Thought for the Day – 25 December – CHRISTMAS IS YOU! By Pope Francis

Thought for the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christchristmas is you pope francis - 25 dec 2019.jpg

By Pope Francis

Christmas is usually a noisy party –
we could use a bit of silence, to hear the voice of Love.

Christmas is you,
when you decide to be born again each day and let God into your soul.

The Christmas pine is you,
when you resist vigorous winds and difficulties of life.

The Christmas decorations are you,
when your virtues are colours that adorn your life.

The Christmas bell is you,
when you call, gather and seek to unite.

You are also a Christmas light,
when you illuminate with your life the path of others with kindness, patience, joy and generosity.

The Christmas angels are you,
when you sing to the world, a message of peace, justice and love.

The Christmas star is you,
when you lead someone to meet the Lord.

You are also the wise men,
when you give the best you have, no matter who.

Christmas music is you,
when you conquer the harmony within you.

The Christmas gift is you,
when you are truly friend and brother, of every human being.

The Christmas card is you,
when kindness is written in your hands.

The Christmas greeting is you,
when you forgive and re-establish peace,
even when you suffer.

The Christmas dinner is you,
when you serve bread and hope,
to the poor man, who is by your side.

You are, yes, Christmas night,
when humble and conscious,
you receive in the silence of the night the Saviour of the world
without noise or great celebrations.
You are a smile of trust and tenderness,
in the inner peace of a perennial Christmas
that establishes the Kingdom within you.

A very Merry Christmas for all those who look like Christmas.

Written by Papa Francisco
25 December 2014

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And from Anastpaul – Breathing Catholic
My wishes for a most Holy and Blessed Christmas
May the little Babe of Bethlehem
fill your hearts with His joy, peace and love!


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Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – Blessed is the Babe

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

Blessed is the Child, who gladdened Bethlehem today.
Blessed is the Babe, who today renewed the youth of humankind.
Blessed is the Fruit, who bowed Himself down to our hunger.
Blessed is the gracious One,
who suddenly enriched our poverty and supplied our need.
Blessed is He, whose tender mercy led Him to heal our infirmities.
Blessed is He, whom freedom crucified, because He permitted it.
Blessed is He, whom also the wood bore, because He gave it leave.
Blessed is He, whom the grave bound, when He set limits to Himself.
Blessed is He, whose free choice brought Him to the womb and to birth.
Blessed is He, who sealed our soul
and adorned and betrothed her to Himself.
Blessed is the beautiful One, who remade us in His image.
Blessed is He, who made our flesh a tabernacle for His hiddenness.
Blessed is He, who with our tongue spoke out His secrets.
Blessed is the Word of the most high, who became flesh today for us.blessed is the child - 25 dec 2019 st ephrem.jpg

“The Firstborn entered the womb …
Glorious and unseen in entering,
humble and visible in birth.
He was God in entering
and He was man in birth.
A marvel and mystery to hear –
fire entered the womb,
put on a body
and came forth!”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Churchthe firstborn entered the womb - st ephrem 25 dec 2019.jpg


“Christ is born, glorify Him!
Christ from heaven,
go out to meet Him!
Christ on earth, be exalted!
Sing to the Lord all the whole earth
and that I may join both in one word,
let the heavens rejoice
and let the earth be glad,
for Him who is of heaven
and then of earth.
Christ in the flesh,
rejoice with trembling and with joy,
with trembling because of your sins,
with joy because of your hope.”

St Gregory Nazianzen (329-390)
Father and Doctor of the Churchchrist is born glorify him - st regory of nazianzen 25 dec 2019.jpg

“This day,
He who Is,
is Born
and He, who Is,
becomes what He
was not.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Churchthis day he who IS is born and becomes what he IS not - st john crysostom 25 dec 2019

“Let the just rejoice,
for their Justifier is born.
Let the sick and infirm rejoice,
for their Saviour is born.
Let the captives rejoice,
for their Redeemer is born.
Let slaves rejoice,
for their Master is born.
Let free men rejoice,
for their Liberator is born.
Let All Christians rejoice,
for Jesus Christ is born!”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Churchlet the just rejoice their justifier is born st augustine 25 dec 2019.jpg

“Never was a whimpering bit of humanity
so powerful that, while lying on His bed of straw,
He could command the very stars
to direct whom He wished to visit Him.
Never a child so wise or so rich as this little Infant
who was full of grace and incarnate truth.
Never anyone so marvellous
as to be at once so small and so great,
true God and true Man,
the Uncreated Word and weak human flesh,
mighty King and a lowly slave.
Never had any child so emptied Himself
of all that He really was,
in order to become a tiny, speechless, naked, unknown babe.”never-was-a-whimpering-bit-of-humanity-st-peter-canisius-25-dec-2018 and 2019jpg

“Christmas Day is nothing if not a day of universal joy.
Children should rejoice because on this day,
God Himself
became as one of them;
virgins, because a Virgin brought forth
and remained unstained,
even after giving birth;
wives, because one of their number,
became the Mother of God;
sinners, because their Mediator and Saviour and Healer,
has come to redeem them;
the just, because their Reward, exceeding great,
has been born into the world.
In truth, all faithful Christians,
should rejoice, that their Creator and Lord,
has taken on human flesh and begun His reign
over the hearts of men,
not only as God
but also as the Son of Man
among the children of men.”

