Thursday, December 27, 2018

Let Us Worship, Thank and Love Our Redeemer and Fill Our Spirit with Joy

The Church offers to the Infant-God, during this holy Season, the tribute of Her profound adoration, the enthusiasm of Her exceeding joy, the return of Her unbounded gratitude, and the fondness of Her intense love. These offerings—adoration, joy, gratitude, and love—must be also those of every Christian to his Jesus, his Emmanuel. The prayers of the Liturgy will express all four sentiments in a way that no other devotions could do.

But, to better appropriate these admirable formulas of the Church, let us understand thoroughly the nature of each of these four sentiments.

Adoration - The first of our duties at Our Savior's Crib is Adoration—Religion's first act; but there is something in the Mystery of Our Lord's Birth which seems to make this duty doubly necessary. In Heaven the Angels veil their faces, and prostrate themselves before the throne of God; the 24 Elders are forever casting their crowns before the throne of the Lamb; what, then, shall we do—we who are sinners—now that this same great God shows Himself to us, humbled for our sakes, and stripped of all His glory?

Now that the duties of the creature to his Creator are fulfilled by the Creator Himself? Now that the eternal God bows down not only before the Sovereign Majesty of the Godhead, but even before sinful man, His creature?

Let us endeavor to make, by our profound adoration, some return to the God Who thus humbles Himself for us; let us thus give Him back some little of that whereof He has deprived Himself out of love for us, and in obedience to the will of His Father. It is incumbent on us to emulate, as far as possible, the sentiments of the Angels in Heaven, and never to approach the Divine Infant without bringing with us the incense of our soul's adoration, the protestation of our own extreme unworthiness, and lastly, the homage of our whole being. All this is due to the infinite Majesty of the Babe of Bethlehem, Who is the more worthy of every tribute we can pay Him, because He has made Himself so little for our sakes. Unhappy we, if the apparent weakness of the Divine Child, or the familiarity wherewith He is ready to caress us, should make us negligent in this our first duty, or forget what He is, and what we are!

The example of His Blessed Mother will teach us to be thus humble. Mary was humble in the presence of Her God, even before She became His Mother; but, once His Mother, She comported Herself before Him Who was Her God and Her Child with greater humility than ever. We too, poor sinners, sinners so long and so often, we must adore with all the power of our soul Him Who has come down so low: we must study to find out how by our self-humiliation to make him amends for this Crib, these swathing-bands, this eclipse of His glory.

Joy - But our Mother, the Church, does not only offer to the Infant God the tribute of Her profound adoration. The mystery of Emmanuel, that is, of God with us, is to Her a source of singular joy. Look at Her sublime Canticles for this Holy Season, and you will find the two sentiments admirably blended. Did not the very Angels come down and urge Her to it? She therefore imitates the elated Shepherds, who ran to Bethlehem, and the joy of the Three Wise Men, who were will-nigh out of themselves with delight when, on quitting Jerusalem, the star again appeared and led them to the Cave where the Child was. Joy at Christmas is a Christian instinct, which originated those many Carols, which, like so many other beautiful traditions of the ages of Faith, are unfortunately dying out or changing to empty secularisms.

Come, then, faithful Children of the Church, let us take our share in Her joy! This is not the season for sighing or for weeping. For unto us a Child is born! He for Whom we have been so long waiting is come; and He is come to dwell among us. Great, indeed, and long was our suspense; so much the more let us love our possessing Him. The day will too soon come when this Child, now born to us, will be the Man of Sorrows and then we will compassionate Him; but at present we must rejoice and be glad at His coming and sing round His Crib with the Angels. Heaven sends us a present of its own joy: we need joy, and 40 days are not too many for us to get it well into our hearts. The Scripture tells us that a secure mind is like a continual feast, and a secure mind can only be where there is peace; now it is Peace which these blessed days bring to the earth; Peace, say the Angels, to men of good will!

Gratitude - Intimately and inseparably united with this exquisite mystic joy is the sentiment of gratitude. Gratitude is indeed due to Him Who, neither deterred by our unworthiness nor restrained by the infinite respect which becomes His sovereign Majesty, deigned to be born of His own creature, and have a stable for His birthplace. Oh, how vehemently must He not have desired to advance the work of salvation, to remove everything which could make us afraid of approaching Him, and to encourage us, by His own example, to return, by the path of humility, to the Heaven we had strayed from by pride!

Gratefully, therefore, let us receive the precious gift—this Divine Child, our Deliverer. He is the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, that Father Who hath so loved the world as to give His only Son. He, the Son, unreservedly ratifies His Father's will, and comes to offer Himself because it is His own will. How, as the Apostle expresses it, hath not the Father with Him given us all things? O gift inestimable! How shall we be able to repay it by suitable gratitude, we who are so poor as not to know how to appreciate it? God alone, and the Divine Infant in His Crib, know the value of the mystery of Bethlehem, which is given to us.

