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“Oh Jesus, I am full of gratitude that you have taught me about your real presence and the joy that comes from spending time with you. Give me the grace to be faithful, because the most important thing in my life is to surrender to you and know you better. Teach me to serve others—to give my time and resources to those in need. Let me lose myself and find you.”

from A Eucharistic Christmas

 

Letting Go of Old Hurts by Henri Nouwen

One of the hardest things in life is to let go of old hurts.  We often say, or at least think:  “What you did to me and my family, my ancestors, or my friends I cannot forget or forgive. … One day you will have to pay for it.”  Sometimes our memories are decades, even centuries, old and keep asking for revenge.

Holding people’s faults against them often creates an impenetrable wall.  But listen to Paul:  “For anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation:  the old order is gone and a new being is there to see.  It is all God’s work” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).  Indeed, we cannot let go of old hurts, but God can.  Paul says:  “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not holding anyone’s fault against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).  It is God’s work, but we are God’s ministers, because the God who reconciled the world to God entrusted to us “the message of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19).  This message calls us to let go of old hurts in the Name of God.  It is the message our world most needs to hear.
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Prayer

“Oh Jesus, sometimes I think of prayer as a duty, but you have shown me that it is a time of renewal, peace, and refreshment. You carry my burdens for me. Thank you for opening my eyes to your goodness and restorative grace. May I be still before you and soak in your love.”

from A Eucharistic Christmas

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Returning to Love by Richard Rohr

T. S. Eliot writes, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time” (Little Gidding, Part V, “Four Quartets”). We return where we began, to the eternal embrace of Divine Love. We were formed by original blessing, but we’ve heard so often the story of “original sin” that we have to be reminded of our beginnings in beauty and union.

Rob Bell shared at CAC’s CONSPIRE event this year how the Christian Creation narrative is uniquely hopeful. The creation poem in Genesis 1 is a “confrontive story,” portraying something radically different than the common creation stories of its time; rather than “violence and destruction,” the Genesis mythos shows “overflowing joy and creativity.” Knowing we began as an expression of God’s desire for relationship allows us to trust that life is headed somewhere good, into new forms of Love making itself known, oneing all things in a whole and expanding universe. As one Pauline translation puts it “The whole of creation is standing on tip toe to see the full revelation of the children of God” (Romans 8:19).

The story ends where it begins: in life and now even in “life more abundantly” (John 10:10). This Life came from “nowhere” (creatio ex nihilo) and now has my name upon it. From death–the small dyings to the False Self and our eventual physical death–comes resurrection into our True Self, who we have been all along but have simply forgotten. As you look back on a year almost ended and forward to a year about to begin, recall the ways in which God has been inviting you to return, again and again, to Love, which is the same as returning to God.

 

“Oh Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament, I rejoice to know you on a deeper level. Show me where my stubborn will gets in your way. Let me be a pure channel through which your grace can flow to others.”

from A Eucharistic Christmas

 

The Christmas-Epiphany Season

The characteristic of this Holy Christmas-Epiphany Season is the joy which the whole Church feels at the Birth of the Incarnate Word and the admiration of that glorious Virgin, who was made the Mother of God. There is scarcely a prayer, or a rite, in the Liturgy of this glad Season, which does not imply these two grand mysteries: an infant-God, and a Virgin-Mother. In the Western Church there is a continual commemoration of the fruitful virginity of the Mother of God, including a special prayer in her honor in every Holy Mass. In the Eastern Church, in addition to the frequent commemorations of the Divine Maternity of Mary (Theotokos) in their Offices of this Season, they have a special veneration for the twelve days between Christmas Day and the Epiphany, which in their Liturgy, are called the Dodecameron. During this time they observe no days of Abstinence, and the Catholic Emperors, out of respect for the great Mystery, decreed that no servile work be permitted, and that the courts of law must be closed from December 24th until after January 6th.

We apply the name of Christmas to the forty days which begin with the Nativity of Our Lord, December 25th, and end with the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, February 2nd. It is a period which forms a distinct portion of the Liturgical Year; as distinct, by its own special spirit, from every other, as are Advent, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost. One same Mystery is celebrated and kept in view throughout the entire forty days.

