A Nativity Scene

A Rosary Meditation: The Third Joyful Mystery, The Nativity.

“And she laid him in manger … ” Luke 2:7.

Think about these few simple words, about the nature of Christ, and we’ll try to grasp just a little of what this means. Or can mean.

How did the Babe react to being placed in a manger? We aren’t told, but if we know something of Jesus’ nature, from study or personal experience or from whatever inner or outer source, we can imagine. I think, and this is just my thought, that he was peaceful, calm. The Creator of Heaven and earth, Author of Life, THE Perfect Being deserving of … He’s beyond deserving isn’t he? As though he lacks something and needs someone to supply him with fill-in-the-blank because he’s worthy. He is by nature eternally worthy whether we ever know it or not, and we can’t really give him anything he doesn’t already have. With the exception of a childlike heart, our heart, given by us to him. And here he is placed in a rough hewn box of sorts. But I see him reacting peacefully. Why shouldn’t he? What, really, could ever threaten him? Would he lose his self confidence because he was being treated as less than what he was? Of course not. That sort of reaction would more likely pertain to us, but not to him.

We are told that we must become like little children in order to enter into Heaven. We need to be innocent, joyful, trusting. Which means that we set the wrong kinds of ego and fear aside along with hardheartedness. And we can. With his help. When we’re laid in a manger of rough wood, when life becomes uncomfortable, we remain calm. Because we know he’s there in that “manger” with us. After all, is there any place, any set of circumstances when and where he isn’t with us?

“And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3, Douay-Rheims.

Just a thought … Accepting crosses is a part of our existence as followers of Christ. It takes a real Christan to carry a cross. And it takes a child-like heart to be content with rough hewn mangers.

How many shopping days left till Christmas? … Thursday, July 18



A Rosary Meditation … The Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity. “Mankind is a great, an immense family… This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas.” Pope John XXIII. During World War One, on Christmas Eve, across a line of trenches and barbwire, with one side on one side and the other on the other, a group of soldiers began singing a Christmas hymn. The other side joined in. Back and forth they sang. And an unofficial truce was called. For that night the bombs, the gas, the bullets, stopped. Do we really have to wait for Christmas to give one another the gift of peace when God offered us that same gift in the manger and still offers Him daily in the Mass?How many more shopping days till we catch on?

Today …

St. Bruno of Segni

St. Bruno of Segni was a Benedictine bishop, serving as Vatican librarian and cardinal legate. Born in Asti, Italy, in 1049, Bruno became a Benedictine while still young, and in 1079, Pope St. Gregory VII appointed him bishop of Segni. He left that see to reenter the monastic life, becoming the abbot of Monte Cassino. Bruno’s theological work on the Holy Eucharist set the standard for centuries. He was canonized in 1183. His understanding of the Real Presence no doubt served him well spiritually every day of the year, including Christmas.

Christmas, the Nativity, the Third Joyful Mystery of the Most Holy Rosary … “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Ebenezer Scrooge via Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.

The Whim of Jesus … Monday, July 1

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity. “I made the resolution never to consider whether the things commanded me appeared useful or not…. it is love alone that counts. Forget about whether something is needed or useful; see it (the demand, rule, obligation, etc.) as a whim of Jesus.” St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

Who would have thought that a baby, born into poverty, born under the heel of an oppressor like the Roman Empire, hunted down with murderous intent as soon as it entered into the world, born of a race despised by other races, born in a manger, could or would make any difference in the world? And who would have thought that 2,000 years after the birth the world would still be reeling because of that Baby? Make the resolution not to worry about any of these things. It is Love alone that counts. Forget about whether or not we understand or the world appreciates what happened on that first Christmas. Forget about it not being December 25th today. Just take joy in the fact that God is Love and that through that Baby the Love is shared with you.

Today …

St. Felix of Como

St. Felix of Como

Saint Felix of Como (died c. 390 AD) is venerated as the first bishop of Como, Italy. He was a friend of Saint Ambrose, who praised him for his missionary activity and ordained him a priest in 379. When Saint Bassianus built a church dedicated to the Apostles at Lodi, he consecrated it in the presence of Ambrose and Felix. The name Felix is Latin for happy. And I’m sure our saint was happy. At every Mass he got to hold the Baby.

Consider … ““Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God.” Therefore, according to the Gospel, any citizen can be a good Catholic – that is, side with Jesus Christ and the Pope, and do good to his fellow-men – and at the same time side with Caesar, namely, observe the laws of the land, except when the rulers persecute religion or tyrannize the consciences and minds of citizens.” ~ Saint John Bosco ~

“Want to hold the Baby?” … Thursday, May 9

Altar of Veit Stoss, Left bottom, The Magi hon...

Altar of Veit Stoss, Left bottom, The Magi honor Jesus, St. Mary’s Church, Krakow, Poland.

