To help parishioners prepare for Christmas, Holy Name Church in Nashville will host Dr. Edward Sri, theologian, author and Catholic speaker, for an evening of reflection and discussion from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, with his talk “Walking with Mary in Advent.”
“With Christmas, there are a lot of distractions, and we tend to forget what it’s all about,” said Father Theo Ebulueme, pastor of Holy Name. “Christmas is all about Christ, and I think (Dr. Sri) will be well received among parishioners. We’re lucky to have him.”
During the evening, Dr. Sri will cover two topics. First, “Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross.”
“I’m going to look at her waiting and anticipation for the coming of Christ. We’re going to look at her humanness,” Dr. Sri explained. “As Catholics, we love Mary, we know the Marian Dogmas, the Mary of all the devotions, but do we really know the human Mary and all that she was going through step by step throughout her life?
“We’re going to look at those early moments of her life from Nazareth at the Annunciation to the Nativity so that we can enter into her own experience of what St. John Paul II called ‘Mary’s interior pilgrimage of faith,’” he continued. “She is our model as a model disciple.”
Following a 15-minute intermission, the second part of Dr. Sri’s talk will focus on living a life of virtue, the topic of his newest book “The Art of Living: The Cardinal Virtues and the Freedom to Love,” which stems from words once said by Pope Benedict XVI, he said.
“In our modern secular age, the problem isn’t simply that we don’t know the Bible or the Catechism. Yes, we need to know our faith better, but the problem is even deeper,” Dr. Sri said. “We don’t know how to live. Young people don’t know how to live friendship or dating relationships, we don’t know how to build strong marriages, we don’t know how to raise children well. We’ve ‘lost the art of living,’ (Pope Benedict) said.
“The good news is that there is a great tradition on how to live life well, how to live marriage, how to live family, how to raise children, and that tradition is known as the virtues,” he said. “In Advent, we’re trying to imitate Christ in his virtues more, so I hope the talk can help us live our Advent well.”
The event is free and open to the public, and Dr. Sri said he hopes it will help Catholics “make space for the gift of Christ in their hearts” throughout the season.
“My hope is that through the example of Mary and the art of living in the virtues, that they’ll find space in their hearts more to encounter Jesus in these four weeks of Advent.”