Category Archives: Christmas

The Birth & Poverty of Christ

 

Image result for nativity of christ

The following is taken from Thomas a Kempis’ great work “The Imitation of Christ.”

Of the Birth and Poverty of the Lord Jesus

Bless, and give thanks to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten of the Father, born before all worlds, Who, of Thy unspeakable condescension, didst vouchsafe to be born in a filthy stable, and for love of holy poverty, to be laid in a narrow manger. I praise Thee, most loving Jesus, for Thy illustrious origin; for Thy glorious birth of the pure Virgin Mary; for Thy poverty; and for Thy humility in lying in so poor and mean a crib.

Who can meditate as he should on the thought of the most High God, so demeaning Himself for our sake? O what thanks does not the human race owe to Thee, Who, for its redemption, didst choose to lie in a narrow manger! O boundless tenderness, O wondrous sweetness, O sweetest love – God born a helpless babe, wrapped in mean swaddling clothes, laid in a narrow manger, with brute beasts surrounding Him! O humility passing human thought, that the Lord of all lords should deign to become the fellow servant of His own servants! But, O my Lord, and my God, it seemed to Thee too small a thing, that Thou Who art my Creator shouldst also be my Father; Thou didst even stoop to become my Brother, and to be made flesh of my flesh, taking in very truth my nature upon Thee, sin only excepted. O Birth, outside the course of nature, triumphing over the natural order of our births, and assuaging by Divine power the tears which we shed at them, in order that, by It, our nature might be restored!

O how blessed and how lovely was Thy Nativity, O sweetest Jesus, Child of the illustrious Virgin, Who, by Thy birth from the womb of Thy highly exalted Mother Mary, dost make good the faults of our birth, renew our condition, cancel our condemnation, blot out the handwriting of the decree which was against us; that so, if a man is tempted to repine at being born of Adam’s stock, he may rejoice in Thy undefiled Nativity, and in the most blessed trust that by Thy grace he has been born again.

I thank Thee, for Thy self-chosen and glorious Nativity, O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, by Whom we have access to that Grace in which we stand, and trust in the hope restored to us from above of the glory of the sons of God. Thou art the pledge of our redemption: Thou art the everlasting hope of all men; to Thee do we sinners humbly fly for refuge – to Thee, Who didst come to seek us, when as yet we knew Thee not. O sweet and holy Infancy, from which alone true innocency comes to human hearts; by which, however old a man may be, he may go back to blessed infancy, and may be made like to Thee, not by the shrinking of his limbs, but by the lowliness of his mind, and the holiness of his life!

O most gentle Jesus, Who, that Thou mightest give to all men an example of a holy life, and the means of everlasting salvation, didst will to be born of Mary the Virgin, at the hour of midnight, grant that I may tread in the sacred footsteps of Thy humility and poverty! Grant that I may join, in giving praise and thanks to Thee, the Angels and the whole company of the heavenly host, whom Thou didst cause to be the joyful heralds of Thy Nativity!

Advertisements

The Two Advents of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Related image

An incredible sermon that I discovered given by Blessed Jacobus of Voragine:

The Advent of Our Lord is celebrated for four weeks to signify that His coming is fourfold: He came to us in the flesh, He comes into our hearts, He comes to us at death, and He will come at the Last Judgment. The fourth week is not completed, because the glory of the elect to be bestowed at the last coming of Our Lord will never end.

While the coming of Our Lord is fourfold, the Church turns especially to two of them, the coming of Our Lord in the flesh and His coming at the Last Judgment. Thus, the Advent fast is in part a fast of rejoicing because of Christ’s coming in the flesh, the Incarnation; at the same time it is in part a fast of contrition, looking to the supreme coming of Christ at the Last Judgment.

I – Regarding Our Lord’s coming in the flesh, two things should be considered: how it is opportune and how it is useful.

1. It is opportune first, because man, condemned by nature to have an incomplete knowledge of God, had fallen into the worst errors of idolatry and was reduced to cry out, “Enlighten my eyes.”‘ Second, Our Lord came in the fullness of time as St. Paul says in the Epistle to the Galatians. Third, He came when the entire world was sick, as St. Augustine says: “The great Physician came when mankind was lying ill through the whole world.”

