Please Read: A Christmas letter from St. Nicholas to the accidental Arians of 2020
Jesus Christ is LORD, and nothing less than LORD.
Please Read: A Christmas letter from St. Nicholas to the accidental Arians of 2020
Jesus Christ is LORD, and nothing less than LORD.
A beautiful sermon by St. Leo the Great, reminds us, that Christmas is also our birthday. As this new year closes in, my prayer for all that that we embrace the newness that our Lord has made us, as we reflect on the old, that reminds us, “I make all things new”.
May you have a blessed New Year. May our Lord grant you a new way of thinking, new life in Christ and new and beautiful outlook on what you also once were before our Lord touched your heart, that you may give the praise, glory and honor to Him. May our Lord bring His peace to all.
Happy and blessed new year.
From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope
(Sermo 6 in Nativitate Domini, 2-3, 5: PL 54, 213-216)
The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace!
Although the state of infancy, which the majesty of the Son of God did not disdain to assume, developed with the passage of time into maturity of manhood, and although after the triumph of the passion and the resurrection all his lowly acts undertaken on our behalf belong to the past, nevertheless today’s feast of Christmas renews for us the sacred beginning of Jesus’ life, his birth from the Virgin Mary. In the very act in which we are reverencing the birth of our Savior, we are also celebrating our own new birth. For the birth of Christ is the origin of the Christian people; and the birthday of the head is also the birthday of the body.
Though each and every individual occupies a definite place in this body to which he has been called, and though all the progeny of the church is differentiated and marked with the passage of time, nevertheless as the whole community of the faithful, once begotten in the baptismal font, was crucified with Christ in the passion, raised up with him in the resurrection and at the ascension placed at the right hand of the Father, so too it is born with him in this Nativity, which we are celebrating today.
For every believer regenerated in Christ, no matter in what part of the whole world he may be, breaks with that ancient way of life that derives from original sin, and by rebirth is transformed into a new man. Henceforth he is reckoned to be of the stock, not of his earthly father, but of Christ, who became Son of Man precisely that men could become sons of God; for unless in humility he had come down to us, none of us by our own merits could ever go up to him.
Therefore the greatness of the gift which he has bestowed on us demands an appreciation proportioned to its excellence; for blessed Paul the Apostle truly teaches: We have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. The only way that he can be worthily honored by us is by the presentation to him of that which he has already given to us.
But what can we find in the treasure of the Lord’s bounty more in keeping with the glory of this feast than that peace which was first announced by the angelic choir on the day of his birth? For that peace, from which the sons of God spring, sustains love and mothers unity; it refreshes the blessed and shelters eternity; its characteristic function and special blessing is to join to God those whom it separates from this world.
Therefore, may those who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God, offer to the Father their harmony as sons united in peace; and may all those whom he has adopted as his members meet in the firstborn of the new creation who came not to do his own will but the will of the one who sent him; for the grace of the Father has adopted as heirs neither the contentious nor the dissident, but those who are one in thought and love. The hearts and minds of those who have been reformed according to one and the same image should be in harmony with one another.
The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace, as Paul the Apostle says: For he is our peace, who has made us both one; for whether we be Jew or Gentile, through him we have access in one Spirit to the Father.
Please read the beautiful Homily by Bishop Silvio Jose Baez, which can be found at the link below.
What is it that we long for? Why do we wait? Wait for Who as Who is my Lord? When will He come to me in my misery? Where will this take place? How can this be? Investigate… Seek, knock and ask. Invest- I -Gate
When we are attracted to someone, the relationship is build on these three things. By simply seeking the love of the other, we find the love within. When the angel of the Lord appeared to the Shepherds, they were first struck with fear. What where they afraid of? Something out of the ordinary, something astounding had taken place. To hear the words “Do not be afraid”, removes our cowardice. and replaces it with the strength of our Lord. The shoulders drop their pride, and one is able to carry the cross with our Lord. As the scripture says: When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” – What then were the Shepherds going to do? INVESTIGATE! They had been given the grace to move from cowardice and into bravery. They were given what they needed, what they were lacking. From tending sheep, to tending souls. They did not return to the sheep, they went at once to the town and told what they have seen, done and witnessed. Giving the glory to our Lord.
So what must we do in our faith? In all circumstances? Be not afraid to investigate the faith you profess and when you come to the Truth about Him and you, accept it, allow Him to wash you clean, repent of what you had and grasp what He has given to you. Be not afraid to share it. Invest I Gate – The Good Shepherd.
