The Lord wishes to come as our Redeemer on Christmas night, and for this, the Advent
season, now beginning, is to prepare us. He wants to free our soul from the foes that press it from every side, from enemies who think they can already rejoice at our defeat. Although we may often have looked up to some vain thing, considering its attainment our life's ambition, there has always come a time when we realized the nothingness of it all, realized that God alone can be our ideal, our goal. Only when we take cognizance of His ways and walk accordingly, can we find true happiness. God alone can guard the beauty and nobility of our soul against its every enemy. At the beginning of the liturgical year our soul strives, therefore, to elevate itself, definitely and decisively, to Him who by His incarnation becomes its God and who wishes to be intimately united with it in Holy
Translation of the Hymn En Clara Vox Redarguit
Behold, a clear penetrating voice reveals the falsity of darksome things:
Let dreams be banished afar: Jesus shines forth from Heaven
These words (clara vox) are probably an allusion to the great preacher of penance, St. John The Baptist, who said of himself: Ego vox clamantis in deserto: dirigite viam Domini, sicut dixit Isaias propheta (John 1:23; Is. 40:3)
Let the slothful soul now rise, no longer remaining prostrate on the
ground: a New Star now shines forth to take away everything harmful.
Christ was the star that was to rise out of Jacob (Num. 23:17), and take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
Behold, the Lamb is sent to us, to pay our debt gratuitously: together,
let us all with tears pray for pardon.
In the Scriptures, the lamb is a most common symbol of Our Lord (Is. 53:7, Jer. 11:19, John 1:29).
That, when for the second time, He comes resplendent and girdles the world with fear,
He may not punish us according to our deserts, but may
He then lovingly protect us.
Power, honor, praise and glory to God the Father, with the Son and the
Holy Comforter, for ever and ever. Amen
The heart of the Blessed Virgin, the handmaiden of the Lord, was fertile soil, moistened by the dew of heaven. Soon, she will present us with the most beautiful flowerlet, the ripest and most luscious fruit which has ever graced the face of the earth, a fruit so precious, that mankind, generation after generation, will never weary of calling out to her: "Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus!"
And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered.
The Joys of Divine Advent.
I come, Jesus says, to bring fire to the earth.
The Savior comes to each of us in proportion to the earnestness of our longing for Him.
According to an ancient story which dates back to the beginning of the sixth century, entitled The Passion of Andrew, these are the words which he cried out on the occasion of his martyrdom, as he was being brought to the place of execution, and sighted the cross at some distance:
Hail, O Cross, inaugurated by the Body of Christ and adorned with his limbs as though they were precious pearls. Before the Lord mounted you, you inspired an earthly fear. Now, instead, endowed with heavenly love, you are accepted as a gift. Believers know of the great joy that you possess, and of the multitude of gifts you have prepared. I come to you, therefore, confident and joyful, so that you too may receive me, exultant, as a disciple of the One who was hung upon you.... O blessed Cross, clothed in the majesty and beauty of the Lord's limbs!... Take me, carry me far from men, and restore me to my Teacher, so that, through you, the One who redeemed me by you, may receive me. Hail,
O Cross; yes, hail indeed!
St. Andrew Christmas Novena
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)
Imprimatur + MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York, New York, February 6, 1897
Isaiah Writes of Christ’s Birth
Of all the Prophets, Isaias has the most distinctly, and explicitly, foretold
Beginning of the Book of the Prophet Isaias (Ch. i):
The vision of Isaias, the son of Amos, which he saw concerning Juda and Jerusalem, in the days of Ozias, Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda. Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken: I have brought up children, and exalted them: but they have despised me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood. Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a wicked seed, ungracious children. they have forsaken the Lord, they have blasphemed the holy One of Israel, they are gone away backwards. For what shall I strike you any more, you that increase transgression? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad. From the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein; wounds and bruises, and swelling sores; they are not bound up, nor dressed, nor fomented with oil.
Now we are waiting, waiting, waiting... which for certain 5 year olds is an eternity. This morning's conversation with Pippin went along the lines of "I can't wait for tonight! I get to go to Midnight Mass and serve!"