This is why the Church, in the seven antiphons sung before the Lord’s Nativity, remembers the different kinds of illnesses and how opportune this divine remedy is. Before the Son of God came in the flesh, we were ignorant and blind, subject to eternal punishment, slaves of the devil, shackled by our sinful habits, enveloped in darkness, exiled from our true motherland. This is why those antiphons proclaim Our Lord as our Master, our Redeemer, our Liberator, our Guide, our Enlightener and our Savior.

2. Regarding the usefulness of the coming of Christ, diverse authorities define it in different ways. Jesus Christ Himself in the Gospel of St. Luke tells us that He came for seven reasons: to console the poor, to cure the afflicted, to liberate the captives, to enlighten the ignorant, to forgive the sinners, to redeem the human genre and to recompense each one according to his merits. And St. Bernard says: “We suffer from a threefold illness: We are easy to seduce, slow to act and weak to resist. Hence the coming of Our Lord is necessary first to enlighten our blindness and second to help our weakness.”

II – Regarding the second coming, that is, the Last Judgment, we should consider the circumstances that will precede it and those that will accompany it.

 

1. Three kinds of circumstances will precede the Last Judgment: terrible signs, the imposture of the Antichrist, and an immense fire on the earth.

A. Five types of signs will precede the Last Judgment for, as St. Like says: “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars; on the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. (21:25) We can find a commentary on all these things in the Apocalypse.

St. Jerome, in his turn, found 15 signs preceding the Last Judgment in the annals of the Hebrews:

  • On the first day, the ocean will rise above the mountains and will stand upright, immobile like a wall;
  • On the second day, the ocean will sink so low that one will barely be able to see it;
  • On the third day, sea monsters will appear on the waves and will utter roars that will rise up to heaven;
  • On the fourth day, the water in the ocean will boil;
  • On the fifth day, the trees and all plants will exude a dew of blood;
  • On the sixth day, all the buildings will fall down;
  • On the seventh day, the stones will break into four pieces, which will clash against one another;
  • On the eighth day, a universal earthquake will lay every man and animal low on the ground;
  • On the ninth day, the earth will be leveled and the mountains and hills will be reduced to dust;
  • On the tenth day, men will leave their hidden places and wander like madmen, without being able to speak to each other;
  • On the eleventh day, the bones of the dead will come out of their graves;
  • On the twelfth day, the stars will fall from the firmament;
  • On the thirteenth day, all living beings will die to be resurrected afterwards with the dead;
  • On the fourteenth day, the sky and earth will burn;
  • On the fifteenth day, there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and all will be resurrected.

B. The Last Judgment will be preceded by the imposture of the Antichrist, who will try to deceive men in four ways:

  • By a false interpretation of the Scriptures trying to prove that he is the promised Messiah;
  • By the working of miracles;
  • By the distribution of gifts;
  • By the infliction of tortures.

C. The Last Judgment will be preceded by a violent fire, lit by God himself to renew the world, to punish the reprobate and to bring attention to the group of the elect.

2. Regarding the circumstances that will accompany the Last Judgment, the first to be named is the separation of the good from the evil ones. For it is known that the Judge will come in the Valley of Josaphat and place the good at His right and evil ones at His left. This does not signify, as St. Jerome observes, that all men will have to be in that small valley, but only that it will be the center of the Judgment. This does not exclude that God, if He so desires, may place in that space an infinite number of men [since their resurrected bodies will no longer take up space].

Next comes the question of knowing the categories into which men will be divided when the Final Judgment comes. St. Gregory admits four categories: two for the reprobates and two for the elect. Among the reprobates will be those who will be condemned and those who were already condemned, about whom it was said: “The one who does not believe, will be judged previously.” Among the elect will be those who will judge the others sitting alongside the Judge.

At the Final Judgment the signs of the Passion will be present: the Cross, the instruments of the Passion and His scars; St John Chrysostom says that “The Cross and His scars will be more brilliant than the rays of the sun.”

The Judge will be inflexibly severe. He will bend neither from fear, since He is Almighty, nor from gifts, because He is richness itself, nor from hatred because He is goodness itself, nor from love because He is justice itself, nor from error because He is wisdom itself. Against this Wisdom neither the allegations of lawyers, nor the sophisms of philosophers, nor the phrases of orators, nor the ruses of hypocrites will prevail.

