My dear friends in Christ Jesus,
This is an amazing time of the year. There are far more secular celebrations, and pagan propaganda based on the celebration of Christmas being grounded in pagan rituals, than Worship of our most Amazing God.
When one ponders the realities of the Universe being Created so that man could, if he chooses to do so; Know that God Exist; in other words: The Universe exist only for mans sake. And still don’t let this reality to effect the practice of there faith.
While there are more than One BILLION Catholics world-wide; half or more of them, for a multitude of personal, self-serving reasons; give only occasional “lip-service” to God as there grateful response for all that He has Done; Does, and will Do for us. And yet; this really is the season of “Joy!”
Half of all self proclaimed Catholics [and one assumes Christians too], voted to reelect Oboma and the Democratic Party Platform that promotes killing babies; wants to redefine “marriage” to include same sex couples; and hijacked America’s Religious Liberty. A PEW Report from a few years ago found that as many as 90% of “catholics” no longer go to Confession even Once a Year, and that a similar number are practicing Contraceptive sex. A Mortal sin. Yet how many people that still attend Mass still go to Communion each week?
Why me; Why now: Why here
? are not even a consideration for most Christians. Yet we may be living in one of the most important times of our Entire Church history? The American Bishops response and our own reactions to the HHS mandates could forever change the practice of our beliefs. NEVER has the Christianity been at greater risk in America, than in the present times. And STILL we are at a most Joyous time of the year.
That GOD; the Creator of everything and everyone would have the humility to “become Incarnate man” in order to REDEEM the entire world as a completely helpless, defenseless tiny baby; reliant on a human mother and a human foster-father is incomprehensible. To than add to this Miracle; the conditions of being born in a cave, among animals; only a small fire for heat; limited water and in abject poverty is something we cannot make sense of. And yet; that was and that is God’s choice for His beloved humanity. God was then in charge; and God REMAINS in charge today. THAT is the reason for our Joy!
Each of us is here at this present time and in our present condition, for a reason. We may or may not comprehend what exactly it is, but we can trust that God is WITH US, and desires that we be fully- united to Him. That is the cause of our Joy!
So regardless of our present circumstances; give THANKS for what we have been given, and for the forth coming opportunities God will make evident to us. The closer we permit ourselves to be united to Christ; the more Christ can and will do for us and those we love.
I mentioned at the beginning that pagans too “love” this time of year. They do so because it affords a real opportunity for Catholic and Christian bashing.
If I were to ask: “when was Christ born?” Most; maybe even all, of us world respond;
“On December 25th.” BUT was that REALLY the date Christ came to earth? None of us were there, but very likely
the answer is NO! So why then do [most] Christians celebrate The Birth of Christ on December 25th?
Here then is the history behind this date. And yes; it was founded on pagan practices; and that was the precise reason for the date selection. READ ON.
“VERY often on Christmas cards a picture of a crib or manger is shown among sprigs and wreaths of holly and stockings of presents – a good reminder to us all of the importance of making sure we leave room for the real meaning of Christmas.
However, when reflecting on the picture of the crib scene I realize how easily I can overlook the enormous significance of what Christians are celebrating.
I get so used to seeing pictures of brightly lit nativity scenes with their clean straw, clean animals, smiling parents and perfect sleeping baby, that I forget the reality of the world into which Jesus was born. I forget the tremendous difficulties which Mary and Joseph would have experienced as a couple because of Jesus’ birth. I forget the awful conditions in which Jesus really came into the world.
Nothing that we ever see depicted on a traditional Christmas card – much of which is still experienced in Palestine/Israel and conflict-torn areas today.
And yet the truth is, as we are told in John’s Gospel, “God so loved the world that he gave his only son”.
During this season we make a special effort of celebrating Jesus’ birth because we are celebrating the truth of God’s love for each and every one of us – love which is shown to us in the person of Jesus Christ. God himself living as one of us, [SO THAT WE COULD DISCOVER GOD; AS A “GOOD GOD”; AND A “LOVING GOD”; AND SO THAT GOD COULD EXPERIENCE FOR HIMSELF, THE “HUMAN CONDITION” AND BECOME EVEN CLOSER TO US; ENCOURAGING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP FOUNDED ON MUTUAL LOVE AND MUTUAL SACRIFIECE…PJM …experiencing life, with all its joys and pains, and ultimately giving himself on the cross.
When we begin to reflect on all of this, then we understand something of why it is important to make space in our lives to celebrate Jesus’ birth. A time to also appreciate and enjoy our meaningful relationships.
As we do so, offer a prayer for those less fortunate than ourselves. Where possible contribute to the many organizations which serve to bring relief to those who lack the basic necessities in life. END QUOTE
“Why do we celebrate
Christmas on December 25?”
“December 25 is the traditional anniversary of the birth of Christ, but most scholars are unsure about the true date for Christ’s birth.
