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Carla Cassidy. Tell Everything. Christmas…a Living Reality St. John Paul II December 19, John Paul II, in his Angelus message of December 19, , explained that Christmas is not simply the remembrance of the Event that took place years ago when, according to the Gospel, the power of God took on the frailty of a baby. It is really about a living reality that is repeated every year in the heart of believers. Last Days of Advent St. It is not just about commemorating the historical event, which occurred some 2, years ago in a little village of Judea.
To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life. Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously.
The Pope today presented St. Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, as a model of recollection. Silence "is so lacking in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favorable to recollection and listening to the voice of God," Benedict XVI said. He suggested that the faithful establish in these days "a kind of spiritual dialogue with St.
Joseph so that he helps us live to the fullest this mystery of faith. Joseph," dedicated the apostolic exhortation "Redemptoris Custos" Custodian of the Redeemer to the adoptive father of Jesus.
God Gave the Song by Kathleen E Kovach
Joseph," observed Benedict XVI. Such a silence was "permeated with the contemplation of the mystery of God, in an attitude of total availability to the divine will," Benedict XVI said. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith.
Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. In another place we read: Magnify the Lord with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of God, and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.
Wreathed in Flesh Wendy M. John Paul II. In general, the tree is decorated and Christmas gifts are placed under it. The message of the Christmas tree, therefore, is that life is "ever green" if one gives: not so much material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, and fraternal help and forgiveness, in shared time and reciprocal listening. Such a St. As you can see, the possibilities are almost unlimited for these St. Nicholas shoe gifts. Nicholas, patron of shoppers and gift-seekers, and make Christmas this year fun, creative and love-filled.
Advent calls believers to become aware of this truth and to act accordingly. It rings out as a salutary appeal in the days, weeks and months that repeat: Awaken! Remember that God comes! Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today, now! He is a Father who never stops thinking of us and, in the extreme respect of our freedom, desires to meet us and visit us; he wants to come, to dwell among us, to stay with us.
God comes to save us. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis 15,1: PG 33, The Advent Season lives the whole of this polarity. We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us. Liturgical Press, In other words, the incarnation is the starting point of our divinization. We are thus not passive bystanders at the incarnation. The incarnation radically transforms the history of the world and the personal history of each of us. Because of it, each of us must measure up to God's plan and play his proper role in it.
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We must admit, however, that the injection of these elements, especially at a time when both the liturgy and the knowledge of Scripture were in decline, has turned Christmas, for many, into the feast of tender piety; midnight Mass is the most important thing to these Christians, and the feast has no further influence on their lives. This new life consists in our sharing the divine nature. Here again, the Church in her liturgy has been guided by the theology of the Fathers. In the patristic reading for the Office of Readings on Christmas, St. The liturgy links the birth of Christ with a renovation , or renewal, with our generation , or birth, and with a novitas , or newness of life, as opposed to a vetustas , or decrepitude the state of one who is worn, decayed, old, and feeble.
The whole of creation benefits from the re-creation that is the fruit of Christ's suffering and resurrection and that is already implicitly contained in his birth. The whole of creation, and not man alone, experiences the regenerative power of the incarnation. The world was of course already consecrated to a degree, since God was the one who had made it, but the presence of the Word within the cosmos restores its dignity and gives it the possibility of rebuilding itself with the elements already at its disposal.
Every prayer begins with silent wonder before it turns to words.
January Catholic Journalist
Our first response to God is dumbstruck awe at who he is and what he has done for us. Christmas celebrates the dawn of the Light of the World. The powers of darkness are overcome by his coming to share our life. The long reign of sin is ended and grace has been poured out upon the earth. The Sun of Justice has arisen, and evil is vanquished. Perhaps the hardest thing to remember about Christmas is this. The incarnation is an on-going process of salvation, while the nativity is the once-for-all-historical event of Bethlehem.
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We celebrate the stupendous fact of the incarnation, God entering our world so thoroughly that nothing has been the same since. And God continues to take flesh in our midst, in the men and women and children who form his body today. In moments of discouragement, defeat or even despair, there are always certain things to cling to. Little things, usually: remembered laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind — in fact, any reminder of something deeply felt or dearly loved.
The Whisper of Christmas Joe E. Pennel, Jr. His nativity began to be celebrated on Dec. At the very moment when the days are the shortest and darkness seems to have conquered light, the sun passes its nadir. Days grow longer, and although the cold will only increase for quite a long time, the ultimate conquest of winter is sure.
This astronomical process is a parable of the career of the Incarnate One. At the moment when history is blackest, and in the least expected and obvious place, the Son of God is born…". The glory of Christmas is that a gracious God became one of us to tell us that He loves us. And, in his or her Christmas giving, the genuine believer symbolizes his or her inner desire to spread this Good News. Today we celebrate Incarnation! Today we rejoice! The eternal God comes into the flesh and blood of humanity. Christmas cards portray the little Babe, the Manger, the Magi, the shepherds.
