Christmas Eve 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

ProLifecorner-  “At length,” says Saint Peter Damian, in his Sermon for this holy Eve, “at length we have got from the stormy sea into the tranquil port; hitherto it was the promise, now it is the prize; hitherto labour, now rest; hitherto despair, now hope; hitherto the way, now our home. The heralds of the divine promise came to us; but they gave us nothing but rich pro- mises. Hence, our Psalmist himself grew wearied, and slept, and, with a seeming reproachful tone, thus sings his lamentation to God: But you hast rejected and despised us; you have deferred the coming of your Christ. At another time he assumes a tone of demand, and thus prays: you that sittest upon the Cherubim, shoiv yourself! Seated on your high throne, with myriads of adoring Angels around you, look down upon the children of men, who are victims of that sin, which was committed indeed by Adam, but permitted by your justice. Remember what my substance is; you didst make it to the likeness of your own; for though every living man is vanity, yet inasmuch as he is made to your Image, he is not a passing vanity} Bend your heavens and come down, and turn the eyes of your mercy upon us your miserable suppliants, and forget us not unto the end!

IMG_0689“Isaias, also, in the vehemence of his desire, thus spoke: For Sion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest, till her Just One come forth as brightness. Oh! that you wouldst rend the heavens, and wouldst come down! So, too, all the Prophets, tired of the long delay of the Coming, have prayed to you, now with supplication, now with lamentation, and now with cries of impatience. We have listened to these their prayers; we have made use of them as our own, and now, nothing can give us joy or gladness, till our Savior come to us, and, kissing us with the kiss of his lips, say to us, I have heard and granted your prayers. Continue reading

The Feast of Christmas

The Feast of Christmas

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 Merry Christmas!  Tonight the Church celebrates the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Christmas 275xThe Feast of Christmas was initially celebrated in the late fourth century only after Christianity became legal and became the official religion of the Roman Empire! The December 25th date was chosen to counter a popular Roman Pagan holiday.  Scholars speculate that Christ was actually born sometime in mid-March!

The Old Universal Calendar the Church of the saints, before it was revised by Pope Paul VI in 1969, originally celebrated Christmas Eve (12/24) as the feast of Adam and Eve, our first parents! This indicates to us that the Church always did and still does esteem the Old Testament patriarchs, prophets, kings, queens, and holy men and women as saints!   By being here tonight should remind us of few things:

  • First, that Christmas must always remain Christmas. I say again, Christmas must always remain Christmas. Despite other secular and religious holidays at this time of year, we must not let Christmas get lost in the “holidays.”
  • Secondly, the Christ child cannot be sidelined by snowmen, Santa’s, elves, reindeers, bells and tinsel. The Nativity scene must always remain central to Christmas.
  • Third, Saint Nicholas is a real saint of the Catholic Church. He was a bishop of great charity toward children and the poor in the fourth century!
  • Fourth, the truths of the birth of Jesus exists within the Gospels. The first Christmas was an act of divine intervention when the Holy Spirit conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary. It was a miraculous birth, directly caused by God.
  • Fifth, Angels are not mythical figures but spiritual beings from God who interact with humanity. In the Bible we hear of angels speaking to Mary, Joseph, shepherds and others.
  • Sixth, the sighting of the star and coming of the magi proclaimed the divine revelation that God intended salvation for both Jews and Gentiles through Jesus.
  • Seventh, the Christmas season begins tonight (today) and end on the Feast of the Epiphany! It did not begin the day after Thanksgiving and it does not end the day after Christmas.
  • And lastly, the evils of King Herod foreshadowed the rejection of Christ that would lead to His passion and death, and serves as a reminder that there will always be people in our lives who hate and despise anything to do with Christmas, and so therefore, Christmas must always remain Christmas, and not just a winter holiday shopping season!

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A Christmas Poem

ProLifeCorner.com- Origin unknown

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a winter delight. Continue reading