the perfect setting for a Christmas celebration. Amidst the snowy fields of Brighton Campus, the McMullen Museum hosted their annual holiday celebration on Saturday, December 9. Members of the BC community—students, professors, alumni, and children of all ages— came for the free event, which provided a great study break for BC students. It was also an opportunity for visitors to view fall semester’s three beautiful exhibitions, which closed to the public the next day, December 10.

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Christmas Spirit Inspires Charity at BC

by Amanda Judah

 

Christmas is often called the “season of giving.” Charitable organizations use this time to launch campaigns, encouraging the public to think of resources they can share. Recently, this goodwill has extended as early in the year as “Giving Tuesday,” a social media phenomenon that occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Salvation Army bell-ringers are a ubiquitous sight outside of grocery stores and malls, and there are seemingly infinite opportunities to volunteer or donate to charity. Boston College is no exception to this philanthropic trend, encouraging students to participate in several ways that contribute to the overall community:

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2017

O Wisdom: Advent Antiphons

by Natasha Zinos

 

 

Among the Church’s lesser known Advent traditions are the O Antiphons. Prayed during evening prayer from December 17th to the 23rd, these antiphons highlight Old Testament hopes for the Messiah. Accompanying the Magnificat which is prayed on these same evenings, the O Antiphons bear a strong resemblance to the Virgin Mary’s praise of God for sending his Messiah into the world through her.

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