The Season of the Epiphany, which extends beyond the forty days, continues the observance of the same Mystery and its celebration. Thus, the Festival of the Birth of Christ (and the Divine Maternity) are continuously celebrated by all faithful Catholics until the transition to the Season of Lent.

Neither the Feasts of the Saints, which so abound during this time, nor the advent of Septuagesima, with its mournful purple, which often begins before the Christmas-Epiphany Season is over, are able to distract our Holy Mother the Church from the immense joy with which She received the good tidings from the Angels on that glorious Night, for which the world had been longing 4,000 years. The Catholic Faithful will remember that the Liturgy commemorates this long expectation by the four weeks of Advent.

The custom of celebrating the Solemnity of Our Savior’s Nativity by a commemoration of forty days’ duration is founded on the Holy Gospel itself; for it tells us that the Blessed Virgin Mary, after spending forty days in the contemplation of the Divine Fruit of her glorious Maternity, went to the Temple, there to fulfill, in most perfect humility, the ceremonies which the Law demanded of the daughters of Israel, when they became mothers. The Feast of Mary’s Purification is, therefore, part of that of Jesus’ Birth; and the custom of keeping this holy and glorious period as one continued festival goes back to the earliest days of the Church.

The characteristic of this Holy Christmas-Epiphany Season is the joy which the whole Church feels at the Birth of the Incarnate Word and the admiration of that glorious Virgin, who was made the Mother of God. There is scarcely a prayer, or a rite, in the Liturgy of this glad Season, which does not imply these two grand mysteries: an infant-God, and a Virgin-Mother. In the Western Church there is a continual commemoration of the fruitful virginity of the Mother of God, including a special prayer in her honor in every Holy Mass. In the Eastern Church, in addition to the frequent commemorations of the Divine Maternity of Mary (Theotokos) in their Offices of this Season, they have a special veneration for the twelve days between Christmas Day and the Epiphany, which in their Liturgy, are called the Dodecameron. During this time they observe no days of Abstinence, and the Catholic Emperors, out of respect for the great Mystery, decreed that no servile work be permitted, and that the courts of law must be closed from December 24th until after January 6th.

From a brief historical review of this Holy Season, we can well understand why the period of Christmas-Epiphany has ever been a Season most dear to all true Christians, who fervently and joyfully celebrate it for the entire forty days.

Christmas recalls the wonderful Mystery of the Incarnation, which renders God visible, in order that we may listen to Him, imitate Him, and unite ourselves to Him. It renders an infinite God passible, for He finds in His Humanity the means wherewith to suffer, to expiate, to merit, and to heap graces upon us. It is through the flesh that man turns away from God; it is in becoming Flesh that God delivers man. The Word of God assumes our human nature to redeem us, and to make us holy by giving us a share in His Divinity.

Holy Mother Church wills that the celebration of the mystery of Our Lord’s Incarnation should bring us the grace that we may live a new life, more exempt from sin and imperfection, more free from attachment to ourselves and creatures. She would have us to understand above all that Christ, in exchange for the humanity which He takes from us, wishes to make us partakers of His Divinity by sanctifying grace, that He may take more complete possession of us. This will be the grace of His new Divine Birth in us, which is the meaning and spirit of Christmas.

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Indulgenced Prayer to the Infant Jesus

Our most lovable Lord Jesus Christ, Who, becoming an Infant for us, didst vouchsafe to be born in a stable to free us from the darkness of sin, to draw us more closely to Thee, and to inflame us with Thy holy love, we adore Thee as our Creator and Redeemer, we acknowledge and choose Thee for our King and Lord, and we offer to Thee the tribute of all the affections of our poor hearts. Dear Jesus, Our Lord and God, deign to accept this offering, and, in order that it may be worthy of Thy gracious acceptance, forgive us our sins, enlighten us, inflame us with that holy fire which Thou didst come to bring into the world to enkindle in our hearts. May our souls thus become a perpetual sacrifice in Thy honor; grant that we may always seek thy greater glory here on earth, in order that we may one day come to enjoy the beauty of Thy infinite perfections in Heaven. Amen.

