Please pray for me and my brother priests!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Plaster Saints

This is a great short article offered by Catholic News Agency about the Holy Father's general audience reflection of Christmas. In the 5th paragraph, the columnist offers the Holy Father's words in regard to Christ's divinity.

I was with our parish men's group (a fine bunch of faithful, prayerful guys) and this topic was raised. There is a danger in disassociating the baby Jesus of Christmas with the suffering Christ of Good Friday. We can't forget for what this babe was born for: to suffer and die for our sins in order to restore divine friendship to man. There is great reason to rejoice in His birth, for it marks the beginning of our redemption. However, the rejoicing is empty without the redemption, that came at great price, of Calvary.

I worry sometimes about the "safe" image of Christ on Christmas. (I am not a humbug type, either!) However, we can't turn Jesus, Mary, or Joseph into pious legend that we drag out once a year to make us feel good, then return the statues of the nativity scene to their box, not to drag them out again until it's time for Santa next year. Jesus, Mary and Joseph live; St. Joseph's soul rests with the righteous in heaven, and Jesus and Mary live in their glorified bodies as a foretaste and assurance of the promise made to all of us. In fact, not only are they "real", but are indeed more real than me writing this blog, and more real than all of you reading it.

May the innocence, joy, peace and purity of the Christ-child be with you all the year, and may the memory of this joyful event strengthen you in bearing your crosses.

God love you!

Pope Benedict reflects again on the gift of Christmas

The nativity scene in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.

Vatican City, Jan. 03, 2007 (CNA) - In his first general audience of this year, held this morning in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, the Pope Benedict XVI pointed out how the atmosphere of Christmas "invites us to rejoice for the birth of the Redeemer."

Referring to the gift of Christmas, the Holy Father said, "Those who pause in meditation before the Son of God lying defenseless in the manger cannot but marvel at this humanly incredible event; they cannot but share the wonder and the humble abandonment of the Virgin Mary, whom God chose as the Mother of the Redeemer precisely because of her humility.”

"In the Child of Bethlehem," the Pope added, "all mankind discovers itself to be gratuitously loved by God. In the light of Christmas, the infinite goodness of God is made plain to each of us. In Jesus, the heavenly Father inaugurated a new relationship with us: He made us 'sons in the Son'."
"However, the joy of Christmas does not make us forget the mystery of evil (mysterium iniquitatis), the power of the dark that seeks to obscure the splendor of divine light, and unfortunately we experience this power of darkness every day. ... This is the drama of the rejection of Christ which, today as in the past, shows and expresses itself in many different ways."

Indeed, he continued, "perhaps the ways of refusing God in the modern age are even more insidious and dangerous: from outright rejection to indifference, from scientistic atheism to the presentation of a modernized or post-modernized Jesus, a human Jesus, reduced in various ways to being a simple man of His time and deprived of His divinity; or perhaps a Jesus so idealized as to appear as a character of legend."

Yet, Pope Benedict said, "only the Child lying in the manger possesses the real secret of life. For this reason He asks for acceptance, for space to be made for Him among us, in our hearts, in our houses, in our cities and in our societies," In this "we are helped by the simplicity of the shepherds and the quest of the Magi, who through the star scrutinized the signs of God, [and by] the docility of Mary and the prudent wisdom of Joseph."

"At the beginning of this new year, let us reawaken our commitment to open our minds and hearts to Christ, sincerely demonstrating to Him our will to live as His true friends. Thus will we become collaborators in His plan of salvation and witnesses of the joy He brings, that we may spread it abundantly about us.”

“Let us accompany Jesus, walk with Him, and thus the new year will be happy and good," the Pope concluded.


bethski said...

Am I slow? or did you really not include the Pope Benedict part in myspace?
i really love the Popes part in this, I'm stealing it....the petty theif I've learned to be

bethski said...

my bad...delete that last part.

This is why alcohol is kills brain cells!