Love - Shall our debt, then, never be paid? Not so; we can pay it by love, which, though finite, gives itself without measure, and may grow forever in intensity. For this reason, the Church, after She has offered Her adorations and hymns and gratitude, to Her Infant Savior, gives Him also Her most tender Love. She says to Him: "How beautiful art Thou, My Beloved One, and how comely! How sweet to Me is thy rising, O Divine Sun of Justice! How My heart glows in the warmth of Thy beams! Nay, dearest Jesus, the means Thou usest for gaining Me over to Thyself are irresistible—the feebleness and humility of a Child!" Thus do all Her words end in love; and Her adoration, praise, and thanksgiving, when She expresses them in Her canticles, are transformed into love.

Christians, let us imitate our Mother, and give our hearts to our Savior. The Shepherds offer Him their simple gifts, the Magi bring Him their rich presents, and no one must appear before the Divine Infant without something worthy of His acceptance. Know, then, that nothing will please Him, but that which He came to seek—our love. It was for this that He came down from Heaven. Hard indeed is that heart which can say, He shall not have my love!

These, then, are the duties we owe to our Divine Master in this His first Coming, which, as St. Bernard says, is in the flesh and in weakness, and is for the salvation, not for the judgment, of the world.

Dom Prospero Gueranger

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The First Christmas in Freedom of Asia Bibi: with Her Husband and Surrounded by Uncertainty


Las hijas de Asia Bibi, en la imagen, no van a ver a su madre en Navidad
 Daughters of Asia Bibi and husband 

By José Luis Restán, COPE

For Asia Bibi this will be her first Christmas in freedom in the last nine years, and it will be a bittersweet Christmas because she will spend it, together with her husband, in a secret place under the protection of the Pakistani government. At the moment she cannot enjoy with all her family reunited or start a new life free of threats, because she is waiting for the Supreme Court of Pakistan to examine, probably in January, the request to review the acquittal of the crime of blasphemy against her, established by the High Court on October 31. Asia Bibi’s lawyers are confident that her acquittal will be definitively confirmed and then the government will grant the entire family a visa to travel to one of the countries that have offered them asylum.

Let's not forget that meanwhile, Asia and her family are being targeted by Islamist fanatics. In fact it is not known how she will celebrate Christmas, if she will be able to attend Christmas Mass, or if a priest will be allowed to visit her so that she can receive the Sacrament of Penance and the Eucharist that she so much wishes.

In any case, the history of Asia Bibi has allowed the horrendous abuses committed under the umbrella of the blasphemy law to come to light, which continues to produce innocent victims in a country that radical Islamists consider "the land of the pure." A land where Christians are ready to celebrate Christmas under strict security measures; a country in which violence and hatred have not succeeded in extinguishing the testimony of Jesus who is reborn.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

They’ve Finally Caught the Impostor and Imitator of Saint Nicholas of Myra

Saint Nicholas of Myra is the true Bishop who distributed gifts to the children of his diocese, but his main gift was the Word of God and the message of the Gospel distributed as the most important gift from God.

Santa Claus is an impostor, a caricature of Saint Nicholas, created by Coca Cola, and only serves for marketing purposes $$$$$$.

Unfortunately, modern Santa Claus has been paganized. The bishop's miter was replaced by the now famous red hat, and his pectoral cross completely disappeared. He "moved" from Turkey to the North Pole, where he lives in the snow with his deer.

The pagan Santa Claus captivated the imagination of publicists in the West. As Saint Nicholas was a bishop, he is represented dressed in red. That is precisely what the Coca Cola magnates liked, since red is also the advertising color of that corporation. They started using him in a pre-Christmas advertising campaign.

Today, "Santa Claus" is used to sell all kinds of things and almost nobody remembers his true story. It is time for Christians to recover our saint and teach our children that Christmas is the celebration of the Birth of God made child. Let us remember that Saint Nicholas was a saintly bishop who cared for the poor, especially children, and became famous for his charity.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Prayer reminder for the thirteenth day of each month

We remind you that today, as every 13th day of each month, we will join together in prayer for five minutes, for the intentions that are explained in the following link:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Consecration to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, through the Blessed Virgin Mary

Consecration to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, through the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Kneeling before God, out loud, and with all our heart).

O Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always Virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine Incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O Immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men!

Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God.

Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, __________, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom to carry my cross after him all the days of my live, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before, in the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose thee this day for my Mother and mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity, in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me!

O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fulness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Prayer of St. Pius X to the Immaculate Virgin Mary

O most holy Virgin who didst find favor in God’s sight and hast become His Mother; O Virgin, immaculate in body and soul, in thy faith and in thy love, look down with pity on the wretched who in our need seek thy powerful protection.

The evil serpent on whom was cast the primal curse continues, alas, to attack and ensnare the poor children of Eve. But thou, our Blessed Mother, our Queen and our Advocate, thou who from the first instant of thy conception didst crush the head of this cruel enemy, receive our prayers. United to thee with one heart, we beseech thee to present them before the throne of God.

May we never be caught in the snares around us, but rather may we all reach the harbor of salvation. Despite the awesome perils which threaten, may God’s Church and all Christian society sing out once again the hymn of deliverance, of victory and of peace. Amen.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Urgent Prayer

Oh Almighty God, who has given us Your Mother to be our Most Sweet Mother, with the deepest cry of our hearts, we beg You by Her merits to protect our unfortunate Nation, preserving in it the treasure of Catholic Faith and morality and the unrestricted adhesion to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Amen.