The Judge will be as severe as the prosecutor will be implacable. In other words, the sinner will face three prosecutors: the Devil, sin and the entire world, because, as St. Chrysostom says: “On that day, sky and earth, water, sun and moon, day and night, the whole world will raise against us before God, in testimony of our sins.”

Three witnesses will also testify against us, all three infallible: First, God, who said to us through the voice of Jeremy: “I am at the same time judge and witness;” second, our conscience, and third, our guardian Angel, for we read in the book of Job: “Heavens (that is, the Angels) will reveal his iniquity.”

Finally, the sentence will be irrevocable. Indeed, the sentence is irrevocable for three reasons: the excellence of the Judge, the evidence of the crime; the impossibility of reversing the chastisement. For in the sentence pronounced against us in the Last Judgment, there will be no King, Emperor or Pope to whom we can appeal the judgment pronounced against us.

Merry Christmas!

36475-1225christmas23

Tonight is born in the city of David, Christ the Lord, the King of Heaven and the Prince of Peace. He who the world cannot contain because he is God, the Creator of the Universe, was placed in a lowly manager, dependent on the love of two parents.  This is the great humility of our God. He who has the power to vanquish death allowed himself to be born into this world as one of us, making him subject to death, which He endured for our sake. He was born to die. This little Baby had always before his mind, from the first moment of his conception, His mission – to save mankind from the fires of hell. For this was He born and this should be the prime subject of our meditation this Christmas season. From myself, I wish all my readers & their loved ones a blessed, holy & merry Christmas!

A beautiful sermon from St. Bonaventure:

Our Savior, dearly beloved, is born today; let us rejoice. It is not right to be sad today, the natal day of Life–He Who has dispelled the fear of mortality and brought us to the joy of promised eternity. Let no man be cut off from a share in this rejoicing. The cause of our joy is common to every man, because our Lord, the destoryer of sin and death, Who finds none guiltless, comes to free all. Let the holy exult, he draws near his palm; let the sinner rejoice, he is invited to pardon; let the Gentile be quickened, he is called to life. For the Son of God, in the fulness of that time which the unsearchable height of Divine Wisdom decreed, assumed human nature to reconcile it with its Author, and conquer the devil, the inventor of death, through that flesh which he had conquered.

In this conflict, which He joined for our sake, Our Lord entered the field of battle with a great and wonderful fairness. Although He was the almighty Lord, He met our bitter enemy not with the strength of His majesty, but with the weakness of our flesh. He brought against him the self-same form as ours; the self-same nature as our nature–but in him, without sin. Not of this Nativity were written the words applied to all other men: Not one is free from defilement, no, not the child whose life on earth is but one day. Into this singular birth passed none of the concupiscences of the flesh, nor followed any consequences of the law of sin. A Virgin of the royal stem of David is chosen, and when she was to become pregnant with the Sacred Child, Who was both God and Man, she conceived Him in her soul before she conceived Him in her body. Lest the stupendous mystery might make her afraid, since she had no knowledge of the Divine plan, she learned by the message of an Angel what was to be done in her by the Holy Ghost. She believed she would be the Mother of God, yet remain a virgin inviolate.

Therefore, dearly beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through His Son in the Holy Ghost, Who for His exceeding charity, wherewith he loved us, hath had mercy on us, and even when we were dead in sins hath quickened us together in Christ, that in Him we might be a new creature and a new handiwork. Therefore, let us put off the old man with his works, and having become sharers in the Sonship of Christ, renounce the deeds of the flesh. Learn, O Christian, how great is your dignity! You have been made a partaker in the divine nature. Scorn to return to your former vileness through an evil way of life. Remember of Whose body you are a member, and Who is its head. Remember that you have been snatched from the power of darkness, and transported into light and the kingdom of God.

_____________________________________

Christmas Eve Prayer
from the Liturgical Year, 1910

O Divine Infant! we, too, must needs join our voices with those of the Angels, and sing with them: Glory be to God! and Peace to men! We cannot restrain our tears at hearing this history of Thy Birth. We have followed Thee in Thy journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem; we have kept close to Mary and Joseph on the whole journey; we have kept sleepless watch during this holy Night, waiting Thy coming. Praise be to Thee, sweetest Jesus, for Thy mercy! and love from all hearts, for Thy tender love of us! Our eyes are riveted on that dear Crib, for our Salvation is there; and there we recognise Thee as the Messias foretold in those sublime Prophecies, which Thy Spouse the Church has been repeating to us, in her solemn prayers of this Night. Thou art the Mighty God — the Prince of Peace — the Spouse of our souls — our Peace — our Saviour — our Bread of Life. And now, what shall we offer thee? A good Will?