St. John the Apostle

Lived: | Feast Day: Saturday, December 27, 2014

It is God who calls; human beings answer. The vocation of John and his brother James is stated very simply in the Gospels, along with that of Peter and his brother Andrew: Jesus called them; they followed. The absoluteness of their response is indicated by the account. James and John “were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him” (Matthew 4:21b-22).For the three former fishermen—Peter, James and John—that faith was to be rewarded by a special friendship with Jesus. They alone were privileged to be present at the Transfiguration, the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemane. But John’s friendship was even more special. Tradition assigns to him the Fourth Gospel, although most modern Scripture scholars think it unlikely that the apostle and the evangelist are the same person.

John’s own Gospel refers to him as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (see John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2), the one who reclined next to Jesus at the Last Supper, and the one to whom he gave the exquisite honor, as he stood beneath the cross, of caring for his mother. “Woman, behold your son…. Behold, your mother” (John 19:26b, 27b).

Because of the depth of his Gospel, John is usually thought of as the eagle of theology, soaring in high regions that other writers did not enter. But the ever-frank Gospels reveal some very human traits. Jesus gave James and John the nickname, “sons of thunder.” While it is difficult to know exactly what this meant, a clue is given in two incidents.

In the first, as Matthew tells it, their mother asked that they might sit in the places of honor in Jesus’ kingdom—one on his right hand, one on his left. When Jesus asked them if they could drink the cup he would drink and be baptized with his baptism of pain, they blithely answered, “We can!” Jesus said that they would indeed share his cup, but that sitting at his right hand was not his to give. It was for those to whom it had been reserved by the Father. The other apostles were indignant at the mistaken ambition of the brothers, and Jesus took the occasion to teach them the true nature of authority: “…[W]hoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:27-28).

On another occasion the “sons of thunder” asked Jesus if they should not call down fire from heaven upon the inhospitable Samaritans, who would not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. But Jesus “turned and rebuked them” (see Luke 9:51-55).

On the first Easter, Mary Magdalene “ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, ‘They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him’” (John 20:2). John recalls, perhaps with a smile, that he and Peter ran side by side, but then “the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first” (John 20:4b). He did not enter, but waited for Peter and let him go in first. “Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed” (John 20:8).

John was with Peter when the first great miracle after the Resurrection took place—the cure of the man crippled from birth—which led to their spending the night in jail together. The mysterious experience of the Resurrection is perhaps best contained in the words of Acts: “Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, they [the questioners] were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

The Apostle John is traditionally considered the author of the Fourth Gospel, three New Testament letters and the Book of Revelation. His Gospel is a very personal account. He sees the glorious and divine Jesus already in the incidents of his mortal life. At the Last Supper, John’s Jesus speaks as if he were already in heaven. It is the Gospel of Jesus’ glory.

Comment:
It is a long way from being eager to sit on a throne of power or to call down fire from heaven to becoming the man who could write: “The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16).
Quote:
A persistent story has it that John’s “parishioners” grew tired of his one sermon, which relentlessly emphasized: “Love one another.” Whether the story is true or not, it has basis in John’s writing. He wrote what may be called a summary of the Bible: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1 John 4:16).

Feast of Saint Stephen, First Martyr
Reading 1 Acts 6:6-10; 7:54-59
Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyrenians, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke.

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But he, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven
and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and he said,
“Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man
standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,
and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 31:3cd-4, 6 and 8ab, 16ab, and 17
R. (6) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Rescue me from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
Alleluia Psalm 118:26a, 27a
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD:
the LORD is God and has given us light.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

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All we know of Stephen is found in Acts of the Apostles, chapters Six and Seven. It is enough to tell us what kind of man he was:

At that time, as the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenist (Greek-speaking) Christians complained about the Hebrew-speaking Christians, saying that their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit… (Acts 6:1-5).

Acts says that Stephen was a man filled with grace and power, who worked great wonders among the people. Certain Jews, members of the Synagogue of Roman Freedmen, debated with Stephen but proved no match for the wisdom and spirit with which he spoke. They persuaded others to make the charge of blasphemy against him. He was seized and carried before the Sanhedrin.

