Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, NOTES to Followers, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

Wishing you a most Holy and Blessed Christmas!

Wishing you a most Holy
and Blessed Christmas
!

And the Word was made flesh
and dwelt among us,
(and we saw His glory,
the glory as it were
of the Only begotten of the Father),
full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

May the Divine Babe of Bethlehem
fill your hearts with His joy, peace and love!
And my Love and Prayers for you and yours.

My most sincere thanksgiving
for those most generous and loving Benefactors,
who, in their generosity, have constantly contributed
to the upkeep of this site.
For those who, in the midst of their manifold duties
during this very busy time, have still found time
to send Christmas donations and prayers.
May the Divine Infant and His Immaculate Mother,
Bless you all.
An
a💖🙏

Thank you!

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Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 25 December – The Feast of the Nativity

Thought for the Day – 25 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Feast of the Nativity

“The first people to pay homage to Jesus Christ, are not men of exalted rank but humble shepherds.
They come to offer their poor gifts but, above all else, they offer Him their simple and innocent hearts.

We also should approach the manger with humility and simplicity.
Foremost among the gifts which we offer, should be the renunciation of sin, a firm resolution to resist our lower inclinations and a great love for Him, Who has loved us so much.
There are no more pleasing gifts which we could offer Jesus Christ on His Birthday.
Let us go now to Him!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/25/thought-for-the-day-25-december-the-feast-of-the-nativity/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/25/thought-for-the-day-25-december-the-feast-of-the-nativity-2/

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DECEMBER - The DIVINE INFANCY and The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, Gerard MANLEY HOPKINS SJ, JESUIT SJ, POETRY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – LITTLE Jesus … A Child My Choice

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Day

Open wide your door
to the One Who comes.
Open your soul,
throw open the depths of your heart
to see the riches of simplicity,
the treasures of peace,
the sweetness of grace.
Open your heart and run to meet
the Sun of Eternal light
that illuminates all men.

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Christ is the Morning Star,
Who, when the night
of this world is past,
gives to His saints,
the promise of the light of life,
and opens everlasting day.”

St Bede the Venerable (673-735)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Let all your desires then,
be directed toward Him,
the Infinite One,
the Giver of all Good.

Bl Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306)

A Child My Choice
By St Robert Southwell (1561-1595)

Martyr

Let folly praise that fancy loves,
I praise and love that Child
Whose heart no thought,
Whose tongue no word,
Whose hand no deed defiled.

I praise Him most, I love Him best,
all praise and love is His;
While Him I love, in Him I live
and cannot live amiss.

Love’s sweetest mark,
laud’s highest theme,
man’s most desired light,
To love Him life,
to leave Him death,
to live in Him delight.

He mine by gift,
I His by debt, thus each to other due;
First friend He was,
best friend He is,
all times will try Him true.

Though young, yet wise;
though small, yet strong;
though man, yet God He is:
As wise, He knows;
as strong, He can;
as God, He loves to bless.

His knowledge rules,
His strength defends,
His love doth cherish all;
His birth our joy,
His life our light,
His death our end of thrall.

Alas! He weeps, He sighs, He pants,
yet do His angels sing;
Out of His tears,
His sighs and throbs,
doth bud a joyful spring.

Almighty Babe, Whose tender arms
can force all foes to fly,
Correct my faults,
protect my life,
direct me when I die!

Moonless Darkness
By Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

Moonless darkness stands between.
Past, the Past, no more be seen!
But the Bethlehem-Star may lead me
To the sight of Him, Who freed me
From the self that I have been.
Make me pure, Lord, Thou art holy;
Make me meek, Lord, Thou wert lowly.
Now beginning and alway,
Now begin, on Christmas Day.

Ex Ore Infantium
(From the Mouth of Chrildren)
By Francis Thompson (1859–1907)

LITTLE Jesus, wast Thou shy
Once and just so small as I?
And what did it feel like to be
Out of Heaven and just like me?
Didst Thou sometimes think of there,
And ask where all the Angels were?
I should think that I would cry
For my house all made of sky;
I would look about the air,
And wonder where my Angels were;
And at waking ’twould distress me—
Not an Angel there to dress me!

Hadst Thou ever any toys,
Like us little girls and boys?
And didst Thou play in Heaven with all
The Angels that were not too tall,
With stars for marbles? Did the things
Play Can you see me? through their wings?
And did thy Mother let Thee spoil
Thy robes, with playing on our soil?
How nice to have them always new
In Heaven because ’twas quite clean blue!

