Rejoice

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Love Came Down At Christmas

“Worship we our Jesus… Through our hearts may His love shine.”

Merry Christmas to all! May your hearts and homes be filled with love and peace.

It’s Christmas Day

The Huron Carol, also known as ‘Twas In the Moon of Wintertime, is Canada’s oldest Christmas carol, with original lyrics in the language of the Huron/Wendat peoples by Father Jean de Brebeuf, SJ.  The carol is widely interpreted; here are three beautiful versions.  Merry Christmas from Canada! 

Mary the Dawn

Mary the Dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the Gate, Christ the Heav’nly Way!
Mary the Root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the Grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the Wheat-sheaf, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the Rose-Tree, Christ the Rose Blood-red!
Mary the Font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the Chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the Temple, Christ the Temple’s Lord;
Mary the Shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the Beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the Mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the Mother, Christ the Mother’s Son.
Both ever blest while endless ages run.

I was just mentioning to Deacon Jon Kelly in a recent comment that I had come across a hymn entitled, Mary the Dawn. Afterwards, I found a beautiful version of it at ECS Publishing.

It’s a pdf file with a “Listen” button in the upper left-hand corner. I hope you are able to open it/hear it.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Truly unfortunate are we poor children of Eve; for, guilty before God of her fault, and condemned to the same penalty, we have to wander about in this valley of tears as exiles from our country, and to weep over our many afflictions of body and soul.  But blessed is he who, in the midst of these sorrows, often turns to the comfortress of the world, to the refuge of the unfortunate, to the great Mother of God, and devoutly calls upon her and invokes her!

mary-2The above passage is taken from St. Alphonsus Liguori’s, “Hail Holy Queen”, from Chapter IV, entitled, “Mary, Our Help”. St. Alphonsus Liguori speaks of Mary’s compassion as our Mother of Mercy, and how we need never lack confidence in asking for anything we need: “Nor should the multitude of our sins diminish our confidence that Mary will grant our petitions when we cast ourselves at her feet. She is the Mother of mercy…”  He explains why our prayers to Mary are often heard and answered more quickly than our prayers to Jesus. St. Alphonsus quotes St. Anselm on this point: “…when we have recourse to this divine Mother, not only we may be sure of her protection, but that often we shall be heard more quickly, and be thus preserved, if we have recourse to Mary and call on her holy name, than we should be if we called on the name of Jesus our Saviour…”  What is the reasoning behind this statement of St. Anselm, upheld by St. Alphonsus Liguori? St. Anselm’s explanation continues: “…that to Jesus, as a judge, it belongs also to punish; but mercy alone belongs to the Blessed Virgin as a patroness” and “We often obtain more promptly what we ask by calling on the name of Mary than by invoking that of Jesus. Her Son is lord and judge of all, and discerns the merits of each one; and therefore if He does not immediately grant the prayers of all, He is just. When, however, the Mother’s name is invoked, though the merits of the suppliant are not such as to deserve that his prayer should be granted, those of the Mother supply that he may receive.”

In this chapter we are also reminded of the experiences/revelations of several saints on this matter. “Many things,” says Nicephorus, “are asked from God, and are not granted: they are asked from Mary, and are obtained…because God has thus decreed to honor His Mother.” Also, from St. Bridget’s revelations, we have the words that Jesus said to His Mother: “Thou shalt present Me with no petition that shall be refused. My Mother, ask what thou wilt, for never will I refuse thee anything…” Lastly, “The same thing was revealed to St. Gertrude, when she heard our divine Redeemer assure His Mother that in His omnipotence He granted her power to show mercy to sinners who invoke her in whatever manner she might please.”

Father Bob Williston (Redemptorist) singing, “Mother of Perpetual Help”

Joy Is Like The Rain

I saw rain drops on my window,
Joy is like the rain.
Laughter runs across my pane,
Slips away and comes again.
Joy is like the rain.

I saw clouds upon a mountain,
Joy is like a cloud.
Sometimes silver, sometimes gray,
Always sun not far away.
Joy is like a cloud.

I saw Christ in wind and thunder,
Joy is tried by storm.
Christ asleep within my boat,
Whipped by wind, yet still afloat,
Joy is tried by storm.

I saw rain drops on a river,
Joy is like the rain,
Bit by bit the river grows,
’til all at once it overflows.
Joy is like the rain.

(By: Sr. Miriam Therese Winter, 1966)

The Crucifixion

crucifixion2

Excerpt from, “The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life”, by Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (pgs. 188-189):

What must have been the value of her sufferings at the foot of the Cross, granted the understanding she then had of the mystery of the Redemption!

In the spiritual light which then flooded her soul, Mary saw that all souls are called to sing the glory of God. Every soul is called to be as it were a ray of the divinity, a spiritual ray of knowledge and love, for our minds are made to know God and our wills to love Him. But though the heavens tell God’s glory unfailingly, thousands of souls turn from their Creator….

Mary saw all that evil, all those wounds in souls, just as we see the evils and wounds of bodies. Her fulness of grace had given her an immense capacity to suffer from the greatest of evils, sin. She suffered as much as she loved God and souls: God offended by sin and souls whom it rendered worthy of eternal damnation. Most of all did Mary see the crime of deicide prepared in hearts and brought to execution: she saw the terrible paroxysm of hatred of Him Who is the Light and the Author of salvation.

Pieta