In his speech, Stephen recalled God’s guidance through Israel’s history, as well as Israel’s idolatry and disobedience. He then claimed that his persecutors were showing this same spirit. “[Y]ou always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors” (Acts 7:51b).

His speech brought anger from the crowd. “But [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God….’ They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him…. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit…. Lord, do not hold this sin against them’” (Acts 7:55-56, 58a, 59, 60b).

Comment:
Stephen died as Jesus did: falsely accused, brought to unjust condemnation because he spoke the truth fearlessly. He died with his eyes trustfully fixed on God, and with a prayer of forgiveness on his lips. A “happy” death is one that finds us in the same spirit, whether our dying is as quiet as Joseph’s or as violent as Stephen’s: dying with courage, total trust and forgiving love.

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Oh Jesus, with joy in my heart and in a spirit of gratitude, I thank you for your great blessings in my life. Thank you for the celebration of your birth. Thank you for restoring my hope of eternal life with you. Thank you for all the gifts I have received from your generous hand.

from A Eucharistic Christmas: Advent Meditations on the Presence of Christ by The Editors of Servant Books

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Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!

Jesus, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, is born for us, born in Bethlehem of a Virgin, fulfilling the ancient prophecies. The Virgin’s name is Mary, the wife of Joseph.

Humble people, full of hope in the goodness of God, are those who welcome Jesus and recognize him. And so the Holy Spirit enlightened the shepherds of Bethlehem, who hastened to the grotto and adored the Child. Then the Spirit led the elderly and humble couple Simeon and Anna into the temple of Jerusalem, and they recognized in Jesus the Messiah. “My eyes have seen your salvation”, Simeon exclaimed, “the salvation prepared by God in the sight of all peoples” (Lk 2:30).

Yes, brothers and sisters, Jesus is the salvation for every person and for every people!

Today I ask him, the Saviour of the world, to look upon our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, who for too long now have suffered the effects of ongoing conflict, and who, together with those belonging to other ethnic and religious groups, are suffering a brutal persecution. May Christmas bring them hope, as indeed also to the many displaced persons, exiles and refugees, children, adults and elderly, from this region and from the whole world. May indifference be changed into closeness and rejection into hospitality, so that all who now are suffering may receive the necessary humanitarian help to overcome the rigours of winter, return to their countries and live with dignity. May the Lord open hearts to trust, and may he bestow his peace upon the whole Middle East, beginning with the land blessed by his birth, thereby sustaining the efforts of those committed effectively to dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

May Jesus, Saviour of the world, protect all who suffer in Ukraine, and grant that their beloved land may overcome tensions, conquer hatred and violence, and set out on a new journey of fraternity and reconciliation.

May Christ the Saviour give peace to Nigeria, where [even in these hours] more blood is being shed and too many people are unjustly deprived of their possessions, held as hostages or killed. I invoke peace also on the other parts of the African continent, thinking especially of Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and various regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I beseech all who have political responsibility to commit themselves through dialogue to overcoming differences and to building a lasting, fraternal coexistence.

May Jesus save the vast numbers of children who are victims of violence, made objects of trade and trafficking, or forced to become soldiers; children, so many abused children. May he give comfort to the families of the children killed in Pakistan last week. May he be close to all who suffer from illness, especially the victims of the Ebola epidemic, above all in Liberia, in Sierra Leone and in Guinea. As I thank all who are courageously dedicated to assisting the sick and their family members, I once more make an urgent appeal that the necessary assistance and treatment be provided.

The Child Jesus. My thoughts turn to all those children today who are killed and ill-treated, be they infants killed in the womb, deprived of that generous love of their parents and then buried in the egoism of a culture that does not love life; be they children displaced due to war and persecution, abused and taken advantage of before our very eyes and our complicit silence. I think also of those infants massacred in bomb attacks, also those where the Son of God was born. Even today, their impotent silence cries out under the sword of so many Herods. On their blood stands the shadow of contemporary Herods. Truly there are so many tears this Christmas, together with the tears of the Infant Jesus.