But these pieces of the story only touch the edge of the mysterious event which brings us together. The Good News is that the God of Mercy has come into the history of humanity to bring us perfect peace. For the peace of mind and heart and soul that the world cannot give, follow Jesus. And when you follow Jesus, do not be surprised to see others following you. After all, the spirit of Christmas is contagious. The Word assumed our humanity and, in exchange, human nature was raised to divine dignity. The second act of the exchange consists in our real and intimate involvement in the divine nature of the Word.
And that one time changed the world. The infant born that first Christmas grew in wisdom and age and strength; he suffered and died and rose again; and he saved his people from their sins. Heart of Christmas Dr. Let me give Christmas away, unwrapped, by exuberant armfuls. Let me share, dance, live Christmas unpretentiously, merrily, responsibly with overflowing hands, tireless steps and sparkling eyes. Christmas given away will stay fresh—even until it comes again.
Bells on Christmas Day Pulpit Helps, , p. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was filled with sorrow at the tragic death of his wife in a fire in The Civil War broke out the same year, and it seemed this was an additional punishment. Two years later, Longfellow was again saddened to learn that his own son had been seriously wounded in the Army of the Potomac. Sitting down to his desk, one Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing.
It was in this setting that Longfellow wrote these lines:. I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men! And thought how, as the day had come The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good will to men!
Till, ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good will to men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good will to men! And in despair I bowed my head; "There is no peace on earth," I said; "For hate is strong And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men. Then pealed the bells more loud and deep. The wrong shall fail, The right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men! Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness.
Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts. And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace. Christmas Prayer Soundings , Vol. May hunger disappear and terrorists cease their senseless acts. May people live in freedom, worshiping as they see fit, loving others.
May the sanctity of the home be ever preserved. May peace, everlasting peace, reign supreme. I believe in God, but do I believe in God-in-me? I believe in God in heaven, but do I believe in God-on-earth? I believe in God out there, but do I believe in God-with-us?
Come alive in me this Christmas! And the more you spend in blessing The poor and lonely and sad, The more of your heart's possessing Returns to you glad. Christmas William Cullen Bryant. Christmas Thoughts Anonymous. Thomas, B. Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the town, St. Joseph was searching, walking up roads and down; Our Lady was waiting, so meek and so mild, While Joseph was seeking a place for the Child;. And there in a cave, in a cradle of hay, Our Savior was born on that first Christmas Day!
The Father was watching in heaven above, He sent for His angels, His couriers of love;. Now fly to the Earth, where My poor people live, Announce the glad tiding My Son comes to give; The Shepherds were watching their flocks on this night, And saw in the heavens and unearthly light;. They hastened to find Him, and stood at the door, Till Mary invited them in to adore;.
He was swaddled in bands from His head to His feet, Never did the Shepherds see a baby so sweet! He spoke not a word, but the shepherds all knew, He was telling them secrets and blessing them too;.
Then softly they left Him, The Babe in the hay, And rejoiced with great joy on that first Christmas Day; Mary heard them exclaim as they walked up the hill, Glory to God in the Highest, Peace to men of good will! The Gospel Tree Anonymous. There once was a shining Christmas tree Standing out where all could see. Its brilliance captured every eye And seemed to cheer each passer by.
The tree stood proud ablaze with light For every light was burning bright. I think of all the lights upon the tree This one looks the best to me. I thought perhaps no one would care If I failed to shine my share. Our Gospel, like this Christmas tree, With little lights which are you and me, We each have a space that we must fill With love, and lessons and good will. For our Gospel is a living tree That lights the way to eternity. The Best Gift Betty Werth. Tell it to me. Stays so full, never empties, as you make your way From rooftop to rooftop, to homes large and small, From nation to nation, reaching them all?
He told that small boy with the light in his eyes, "My secret will make you sadder and wise. Some homes are hungry, some homes are sad, Some homes are desperate, some homes are bad. Some homes are broken, and the children there grieve. Those homes I visit, but what should I leave? The rest, my dear youth, Is that my sack is magic. And that is the truth. Not just toys. The more that I give, the fuller it seems, Because giving is my way of fulfilling dreams.
Open that sack called your heart, and share Your joy, your friendship, your wealth, your care. Will you share? Will you help? Will you use what you know? And just for a moment the small boy stood still, Touched his heart with his small hand and whispered, "I will. He is less a selfish creature than at any other time; When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime. Then for others he is toiling and somehow it seems to me That at Christmas he is almost what God wanted him to be. Some Special Gifts Source Unknown. Christmas is… Source Unknown.
C hristmas is the shining star of hope in the sky of all mankind. Christmas William Arthur Ward. Act Christmas Anonymous. A Christmas List Anonymous. Never regret the past, but learn by it. Never lose sight of your dreams; a person who can dream will always have hope. Believe in yourself; if you do, everyone else will. If you can go through life loving others, you will have achieved the greatest success of all.
Where to Search for the Lord James F. II, p.