THE CHRIST CHILD

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THE CHRIST CHILD

Holy Infant

The Solitude of Jesus in the Stable
Jesus chose at His birth the stable of Bethlehem for His hermitage and oratory; and for this purpose He so disposed events as to be born out of the city in a solitary cave, in order to recommend to us the love of solitude and silence. Jesus remains in silence in the manger; Mary and Joseph adore and contemplate Him in silence. It was revealed to Sister Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament, a discalced Carmelite, who was called the Spouse of the Infant Jesus, that all that passed in the cave of Bethlehem, even the visit of the shepherds and the adoration of the holy Magi, took place in silence, and without a word.
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Mystery of Christmas

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Mystery of Christmas
by Dom Prosper Gueranger, 1868

Everything is Mystery in this holy Season. The Word of God, whose generation is before the day-star (Ps. cix.3), 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, for it admirably embodies the whole of the great portent, which unites, in one Person, the nature of Man and the nature of God.

The splendour 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, 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 her Liturgy.

The four weeks of our preparation are over–they were the image of the four thousand years, which preceded the great coming–and we have reached the Twenty-fifth day of the Month of December, as a long- desired place of sweetest rest. But, why is it, that the celebration of our Saviour’s Birth should be the perpetual privilege of this one fixed day; whilst the whole liturgical Cycle has, every year, to be changed and remodelled, in order to yield that ever-varying day, which is to be the feast of his Resurrection– Easter Sunday?  Continue reading

INSTRUCTION ON THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD

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INSTRUCTION ON THE FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD

The Church’s Year
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine

CHRISTMAS EVE

“Let us therefore make him a little chamber, and put a little bed in it for him and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick, that when he cometh to us, he may abide there” (IV Kings 4:13). Such was the Sunamite woman’s regard for the prophet Eliseus, that she would make such preparations for his entertainment! Will we do as much for Christ who is ready to come to us? Take pains, O Christian, to occupy this night in pious thoughts, and aspirations, for the love of God and for the good of your own soul, making yourself worthy to receive the graces which He is ready when He comes, to give you. Think how Mary, who was near her time, and Joseph her spouse obedient to the Imperial command, and perfectly submissive to the will of God, journeyed with the greatest inconvenience to Bethlehem, and when, because of the multitude of people, they found no place to receive them they took refuge, as God willed it, in a most miserable stable, at the extreme end of the town. What love does not the Savior deserve, who for love of us so humbled Himself!

COLLECT O God, who makest us rejoice in the yearly expectation of the feast of our redemption: grant, that we who cheerfully receive Thy only-begotten Son as a Redeemer, may behold without fear the same Lord Jesus Christ, coming as our judge. Through our Lord. Continue reading

THE FEAST OF CHRISTMAS

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THE FEAST OF CHRISTMAS

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).

II, “Who was conceived of the Holy Ghost.” 1. The meaning of these words of the Creed: Christ’s conception was miraculous; a Divine Person took human flesh in a manner transcending the order of nature. 2. All three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity were authors of this mystery, since all external works of the Godhead are common to the three Divine Persons; but it is especially attributed to the Holy Ghost because it is a work of love. 3. The body of our Lord was formed from the flesh and blood of the Blessed Virgin, who is therefore truly the Mother of God. 4. The soul of Christ was filled with all grace from the moment of His conception. 5. The Divinity was united to Christ’s body and soul from the first instant of conception, and hence Christ is the Son of God by nature, and not by adoption. Continue reading