Category Archives: Christmas
Thought revolving around the Incarnation!
Christmas! It’s so exciting! Jesus is born, the Word has been made Flesh, and Emanuel, God with us, IS with us! YAY!
So, it’s currently the middle of March – why am I posting about Christmas?! That was months ago Ghillie, get with the program!
Well, it’s true that the Church celebrates the coming of Christ in December, BUT what about celebrating the “here-ness” of Christ? He came, and so we celebrate. But, He IS STILL HERE. Why does life get gloomy, boring, mundane, and going to Mass becomes a chore again? Guys, the Jesus we get so excited about at Christmas is still here, just as real, and just as present.
I’m not suggesting we try to be all warm-and-fuzziness-bubbly-happy every time we go to Mass – that’s not real life. However, let’s pray for a Spirit of Joy – that Fruit of the Spirit that enables us to look past the day-to-day and see the Greatness of our God, and His closeness to us. And while you’re at it, ask your King for a deep Peace of Soul. Or better yet, ask His Holy Mama. She loves getting special Graces and Joys for her beloved sons and daughters!
Oh come, let us adore Him,
Oh come, let us adore Him,
Oh come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!
Ben spoke on Advent, waiting, and being pregnant. His family has just welcomed their long awaited first-born son, Ben Jr. (most anxiously awaited by his four big sisters!), and he shared with us what the wait was like, especially for the little girls. He told us that towards the end there were tears on a regular basis because little brother was not here yet. (Aww…)
After painting this precious picture of his family waiting with so much anticipation for the new little brother, he drew a beautiful parallel between it and Advent / waiting for Christmas, and waiting in general.
This is the period of preparation for Christmas that the Church has set aside for us. That’s exactly what it is – a time to prepare! The world has been celebrating Christmas since Thanksgiving, but the Church says, “Hold your horses. That baby ain’t born yet.” The Feast of the Annunciation was back in March… and Our Lady is still with Child! The Church announces to the world that Christ’s Mass is here (traditionally at Midnight Mass… Christ’s Mass… Christmas…), the world does not announce this to the Church. No, the Church isn’t trying to be a wet blanket, or steal the fun and parties… In her wisdom, she is making us wait – just like the nation of Israel had to wait for thousands of years for the Messiah the first time! Blessed Mary waited on Christ for nine months. The Church is only asking four weeks of us.
We know what’s coming, we know that Christ is on His way! He just isn’t HERE yet. Just like the Walther family wasn’t celebrating Ben Jr.’s birth the week before he was born, the Church is asking us to hang on, just a little bit longer, until Christ’s Mass, to blow the roof off in celebration. And guess what comes after Dec. 25? December 26th – the second day of Christ’s Mass!!! Then, Dec. 27th, the third day! And this goes for TWELVE days, until the feast of the Wise Men, Jan. 6th, Epiphany! That more than an entire week to party it up! I mean, it’s our King’s Birthday! When the Church wants to party, she knows how to make it happen!
Waiting in general ~
Ben also talked about how his family had to wait for Ben Jr., and there was nothing Mrs. Walther could do to speed up (or slow down) his coming! All she could do was take care of herself, and wait. And wait. And wait. Wait until it was time.
Those of us who are young (and old(er), I would assume) sometimes feel we as if could write the book on waiting. It’s all we seem to be doing! Waiting to graduate, waiting to find a major, waiting to graduate (again!), waiting to know our vocations, waiting to get started on said vocation, waiting for this, waiting for that… It seems like life is just in a holding pattern. And there is nothing we can do but just take care of ourselves, and wait. But, we do know what is coming, just as the Blessed Mother knew Christ was coming! We can feel the growth and the movement, we experience the sleepless nights, the discomfort, the longing, just like she could, but the Child, the vocation, graduation, etc., is not HERE yet. But He (it) IS COMING! There WILL be a time when you can hold what you are waiting for in your arms, and make it your very own. That time will come! The Child will be born. Just wait. Take care of yourself, and wait.
A few hours after hearing Ben speak about this, I saw Mrs. Walther holding her baby boy. I cannot describe the love I saw on her face, and in her eyes, for son. You could just tell – she thought the wait, even the hard parts of it, were more than worth it.
When Christ’s Mass comes, as we rejoice in His birth, thank Him for the time to prepare. It’s the waiting and anticipation that makes the gift worth so much!
Happy Second Day of Christmas!! How blessed we are to have not one, but TWELVE days to celebrate our Savior’s birth!!
Today is traditionally the Feast day of St. Stephen. It’s not celebrated Dec. 26th this year, because of the Feast of the Holy Family, which is always the Sunday after Christmas Day. But I still wanted to post the lyrics to this old ballad about the good King Wenceslas, and the miracle brought about on St. Stephen’s Feast by the good saint’s faithful care of the poor.
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather
“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
Who doesn’t love Christmas carols? Definitely not me. I’ve had my radio on 89.5 FM (the local Christian station that plays only Christmas music throughout December) solid for about three weeks now. It’s such a lovely time of year, and since it only come once every three-hundred-and-sixty-five days(give or take), I plan to enjoy every aspect of it thoroughly.
Today I was walking past my bedroom door (my bedroom being the local of my radio), and I heard poor Charlie Brown’s heartfelt plea, “Isn’t there ANYONE who knows what Christmas is all about?!?” Poor Charlie. There was faithful little Linus though, and his sweet reply, “Sure Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
‘And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”‘ [Luke 2:8-14]
“And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
Dear little Linus…
It struck me though, in a way it never had before. ‘Unto you is born this day…’ Unto YOU. Unto me. This sweet babe was born to die the most humiliating of deaths, and all for me. All for you. All for those poor and terrified shepherds.
Rejoice in His birth, but do not forget His death. His birth did not redeem us. Actually, neither did His resurrection. There would be no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.