UNBORN WORD of the day

December 23, 2007, 1:42 am
Filed under: Advent, Christmas


Under the Old Covenant God made His promises to the people of Israel. Then they waited. The prophets gave inspired prophecies. The people of Israel waited. Even in our own lives, we pray and wait for answers to our prayers. Promises, prophecies, prayers all lead us to the Messiah, to the Savior.

The Church’s Liturgical Year is a marvelous cycle of anticipation, celebration and reflection, focused on the life of Christ yet sweeping us along with that Life, through His many experiences. Today we wait for the humble birth of that baby Divine. The world is dedicated to distracting us, the devil is intent on minimalizing Christmas so that we celebrate it with mere token gestures that will hollow and weaken within seconds or minutes of these dutiful acknowledgments.

How should we wait then? Now is the time to intensify our prayer. The 270 days of that hallowed pregnancy have almost run their course. The redemptive pregnancy is about to break into earthly Revelation. In those days, Mary and Joseph were anticipating eagerly and praying with heightened frequency. This is the pattern for the Christian. Advent, like pregnancy, is about waiting on the Lord and praying. If the waiting gets more intense, so too the praying!

Surely we are at that point now. Soon, Joseph and Mary (and the Unborn Child within her) will be turned away from the inn at Bethlehem, experiencing rejection like many unborn children today. Tension is mounting for Unborn Jesus (and unborn children today). Why must human society reject this trinity of strangers in need, sending them off to the house of the beasts; a darkened cave stable?

For our part, we can welcome them into our hearts. Waiting is transformed by praying into welcoming. We know what to do.



God has modeled our beginnings on the beginnings of His Son
December 20, 2007, 10:46 pm
Filed under: Advent, Christmas






God has modeled our beginnings on the beginnings of His Son; and the tiny embryo … is infinitely precious in the mind of God, for such was once His Christ in the womb of Mary….



From all eternity the pattern of development of the embryonic Christ had been chosen as the pattern of development for all the sons of men. The Spirit was the architect of the flesh of Christ and is now the architect of the biological building which has its tender foundation on the mother’s placenta….

Over the waters of the amnion hovers the Spirit of God as once He hovered over the waters of the world in the primeval dawn of its creation. The love of God, the Spirit, breathes order … overshadowing with His wings the exquisite geometry of its growth.

Whole regiments of cells are marching at the whispered command of the Spirit; cells which are unconscious of the functions they will enjoy….

So the building progresses; so the windows of the senses are built; so the pattern of the embryonic Christ is followed. For the Spirit is the architect of His own Temple….

The Father creates. The Son is the Model. The Spirit is the Architect.

…. The unborn hands are clasped by the hands of the embryonic Christ.

At term the infant will have eyes like the eyes of the infant Christ, senses like the senses of Christ; ears, nose, the same humanity, the same reflexes.



From Neuroses and Sacraments by Alan Keenan, O.F.M.
Published by Sheed & Ward, 1950


THE HUMILITY OF JESUS – He emptied Himself….
December 19, 2007, 12:48 am
Filed under: Advent, Christmas


As Jesus nears Bethlehem we can contemplate His life within Mary’s womb. Pride was the great sin of our first parents – but right at the beginning, in the womb, Jesus shows us the way of humility.

“We cannot contemplate this stage of Our Lord s life without being struck first of all by the humility and self-abasement of it, by the way in which in some sense He annihilated Himself that He might do His Father’s Will. St. Paul says : “He emptied Himself…. being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 11.7) . He stripped Himself, robbed Himself of all that He possessed: Semetipsum exinanivit.

We know that Mary, His created Home, was chaste and pure, that no breath of sin had ever touched her, that the Holy Spirit Himself had overshadowed her and had undertaken the preparation and the adornment of the earthly Tabernacle of the Word ; but pure and holy though she was, Mary was only a creature and He was the Creator. He was God and she was one of the human race. His place was on the highest throne of Heaven and yet “He abhorred not the Virgin s womb” but there lived hidden from the sight of all, like any other infant and yet wholly unlike, because He had full possession of His faculties and intelligence.

In the manger He will be seen, and so will be loved, pitied and worshiped ; there will be many consolations which will go far to lessen and soften His humiliations, but here, He is alone, hidden ; His very existence not even suspected. He has annihilated Him self, made Himself nothing. He could have taken our nature, had He so wished, without all these humiliations ; why then did He despise not the Virgin’s womb?

Because this is to be His principle all through His life, He will love “unto the end”. He will leave nothing undone that He could possibly do. He came to do His Father’s Will and He will do it thoroughly. He will bear all the humiliations because He wants to be my Model and to teach me that there is only one way of learning humility.”

Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christi


December 18, 2007, 12:22 am
Filed under: Advent, Christmas


Imagine you are a scoundrel. C’mon…we are all scoundrels sometimes, even if just for a few minutes at a time.

Well anyway, imagine that there was a scoundrel who lived in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. A scoundrel who had a conscience…and his conscience bothered him a lot. This winter he was particularly nasty. One night an angel appeared to him in a dream and said to him “Go out to Bethlehem tomorrow night to the fields where the sheep graze and someone will speak to you there. They will direct you to a cave and God will meet you there.”

