The Eternal Father

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The Eternal Father

The entire life of the Father in the Holy Trinity is to speak His Son, His Word; it is to engender, by a unique, simple and eternal act, a Son resembling Himself, to whom He communicates the plenitude of His Being and His perfections. In this Word, infinite like Himself, in this unique and eternal Word, the Father never ceases to recognize His Son, His own image, the splendor of His glory. This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased. These words, pronounced on Mount Tabor at the time of the Transfiguration, are the greatest revelation God has made to the earth; they are an echo of the very life of the Father. The Father, in His character of Father, lives by engendering His Son; this generation has neither beginning nor end. In eternity we will behold with astonishment, admiration and love, that procession of the Son engendered in the bosom of the Father, procession which is eternal: Thou art My Son; this day I have engendered Thee. The today is the perpetual present of eternity.

It is an excellent thing in the spiritual life to keep before the eyes of the heart, this testimony of the Father; nothing is more powerful to sustain our faith. And let us then say, Yes, Father, I believe it, and I want to repeat it: this Jesus who is in me through faith, through grace, through Holy Communion, is Your Son. Because You have said it, I believe it. And because I believe it, I adore Your Son, to render Him my homage and through Him, in Him, to render to You also, O Heavenly Father, in union with Your Spirit, all honor and all glory. Such a prayer is very agreeable to our Father in heaven; when it is true, pure and frequent, it makes us the object of the Father’s love. God envelops us in the complacency which He finds in His own Son Jesus. It is Our Lord Himself who tells us so: The Father loves you, because you have believed that I have come from Him — that I am His Son. What happiness for a soul to be the object of the Father’s love, this Father from whom every perfect gift comes down to rejoice hearts!

Le Christ dans Ses mystères, by Dom Columba Marmion (Granger Frères Ltée: Montreal, 1946)

January Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus

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January Devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus

The month of January is traditionally dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus. This feast is also celebrated on January 3. Here is an explanation of the devotion.

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has associated entire months to special devotions. The devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus has been traditionally associated with the month of January, due to its celebration on January 3. The name Jesus was given to the Holy Child at God’s command (Luke 1:31). The Holy Name is all-powerful because of the Person who bears it; we honor it because of the command of Christ, that we should pray in His Name and because it reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. Hence St. Paul was able to write to the Philippians: “. . . at the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth” (Phil. 2:10). By means of this devotion we also make amends for improper use of the Holy Name.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O’Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954 

Saint Sylvester

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Saint Sylvester

Pope and Confessor
(280-335)

Saint Sylvester was born in Rome. When he reached the age to dispose of his fortune, he took pleasure in giving hospitality to Christians passing through the city. He would take them with him, wash their feet, serve them at table, and in sum give them in the name of Christ, all the care that the most sincere charity inspired. One day Timothy of Antioch, an illustrious confessor of the Faith, arrived in Rome. No one dared receive him, but Sylvester considered it an honor. For a year Timothy, preaching Jesus Christ with unflagging zeal, received at Sylvester’s dwelling the most generous hospitality. When this heroic man had won the palm of martyrdom, Sylvester took up his precious remains and buried them during the night. But he himself was soon denounced to the prefect and accused of having hidden the martyr’s treasures. He replied, Timothy left to me only the heritage of his faith and courage. The governor threatened him with death and had him imprisoned, but Sylvester said to him, Senseless one, this very night it is you who will render an account to God. And the persecutor that evening swallowed a fish bone, and died in fact that night.

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The Circumcision of Our Lord

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The Circumcision of Our Lord

Circumcision was a sacrament of the Old Law, and the first legal observance required of the descendants of Abraham by Almighty God. It was a sacrament of initiation in the service of God, and a promise, an engagement, to believe and act as He had revealed and directed. The law of circumcision continued in force until the death of Christ. Our Saviour having thus been born under the law, it became Him who came to teach mankind obedience to the law of God,to fulfill all justice, and to submit to it. He was circumcised that He might redeem those who were under the law, by freeing them from the servitude of it, and that those who were formerly in the condition of servants might be set at liberty and receive the adoption of sons in Baptism, which, by Christ’s institution, succeeded to circumcision. (Cf. Gal. 4:5)

On the day when the divine Infant was circumcised, He received the name of JESUS, which was assigned to Him by the Angel before He was conceived, and which signifies SAVIOUR. That name, so beautiful, so glorious, the divine Child does not wish to bear for one moment without fulfilling its meaning. Even at the moment of His circumcision He showed Himself a SAVIOUR by shedding for us that blood of which a single drop is more than sufficient for the ransom and salvation of the whole world.

Reflection. Let us profit by the circumstance of the New Year, and of the wonderful renewal wrought in the world by the great mystery of this day, to renew in our hearts an increase of fervor and of generosity in the service of God. May this year be one of fervor and of progress! It will go by rapidly, like the one which has just ended. If God permits us to see its end, how happy we shall be to have passed it in a holy manner!

Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894)