Skip to main content

Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas day

 Luke, Chapter 1, verse 9:
9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.

In this verse the “them” were shepherds. The angels appeared and filled lowly shepherds with holy fear. Shepherds were the gypsy’s of their time. They were in the same social class as dung sweepers and tax collectors. As you open your “presents” today remember these scum bag shepherds needed to be in His “presence”. To do that was not an easy task; they had to move with all of their sheep to the place of the Kings birth. Can you imagine the scene with hundreds, perhaps millions of sheep, bleating as they go and eating everything along the way? It took great courage to do this to bring unlawfully out of the desert these sheep and to honor the King. Imagine their surprise to see the messiah, the king of kings, in a nasty cave used to stable animals, lying in a manger. (A manger is basically a feed troth for animals.) The shepherds still worship Him today through their descendants who now make up the 1 percent of Christians in the Holy Land. Their faith has lasted down through the ages. In 2006 my wife and I visited a small Catholic community in Bethlehem which is in Palestinian held territory. We were told the faith was passed down from father to son in face of many hardships. They endured 600 years with no priests and Muslim oppression. They are oppressed to this day yet they endure.

While in Bethlehem, I was able to touch the spot where Christ was born and while in Jerusalem I was able to touch the spots where Christ was crucified and rose into heaven. To have done this I thought was a very special experience but then the Lord touched my heart and whispered these are just the spots I touched in life but when you come into my presence at Mass, you receive my body, become a new creation in union with us (the trinity) physically, mentally, spiritually and communally. 


The Three Feasts of the Nativity[1]

When we celebrate Christmas we are commemorating the three nativities of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the reason for the three Masses celebrated on this day. The first is the eternal begetting of God the Son from all eternity within the mystery of the Blessed Trinity by the Father, “You are My Son. Today I have begotten You.”


This first nativity was before the seven days of Creation, when everything was darkness. This is why the first Mass is at midnight to recall the darkness that prevailed during that first eternal birth of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. The first nativity reminds us of the Spirit of poverty, the Spirit that tells us that all the things God created is His, to be used for His glory and not for man’s enjoyment. Even man was to use himself for the glory of God. This represents the six days of creation. If Adam, being the head of creation, had observed the spirit of poverty and used all of creation for the glory of God, then he would have entered into the Sabbath, God’s rest… i.e. eternal happiness. But Adam messed up everything. And the consequence: the whole of mankind could not enter God’s rest.

The second nativity, or birth, of the Second Person of the Trinity is commemorated on Christmas day when He became man, born of the Virgin Mary, in Bethlehem. For the world, the darkness was beginning to be dispelled. This is why the second Mass is celebrated at dawn when the dawn is beginning to dispel the darkness. The second nativity reminds us of the Spirit of chastity. That Spirit reminds us to give up all physical comforts, pleasure and conveniences. And Christ in the manger is a clear example of this. It is a continuous reminder that true happiness can only be found in God and that we are on earth to seek God. All the rest will come with that find. True rest can only be found in God.

The third nativity of Christ is when He is born in our souls, through His in-dwelling, when man, through grace, becomes enlightened. Thus the third Mass is celebrated during the day when the sun is bright. For man is truly enlightened when he has Christ in his soul. The third nativity reminds us of the Spirit of obedience. It is only when we can say, “Not my will but Your will be done,” can Christ be born in our souls. The apostolic commission at the end of St. Matthew’s Gospel reiterates this, reminding us of the role of the Church and the men of the Church: “… teach all My commands and how to observe them.”

Christmas reminds us of one lesson. Christ was born to die. For us the message is clear. We are born to die to oneself. And to die to oneself means reaching a point in our lives when we no longer do our own will but the will of the Father in heaven. This is to lose one’s life in order to find it. If we have learned the lessons of the first nativity, if we have learned the lesson of the second nativity, our reward is the third nativity, when Christ is born in our souls….indeed our eternal Christmas. This is truly a Merry Christmas.