From a treatise against the heresy of Noetus by Saint Hippolytus, priest and martyr
(Cap. 9-12: PG 10, 815-819)
The manifestation of the hidden mystery
There is only one God, brethren, and we learn about him only from sacred Scripture. It is therefore our duty to become acquainted with what Scripture proclaims and to investigate its teachings thoroughly. We should believe them in the sense that the Father wills, thinking of the Son in the way the Father wills, and accepting the teaching he wills to give us with regard to the Holy Spirit. Sacred Scripture is God’s gift to us and it should be understood in the way that he intends: we should not do violence to it by interpreting it according to our own preconceived ideas.
God was all alone and nothing existed but himself when he determined to create the world. He thought of it, willed it, spoke the word and so made it. It came into being instantaneously, exactly as he had willed. It is enough then for us to be aware of a single fact: nothing is coeternal with God. Apart from God there was simply nothing else. Yet although he was alone, he was manifold because he lacked neither reason, wisdom, power, nor counsel. All things were in him and he himself was all. At a moment of his own choosing and in a manner determined by himself, God manifested his Word, and through him he made the whole universe.
When the Word was hidden within God himself he was invisible to the created world, but God made him visible. First God gave utterance to his voice, engendering light from light, and then he sent his own mind into the world as its Lord. Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made him visible so that the world could be saved by seeing him. This mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God. All things came into being through him; but he alone is begotten by the Father.
The Son gave us the law and the prophets, and he filled the prophets with the Holy Spirit to compel them to speak out. Inspired by the Father’s power, they were to proclaim the Father’s purpose and his will.
So the Word was made manifest, as Saint John declares when, summing up all the sayings of the prophets, he announces that this is the Word through whom the whole universe was made. He says: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Through him all things came into being; not one thing was created without him. And further on he adds: The world was made through him, and yet the world did not know him. He entered his own creation, and his own did not receive him.
52 years ago today, I was baptized Roman Catholic. Without any knowledge of what took place that day until today. Thank you Lord.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS
POPE PAUL VI
FOR THE OBSERVANCE OF A
DAY OF PEACE
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE
FOR THE CELEBRATION OF THE
52nd WORLD DAY OF PEACE
and made his dwelling among us,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
This Christmas, my husband surprised me with a gift only our Lord could inspire him to get me. One which will be shared with two thousand souls.
As I have been going through testing for MS, my doctor placed me on a diet. One I was not thrilled about. Its completely gluten free. No flour of any kind that contained any wheat. Not to test me for celiac disease, but to see if I have a sensitivity to gluten which may be causing any of the symptoms I may be having. One of the issues I had with this diet, was that I would not be able to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. I can, however, receive Him through the Sacred Blood, which is available at my parish.
The day I had gotten home from the doctor, just a few days before my birthday, I had told my husband about the strict diet. I let him know my thoughts about the whole thing and I wasn’t exactly happy about not being able to receive our Lord, nor have birthday cake, nor anything through Christmas with flour in it. It was only temporary, but the timing of this, was not exactly the best, or so I thought.
Since this last bout of what ever this may be has come about in June, I have noticed a beautiful change in my husband, in which he as become very attentive and caring, pulling the two of us much closer than we had ever been at any time in our marriage.
For the past few weeks on this strange diet I had been very good. I have been avoiding everything so we could see just how much of a change would take place. I made cookies and all sorts of sweets for Christmas, offering up the fact that I couldn’t even taste them. This is only a temporary diet, and by my next doctor appointment, I will be able to have what I could not, again.
On Christmas Morning, as we were opening up gifts, my husband handed me my stocking. I pulled out two boxes and looked at them with a puzzled look on my face. I couldn’t tell what they were. My husband looked at me and said, “I know you would NEVER buy them for yourself, so I wanted to get them for you, because I know how important it is. I don’t know if they are okay to use, and I’m not sure they can be, because I know there are rules, but I wanted you to have them.”. He then preceded to tell me they were two boxes of hosts. Although, gluten free hosts.
My jaw must have hit the floor when he told me what he had done for me. In that very moment, it was as if our Lord was speaking to me. I didn’t know what to say. I was in awe at the gift. This gift meant everything to me. Granted, they can not be used, as there are strict stipulations on Communion Bread in the Catholic Church. I looked at my husband as if I was looking into the eyes of our Lord. The love that consumed me at that very moment, will never be forgotten.
As the day progressed, the thought of this gift inflamed my heart so deep in love. I looked at them, pondering our Lord, opened them and seen the ingredients, knowing full well at that moment, they were not usable for Catholic Mass. So driven by love, we purchased two boxes of usable Hosts with wheat, and when they are delivered, we will give them to our parish as a gift of our Lord that will be shared with all.
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
O King of all nations and keystone of the Church:
come and save man, whom you formed from the dust!
O Rex gentium et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum,: veni et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.
O Radiant Dawn,
splendor of eternal light, sun of justice:
come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the
shadow of death.
O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae et sol iustitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris et umbra mortis.
