Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Visit From the Christ Child

by Père Robért
for Maria, Ida, Isabel, Maxine, Crozet & Audrey

Twas the morning of Christmas, when all through the house
All the family was frantic, including my spouse;
For each one of them had one thing only in mind,
To examine the presents St. Nick left behind.

The boxes and wrapping and ribbons and toys
Were strewn on the floor, and the volume of noise
Increased as our children began a big fight
Over who got the video games, who got the bike.

I looked at my watch and I said, slightly nervous,
“Let’s get ready for church, so we won’t miss the service.”
The children protested, “We don’t want to pray:
We’ve just got our presents, and we want to play!”

It dawned on me then that we had gone astray,
In confusing the purpose of this special day;
Our presents were many and very high-priced
But something was missing — that something was Christ!
I said, “Put the gifts down and let’s gather together,
And I’ll tell you a tale of the greatest gift ever.

“A savior was promised when Adam first sinned,
And the hopes of the world upon Jesus were pinned.
Abraham begat Isaac, who Jacob begat,

And through David the line went to Joseph, whereat
This carpenter married a maiden with child,
Who yet was a virgin, in no way defiled.

“Saying ‘Hail, full of Grace,’ an archangel appeared
To Mary the Blessed, among women revered:
The Lord willed she would bear — through the Spirit — a son.
Said Mary to Gabriel, ‘God’s will be done.’

“Now Caesar commanded a tax would be paid,
And all would go home while the census was made;
Thus Joseph and Mary did leave Galilee
For the city of David to pay this new fee.

“Mary’s time had arrived, but the inn had no room,
So she laid in a manger the fruit of her womb;
And both Joseph and Mary admired as He napped
The Light of the World in his swaddling clothes wrapped.

“Three wise men from the East had come looking for news
Of the birth of the Savior, the King of the Jews;
They carried great gifts as they followed a star –
Gold, frankincense, myrrh, which they’d brought from afar.

“As the shepherds watched over their flocks on that night,
The glory of God shone upon them quite bright,
And an angel explained the intent of the birth,
Saying, ‘Glory to God and His peace to the earth.’

“For this was the Messiah whom prophets foretold,
A good shepherd to bring his sheep back to the fold;
He was God become man, He would die on the cross,
He would rise from the dead to restore Adam’s loss.

“Santa Claus, Christmas presents, a brightly lit pine,
Candy canes and spiked eggnog are all very fine;
Let’s have fun celebrating, but leave not a doubt
That Christ is what Christmas is really about!”

The children right then put an end to the noise,
They dressed quickly for church, put away all their toys;
For they knew Jesus loved them and said they were glad
That He’d died for their sins, and to save their dear Dad.

Help us put Christ back in Christmas by circulating this verse widely.
Permission to publish or post is hereby granted, with attribution to F.R. Duplantier.

Get a A Visit from the Christ Child banner for your blog or website!

Thanks Evann

Arlington Christmas Wreath Project

You must have seen the email with the picture of the wreaths.

H/T to Sue

December 20 - O Key of David

Another Christmas Carol Fun Break

I found this one at Simply Catholic's blog. I loved #11.

The ones I knew I have put in bold.

Guess the Original Christmas Song Titles

01. Felicitations for the Season

02. Sterling Carillon

03. Circuitous gambol of Festive Conifer

04.Awesome hibernal acreage

05.Altitudinous celestials acclaim

06. Senior flattened by cloven aviator

07. Covert observation of matriarch’s scandalous osculation

08. Petite birthplace

09. Sprightly venerable benefactor

10.Allegiants proceed

11. Enquiry of mutual auditory perception

12. Hushed darkness

13. Noel - envisage blanched

14. Inaugural Yule

15. Royal Eastern trio

16.Planetary jubilance

17.Theurgical cool guy

18. Matchless season

19. Full-grown enumeration of holiday hopes

20. Commencement of Yuletide complexion

O Antiphons - 4th Day

Day 4
O KEY OF DAVID, and Scepter of the House of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: Come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.

Isaiah 22:22. Symbols: key; broken chains.

Women for Faith and Family Christmas Novena

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fine Art Friday Extra - Life of Christ in Art

H/T to Padre Steve

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

Jesus the Reason

Jesus is Better than Santa
Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh;
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year;
JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies;
JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited;
JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa;
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap;
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"

JESUS knew our name before we did. Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too. He knows our history and future and He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly;
JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO;
JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry;"
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.

Santa's little helpers make toys;

JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but;
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree;
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas.
Jesus is still the reason for the season.
May the Lord Bless and Watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas 2008
Shared by my friend June via email.

December 19th - O Root of Jesse

Outside of Time

God, who is outside of time has entered into it to take us out of it. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is applied to all peoples of all time.

Beautiful new song by Justin Stroh.

Fine Art Friday - Norman Rockwell's Christmas

North Western Station Chicago
North Western Station, