24 December 2009

Happy Christ-Mass

Christ is born; glorify Him!
Christ comes from heaven; go to meet Him!
Christ is on earth; be exalted!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
And praise Him with joy, O people,
for He has been glorified!

~ St. Cosmas the Melodist, Nativity Canon, Ode 1

Venite adoremus,
Venite adoremus,
venite adoremus,
~ Adeste Fidelis

Whom have we, Lord, like you?
The Great One who became small,
the Wakeful who slept,
The Pure One who was baptized,
the Living One who died,
The King who abased himself to ensure honor for all.
Blessed is your honor!
It is right that man should acknowledge your divinity,
It is right for heavenly beings to worship your humanity.
The heavenly beings were amazed to see how small you became,
And earthly ones to see how exalted.
~ St. Ephrem the Syrian

E sursum Agnus mittitur
laxare gratis debitum;
omnes pro indulgentia
vocem demus cum lacrimis.

The Lamb descends from heaven above
to pardon sin with freest love:
for such indulgent mercy shewn
with tearful joy our thanks we own.
~ Prudentius, Vox Clara

23 December 2009

Keep Mass in Christmas

Christmas Eve Vigil Mass is one of my favorite services of the year.

I encourage and invite all my readers to celebrate the feast by becoming a manger yourself through reception of the Eucharist.

Make room in your heart's cave for the newborn king!

12 December 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe

I was drawn to this miracle of Our Lady's image not made by hands even before I was Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. I was at the house of the pastor I worked with at an Assembly of God and he had on EWTN (this was in 1994). They were discussing the icon and it's symbolism. Pastor Dan made the comment, "It reminds me of the woman clothed with the sun in Revelation."

My next experience with OLG occured while I was in the hospital for asthma during Lent 2006. Bob & Penny Lord were on EWTN with a program about her and Juan Diego. Hearing the whole story for the first time brought me closer to Mary's visit to America.

In closing, I'll leave you with the Byzantine Catholic Troparion and Kontakion for the feast of the Theotokos of Guadalupe:

When you appeared in the New World, O Theotokos, you fixed your image on Juan Diego's rose laden tilma. All the poor, hungry, and oppressed seek you, Lady of Guadalupe. We gaze upon your miraculous icon and find hope, crying out to your Son concealed in your womb: Hear our plea for justice, O most merciful Lord.

No longer shall the New World lie wounded in useless blood sacrifice, for she who is clothed with the sun has revealed the Son to us. O Mother of the Americas, imprint His Name upon our hearts, just as you wove your image into the cactus cloth. Teach your children to cry out: O Christ God, our hope, glory to you.