Spiritual Advice for the Coming Holidays

Spiritual Advice for the Coming Holidays
by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

More than once during the year I have advised you, sometimes to take an hour, in which, setting aside all other cares, you should earnestly consider the state of your soul, and ponder well whether you can hope for salvation from the life you lead. In the same hour you should also carefully think how you ought to livein future, in order to gain salvation. As I am decidedly of opinion that this is an excellent means to live piously and save one’s soul, I must once more return to this subject. No time is better adapted for making use of this means than the approaching Christmas. The holidays will give you a good opportunity to do so. It is your duty to keep them holy; and how can you do this better than by employing them to this purpose? I will more fully explain to you in what manner this should be done.

Place yourself in spirit before the lowly manger of the Divine Infant, and devoutly pass one hour in the following manner: Continue reading

The Mystery of Christmas

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The Mystery of Christmas

by the Very Rev. Dom Prosper Guéranger
Abbot of Solesmes

Everything is mystery in this holy season. The Word of God, whose generation is before the day-star, is born in time: A Child is God. A Virgin becomes a Mother and remains a Virgin. Things divine are commingled with those that are human. And the sublime, the ineffable antithesis, expressed by the Beloved Disciple in those words of his Gospel, The Word was made flesh, is repeated in a thousand different ways in all the prayers of the Church.

And rightly so, for it admirably embodies the whole of the great portent that unites in one Person the nature of Man and the nature of God.

The splendor of this mystery dazzles the understanding, but it inundates the heart with joy. It is the consummation of the designs of God in time. It is the endless subject of admiration and wonder to the Angels and Saints. Nay, it is the source and cause of their beatitude. Let us see how the Church offers this mystery to her children, veiled under the symbolism of the Liturgy.  Continue reading


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And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.–JOHN I. 14.

Today the Church calls to our minds the threefold birth of our Lord: His birth of the Father before all ages, His birth from the Blessed Virgin Mary twenty centuries ago, and His birth through grace in the souls of the just. But the central thought of this day’s feast is the temporal birth of our Lord in the stable at Bethlehem.

I. The Gospel Narratives of the Conception and Birth of Christ. l. The Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was the chosen Mother of God. Mary consented, and thereupon the Mystery of the Incarnation was accomplished (Luke i. 26-38). 2. Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to be enrolled. There Christ was born in a stable. Angels announced His birth to the Shepherds (Luke ii. 1-20). Continue reading