The next night he fearfully does as the angel commanded him, not sure if he would even live another day. He was terrified of meeting God face to face. The hours go by and he distracts himself making small talk with the local shepherds. It gets colder. Suddenly:

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!’” (Luke 2:9-14)

They hurry towards the caves and find one aglow with soft light. They gather ‘round the entrance to the cave, the scoundrel hanging back in the shadows. No one is speaking. The scoundrel gets up his nerve and quietly moves forward into the light. He sees a man half kneeling, half crouching forward, and beside him a woman who is kneeling in prayer. ‘Where is God and where is the baby?’ he wonders. He moves closer, and suddenly he sees the baby lying there in the manger. He is given an inspiration; that God and the baby are One! The baby turns His head slightly and looks up at the scoundrel. Then in the depths of his soul the scoundrel hears the words: “Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace.”

Most of the words spoken that Silent Night were spoken in the depths of souls.


Say Merry Christmas! Not Happy Holidays
December 14, 2007, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Christmas


Happy Holidays:Merry Christmas!

In recent years many organizations have pointed out that different chain stores have banned the words Merry Christmas and instead have replaced them with the bland and ‘inoffensive?’ Happy Holidays. My mother-in-law, Mrs. Mary Peate sent us another letter – she has noticed that this is a pattern in her local paper too. Whenever they can they use the words Happy Holidays to replace Merry Christmas. She wants to start a movement , “Let’s all say Merry Christmas – not Happy Holidays”. Here’s what Mary wrote:

Let’s all Rally Round the wassail bowl and raise our cups in a Christmas salute to those hard-working pressured types at the Burlington Free Press who write the headlines in that paper. Lets toast them for their earnest, dedicated, and always successful efforts to avoid using the word Christmas, even when the story is about Christmas.

You can see the fruits of their labors in the first section of the December 3rd edition. On the Front page we read: Pomerleau Holiday Party Celebrates Families. I bet the invitation issued by Mr. Pomerleau called it a Christmas Party. I understand that Mr. & Mrs. Claus were at the party too. I have no doubt they responded to the invitation with ‘we would be delighted to come to your Christmas Party Mr. Pomerleau’.

On the front page of Section B we see the heading; Colchester Celebrates Holiday Season With Song. Reading that I thought, “Bet the songs they sang were Christmas songs and carols. Especially since the caption below the picture states, ‘Dozens of people turn out for the annual Christmas tree lighting and caroling at the Colchester meeting house afterward’.

Since when has Christmas become a dirty word? Was it when the campaign began a few years back when people were urged to say, ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas’? If so it must have been one individual who started it all, in that case I intend to take it on myself to start a campaign to bring back Merry Christmas. Even the stores we go to to buy our Christmas presents wish us Happy Holidays. Do those words convey the same warmth as do Merry Christmas called out cheerily as people have been doing for decade after decade. Why change a good thing? I intend to be a pest about this business this year.

So, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours. I hope you have a lovely time; stay in a good frame of mind; visit the crèche; say a prayer; sing Happy Birthday to Jesus; show off your pipes singing a Christmas Carol.

Thank whoever gives you a gift sincerely, enthusiastically and gratefully. Just think of what went into the process it had to take to find its way from the gifters hand to your hand: Earning the funds to pay for it; deciding what to buy; going out and getting it; wrapping it; and delivering it to you. This year being a tough one for everyone, a little gratitude would be all the more welcome.

And you kids with a Christmas tree in your living room, thank your mom and dad for all the hard work, time, and talent they put into making Christmas day a good one that you’ll remember and maybe will wax nostalgically about when you’re an adult. Don’t let those so-called politically correct freaks spoil your fun or your Christmas. Have a Merry one!


Mary Peate


the Grinch is truly stealing Christmas – one school at a time
November 28, 2007, 12:05 am
Filed under: Christmas


It seems that the Grinch is truly stealing Christmas – one school at a time – Here are a few examples:

District prohibits Christmas colors

‘Scrooge’ school bans children giving Christmas cards

Another school censoring Christmas?

And this week when my mother-in-law, Mrs. Mary Peate, read this in her own paper in Vermont: Naughty or nice? She decided enough was enough!

Here is the mock letter she sent to her local paper purporting to be from a school board chairman and addressed to Mary and Joseph:

Dear Mary and Joseph,

We regret to have to inform you that your son has been expelled from school. Someone has decided that He should not show His face or darken our doors again. Great concern has been expressed that songs sung about Him might promote the novel and somewhat quaint notion of peace on earth, good will towards men and a warm generous feeling sometimes referred to as the Christmas spirit. Oh dear, we can’t have any of that.

It is permissible, however, for latent Valley girls to utter, when quite surprised an “O my g_d!” in schools; and in the streets while walking to school and in shops when buying Christmas (oops!) presents for their teachers.

It’s just policy!

It all started when some ‘correct’ person came up with the politically correct observation that it wasn’t quite nice or polite to keep referring to Christmas in this season since we don’t celebrate Hanukkah, Ramadan, and Kwanzaa that much. Therefore don’t mention it at all. To heck with tradition who needs it?

Secularly yours

The Chairman of the School Board

P.S. As chairman I haven’t had much time to deal with your son’s school problems having been busy with all the lawsuits and investigations resulting from the guns that children have been shooting in school since your son was dismissed (by some weird coincidence).

I also want to thank all the parents for their dumb support for each new philosophy we introduce to the school system. We’re grateful for their monetary donations and sheep-like acquiescence to any crazy scheme we think up. “Just lay it out on the table” I tell the board, the parents will buy anything. If there is any fuss I’ll call my attorney. I’m assuming that this year the schools will stay open and there will be no Christmas holiday. Won’t bother your son though, will it?  Ha Ha Ha!