The decision to celebrate Christmas on December 25 was made sometime during the fourth century by church bishops in Rome. They had a specific reason for doing so.
Having turned long ago from worshiping the one true God and creator of all things, many early cultures in the Roman empire had fallen into sun worship. Recognizing their dependence on the sun’s yearly course in the heavens, they held feasts around the winter solstice in December when the days are shortest. As part of their festivals, they built bonfires to give the sun god strength and bring him back to life again. When it became apparent that the days were growing longer, there would be great rejoicing.
The church leaders in Rome decided to celebrate Christ’s birth during the winter solstice in an attempt to Christianize these popular pagan celebrations
. For the most part their efforts failed to make the people conform, and the heathen festivities continued. Today we find ourselves left with a bizarre marriage of pagan and Christian elements that characterizes our modern celebration of Christmas.
Regardless of the pagan background of so many December traditions, and whether or not Jesus was born on December 25th, our goal is still to turn the eyes of all men upon the true Creator and Christ of Christmas.
The light of the world has come. And the Christmas season and celebration presents the church with a wonderful opportunity to preach the good news–that men can be made righteous and have peace with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ” END Quote
“CHRISTMAS: Why December 25?
For the church’s first three centuries, Christmas wasn’t in December—or on the calendar at all. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2000/dec08.html
For the church’s first three centuries, Christmas wasn’t in December—or on the calendar at all. By: Elesha Coffman
“It’s very tough for us North Americans to imagine Mary and Joseph trudging to Bethlehem in anything but, as Christina Rosetti memorably described it, “the bleak mid-winter,” surrounded by “snow on snow on snow.” To us, Christmas and December are inseparable. But for the first three centuries of Christianity, Christmas wasn’t in December—or on the calendar anywhere.
If observed at all, the celebration of Christ’s birth was usually lumped in with Epiphany (January 6), [still done in some countries…PJM]
one of the church’s earliest established feasts. Some church leaders even opposed the idea of a birth celebration. Origen (c.185-c.254) preached that it would be wrong to honor Christ in the same way Pharaoh and Herod were honored. Birthdays were for pagan gods.
Not all of Origen’s contemporaries agreed that Christ’s birthday shouldn’t be celebrated, and some began to speculate on the date (actual records were apparently long lost). Clement of Alexandria (c.150-c.215) favored May 20 but noted that others had argued for April 18, April 19, and May 28. Hippolytus (c.170-c.236) championed January 2. November 17, November 20, and March 25 all had backers as well. A Latin treatise written around 243 pegged March 21, because that was believed to be the date on which God created the sun. Polycarp (c.69-c.155) had followed the same line of reasoning to conclude that Christ’s birth and baptism most likely occurred on Wednesday, because the sun was created on the fourth day.
The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273,
reflects a convergence of Origen’s concern about pagan gods and the church’s identification of God’s son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman “birth of the unconquered sun”), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian “Sun of Righteousness” whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity, church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival.
Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25 in 336, after Emperor Constantine had declared Christianity
[Catholism was the ONLY from of Christianity at that time] the empire’s favored religion.
Eastern churches, however, held on to January 6 as the date for Christ’s birth and his baptism. Most easterners eventually adopted December 25, celebrating Christ’s birth on the earlier date and his baptism on the latter, but the Armenian church celebrates his birth on January 6. Incidentally, the Western church does celebrate Epiphany on January 6, but as the arrival date of the Magi rather than as the date of Christ’s baptism.
Another wrinkle was added in the sixteenth century when Pope Gregory devised a new calendar, which was unevenly adopted. The Eastern Orthodox and some Protestants retained the Julian calendar, which meant they celebrated Christmas 13 days later than their Gregorian counterparts. Most—but not all—of the Christian world now agrees on the Gregorian calendar and the December 25 date.
The pagan origins of the Christmas date, as well as pagan origins for many Christmas customs (gift-giving and merrymaking from Roman Saturnalia; greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year; Yule logs and various foods from Teutonic feasts), have always fueled arguments against the holiday. “It’s just paganism wrapped with a Christian bow,” naysayers argue
. But while kowtowing to worldliness must always be a concern for Christians, the church has generally viewed efforts to reshape culture—including holidays—positively. As a theologian asserted in 320, “We hold this day holy, not like the pagans because of the birth of the sun, but because of him who made it.”
Elesha can be reached at
My gratitude is extended to each of for allowing me the opportunity to share our Catholic Faith. Together we can discover what Christ; OUR GOD, expects of us, and be granted all of the graces we need to merit HIS WAY, and to follow the advise of His Mother AND OURS:
“DO WHAT EVER HE TELLS YOU.” Amen. [John 2:5]
Know that my Christmas Mass will be offered up for YOU and your loved ones,
Continued Blessings in Christ,
Have a Holy, Happy, Healthy