Ah! dear Lord! Thou must form it within us; Thou must increase it, if Thou hast already given it; that thus, we may become Thy Brethren by grace, as we already are by the human nature Thou hast assumed. But, O Incarnate Word! this Mystery of Thy becoming Man, works within us a still higher grace: — it makes us, as Thy Apostle tells us, partakers of that divine nature, which is inseparable with Thee in the midst of all Thy humiliations. Thou hast made us less than the Angels, in the scale of creation; but, in Thy Incarnation, Thou hast made us Heirs of God, and Joint-Heirs with Thine own divine Self! Never permit us, through our own weaknesses and sins, to degenerate from this wonderful gift, whereby Thy Incarnation exalted us, and oh! dear Jesus, to what a height! Amen.

Remember the Christeros

Image result for cristeros

These brave, courageous Catholic men are the epitome of Catholic militancy. No greater love is there than to lay down your life in defense of Christ’s Church. Amen.

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/district-mexico-pays-homage-cristero-hero-34475

On November 23, 2017, the District of Mexico of the SSPX commemorated the 90th anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr. Miguel Agustin Pro, a martyred Cristero priest.

The ceremony began fittingly with the recitation of the rosary in the church of the Holy Family, where lie the remains of the courageous Mexican priest who died in 1927 for unfailingly confessing the Catholic Faith that was being attacked in Mexico by the Freemason government of Plutarco Elías Calles.

The faithful then set out on a pilgrimate by foot, reciting a second rosary, to the very place where the priest was martyred 90 years ago.

Upon their arrival at the former police station where Fr. Pro was shot, the priests and faithful recited a third rosary, after the example of the priest and martyr who so loved this prayer.

The saga of the Cristeros saw many courageous Christians lay down their lives to show their complete loyalty to Christ the King, renouncing the vanities of this world and preferring death in their fight against the laws attacking the freedom of the Catholic Church.

Born of a Virgin

God was born of a Virgin. Miracle of miracles yet so many reject this sacred truth.

Damsel of the Faith

It is dogma that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, who remained as such before, during and after the Birth of Christ.  To those who think differently or outright reject this sacred truth, do you not think that God is all powerful and can do as he wishes?  If He can create the world from nothing, do you not think that he can allow a child to born from a virgin in the most miraculous manner?

Here is a beautiful meditation from Pope St. Leo I:

“Therefore, when the time came, dearly beloved, which had been fore-ordained for men’s redemption, there enters these lower parts of the world, the Son of God, descending from His heavenly throne and yet not quitting His Father’s glory, begotten in a new order, by a new nativity. In a new order, because being invisible in His own nature He became visible in ours…

View original post 284 more words

The Epiphany

They are coming to worship him and offer him gifts. Let us do likewise.

Damsel of the Faith

The 12 days of Christmas culminates with the Feast of the Epiphany, the visit of the three wise men.  The gifts of the wise men manifests the divinity and royalty of Christ, even pointing to his death, as well. Christ is truly the newborn King, who is indeed God. Here is a meditation on the Feast of the Epiphany from Fr. Prosper Gueranger:

The Feast of the Epiphany is the continuation of the mystery of Christmas; but it appears on the Calendar of the Church with its own special character. Its very name, which signifies Manifestation, implies that it celebrates the apparition of God to His creatures.

For several centuries, the Nativity of our Lord was kept on this day; and when, in the year 376, the decree of the Holy See obliged all Churches to keep the Nativity on the 25th December, as Rome did–the Sixth of January was…

View original post 1,069 more words

A Saviour has been born, Christ the Lord

img_0004

Tonight is born in the city of David, Christ the Lord, the King of Heaven and the Prince of Peace. He who the world cannot contain because he is God, the Creator of the Universe, was placed in a lowly manager, dependent on the love of two parents.  This is the great humility of our God. He who has the power to vanquish death allowed himself to be born into this world as one of us, making him subject to death, which He endured for our sake. He was born to die. This little Baby had always before his mind, from the first moment of his conception, His mission – to save mankind from the fires of hell. For this was He born and this should be the prime subject of our meditation this Christmas season.

