Vigil of the Feast of the Epiphny

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Vigil of the Feast of the Epiphny
by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

“And he arose, and took the child and its mother, and came into the land of Israel.”–Matt. 2.

Three times, as the Gospel narrates, an angel appeared to St. Joseph in a dream, and spoke to him; and every time he immediately complied with the injunctions which he received–and was silent. The angel spoke to Joseph, but not he to the angel, although, as St. Chrysostom, in the spirit of wisdom, remarks: There would have been reason enough for some words, for surely the dear saint must have had certain questions to ask. Even Mary spoke with the angel. Joseph remained silent; and we have no record in Holy Scripture of a single word that he uttered.

Mary, together with St. Joseph, sought the child Jesus, sorrowing, and found him in the temple. The loving mother exclaimed: “Why hast Thou done this to us?” but his foster-father remained silent; and it would seem that, by this silence, a deep mystery of faith is implied, in perfect accord with the calling of him who was chosen to be the earthly father of the Saviour, and the representative of His heavenly Father. The eternal Father never spoke to the human race, since, as St. Paul says, in his Epistle to the Hebrews: “So God spoke in the beginning always by his angels with men.” Continue reading

St. Simeon Stylites

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St. Simeon Stylites, Confessor

A.D. 459.

ST. SIMEON was, in his life and conduct, a subject of astonishment, not only to the whole Roman empire, but also to many barbarous and infidel nations. The Persians, Medes, Saracens, Ethiopians, Iberians, and Scythians, had the highest veneration for him. The kings of Persia thought his benediction a great happiness. The Roman emperors solicited his prayers, and consulted him on matters of the greatest importance. It must nevertheless, be acknowledged, that his most remarkable actions, how instrumental soever they might be to this universal veneration and regard for him, are a subject of admiration, not of imitation. They may serve, notwithstanding, to our spiritual edification and improvement in virtue; as we cannot well reflect on his fervour, without condemning and being confounded at our own indolence in the service of God. 1 Continue reading

Bethlehem: The Bosom of the Eternal Father, Part 2

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BETHLEHEM

Taken From Bethlehem
BY Frederick William Faber, D. D.
Priest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri

Tan Books & Publishers

Bethlehem: The Bosom of the Eternal Father, Part 2

What a wonderful permission to us is the permission to love God! What then shall we say, when we consider that we ourselves are to be admitted to the sight and enjoyment of this life of God? It is the very end for which we were created. Nay, more: we ourselves have been in some sense, as we shall see presently, part of that Divine life. We have been known and loved, up in those regions of eternity, in those boundless tracts of uncreated being, before the birth of time; and it is our very destination to enter into the joy of that exulting life, to see God as He is, and to live in endless companionship with Him. It is our incredible bliss to be allowed to add one spark more to the glory, the outward glory, of that blessed majesty. We can be one flash of lightning more round the immensity of His throne, one additional¬†coruscation in the intolerable radiance of the merciful crown which He vouchsafes to wear. Infinitely little as we are, we are—-and it is our joy of joys to be so—a fresh exercise to Him of His sovereignty. We are large enough to catch the light of His justice, and be another place for it to shine upon. His mercy can beautifully reflect itself even in the shallows of our tiny souls. We can lie upon the shore of that exulting life, and shine and glow and murmur while its bright waters wash over us forever. Oh, beautiful destiny of men! how happy is our present, our future how much happier! How happy is our worship! how happy even the very fear with which we work out a salvation so magnificent and so Divine!¬† Continue reading