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397)
Doctor of the Churchchristmas-day-is-nothing-if-not-st-peter-canisius-25-dec-2018 and 2019.jpg

“Arise, all you nobles and peasants,
Mary invites all, rich and poor,
just and sinners,
to enter the cave of Bethlehem,
to adore and to kiss the feet
of her new-born Son.
Go in, then, all you devout souls,
go and see the Creator
of heaven and earth on a little hay,
under the form of a little Infant
but so beautiful that He sheds
all around rays of light.
Now that He is born
and is lying on the straw,
the cave is no longer horrible
but is become a paradise.
Let us enter,
let us not be afraid!”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Doctor of the Churcharise all you nobles and peasants, mary invites all - 25 dec 2019

“Today, the Son of God is born and everything changes.
The Saviour of the world comes to partake of our human nature;
no longer are we alone and forsaken.
The Virgin offers us her Son
as the beginning of a new life.
The true light has come to illumine our lives
so often beset by the darkness of sin.
Today we once more discover who we are!
Tonight we have been shown the way to reach the journey’s end.
Now must we put away all fear and dread,
for the light shows us the path to Bethlehem.
We must not be laggards; we are not permitted to stand idle.
We must set out to see our Saviour lying in a manger.
This is the reason for our joy and gladness:
this Child has been “born to us”;
he was “given to us”, as Isaiah proclaims (cf. 9:5).
The people who for for two thousand years
has traversed all the pathways of the world,
in order to allow every man and woman to share in this joy,
is now given the mission of making known “the Prince of peace”
and becoming His effective servant in the midst of the nations.”

Pope Francis
Homily on the Solemnity
of the Nativity of the Lord, 2015today the son of god is born - pope francis - I think 25 dec 2018.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 25 December – ‘He came from Him from whom He did not depart’

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – Mass during the day – Readings: Isaiah 52:7-10, Psalm 98:1-6, Hebrews 1:1-6, John 1:1-18

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. … John 1:14

REFLECTION – “Christ has come from the Father, He has come from the Word, He has come from the Holy Spirit, since the whole Trinity accomplished His conception and His incarnation.   For to come from the highest Trinity was no other than to be conceived and to become a human being by the same Trinity.  Therefore, it was said:  “His going forth is form the highest heaven.” (cf. Ps 18[19]:6)
The Only-Begotten (…) begotten of the Father eternally, begotten in time He came forth from His mother, remaining invisibly with the Father and dwelling visibly with us.   For to go forth from the Father was this – to enter upon our world, to be seen openly and to become what, from the nature of the Father, He was not.   This indeed is wonderful, He came from Him from whom He did not depart, going forth from Him with whom He stayed, so that without intermission He was wholly in eternity, wholly in time, wholly was He found in the Father when wholly in the Virgin, wholly in His own majesty and in His Father’s at the time when He was wholly in our humanity.
If you ask how, gather the truth by means of an illustration.   A word conceived in the heart goes forth complete in the voice, so that it comes perfectly to others yet remains wholly in the heart.   So the good Word spoken forth from the heart of the Father went forth into the broad plain, yet did not leave the Father.” … St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Cistercian Monk and Bishop – On the praises of the Blessed Mary, homily IIIhe came from him from whom he did not depart - st amadeus of lausanne - 25 dec 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your incarnate Word fills us with the new light He brought to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts, shine through all that we do and say. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

The Word was God in the beginning and before all time, today, He is born to us, the Saviour of the world.the word ws god in the beginning before all time today, he is born to us, the saviour- 25 dec 2019


Our Morning Offering – 25 December – I hold Within my Heart, O Mother Queen, Thy Little Son, thy Child.

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

I hold Within my Heart,
O Mother Queen,
Thy Little Son, thy Child.

Prayer after Holy Communion

I hold within my heart, O Mother Queen,
Thy little Son, thy Child.
The right is thine,
And yet, by wondrous gift, this grace is mine!
‘Twas thou who first within thy heart serene
Thy God received.
By mortal eyes unseen
He dwelt secure,
thy loving heart His shrine.
In first communion with the Word Divine
Thou hadst a foretaste of our Gift supreme.
O thou, sweet Mother, who didst first embrace
Our God, teach me Thy potent way of grace,
That in the precious moments that are mine
I may constrain my Guest, thy Son Divine,
To abide with me.
Oh, may He ne’er depart!
Behold—-His living chalice,
my unworthy heart!
Ameni hold within my heart o mother queen they little child thy son - prayer after holy comm 25 dec 2019.jpg


The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ – 25 December

The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ – 25 December

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Christmas is the feast of the Incarnation, the feast celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, as a little baby in Bethlehem, within the realm of history.   While many Christians recognise Christmas as celebrating Jesus’ birth, unfortunately many fail to see it as a festival of the Incarnation.   Outside of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and a few others, the idea of Christmas as a season has nearly disappeared.   Although secular traditions are fun and endearing, Christmas is primarily a Christian holy day and should be treated as such.

