DECEMBER DEVOTIONS ON OUR SAVIOUR'S NATIVITY

The High Mass of Christmass Morning has been a majestic worship: not quite perhaps the mysterious magnificence of the Mass of Midnight, but nevertheless a festival ceremonial, a full knowledge that He Who is born is King of kings! Now the worship is ended. The incense dissolves in the winter air. The organ ceases. Ite Missa est! But the worshippers have a voluntary act yet to perform before they leave the church. Instinctively they make their way to the Crib and, one by one, kneel before the manger. There is an extraordinary human touch in this custom of Holy Church. Here is Our Lady and Saint Joseph, and the Child, and the adoring shepherds, and the cattle – beyond is the dawning sky in all its winter pale! We have come from the magnificence of the Sacramental Christ Who came to redeem us, from the splendour of that homage which Holy Church offers unto her Everlasting Lord. We are all still saturated with the great light which flowed in upon our souls in the secret watches of the night. And now, of a sudden, the Catholic Religion brings us down to the crude externals of little Bethlehem. So, the King Whom we have worshipped on this precious morning, is only a human baby, lying in the roughest of cradles and surrounded by beasts! {We know He is the living God!} And our Lady, whom we have greeted as Queen of Angels, is an outcast Jewish maiden, whom the inn-keeper does not even trouble to accommodate! {We know she is the Co-Redemptrix of the world!} The crib intensifies the contrast. For now, in the cold silence of the fast emptying church, at worst it is but a meagre tableau, at best the work of a skilled artist! Is this the reality which we have come (perhaps miles) to worship at midnight, and again in the cold light of early morning, and which we have wreathed with regal honour? It is a hard test which must have faced the Magi, even the dear shepherds, as something of an anti-climax, as they departed! It is the eternal test on which the Catholic Church insists: the incarnation of the mysteries of GOD in the humblest and most ordinary of outward forms. We humans are of all sorts and conditions, but there is one common link between us all, rich men and poor men, wise women and artisans: we who know truly that JESUS CHRIST is the world's only Redeemer, kneel down before him and worship the Child in the manger, and receive our Christmass Benediction from His tiny hands! Those of us who remain ever faithful have met the test! We love and know Him! Then there is the mystical experience lying at the heart of Christmass – the Nativity of the Living God – the mysterious link which binds all Catholics together because we are comrades in an unseen, mysterious adventure. For us, after all, life is a perpetual Christmass Sacrament, lasting all year long, with JESUS and MARY our everlasting destiny, in the loving Heart of the Most Holy Trinity.

(Taken from ‘The Romance of Christmass': Society of Ss Peter & Paul. Adapted by Bishop Anthony)

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Let us pray: O God: Who hast made this most sacred Christmass Season to shine with the brightness of the true light: grant, we beseech Thee, that we, who have known the mysteries of Christ's light on earth, may also have the fruition of His joys in Heaven. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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And a Passing Thought

The sun's rays light up the world without separating themselves from the sun. In like manner, the Son of God comes down to earth to enlighten us, without separating Himself from the Father with Whom He is entirely One.

{Saint Anthony of Padua} + Sanctisseme Antonio: Ora pro nobis! +

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JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH: WE GIVE THEE OUR HEARTS AND OUR SOULS!

OF THE FATHER'S HEART BEGOTTEN: JESUS! JESUS! HAVE MERCY UPON US!

BORN OF MARY: O, SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD, MAY WE NEVER BE PARTED FROM THEE!

AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH: AND DWELT AMONGST US!

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When, as Mary the Mother of Jesus was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying: “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His Name JESUS. For He shall save His people from their sins.”

{from the first Chapter of the Gospel of Saint Matthew}

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OUR LADY OF BOHEMIA AND ST. WENCESLAUS: PRAY FOR US AT CHRISTMASSTIDE!

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THE ARCHCONFRATERNITY OF OUR LADY OF VICTORIES
(Part of the Worldwide Family of Traditional Roman Catholics)
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