115: Christmas Insights from Catholicism

This episode features a conversation between Mat Schmalz and LDF host Dan Wotherspoon about images, rituals, and meditations surrounding the Christmas season. Mat, who teaches religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross, in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a cradle Catholic and has for the past twenty years or so engaged with Latter-day Saints, and here shares openly, and in a very approachable way, about Catholic traditions centered on the Christmas story. 

In the first section, Mat teaches us about three holy days in the Catholic calendar: the Annunciation, Advent, and Epiphany—the symbols at play in these, other traditions surrounding them, and more. Mat also shares about Christmas Mass, the time he met Mother Teresa, and some of the emphases Catholicism place with regard to the various individuals and animals present in the Nativity narrative. He also shares about the direction his own meditations have taken him.

This is a great conversation between two friends that also includes questions from Mat about various LDS subjects. A shared spirit in their exchanges is how readily each shares their “holy envy” about things more emphasized in the others’ tradition.

Listen in to learn, and to perhaps find ideas that can help shape your experiences this Christmas season and for those to come.

Merry Christmas!

_____

Links:

Mat Schmalz, Fiona Givens, Alonzo Gaskill, “Mercy and the Atonement,Mormon Matters, August 2016

Mat Schmalz, “Mercy,” Mormon Matters, May 2016

Mat Schmalz, “Encountering Other Traditions, Part 2: Roman Catholicism,” Mormon Matters, April 2015

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