O Key of David,
opening the gates of God’s eternal Kingdom:
come and free the prisoners of darkness!
O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel: qui aperis et nemo claudit; claudis et nemo aperit: veni et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris et umbra mortis.
O Leader of the House of Israel,
giver of the Law to Moses on Sinai:
come to rescue us with your mighty power!
O Adonai et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in bracchio extento
And so we begin the O Antiphons…
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter sauviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae
“He comes in splendor, the King who is our peace; the whole world longs to see him”
Merry Christmas –
May we always recount the beauty of the Word made Flesh, Jesus Christ and celebrate with Him for all eternity with that same joy our Holy Mother Mary had at the moment she first seen Him at His birth along with the same Love she had in her heart for Him, the moment she said yes to Abba Father, through the Angel Gabriel’s message. Knowing, He is always with us.
Hope! Peace! Joy! Love, for all eternity in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Thank you Lord. Thank you Mama Mary. I love you too.
Artwork by William Kurelek
From Divine Office:
“Today you will know the Lord is coming, and in the morning you will see his glory.”
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord,
and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord
Fourth Sunday of Advent Lectionary: 12
Sound the trumpet in Zion; the day of the Lord is near; he comes to save us, alleluia.
It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep, for our salvation is closer now than when we first accepted the faith. The night is far spent, the day draws near. Let us cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. – Romans 13:11-12
O Wisdom of our God Most High,
guiding creation with power and love:
come to teach us the path of knowledge!
From the USCCB
The Roman Church has been singing the “O” Antiphons since at least the eighth century. They are the antiphons that accompany the Magnificat canticle of Evening Prayer from December 17-23. They are a magnificent theology that uses ancient biblical imagery drawn from the messianic hopes of the Old Testament to proclaim the coming Christ as the fulfillment not only of Old Testament hopes, but present ones as well. Their repeated use of the imperative “Come!” embodies the longing of all for the Divine Messiah.
Wishing all my readers a beautiful Advent Season and prayers for a beautiful time of preparing our souls for the coming of our Lord.
The USCCB has an Advent calendar that can help you enter the season with activities and prayer suggestions. Click on this link for more and lets start this beautiful journey of Advent.
Pondering: Vatican II (inside the church) not being the reason souls left the pews, but the temptation of the ‘sexual revolution” (on the outside), being the “apple” many “fell for” that lead souls astray and out of the pews. Therefore our Lord was already prepared to address the needs of a society of souls far off, and the Father meeting them on the road to welcome them back home.
If souls were “obedient” and in love with our Lord, there wouldn’t have been a mass exodus. It’s as if a fear of something other than of our Lord gripped the souls in the pews rather than “trust” and “obedience” to our Lord, which holds all souls in love.. Just as a temptation that “original sin” is a thing of the past grips souls today and holds them in that same lack of “obedience” to God.
BUT “patience obtains all things” and “all things work for the greater glory of God”.
Saturday July 4th, I will be dedicating to our Holy Mother Mary and first Saturday. I ask you to join me as we celebrate her, our Catholic Faith and TRUE Independence from our sinfulness. I have my flag out already. I will be bringing my children to Holy Mass after we all receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Just an idea I feel needs to be shared.
“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.” – Our Lady of Fatima
All praise, honor and glory to our Lord, Jesus Christ.
EDIT to add:
Its not a call to abandon hope, nor to hide inside this day, but to celebrate LIFE in Christ. To still enjoy our Lords creation. TO STILL live the life our Lord has given to us and to appreciate Holiness in the Light. Its not that we are NOT still sinners, but rather we know we are and we are TRYING with the grace of God to get back home to our Lord, in TRUE Love. Agape!
“Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
The original photo has been changed at the top of this post. WITHOUT KNOWING, I was flying my Vatican Flag upside down for many many WEEKS. I didn’t know it. Today, I fixed it. Keep in mind ANY flag flown upside down is a sign of “distress” and NOT disrespect. Pray for this nation and the ENTIRE Church.
We start the fourth week of Advent tonight.. Its time..
Time to finish the journey back into the “town” of our birth, to be counted among the “faithful”.
St Joseph, pray for us that we carry with us always, love, hope, faith and joy, and share the gifts we receive from our Lord with everyone on the road back home, as the route of repentance we now take is much different then the route we took to encounter our Infant Lord, laying in the arms of our Virgin Mother Mary. That we may give the glory to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Three eternally in one, for all time and eternity. Amen
When we talk about the “piercing cold”, more often we identify with the sense of touch and the coldness to skin then with the pain in the heart.
Why is no one listening, has been a deep subject I have been experiencing in my own life. From my children who are so jazzed bout Santa coming that they don’t even see each other fighting like cats and dogs. My husband who is so wrapped up in what to get everyone that he can’t see the things around the house that need to be addressed. I’ll be honest. I can’t stand “Anti Christmas”.
