My dear friends in Christ Jesus,
Greetings! Joy to the World, for God is with Us!
This is an amazing time of the year. There are far more secular celebrations, amid pagan propaganda based on the celebration of Christmas being grounded in pagan rituals, than Worship of our most Amazing God.
Say ye among the Gentiles, the Lord hath reigned. For he hath corrected the world, which shall not be moved: he will judge the people with justice.
When one ponders the realities and Natural Laws of the Universe being Created so that man alone could, if he chooses to do so; know that God truly exist because it exist only for mans sake; and still does not permit this reality to effect the practice of their faith, and beliefs, we can easily see how truly Blessed we are.
Be not afraid Gen. 45: 5
While there are more than One BILLION Catholics world-wide; about half of them, for a multitude of personal, self-serving reasons; give only occasional “lip-service” to God as there ungrateful response for all that He has Done; Does, and will Do for us. And yet; this really is the season of Great “Joy!”
For I am the Lord your God: be holy because I am holy Lev. 11:44
About half of all self proclaimed Catholics [and one assumes Christians too], voted to reelect Oboma and the Democratic Party Platform that promotes killing babies; desires 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 who still attend Mass continue to go to Communion each week? Do they not understand who, and what they are receiving? Because we DO! We are truly Blessed!
I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.
Why me; Why now: Why here
? are not even a consideration for many Christians. Yet we may be living in one of the most important time-periods 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 in America and even world wide. NEVER has Christianity been at greater risk in America, than in the present times. And STILL we have cause to be filled with Joy.
May the Lord hear thee in the day of tribulation: may the name of the God of Jacob protect thee.
“Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.”
… Pope St. Felix III
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, tiny defenseless 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! And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
Luke 2: 2-14 “
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!“
Each of us is here at this present time and in our present condition, for a reason. We may or may not comprehend fully 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! God will not fail us; IF, we do not fail Him.
So regardless of our present circumstances; give THANKS for all that 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 [semi-legitimate] 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. Please
“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.” End Quote
Elesha can be reached at
This is another site you can check out that seems worthy of the effort to do so.
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 and follow HIS WAY. The surest way to heaven is by accepting and living the advise of Mary; 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
JOYOUS Christmas! 2012
9 things you need to know about Christmas
by Jimmy Akin Saturday, December 22, 2012 5:35 PM Comments
This is the actual Grotto of the Nativity under the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Why is there so much confusion today about Christmas and what it means?
There’s a lot of confusion about Christmas.
Is it a day? Is it a season? Is it based on a pagan holiday? What is its real meaning?
Here are 9 things you should know about Christmas .
1. What is “the real meaning of Christmas”?
Although many voices in pop culture suggest that the true meaning of Christmas is being kind to each other, or being with our families, or something like that, the real meaning of the day–and the season it begins–is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:
525 Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family. Simple shepherds were the first witnesses to this event. In this poverty heaven’s glory was made manifest. The Church never tires of singing the glory of this night:
The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternal
and the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.
The angels and shepherds praise him
and the magi advance with the star,
For you are born for us,
Little Child, God eternal!
2. Christmas is not based on a pagan holiday.
No matter how many times you hear Sheldon Cooper (or anyone else) say Christmas is based on a pagan holiday (whether Saturnalia, Sol Invictus, or anything else), we simply have no evidence of this.
If you read the writings of the Church Fathers, you do not find those who assign Christmas to December 25th saying things like, “Let’s put Jesus’ birthday here so we can subvert a pagan holiday.” (Not that subverting pagan holidays is a bad thing.) They simply don’t do that.
The ones who say Jesus was born on December 25th do so because that is when they think he was born.
In his book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, Pope Benedict comments:
“The claim used to be made that December 25 developed in opposition to the Mithras myth, or as a Christian response to the cult of the unconquered sun promoted by Roman emperors in the third century in their efforts to establish a new imperial religion. However, these old theories can no longer be sustained” (pp., 107-108).
3. Christmas is the second oldest Christian annual Christian celebration.
The Church’s liturgical celebration of Christmas is discussed in a document called the
According to the Universal Norms:
32. After the annual celebration of the Paschal Mystery [that is, Easter], the Church has no more ancient custom than celebrating the memorial of the Nativity of the Lord and of his first manifestations, and this takes place in Christmas Time.
4. Christmas is not one day long. It also is not twelve days long.
We tend to think of Christmas as being just December 25th, but the Christmas season lasts longer than that.
Many think of the “twelve days of Christmas,” but the Christmas season is actually variable in length, depending on how soon a Sunday occurs after January 6th.
Here is the official rule for when it begins and ends:
33. Christmas Time runs from First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Nativity of the Lord up to and including the Sunday after Epiphany or after 6 January.
This year (2012-2013), Christmas Time will run until
January 13th (the Sunday after January 6).
5. What Christmas Masses are celebrated? And does there have to be a “midnight Mass”?
There is no mandated Mass at midnight, so don’t get mad at your parish if they have it at a different time.
Here is what the Universal Norms say about how the Masses are supposed to work:
34. The Vigil Mass of the Nativity is used on the evening of 24 December, either before or after First Vespers (Evening Prayer I).
On the day of the Nativity of the Lord, following ancient roman tradition, Mass may be celebrated three times, that is, in the night, at dawn and during the day.
6. Christmas has its own “octave.”
Embedded within the Christmas season is an “octave”–a period of eight days–that begins on Christmas Day itself. You could think of it as a season within a season.
Here’s how the days of the octave are structured:
35. The nativity of the lord has its own octave, arranged thus:
a. sunday within the octave or, if there is no sunday, 30 december, is the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph;
b. 26 december is the feast of Saint Stephen, the first Martyr;
c. 27 december is the feast of Saint John, Apostle and evangelist;
d. 28 december is the feast of the Holy Innocents;
e. 29, 30, and 31 December are days within the octave;
f. 1 January, the octave day of the Nativity of the Lord, is the solemnity of Mary, the holy Mother of God, and also the commemoration of the conferral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
7. The Sundays of Christmas are also special.
The Sundays of Christmas Time have special significance as well. According to the Universal Norms:
36. The Sunday falli
ng between 2 January and 5 January is the second Sunday after the Nativity.
37. The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated on 6 January, unless, where it is not observed as a holyday of obligation, it has been assigned to the sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January (cf. no. 7).
38. The Sunday falling after 6 January is the feast of the Baptism of the Lord
8. What is the “Epiphany” of the Lord?
The word “epiphany” means “manifestation” (display, revealing). The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:
528 The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviour of the world.
The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee.
In the magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation.
The magi’s coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations.
Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament.
The Epiphany shows that “the full number of the nations” now takes its “place in the family of the patriarchs”, and acquires Israelitica dignitas (is made “worthy of the heritage of Israel”).
9. Why is the Baptism of Jesus significant?
The Catechism explains:
The baptism of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God’s suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.
Already he is anticipating the “baptism” of his bloody death.
Already he is coming to “fulfil all righteousness”, that is, he is submitting himself entirely to his Father’s will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins.
The Father’s voice responds to the Son’s acceptance, proclaiming his entire delight in his Son.
The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness from his conception comes to “rest on him”.
Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. At his baptism “the heavens were opened” – the heavens that Adam’s sin had closed – and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to the new creation.