Tuesday, 25 December 2012
I want to say Merry Christmas to all the heroes:
for the grandparents, who have passed down the Faith in the families;
for the grandparents who pray hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament for their families;
for the dads who sacrifice hours to be with the kids;
for the dads who sacrifice plum careers to put family first;
for the moms who do millions of unsung things for the family;
for the moms who stay at home and choose a lower standard of living to home school the kids;
for the kids who obey and honour their parents;
for the kids who love their siblings more than themselves;
for the single parents, who, through no fault of their own, must be both dad and mom;
for the priests, who work so hard in the holidays, taking on extra confession times and Masses;
for the priests who do not see their families until after Christmas and who sometimes have no place to go;
for the singles, who are good, practicing even holy Catholics, who are lonely, looking for good Catholic mates, that St. Joseph will hear their prayers today;
for pro-life workers and counsellors, for your love and care and prayers and hours of vigils outside;
for the seminarians, who are entering, studying, knowing they are in the age of the martyrs;
for our military, from America and England on the front lines;
for those who are chronically ill and never complain;
for the prophets, who are not appreciated, and sometimes maligned for speaking the Truth;
for my fellow Catholics across the world suffering for their faith.
Be thankful, today, that you can drive or walk to Mass, or take the tube to hear fantastic music, or watch a Nativity Play. Be grateful that you live in a country where Jesus is proclaimed as Lord and Saviour without your family being threatened with death, or your employment ended.
Be thankful that the Babe in the manger reaches out to you at Mass today and that you can receive Christ under the humble species of bread and wine, now His Body and Blood.
Be grateful that you can spend time openly with your families, friends and relatives and not needing a locked gate at the door of your church.
Be grateful for freedom of religion to write, read, study your religion.
Be thankful, always, that the bells can ring out on Christmas morning.
Pray for your brothers and sisters in Nigeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Mali, Indonesia, Pakistan, and many other places where Christ suffers through His people.
For some, the cold, like the white moon,
Calls for romance and sleepers' dreams
For some, the long, dark nights hide sorrow
And the shame of loneliness.
So, too, the crying Child chose the cold
And dark of a winter's night to come
Leaving the celestial timelessness for time,
The company of Love for danger and fear
So, Joseph struggled with Revelation's Plan
and stoked the small fire for Heaven's Queen
Embraced the mystery waiting beyond hope
For the next humiliation, making room for
Angels, shepherds, kings in one space
Containing all creation and her Bridegroom.........
A newborn sleeps in Bethlehem's stable
cold and tired from the trial of birth
A young mother does what every mother does
and worships the Child, but with a difference
The Mother is not every woman and the Child
not every man, but The Man, perfect, God.
For long moments the Mother watches and wonders
at this Creator Who has become her Son,
She alone understands the Triune God Who
lives with her and in her and now in her arms
She remembers the prophets, the songs of David,
her ancestor of psalms and sings a song of love,
to the sleeping Babe. How many years, she
wonders, does she have to love Him like this
alone, quiet, in the solitude between animals and
shepherds staring at the miracle in the sky.
How many years does she have, she wonders,
to protect Him from the cold and rejection
of His Own People? Not long...not long.