“Anti Christmas” is that “piercing cold” you get from people around you, so caught up in gifts, getting to the store to get the “have to have” garbage that ends up in a landfill by the following Christmas, they forget the reason there is Christmas. They become nasty to be around and become “to busy” to love. When the Christmas season is all about love and the “warmth” of that love that comes with our Newborn King.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
He chose to be born in this “cold”. Not only in a damp, physically cold cave, but into the “coldness” of the world. Cold hearts, that could not see past their own misguided wants. We are all guilty. In the chill of that cave, “Fire” was born. As the years of our Lords childhood passed, that tiny little spark, was stoked, with the billows of Abba Father, and set the world on fire.
As children of Abba Father, we need to remember through humility that we to are called to be on fire in faith. So when we are confronted by the “coldness” of others, in all seasons, it is not us who become lukewarm because of the “cold”, but rather we warmth the chill, “piercing” through the “cold” in those around us through that same Love born in the “piercing cold”, in Bethlehem. That same Love which by the “cold piercing” of a lance to His side, spilled the “Flame of Love” about the face of the earth, which brought forth mercy, hope, and forgiveness through Love, to melt through the ice that held us in its death grip.
Prepare for Advent, before Christmas.
“When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second coming. By celebrating the precursor’s birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to His desire: ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ ” (§524)
Its “New Years Eve” early. Make your resolutions now. I hope to start and stick with the Christmas Novena (St. Andrews Novena) Not for the squeamish. prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas, along with a few other personal things..
Christmas morning, my daughter received a drawing pad where the pen writes with water. As the day calmed down from the excitement of opening gifts, I held it and began to draw. The first thing to come to mind was the Chi-Rho. As I drew it on the pad, I quickly seen the Infant Christ in the manger. Keep in mind, I have never been given the gift of artists and my ability to draw is as advanced as drawing stick people. When i drew it, the “P” looked like the “Babe” and the “X” His manger. Today, I can still see the same, but with a much deeper meaning.
From Conception to Resurrection and Beyond.
The Chi-Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus, as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:9-14
Being a mother, I often ponder Mama Marys trip to Bethlehem, about to give birth to our Lord. How uncomfortable she must have been. At nine months in a pregnancy, everything in the womans body is so out of place. Comfort is next to imposable to find. The thought of her just sitting on the back of a donkey makes me shutter, not to mention making the long trip. Getting there and no one would take them in only adds to her discomfort. In a flash, it didn’t matter. He was born. We should always think of not only the distance travled, but the conditions in which our Lord was born. He came from far away, painfull as it was for Mama Mary, to be in our midst. To be among us for all time. He comes to us daily and how many times do we not make room for Him because we have become “comfortable” in our conditions?
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The baby of board sign I see today in most cars on the road, makes me ponder our Lord not only in the womb of our Holy Mother, but her Holy Baby, our Lord, crusified on the cross, for our sins. In both instances, there was minimal comfort, but only provided by God in the joy to what was about to come.
My little seven-year old daughter has been asking me for a Baby Jesus doll to keep in her room. One she can keep besides her and hold. One to take care of. One to play with. I am reminded of the many Advent seasons of my childhood when I would play with the figures of my mothers Nativity. Pretending I was there for His birth. Pretending to be with the Kings as they presented their gifts to our Lord. Pretending to be with he shepherds as they heard the “Good News”. I didn’t realize at the time, the playing was inspiring my soul to ponder Him.
I haven’t been able to find a “Baby Jesus” that my daughter could keep in her room. So I asked a good friend who works in the rectory if he knew where I might find one. He told me his wife was going down to Mexico and might be able to pick one up for me. Here we are, three days before Christmas Eve, and I am waiting for the news. I had looked on-line for stores in my area so she might receive the doll on Christmas, but not able to find one. I did however find some stores on-line out-of-state, that do carry what I am looking for and if I were to order him today, she would not receive him on time. Which is fine. What I can see in this event, is that we will be receiving the True Infant Christ, be it my daughter gets the doll, or not on Christmas Day.
Asking my friend created a debate in the Rectory. Everyone was a little perplexed as to why I would want such a gift for my daughter as they believed a doll as this should not be played with as a toy, but rather set out and just looked at, to be pondered over reflecting His life, death and resurrection. My answer back upon hearing this is very simple. What better gift to get for a seven-year old girl in today’s society. To think of getting my daughter a doll called “Brats” or to have her emulate anything the world is offering over what she is seeking, by asking for “Baby Jesus”, she is asking for something much higher then what the world is offering. What harm could come to her in playing with Jesus? Is there someone better to play with then He?
“But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:27