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity. “And behold, Magi came from the East, and entering they found the Child with Mary His mother.” Matthew 2:1,11. Centuries ago most Christians believed that there were three wise men because there were three gifts mentioned and also because of Psalm 72:10 (71:10 in the Douay Rheims) which says, “The kings of Tharsis and the islands shall offer presents: the kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts:”. Tharsis (or Tarshish), Arabia, and Saba (which I think references the Sabeans and not Ethiopia, but I’m not certain). So, three gifts, three areas, three wise men. Now-a-days theologians dispute this, but, well frankly I still believe it. Why? In some areas the “old-fashioned” theologians had, I think, more on the ball than their modern liberal counterparts. And, no, they’re aren’t all liberals gone overboard, but you know what I mean. So until the Pope tells me different I’ll stick with the three. Anyway, history lesson aside, the wise guys aren’t center stage here, are they? No, it’s the King and the Queen Mother that call out for attention. After all, that’s why the Magi showed up. “The Child was with Mary His mother.” When we look for a newborn we generally find both, don’t we? If we find a baby without a mother its a sad state of affairs. If we find the mother without the child we’re confident that she knows where the baby is, aren’t we? What does the Pope do? He guides us, being lead by the Holy Spirit in a special way that’s part of his Petrine ministry, to God’s Truth. What does the Bishop, the Parish Priest, the Deacon do? They do the same thing, according to their ministry, don’t they? They hold out the Truth to us. Who held out the Truth to the Three Wise Men? Well, who was holding the Truth? Who had Him in their arms? Want to find the God-Man? Want to find the Truth? Want to hold the Baby? Do what the Wise Men did. Look for the Mother and you’ll always find the Child. Its her job, her ministry, to hold out the Baby to us for us to hold next to our hearts. She’s been doing it ever since the Wise Men (all three of ’em 😉 ) showed up and she still is. The question now is: How wise are we?

Today …  Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger

Bl. Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger

Bl. Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger. Blessed Mary Theresa was born Caroline Gerhardinger in Bavaria in1797. Encouraged by her parish priest to become a teacher, she believed strongly that a child’s need for love, safety and food were as important as formal education. “Let us never forget the love of Jesus for children, whom he took upon his lap and blessed,” she said. She founded the School Sisters of Notre Dame. Now she understood the value of a baby, born or unborn. She obviously held Jesus to her heart. Who holds her in His hand now?

From “My Pope” (He was pope when I converted.) …

“But note what is taking place here this morning. While we close the ecumenical council, we are honoring Mary Most Holy, the mother of Christ, and consequently, as we declared on another occasion, the mother of God and our spiritual mother. We are honoring Mary Most Holy, the Immaculate One, therefore innocent, stupendous, perfect. She is the woman, the true woman who is both ideal and real, the creature in whom the image of God is reflected with absolute clarity, without any disturbance, as happens in every other human creature.” (Pope Paul VI, Concluding Address to the Second Vatican Council; On Mary, Immaculate).

Substitute Angels … Monday, February 18

Angel appearing to shepherds for Nativity scen...

Angel appearing to shepherds for Nativity scene in Florida. Figure is painted by crèche artist Bill Egan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Rosary Meditation … The Third Joyful Mystery, the Nativity. “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be to all people.” Luke 2:10. An angel sent by God from Heaven to bring good news to people needing it. In the Old Testament there are several stories about angels from Heaven visiting people, bringing them news, helping them. Much of the time the folks who were being visited didn’t know that the angels were angels. The angels seemed to be people like any others. Have you ever had someone show up out of nowhere, a total stranger, with much-needed help? It’s not that odd an occurrence really. What seems odd to me is that we take for granted that these people are just people. What if? What if they were really angels? It’s not like it’s never happened before. Why might it not happen again? A simple thought, something to keep in mind, something to keep in the back of our mind. If you’re ever in the hospital and a very sympathetic and helpful nurse turns up just when you’re in need and later no one can tell you exactly who she was, well? If you have a flat on the freeway and some guy stops and changes it for you and when you turn to say thank you, my, didn’t he disappear quick? When you’re checking out at the grocery store and you’re a dollar short, that person behind you who smiles, chips in a dollar and says don’t worry about it, what if? And what if there were no more angels? What if all the angels were quarantined in Heaven for whatever reason? What would happen then? Hmmm. Lets see. Are you a nurse? Do you have a tire jack? Have you got an extra dollar to spare? Could you, in a pinch, do an angel a favor and substitute?

Today … St. Charalampias. Martyr of Magnesia, in Asia Minor, with companions. He was a priest taken in the persecution of Emperor Septimius Severus. He was martyred with two soldiers and three women. There are lots of saints that we know very little about. That’s okay, we can catch up on things when we meet them later. But for a minute think about the two nameless soldiers and the three women mentioned here. Any or all of them might have been a great consolation to Charalampias. Any one of them may well have been the help he needed to stand firm in his faith during his martyrdom. They are nameless. We don’t know if they just showed up or whatever. What if? What if they weren’t human after all? What if they were … ???

Its True … “And hospitality do not forget; for by this some, being not aware of it, have entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:2.

Published in: on February 18, 2013 at 6:36 am  Comments Off on Substitute Angels … Monday, February 18  
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