1. The Newtown tragedy reminds us that it’s time to address the culture of death that is perpetuated by the extraordinary violence we inflict on one another, even within our own families. This violence is seen in the proliferation of video games and other sources of “entertainment” that glamorize violence; in our underlying cultural values—the denial of right and wrong, a growing focus on selfish desires and a diminishing sense of obligation—that contribute to a violent environment; and in the hopelessness and despair of so many who live in poverty.
2 2. Do you think of your marriage as a vocation, a call from God? It’s true. In their pastoral message on marriage, Love and Life in the Divine Plan, the U.S. Bishops say: “As a vocation, marriage is just as necessary and valuable to the Church as other vocations."
3. The U.S. Catholic bishops’ opposition to national health care legislation mandating contraception coverage was ranked the No. 1 Religion Story of 2012 by members of the Religion Newswriters Association. Related to the top story, the top religion newsmaker was Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, who became the point man for Catholic objections to required coverage of contraception, sterilization and morning after drugs in Obamacare.
4. What’s Christmas really about? Paulist Father Larry Ricve offers some ideas in an easy from the Four Your Marriage website.
5. God loves you.
NOTE: “Five Things” takes a break for Christmas but will be back early in 2013. A blessed Christmas and Happy New Year to all.