Before she knew it, it was Christmastime, And she wasn't able to save a dime. She felt so bad that she had no tree, For all her son's friends to see. On Christmas Eve, they slept together; She promised her son, she'd be there forever.
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He asked her if Santa was coming tonight. She whispered no, with tears in sight. Her son would sulk, it wasn't fair; She hated to see him in despair. She wanted to give her son some joy, Oh, how she wished she had a toy. The mother got to her knees to pray , Asking the Lord to hear her say.
She asked for help to return a smile, To the face of her little child. On Christmas morning, the boy was screaming; She saw his eyes were wide and gleaming. At the door were games, toys, even a bike, And a card that said, "For the tyke.
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With a great big smile and eyes so bright, He kissed his mom as he held her tight. She learned that a charity heard of her plight, And frantically scrambled through the night. The mother got to her knees to pray, Thanking the Lord for hearing her say. She thanked the Lord for returning a smile, To the face of her little child. Share Flipboard Email. Cultivating Prayer as a Way of Life. Mary Fairchild is a full-time Christian minister, writer, and editor of two Christian anthologies, including "Stories of Cavalry.
Updated January 03, Consider praying one of these original prayers on Christmas Day:. We pray for joy in our hearts, hope in our God, love to forgive, and peace upon the earth. We pray for the forgiveness of sinners and abundant life in Christ. Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your love and power. John Paul II, in his Angelus message of December 19, , explained that Christmas is not simply the remembrance of the Event that took place years ago when, according to the Gospel, the power of God took on the frailty of a baby.
It is really about a living reality that is repeated every year in the heart of believers. Last Days of Advent St. It is not just about commemorating the historical event, which occurred some 2, years ago in a little village of Judea. To predispose our mind to welcome the Lord who, as we say in the Creed, one day will come to judge the living and the dead, we must learn to recognize him as present in the events of daily life.
Therefore, Advent is, so to speak, an intense training that directs us decisively toward him who already came, who will come, and who comes continuously. The Pope today presented St. Joseph, the adoptive father of Jesus, as a model of recollection. Silence "is so lacking in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favorable to recollection and listening to the voice of God," Benedict XVI said. He suggested that the faithful establish in these days "a kind of spiritual dialogue with St.
Joseph so that he helps us live to the fullest this mystery of faith. Joseph," dedicated the apostolic exhortation "Redemptoris Custos" Custodian of the Redeemer to the adoptive father of Jesus. Joseph," observed Benedict XVI. Such a silence was "permeated with the contemplation of the mystery of God, in an attitude of total availability to the divine will," Benedict XVI said.
Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. In another place we read: Magnify the Lord with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us.
Christ is the image of God, and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted. Wreathed in Flesh Wendy M. John Paul II.
In general, the tree is decorated and Christmas gifts are placed under it. The message of the Christmas tree, therefore, is that life is "ever green" if one gives: not so much material things, but of oneself: in friendship and sincere affection, and fraternal help and forgiveness, in shared time and reciprocal listening.
Such a St. As you can see, the possibilities are almost unlimited for these St.
Nicholas shoe gifts. Nicholas, patron of shoppers and gift-seekers, and make Christmas this year fun, creative and love-filled. Advent calls believers to become aware of this truth and to act accordingly. It rings out as a salutary appeal in the days, weeks and months that repeat: Awaken! Remember that God comes! Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today, now! He is a Father who never stops thinking of us and, in the extreme respect of our freedom, desires to meet us and visit us; he wants to come, to dwell among us, to stay with us.
God comes to save us. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis 15,1: PG 33, The Advent Season lives the whole of this polarity. We can communicate this joy simply: with a smile, a kind gesture, a little help, forgiveness. And the joy we give will certainly come back to us. Liturgical Press, In other words, the incarnation is the starting point of our divinization.
We are thus not passive bystanders at the incarnation.
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The incarnation radically transforms the history of the world and the personal history of each of us. Because of it, each of us must measure up to God's plan and play his proper role in it. We must admit, however, that the injection of these elements, especially at a time when both the liturgy and the knowledge of Scripture were in decline, has turned Christmas, for many, into the feast of tender piety; midnight Mass is the most important thing to these Christians, and the feast has no further influence on their lives.
This new life consists in our sharing the divine nature. Here again, the Church in her liturgy has been guided by the theology of the Fathers. In the patristic reading for the Office of Readings on Christmas, St. The liturgy links the birth of Christ with a renovation , or renewal, with our generation , or birth, and with a novitas , or newness of life, as opposed to a vetustas , or decrepitude the state of one who is worn, decayed, old, and feeble. The whole of creation benefits from the re-creation that is the fruit of Christ's suffering and resurrection and that is already implicitly contained in his birth.
The whole of creation, and not man alone, experiences the regenerative power of the incarnation. The world was of course already consecrated to a degree, since God was the one who had made it, but the presence of the Word within the cosmos restores its dignity and gives it the possibility of rebuilding itself with the elements already at its disposal. Every prayer begins with silent wonder before it turns to words.
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Our first response to God is dumbstruck awe at who he is and what he has done for us. Christmas celebrates the dawn of the Light of the World. The powers of darkness are overcome by his coming to share our life. The long reign of sin is ended and grace has been poured out upon the earth.
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The Sun of Justice has arisen, and evil is vanquished. Perhaps the hardest thing to remember about Christmas is this. The incarnation is an on-going process of salvation, while the nativity is the once-for-all-historical event of Bethlehem. We celebrate the stupendous fact of the incarnation, God entering our world so thoroughly that nothing has been the same since.
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And God continues to take flesh in our midst, in the men and women and children who form his body today. In moments of discouragement, defeat or even despair, there are always certain things to cling to. Little things, usually: remembered laughter, the face of a sleeping child, a tree in the wind — in fact, any reminder of something deeply felt or dearly loved. The Whisper of Christmas Joe E. Pennel, Jr. His nativity began to be celebrated on Dec.
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