[1]Excerpted from Fr. Odon de Castro, Bo. San Isidro, Magalang, Pampanga, Philippines



The Christmas Carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas"[1]

The singing of hymns and carols, even in an age which has lost the ability to sing, remains a fixed and cherished part of Christmas. Unfortunately, we cannot adequately examine the vast history or catalog of Christmas songs. Instead, we will focus on one famous but misunderstood Christmas carol. Most holiday revelers do not realize that the popular carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," is actually a hidden catechism for Catholics. From 1558 to 1829 the Catholic Church was persecuted in England, making the transmission of the faith from one generation to the next exceedingly difficult. One solution was to veil the basic tenets of the faith in the symbols of a song. If caught, a Catholic could claim that it was merely an innocuous ditty, or even, if pushed, a Protestant catechism (since most of the song's teachings were also shared by the Reformers).
Here are the verses of the song, followed by its meaning:

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, six geese-a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, seven swans-a-swimming, six geese-a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eight maids-a-milking, seven swans-a-swimming, six geese-a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, nine ladies dancing, eight maids-a-milking, seven swans-a-swimming, six geese-a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ten lords-a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids-a-milking, seven swans-a-swimming, six geese-a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eleven pipers piping, ten lords-a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids-a-milking, seven swans-a-swimming, six geese-a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords-a-leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids-a-milking, seven swans-a-swimming, six geese-a-laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The Carol's Meaning
  • My true love = God
  • Me = every baptized person, the Church
  • A Partridge in a pear tree = The Word made flesh, Jesus Christ (The portrayal of Christ as a mother partridge is inspired by his lament: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered thee under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but thou wouldst not have it so..."). The pear tree signifies the wood of the manger (and also of the cross), while the fruit reminds us of the reason for the Incarnation: God's desire to save us from the sin introduced by Adam's and Eve's consumption of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. The fruit also reminds us of the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden.
49 Godly Character Traits[2]

During this Advent season let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today reflect on:

Justice vs. Fairness

Personal responsibility to God’s unchanging laws (Micah 6:8)

·         1807 Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the "virtue of religion." Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. "You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor." "Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven."
·         1836 Justice consists in the firm and constant will to give God and neighbor their due.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         30 Days with St. Joe
·         Please pray for me and this ministry




[2]http://graceonlinelibrary.org/home-family/christian-parenting/49-godly-character-qualities/ 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Thursday, May 27, 2021

  Auxilium Christianorum - Praying for Persecuted Priests Monday, May 24 is the Feast of Mary Mother of the Church. It is also the Feast of  Mary Help of Christians  (Auxilium Christianorum). Please consider joining this Auxilium Christianorum family to pray daily for our holy and courageous persecuted priests. The Church teaches us that it is divided into the  Church Triumphant  (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the  Church Suffering  (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory), and the  Church Militant  (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world). Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as Saint Paul teaches us "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." ( Ephesians 6:12 ) The me

Monday, August 12, 2019

Judith, Chapter 10, Verse 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” Judith prepares for war with prayer and by the enhancement of her beauty. She is so strikingly beautiful that in this verse one of the guards of the Assyrian camp advises her to be confident in the presence of Holofernes. Beauty and the Beast [1] After bathing (during a drought) she uses all the human arts available to her to make herself beautiful and captivating: perfumed ointment, hair, clothing and jewelry. She understands the goodness of her body. She knows physical beauty is good and comes from God. She also knows that the power of her beauty comes from within her, from her holiness, from her faithfulness to God. Since both her exterior and interior beauty come from God, her beauty must be devoted to the service of God. God intends to use her beauty as a weapon to liberate the people. She will wield the weapon t

Thirty Days with Mary-Day 26-September 9

    30 Days of Women and Herbs – Frauendreissiger Mugwort   (Artemisia vulgaris) 2 Maccabees, Chapter 15, Verse 8 He urged his men not to  fear  the attack of the Gentiles, but mindful of the help they had received in the past from Heaven, to expect now the victory that would be given them by the Almighty.   As an old, retired military man it was common for us to say while we were loading our magazines with bullets, “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition." We knew that without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Optimists see steppingstones where pessimists see stumbling blocks.   Heavenly Intercession [1] "Stretching out his right hand, Jeremiah presented a gold sword to Judas. As he gave it to him, he said 'Accept this holy sword as a gift from God; with it you shall crush your adversaries.' " —2 Maccabees 15:15-16   Nicanor planned to slaughter the Jews on th

Friday, August 26, 2022

 Switch of Manliness Legacy OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA   Acts, Chapter 10, verse 1-4 1 Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of the Cohort called the Italica, 2 devout and God-fearing along with his whole household, who used to give alms generously to the Jewish people and pray to God constantly. 3 One afternoon about three o’clock, he saw plainly in a vision an angel of God come into him and say to him, “Cornelius.” 4 He looked intently at him and seized with FEAR , said, “What is it, sir?” He said to him, “Your prayers and almsgiving have ascended as a memorial offering before God.   Cornelius’ Cohort was an auxiliary unit of archers, men who are expert at hitting a mark or target.   Sin is the act of violating God's will. Sin can also be viewed as anything that violates the ideal relationship between an individual and God, or as any diversion from the ideal order for human living. To sin has been defined as "to miss the mark" to have a harden