Didst Thou kneel at night to pray
And didst Thou join thy hands, this way?
And did they tire sometimes, being young,
And make the prayer seem very long?
And dost Thou like it best, that we
Should join our hands to pray to Thee?
I used to think, before I knew,
The prayer not said unless we do.
And did thy Mother at the night
Kiss Thee and fold the clothes in right?
And didst Thou feel quite good in bed,
Kiss’d and sweet and Thy prayers said?

Thou canst not have forgotten all
That it feels like to be small
And Thou know’st I cannot pray
To Thee in my father’s way—
When Thou wast so little, say,
Couldst Thou talk thy Father’s way?—
So, a little Child, come down
And hear a child’s tongue like thy own;
Take me by the hand and walk
And listen to my baby-talk.
To Thy Father show my prayer
(He will look, Thou art so fair),
And say: ‘O Father, I, Thy Son,
Bring the prayer of a little one.’

And He will smile that children’s tongue,
Has not changed, since Thou wast young!

Francis Joseph Thompson (16 December 1859 – 13 November 1907) was an English Poet and Catholic Mystic. One of his most famous works is the rivetting “The Hound of Heaven.”
Among Thompson’s devotees was the young JR R Tolkien, who purchased a volume of Thompson’s works in 1913–1914 and later said that, it was an important influence on his own writing

Posted in CHRIST the SUN of JUSTICE, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – ‘ … Let us then run to Bethlehem, the town of the Good News! … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – “The Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Day! – The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – Titus 2:11-15, Luke 2:1-14 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

“… For today in the City of David, a Saviour has been born to you, Who is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

REFLECTION – “Brethren, now we have been told about the miracle, let us turn aside to see this unusual sight, as Moses did (Ex 3:3) – in Mary, the burning bush is not consumed, the Virgin gives birth to the Light, without defilement … Let us then run to Bethlehem, the town of the Good News! If we are real shepherds, staying awake on our watch, then it is to us that the voice of the Angels is addressed, announcing a great joy … “Glory to God in the highest for peace is coming down to earth!”  There, where, only yesterday, there was nothing but misfortune, battlefields and exile, now earth receives peace for today “Truth shall spring out of the earth and justice shall look down from heaven” (Ps 84[85]:12). Behold the fruit earth gives to humankind, in reward for the goodwill reigning among men (Lk 2:14). God is joined to man, to raise man to the stature of God.

At this news, my brethren, let us go to Bethlehem to behold … the mystery of the crib, a child wrapped in swaddling clothes rests in a manger. A Virgin, after giving birth, His undefiled Mother, embraces her Son. Let us repeat the words of the prophet along with the shepherds: “As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of our God.” (Ps 47[48]:9)

But why does our Lord seek shelter in this cave at Bethlehem? Why is He sleeping in a manger? Why does He participate in Israel’s census?  My brethren, He who brings liberty to the world, comes to be born into our slavery to death. He is born in this cave to reveal Himself to us, who are immersed in darkness and the shadow of death. He rests in a manger because, He is the One Who makes grass grow for the cattle (Ps 104[103],14). He is the Bread of Life, Who feeds us with a spiritual food that we too might live in the Spirit… What more joyful Feast is there than that of today? Christ, the Sun of Justice (Mal 3,20), comes to illumine our night. What had fallen, is raised up again, what was overcome, is now set free… what was dead is restored to life… Let us all sing today with one voice over all the earth: “Death came through one man, Adam, today salvation has come through One Man (cf Rom 5,17)” … St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–c 395) Bishop, Father of the Church (Sermon on the Nativity).

PRAYER – O God, Who have brightened this most holy night with the splendour of the true Light, grant, we beseech Thee that we may know in Heaven the joy of that light which we have known mystically on earth. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, HYMNS, MARIAN POETRY, Our MORNING Offering, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – Nativity Song

Our Morning Offering – 25 December – The Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Day! – the Memorial of Blessed Jacopone da Todi OFM (1230-1306)

Nativity Song
By Blessed Jacopone da Todi OFM (1230-1306)

The beautiful Mother is bending
Low where her Baby lies
Helpless and frail, for her tending
But she knows the glorious eyes.

The Mother smiles and rejoices,
While the Baby laughs in the hay,
She listens to heavenly voices:
“This Child shall be King some day.”

O dear little Child in the manger,
Let me make merry with Thee,
O King, in my hour of danger,
Wilt Thou be strong for me?

Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 25 December – Blessed Bentivoglio de Bonis OFM (1188-1232) Confessor, Priest

Saint of the Day – 25 December – Blessed Bentivoglio de Bonis OFM (1188-1232) Confessor, Priest and Friar of the Friars’ Minor of St Francis, Noted preachers, Miracle worker , Ecstatic and visionary. One of Saint Francis of Assisi’s earliest disciples and one of first Franciscans. Born in 1188 at San Severino, Italy and died in 25 December 1232 at San Severino, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Bentivolius Buoni, Bentivoglio de Bonis of San Severino Marche. He was Beatified on 30 December 1852 by Pope Pius IX.

Bentivoglio was born at San Severino in the March of Ancona, toward the close of the twelfth Century and belonged to the distinguished family of the Buoni or Bonis. About the time that he grew into young manhood, reports of St Francis and his newly founded Order reached his native town and shortly after, a Franciscan preached at San Severino. Bentivoglio was so impressed by his words and his whole appearance that he became eager to join the new Order.

Triumphing over the first objections of his father, Blessed Bentivoglio went to Assisi and received the holy Habit from the hands of St Francis himself. Soon, he distinguished himself among the brethren, by exceptional virtue. Especially noteworthy were his humility, his patience, his obedience and his childlike simplicity.

He possessed the rare gift of affording, both pleasure and edification, by his pious conversation about heavenly things. Although he seemed to say it all in an offhand manner, nevertheless, everyone felt that it came from a holy heart, some invisible power seemed to move them to strive for perfection. Once a bright star was seen shining on his forehead, it was a sign that he was filled with the fire of the Holy Ghost.

The piety and holiness of Blessed Bentivoglio was evident in his devout conversation. Just as one can tell by the ticking of a clock, whether everything is in proper working order within, so, as a rule, one can detect in a person’s conversation, how matters stand interiorly with him. He who thinks only of profits and gain, speaks continually of trade and business. He who is filled with self-love, speaks continually of himself and considers others unimportant. He who is vain speaks of clothes and beauty. He whose heart is not pure and clean, takes pleasure in indecent speech. He who has God in his heart, converses with pleasure about God and religious matters.

After he had become a Priest and confessor, Bentivoglio laboured with the blessed success in the holy tribunal of the Confessional. At prayer, to which he was most devoted, he was often seen in ecstasy, sometimes he was even raised high above the earth.

God glorified Blessed Bentivoglio by many other miracles before and after his death, so that, the veneration that was paid to him at his grave, in the Franciscan Church at San Severino, constantly increased. Pope Pius IX gave the Church’s approval to this veneration, thus declaring him Blessed.

Prayer of the Church:
O God, who didst reveal Thy glory through the words and miracles of Thy blessed Confessor Bentivoglio, mercifully grant that through his intercession and merits, we may be directed to behold Thy sublime Majesty. Through Christ our Lord Who livest and reignest with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY, The NATIVITY of JESUS

The Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Day and Memorials of the Saints – 25 December

The Nativity of Our Lord, Christmas Day!
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 in c 300 to observe it on 25 December, though there is no certainty that Our Lord was born on that day.
Today, 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 calendar. 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. Of course, Christmas attracts an Octave, when this wonderful Mystery and Miracle is celebrated for eight days.
https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/25/the-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-25-december-2/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/25/the-solemnity-of-the-nativity-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-25-december/
AND:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/25/25-december-the-solemnity-of-the-birth-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-2/

St Adalsindis of Hamay
St Alburga of Wilton
St Anastasia of Sirmium

Bl Artale
St Basilée of the Via Latina
Blessed Bentivoglio de Bonis OFM (1188-1232) Confessor, Priest and Friar of the Friars’ Minor of St Francis, Noted preachers, Miracle worker and visionary. One of Saint Francis of Assisi’s earliest disciples and one of first Franciscans.
Bl Diego de Aro
St Eugenia of Rome
St Fulk of Toulouse

Blessed Jacopone da Todi OFM (1230-1306) Priest and Friar of the Order of the Friars Minor, Author of the “Stabat Mater,” Confessor, Hymnist, Poet, Musician, Mystic, Lawyer. He is the Author of the famous Latin Hymn, The Stabat Mater.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/25/saint-of-the-day-25-december-blessed-jacopone-da-todi-ofm-1230-1306/

St Jovin of the Via Latina
Bl Matthew of Albano
Bl Michael Nakashima Saburoemon
Bl Nera

Blessed Peter the Venerable (c 1092–1156) The Eighth Abbot of Cluny, Reformer, Scholar and Writer, Poet. He was Beatified in 1862 by Pope Pius IX.
About Blessed Peter:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/25/saint-of-the-day-25-december-blessed-peter-the-venerable-c%e2%80%891092-1156/

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. 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.