n 1859, the radical abolitionist John Brown was executed for treason and murder after leading raids and uprisings. Raised in a Calvinist, anti-slavery home, he was so moved by an 1837 abolition meeting that he swore to dedicate his life to ending slavery. Many lives were lost – including three of his sons – as he launched his guerilla warfare.
Advent is an opportunity to examine one’s conscience – all the penance services and confession sessions are an excellent reminder of inevitable human failing – and even bathed in the beauty of the Christmas season, we are all aware (especially if we have small children!) of the potential pitfalls of the holidays.