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

  Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter PINOT GRIGIO DAY John, Chapter 14, verse 27 Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or AFRAID .   Shalom, which means peace, is a Hebrew salutation. Yet Christ tells us that HIS shalom is different. It is a gift of salvation a messianic blessing. Through the spirit we are born again, sons and daughters of the eternal. The world and its attractions to sin lose its sparkle to us. Yes, we may fall from time to time, but the spirit and peace of Christ is always with us, and we rise up again. 10 things happy professionals do before 10 a.m. [1]   Success often seems like a visionary goal — a feat in life that’s attempted only after many strides, plenty of pitfalls and a healthy serving of endurance. However, for those who consider themselves fulfilled by their career, it’s not only a sense of accomplishment and an impressive LinkedIn profile that defines

SPREAD THIS NATIONAL 54-DAY NOVENA FOR OUR COUNTRY IN CRISIS.

Dear U.S. Grace Force, I believe we are facing a watershed moment. I am feeling we need to be in intense prayer right now. Today, I received on strong calling that we should do a 54 Day Novena of intense mortification and prayer from All Saints (November 1) to Christmas (December 24).  I don't know where folks are at. For some, this may be overkill since we just finished a 54 Day Novena. For others, they may be sensing what I am sensing, and want to go all in.  Then, after receiving this calling, I was made aware of what of these two blood brothers, Fr. James Blount and Fr. Tony Blount, have already prepared. The Blount Fathers are in exact sync with all of us. LET'S JOIN THEM!! All of the information is here:  https:// queenofpeacemedia.com/54days/ Here is a short video in which the Blount Fathers (brothers) explain this prayer campaign:

Thursday, April 14, 2022

  Holy Thursday   Jeremiah, Chapter 30, verse 10-11 10 But you, my servant Jacob, do not FEAR ! —oracle of the LORD—do not be dismayed, Israel! For I will soon deliver you from places far away, your offspring from the land of their exile; Jacob shall again find rest, secure, with none to frighten him, 11 for I am with you—oracle of the LORD—to save you. I will bring to an end all the nations among whom I have scattered you; but you I will not bring to an end. I will chastise you as you deserve, I will not let you go unpunished.   Secularist and pagans still tremble with fear because of God. Why? People fear what they do not understand or have to compete with. Every person is born with the spirit of God within them; it is the spirit of truth which they have lost or suppressed.   Christ referred to this when he told the parable of the sower. The seed is the spirit of truth (spirit of God) that the sower sows. Christ tells us, “A sower went out to sow. and as he sowed, s

Friday, April 8, 2022

  Fifth Week of Lent Friday of Sorrows HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY   Jeremiah, Chapter 23, Verse 4 I will raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer FEAR or be terrified; none shall be missing—oracle of the LORD.   During the season of Lent, we offer our suffering up to Christ to unite with His suffering and as our shepherd, He guides us through this time to bring us into his glory.   The Presence of God [1]   For Jews, there was only one Temple. It was the one place on earth that could truly be called holy. It was the place where God’s Spirit dwelt. The Temple was a place where they could withdraw from the pollutions of the world and know God’s presence in purity. As Christians by the action of Christ we, our bodies, are the temple of God, and He is always with us. No longer was God’s presence and his purifying ritual confined to a single geographic location. No longer were they the exclusive privilege of a single ethnic group. Now the

THE GODLESS AGENDA: From Davos to the Vatican

 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

   Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent   Jeremiah, Chapter 26, verse 19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all Judah condemn him to death? Did he not FEAR the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, so that the Lord had a change of heart regarding the evil he had spoken against them? We, however, are about to do great evil against ourselves.”   Have you ever been around people who cannot handle the truth! Speaking the truth got Jeremiah in dire straits. Unmoving, the temple officials and elders trashed Jeremiah nonetheless they were too afraid to kill him.   Dire Straits [1]   At the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign, God tells Jeremiah to stand in the court of the temple and speak to all the people and cities of Judah. They're getting another chance to repent. Maybe they'll actually listen this time. If the people don't finally come to their senses, God's going to do the same thing to Jerusalem that he did to Shiloh up north: it'll be devastated, but the