A beautiful sermon from St. Bonaventure:

Our Savior, dearly beloved, is born today; let us rejoice. It is not right to be sad today, the natal day of Life–He Who has dispelled the fear of mortality and brought us to the joy of promised eternity. Let no man be cut off from a share in this rejoicing. The cause of our joy is common to every man, because our Lord, the destoryer of sin and death, Who finds none guiltless, comes to free all. Let the holy exult, he draws near his palm; let the sinner rejoice, he is invited to pardon; let the Gentile be quickened, he is called to life. For the Son of God, in the fulness of that time which the unsearchable height of Divine Wisdom decreed, assumed human nature to reconcile it with its Author, and conquer the devil, the inventor of death, through that flesh which he had conquered.

In this conflict, which He joined for our sake, Our Lord entered the field of battle with a great and wonderful fairness. Although He was the almighty Lord, He met our bitter enemy not with the strength of His majesty, but with the weakness of our flesh. He brought against him the self-same form as ours; the self-same nature as our nature–but in him, without sin. Not of this Nativity were written the words applied to all other men: Not one is free from defilement, no, not the child whose life on earth is but one day. Into this singular birth passed none of the concupiscences of the flesh, nor followed any consequences of the law of sin. A Virgin of the royal stem of David is chosen, and when she was to become pregnant with the Sacred Child, Who was both God and Man, she conceived Him in her soul before she conceived Him in her body. Lest the stupendous mystery might make her afraid, since she had no knowledge of the Divine plan, she learned by the message of an Angel what was to be done in her by the Holy Ghost. She believed she would be the Mother of God, yet remain a virgin inviolate.

Therefore, dearly beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through His Son in the Holy Ghost, Who for His exceeding charity, wherewith he loved us, hath had mercy on us, and even when we were dead in sins hath quickened us together in Christ, that in Him we might be a new creature and a new handiwork. Therefore, let us put off the old man with his works, and having become sharers in the Sonship of Christ, renounce the deeds of the flesh. Learn, O Christian, how great is your dignity! You have been made a partaker in the divine nature. Scorn to return to your former vileness through an evil way of life. Remember of Whose body you are a member, and Who is its head. Remember that you have been snatched from the power of darkness, and transported into light and the kingdom of God.

_____________________________________

Christmas Eve Prayer
from the Liturgical Year, 1910

O Divine Infant! we, too, must needs join our voices with those of the Angels, and sing with them: Glory be to God! and Peace to men! We cannot restrain our tears at hearing this history of Thy Birth. We have followed Thee in Thy journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem; we have kept close to Mary and Joseph on the whole journey; we have kept sleepless watch during this holy Night, waiting Thy coming. Praise be to Thee, sweetest Jesus, for Thy mercy! and love from all hearts, for Thy tender love of us! Our eyes are riveted on that dear Crib, for our Salvation is there; and there we recognise Thee as the Messias foretold in those sublime Prophecies, which Thy Spouse the Church has been repeating to us, in her solemn prayers of this Night. Thou art the Mighty God — the Prince of Peace — the Spouse of our souls — our Peace — our Saviour — our Bread of Life. And now, what shall we offer thee? A good Will?

Ah! dear Lord! Thou must form it within us; Thou must increase it, if Thou hast already given it; that thus, we may become Thy Brethren by grace, as we already are by the human nature Thou hast assumed. But, O Incarnate Word! this Mystery of Thy becoming Man, works within us a still higher grace: — it makes us, as Thy Apostle tells us, partakers of that divine nature, which is inseparable with Thee in the midst of all Thy humiliations. Thou hast made us less than the Angels, in the scale of creation; but, in Thy Incarnation, Thou hast made us Heirs of God, and Joint-Heirs with Thine own divine Self! Never permit us, through our own weaknesses and sins, to degenerate from this wonderful gift, whereby Thy Incarnation exalted us, and oh! dear Jesus, to what a height! Amen.

From Steven & I here at Damsel of the Faith, we wish all of our readers a blessed, holy amd joyous Christmas and Christmas season! Emmanuel has been born! Let us fall down and worship Him, offering Him the gift of our holiness.

-Damsel of the Faith & Knight of Tradition