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Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Feast of Holy Innocents

If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will
 forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.

Psalms, Chapter 128, verse 1:9
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, and who walk in his ways.

Those who fear the Lord work to not react to their feelings but act from the principle of God’s unconditional love to empower others even at personal cost.  They practice the three cardinal virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.  The act of blessing works both ways and all are bless’; both those who receive and those who give. This was the lesson of the third day of Christmas; today in the song the 12 days of Christmas the 4th day we sing of the Four Calling Birds which represent the four gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. During the upcoming year it would make a worthy project to read them all. These gospels will help us to be persons of courage. For Christmas my wonderful wife brought me three coffee mugs on being 1) a man of courage 2) a man of strength and 3) a man of wisdom. It takes courage to live out the gospels. Here is what is on the courage mug: Blessed is the man who faces his fears honestly, holds on to hope passionately, and seeks others readily for help, reassurance, and love.

Be strong and courageous…the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.-Joshua 1:9

Feast of the Holy Innocents[1]

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents who were killed by Herod in his search to kill the baby King who was born in Bethlehem. 

What persons are like Herod?  All those who destroy children, in body or in soul; for example unmanly men who are cruel to their wives while with child, who strike them, incite them to anger, or terrify them; heedless parents who neglect their little ones, who do not take pains to keep them clean and healthy; those corrupt and godless women who destroy the fruit of their shame either before or after birth, and while yet unbaptized.  But more cruel than all these, and even than Herod himself, are they who scandalize little children by impure conversations, by indecent songs, by acts of impurity in their presence, or by inciting them to the like; for thereby they plunge the souls of the children into destruction.

Innocents Day[2]

In many religious communities, Innocents' Day was the traditional feast for the youngest members. In keeping with the upside-down spirit of Twelfth-night, the youngest novice had the privilege of sitting at the first place or even of being abbot for a day. Feast of the Holy Innocents is a day for the younger members of the family or religious community. Some kind of "baby food" -- such as a hot cereal with sugar and cinnamon -- is generally served to them. In the family, the youngest member is also the "celebrity" of the day, especially if he is a baby. Customs like decorating the crib or blessing the baby are appropriate ways of observing the feast. Today, on the day in which little ones shed their blood for Christ, was the festival for choirboys and students.

Today is also an excellent day for Father’s and Mother’s to bless their children.


Blessing
O Lord, Jesus Christ, Who didst embrace and lay thy hands upon the little children when they came to thee, and didst say to them: "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs, and their angels always see the face of my Father," — look with a Father's eye upon the innocence of these children and their parents' devotion, and bless them this day through our ministry. By thy grace and goodness let them make progress in desiring thee, loving thee, fearing thee, obeying thy commandments — thus coming to their destined home, through thee, Saviour of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Today I will ask the Lord to bless all my seven children! (Claire, Christopher, Candace, Dara, Rachel, Nicole and Vincent) Also my step children! (Kelly, Ryan and Nathan)


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