Even the term is an abbreviation of the phrase “Christ Mass,” which reflects the primary understanding of Christmas as a feast day within the Church year, connected to the Eucharist.   Many people mention the need to put Christ back in Christmas but the need is greater than that.   We need to put the “Mass” back in Christmas.castiglione christmas nativity baby jesus shepherds christ.jpg

Christmastide is the name given for the time surrounding Christmas Day.   In the current Catholic calendar, Christmastide lasts from Christmas Day until the Baptism of our Lord, which is the Sunday following 6 January.   This time includes many other important Christian Holy Days.   The 12 days of Christmas, the time from 25  December until the Epiphany, have often been recognised as a time for special feasting.

In fact, Christmastide used to refer to the 12 Days of Christmas and some still use “Christmastide” to refer to this period.   The octave of Christmas lasts, in the Catholic Church, from 25 December until 1 January, the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.   Of note, Christmas falls exactly 9 months after the Feast of the Annunciation, 25 March, the feast day commemorating Jesus’ conception.

The Christmas feast is a festival full of joy.   The Eternal Word has become Man and dwells among us.   The longings of the patriarchs and prophets are fulfilled.   With the shepherds we hurry to the manger and adore the Incarnate Son of God, who for us and for our salvation descended upon earth.   The purpose of the Christmas feast is beautifully expressed in the Preface of the Nativity:

“For by the mystery of the Word made flesh the light of Thy glory hath shone anew upon the eyes of our mind, so that while we acknowledge Him a God seen by men, we may be drawn by Him to the love of things unseen.”ghirlandaio - nativity of the lord, bethlehem christmas shepherds baby jesus.jpg

The Proclamation of the Birth of Christ, proclaimed before Midnight Mass by the Holy Father and in most Catholic Churches throughout the universal Church, situates the Nativity of Christ within the context of human history generally and salvation history specifically, making reference not only to biblical events (the Creation, the Flood, the birth of Abraham, the Exodus) but also to the Greek and Roman worlds (the original Olympics, the founding of Rome).   The coming of Christ at Christmas, then, is seen as the summit of both sacred and secular history.

The Twenty fifth Day of December,
when ages beyond number had run their course
from the creation of the world,
when God in the beginning created heaven and earth
and formed man in his own likeness,
when century upon century had passed
since the Almighty set His bow in the clouds after the Great Flood,
as a sign of covenant and peace,
in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our father in faith,
came out of Ur of the Chaldees;
in the thirteenth century since the People of Israel were led by Moses
in the Exodus from Egypt,
around the thousandth year since David was anointed King,
in the sixty fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel,
in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad,
in the year seven hundred and fifty two
since the foundation of the City of Rome,
in the forty second year of the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus,
the whole world being at peace,
Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
desiring to consecrate the world by His most loving presence,
was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
and when nine months had passed since His conception,
was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah,
and was made man –

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

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The Nativity of the Lord, Jesus Christ and Memorials of the Saints – 25 December

The Nativity of the Lord, Jesus Christ (Solemnity)
Celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Our Lord.   In the earliest days of the Church there was no such feast, the Saviour’s birth was commemorated with the Epiphany by the Greek and other Eastern Churches.   First mention of the feast, then kept on 20 May, was made by Clement of Alexandria c 200.   The Latin Church began c 300 to observe it on 25 December, though there is no certainty that Our Lord was born on that day.   Priests have the privilege of saying three Masses, at midnight, daybreak and morning.   This was originally reserved to the Holy Father alone – beginning about the 4th century he celebrated a midnight Mass in the Lateran Basilica (in which according to tradition, the manger of Bethlehem is preserved), a second in the church of Saint Anastasia, whose feast comes on 25 December and a third at the Vatican Basilica.   Many peculiar customs of the day are the outcome of the pagan celebrations of the January calender.   The Christmas tree, of which the first known mention was made in 1605 at Strasbourg, was introduced into France and England in 1840.   The feast is a holy day of obligation, preceded by the preparatory season of Advent and by a special vigil – should it fall on a Friday it abrogates the law of abstinence.   Today’s Gospel is the prologue of John (2019/20 Year A).

St Adalsindis of Hamay
St Alburga of Wilton
St Anastasia of Sirmium
Bl Artale
St Basilée of the Via Latina
Bl Bentivoglio de Bonis
Bl Diego de Aro
St Eugenia of Rome
St Fulk of Toulouse
Bl Jacopone da Todi
St Jovin of the Via Latina
Bl Maria Therese von Wüllenweber
Bl Matthew of Albano
Bl Michael Nakashima Saburoemon
Bl Nera
St Romulus of Berry

Martyrs of Nicomedia: 20,000 Christians martyred by order of Diocletian. They were reported to have all been in the single basilica to celebrate Christmas. While there unquestionably was an endless series of martyrs under Diocletian, it’s likely the ancient sources exaggerated the numbers of this incident. And as the Christmas holy day was not celebrated in the East in 303, they were probably gathered for another feast. They were burned alive in 303 in the basilica of Nicomedia.