• Of the royal way of the Holy Cross

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Thu Dec 24 23:20:00 2020
    Of the royal way of the Holy Cross

    5. If thou willingly bear the Cross, it will bear thee, and will
    bring thee to the end which thou seekest, even where there shall
    be the end of suffering; though it shall not be here. If thou
    bear it unwillingly, thou makest a burden for thyself and greatly
    increaseth thy load, and yet thou must bear it. If thou cast
    away one cross, without doubt thou shalt find another and
    perchance a heavier.
    --Thomas á Kempis:  Book 2, Chapter 12

    25 December – The Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ

    Today the Church celebrates the Birth of Jesus Christ, the first day
    in the octave of Christmas. Throughout Advent the Church longed
    ardently for the coming of our Saviour. Today she celebrates His
    birth with unrestrained joy. “The Word was made flesh and dwelt
    among us.” The Son of God became man to give us a share in that
    divine life which is eternally His in the Blessed Trinity. Christmas
    time begins on 24 December with the first Vespers of the feast and
    ends on the feast of the Baptism of Christ. White vestments reappear
    in our churches as a sign of joy.

    The Christmas feast is a festival full of joy. The Eternal Word has
    become Man and dwells among us. The longings of the patriarchs and
    prophets are fulfilled. With the shepherds we hurry to the manger
    and adore the Incarnate Son of God, who for us and for our salvation
    descended upon earth. The purpose of the Christmas feast is
    beautifully expressed in the Preface of the Nativity: “For by the
    mystery of the Word made flesh the light of Thy glory hath shone anew
    upon the eyes of our mind;  so that while we acknowledge Him a God
    seen by men, we may be drawn by Him to the love of things unseen.”

    Christmas says to us – alone we can’t profoundly change the world to
    remedy it. Alone, we can make the world better or worse but we can’t
    save it. Christ came therefore, because left to ourselves; we
    couldn’t escape the ‘mortal disease’ that has enveloped us from the
    first moment of conception in our mother’s womb. This gives us hope,
    true hope and true Christian optimism: I can’t do it but He is
    there! This is the mystery of grace synthesised in the human figure
    of God incarnate.

    Christmas Eve and Christmas day are moments of contemplation. We
    consider, in many dimensions, the mystery of love that was incarnated
    for us. First of all, we contemplate the light and joy, without
    forgetting Jesus and Mary’s sorrows and sufferings and the many
    difficulties that had surrounded them:  the cold, the uncomfortable
    place, the dangers… It would be good to accompany these thoughts by
    reciting and meditating slowly on the Holy Rosary, preferably in front
    of a crib.  ‘Blessed grotto of Bethlehem that testified to the
    wonders! Who, in this hour would not turn our hearts? Who would
    not prefer the opulent palace of the King?’ (Abbot Guéranger, L’Anno Liturgico, Alba 1959 [orig. franc. 1841], I, p122).

    Listen to the way that St Bonaventure, the seraphic doctor, invites us
    to contemplate this scene in his ‘Meditation on the life of Jesus
    Christ’: ‘You have also lingered, bent your knee, adored the Lord
    God, venerated His Mother and greeted Joseph, the holy old man, with reverence.  Therefore, kiss the feet of the baby Jesus, who lies in
    the manger, and pray that the Holy Virgin will allow you to hold Him.
     Take Him between your arms, hold Him and see His lovable face, kiss
    it with reverence and rejoice with Him.  You can do this because He
    has come to bring salvation to sinners and He has humbly conversed
    with them, finally giving Himself as food’. (cit. in Guéranger, pp 136-137)....

    Holy Christmas also reminds us of the mystery of Mary as Mother of
    God, mother of the Incarnated Word and mother of His mystical body,
    the Church. Christmas encourages us to contemplate Jesus together
    with Mary, reflecting on Jesus with ‘His mother’, as recounted many
    times in the Gospels. If our faith must be fully evangelical, it can
    not neglect a sane and profound devotion to the Mother of God, as she
    shows us the easiest way to reach Jesus.

    Happy Birthday Jesus, our Lord and our God!

    For a post on the Traditional Bible Time From the Creation to The Birth
    of Jesus go here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2016/12/25/25-december-the-solemnity-of-the-birth-of-our-lord-jesus-christ/

    “The One who is seated
    on the throne of heaven
    is laid in a stable.
    A God Who is beyond access
    is touched by the hands
    of human beings!”
    --St John Chrysostom (347-407)

    O holy Child of Bethlehem!
      Descend to us we pray;
      Cast out our sin, and enter in;
      Be born in us today.
      We hear the Christmas angels
      The great glad tidings tell;
      O come to us, abide with us,
      Our Lord Emmanuel.

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