Merry Christmas!

The world may seem cold and dark in many ways this year. It has been colder and darker before. Yet, this is the world that the Incarnate Word has chosen to be born into; with a burning love for humanity, He offers us His eternal love. But how cold is the human heart! And how few want to accept and return the love of the Divine Child. One look at His Face can convert the hardest heart. Let us welcome Him, so that the flames of His love may spread and grow throughout the world.

St. Robert Southwell was a young convert to the Catholic Church. Educated in Italy, he became a Catholic priest at a time of persecution in Protestant England. He travelled secretly to England, and there served the underground Church for six years before being captured, tortured, and held in the Tower of London. While he was imprisoned in the Tower he wrote one of the most beautiful Christmas poems ever written, “The Burning Babe.” His trial took place in 1595, and he was executed by being drawn and quartered. St. Robert Southwell was canonized in 1960 by Pope Paul VI.

The Burning Babe
by St. Robert Southwell, SJ, Martyr

As I in hoary winter's night stood shivering in the snow,
Surpris'd I was with sudden heat which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view what fire was near,
A pretty Babe all burning bright did in the air appear;
Who, scorched with excessive heat, such floods of tears did shed
As though his floods should quench his flames which with his tears were fed.
"Alas!" quoth he, "but newly born, in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is, the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire, and sighs the smoke, the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel Justice layeth on, and Mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought are men's defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood."
With this he vanish'd out of sight and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind that it was Christmas day. 
A Very Blessed Christmas to all! (Illustration for The Burning Babe by Patricia Enk)
 

Merry Christmas!!!

 

“In Thee God will manifest the splendor of His presence, for the whole world to see”~Baruch 4

“Visible before to God alone and not to the world, God made the Word visible so that the world could be saved by seeing Him.  This mind that entered our world was made known as the Son of God.”

–St. Hippolytus


Come, let us adore Him!

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. (Mt. 5:8)

Adoration of the Shepherds – Gerard van Honthorst 1622

O that birth forever blessèd,
When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

 

As those who see light are in the light sharing its brilliance, so those who see God are in God sharing his glory, and the glory gives them life.  To see God is to share in life.” ~St. Ireneaus

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Merry Christmas! May His Face shine upon you and your loved ones, today and always!

Merry Christmas!!!

Come, let us adore Him!

Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. (Mt. 5:8)

Adoration of the Shepherds – Gerard van Honthorst 1622

O that birth forever blessèd,
When the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face,
evermore and evermore!

 

As those who see light are in the light sharing its brilliance, so those who see God are in God sharing his glory, and the glory gives them life.  To see God is to share in life.” ~St. Ireneaus

“In Thee God will manifest the splendor of His presence, for the whole world to see”~Baruch 4

Merry Christmas! May His Face shine upon you and your loved ones, today and always!

We Saw His Glory

Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst, 1622

“And the Word became flesh
and made His dwelling among us,
and we saw His glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

God is pure light, and Jesus is the light of God, “the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness,” which “the darkness has not overcome” (John 1). Jesus reveals God’s glory, the radiance of His truth and love in a human Face.

The hidden face of an unborn baby in the womb.

Why does humanity not see His glory or recognize His Face? We need light to see.  If we are not turned toward the Face of Jesus, who is the Light, we will see only shadows and darkness in this life. If we do not recognize God’s Face, in His Word and in our neighbor, perhaps we need more light. If God’s glory is hidden from us, like the face of a baby in the womb, it does not mean He is not there. He exists. He is present. He loves us, and is waiting for us to return His love–to shine the light of His Face upon us.

After the angels proclaimed that the glory of God had appeared on earth in the Christ Child, the shepherds hastened to see Him. They were enlightened by grace to recognize “the glory of God’s only Son” shining on the Face of the poor, humble babe that lay before them.

Let us pray this Christmas that all those who live in darkness may hasten to Him–so that, by the grace of God, they may seek and find the Face of Jesus. And in turning to Him, they may see a great light: His grace and truth!

“While we too seek other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that He is the real sign, God made flesh; He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God hidden in a human heart, in a human Face.” ~ Pope Benedict XVI 

Merry Christmas!