Dear brothers and sisters, may the Holy Spirit today enlighten our hearts, that we may recognize in the Infant Jesus, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, the salvation given by God to each one of us, to each man and woman and to all the peoples of the earth. May the power of Christ, which brings freedom and service, be felt in so many hearts afflicted by war, persecution and slavery. May this divine power, by its meekness, take away the hardness of heart of so many men and women immersed in worldliness and indifference, the globalization of indifference. May his redeeming strength transform arms into ploughshares, destruction into creativity, hatred into love and tenderness. Then we will be able to cry out with joy: “Our eyes have seen your salvation”.

With these thoughts I wish you all a Happy Christmas!

 Pope Francis The Vatican

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill
what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel
,
which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.
He had no relations with her until she bore a son,
and he named him Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25

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Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord

On this day the Church focuses especially on the newborn Child, God become human, who embodies for us all the hope and peace we seek. We need no other special saint today to lead us to Christ in the manger, although his mother Mary and Joseph, caring for his foster-Son, help round out the scene.

But if we were to select a patron for today, perhaps it might be appropriate for us to imagine an anonymous shepherd, summoned to the birthplace by a wondrous and even disturbing vision in the night, a summons from an angelic choir, promising peace and goodwill. A shepherd willing to seek out something that might just be too unbelievable to chase after, and yet compelling enough to leave behind the flocks in the field and search for a mystery.

On the day of the Lord’s birth, let’s let an unnamed, “un-celebrity” at the edge of the crowd model for us the way to discover Christ in our own hearts—somewhere between skepticism and wonder, between mystery and faith. And, like Mary and the shepherds, let us treasure that discovery in our hearts.

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Christ Is Born

Christmas is an opportunity for us to rejoice in the Word becoming flesh, to savor this wonderful mystery with all our senses, so that in turn we can go out and be seen and heard and touched and scented and tasted as the living Christ this Christmastime and each day of the new year.

from Let Us Adore Him: Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas by
Richard Fragomeni

Darkness came in relative silence
to a cold, gray sky.  Beneath it,
a man, tired from too many miles
of travel, walked a dusty road.

His wife straddled a donkey.
She was uncomfortable,
about to give birth. The couple
stopped as soon as they could.

Having been ordered by the king
to report to their ancestors’ homes
to pay taxes, they traveled miles
and miles to the appointed spot.

Other travelers—hungry and thirsty, too—
stopped where the couple did,
huddling in an animal shed,
the best places to sleep already gone

to those who arrived earlier.
Curious eyes of many strangers
watched that woman in her labor.
About midnight, the teen-age mother

gave birth to a boy, wrapped him in rags,
nursed him, hummed softly.
Drought-weary shepherds herded sheep
in nearby fields of sand,

were discouraged at yet another night
with no trickle of rain.
So imagine their surprise
as the sky revealed an awesome star.

from Facing a Lonely West (Main Street Rag)

Are You Ready For the Incarnation?

**

As the midnight hour approaches and we greet Christmas day, let us be committed to create new memories that we keep and cherish and bless the Lord for. Our memories take us into a future where we will be gathered around an eternal banquet table and celebrate there forever the visitation of God, Emmanuel, the God who calls us into the holiness and the fullness of life.

from Let Us Adore Him: Daily Reflections for Advent and Christmas by Richard Fragomeni

**

Silence and Grace by Richard Rohr

…All grace comes precisely from nowhere—from silence and emptiness, if you prefer—which is what makes it grace. It is both you and yet so much greater than you at the same time, which is probably why believers chose both uprushing fountains (John 7:38) and downrushing doves (Matthew 3:16) as metaphors for this universal and grounding experience of spiritual encounter. Sometimes it is an uprush and sometimes it is a downrush, but it is always from a silence that is larger than you, surrounds you, and finally names the deeper truth of the full moment that is you. I call such a way of knowing the contemplative way of knowing, as did much of the older tradition. (The word “prayer” has been so consistently trivialized to refer to something you do, instead of something that is done to you, with you, in you, and as you.) Then, like Mary, you are ready to give birth. You are ready for Christmas.

from “Finding God in the Depths of Silence,”” Sojourners, March 2013.

**

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Midnight is coming. Are you ready?

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