Through Our Lens: Love

Advent - Christmas Porch Lights

What's the Friday Photo Challenge word for the day? Here's a clue. How about an "all-things-we-LOVE-right-now-at-DasHausSchmidt" 7 Quick Takes? --- 1 --- As crazy challenging and exhausting the adjustment to three has been for me, I’m encouraged daily to see the genuine interest Lucy and Jude take in their new baby sister. It started at the hospital when a thoughtful nurse suggested waiting to give Lydia her first bath until her older siblings were available to help, which they were … [Read more...]

Giving Epiphany a Little Respect


Epiphany is the Rodney Dangerfield of Christian holidays. It gets no respect; most of us are done celebrating Christmas by New Year’s Day. However, beginning with the Annunciation, so much of the liturgical calendar is pointing directly at Epiphany. Let’s take a look at how we get there in 10 easy steps. March 25, Solemnity of Annunciation of the Lord: At the hour of midnight, while absorbed in prayer, the Blessed Virgin Mary receives a visit from the Archangel Gabriel. “Hail, full … [Read more...]

The Feast of the Holy Family: Church Planting 101


A dedication to the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph The Feast of the Holy Family is a devotion-feast or an idea-feast --- it does not commemorate a specific event but rather promotes the Holy Family as a model for all family life. The feast is ordinarily celebrated on the Sunday between Christmas Day and January 1, during the Octave of Christmas, providing another opportunity to remember the Incarnation of Christ and his sharing in a human family. Families are called to be a … [Read more...]

On the 3rd Day of Christmas, the Gifts Keep Coming

The Last Supper, fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1480.

Holy Mother Church gives more gifts to unwrap today Today, we celebrate the feast of Saint John the Apostle, a true gift to the Church who is traditionally considered the author of the Fourth Gospel, three Epistles or New Testament letters (1 John, 2 John & 3 John) and the Apocalypse or Book of Revelation. His writings are very personal accounts and are considered some of the finest in the New Testament. And because of his depth, John is often referred to as the “eagle of theology,” … [Read more...]

On the 2nd Day of Christmas …

Two Turtle Doves

Happy Second Day of Christmas! We sing about the gifts of two turtle doves in the popular Christmas carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. Did you know those birds carry scriptural significance? More about that in a moment. Let's first begin our second day of Christmas celebration by honoring the Church's first martyr. December 26 marks the feast of Saint Stephen. He holds a unique place among all saints given he was the first martyr of the Church. He is the patron of deacons, bricklayers, … [Read more...]

Two Takes on Christmas: Chesterton and Rembrandt

Adoration of the shepherds

The House of Christmas by Gilbert Keith Chesterton  There fared a mother driven forth Out of an inn to roam; In the place where she was homeless All men are at home. The crazy stable close at hand, With shaking timber and shifting sand, Grew a stronger thing to abide and stand Than the square stones of Rome. For men are homesick in their homes, And strangers under the sun, And they lay on their heads in a foreign land Whenever the day is done. Here we have battle and blazing … [Read more...]

Keep Christ in Christmas by Celebrating Advent

St. Nicholas: The Story of the Real Santa Claus

Take back Christmas by preparing your heart to receive Christ. The commercialization of Christmas has hit a new low. Last year, Dr. Pia de Solenni joked about the possibility of trick-or-treaters receiving candy canes. This year, it actually happened to our daughter; first stop, no less! Should I really be surprised? For my part, I recently received my first say-Merry-Christmas-not-happy-holidays email forward, assuring me the “Keep the Christ in Christmas” movement is still alive and … [Read more...]

Adoration of the Magi


Happy Epiphany! This is the cover of the English-language January 2012 edition of Magnificat. It features "Adoration of the Magi," an illumination from the Hours of Henry VIII, Tours, France, circa 1500. ©  The Pierpont Morgan Library / Art Resource / Scala, Florence I found the commentary by Pierre-Marie Dumont quite enlightening: "In the fourth century, Byzantine art begins to differentiate the ages of the Magi; the first becomes an old man with a long white beard; the second a mature … [Read more...]

The Feast of the Holy Innocents

Feast of the Holy Innocents

The innocents were slaughtered as infants for Christ; spotless, they follow the lamb and sing forever: Glory to you, O Lord.Today the Church remembers the Holy Innocents, the male children executed because of Herod's fury to find the Christ child. Herod, fearing for his throne after the Magi told him of the birth of Jesus, ordered the massacre of all Bethlehem boys age two and under hoping that Jesus would be among those killed (Matthew 2:1-18). According to Matthew, this fulfilled a prophecy of … [Read more...]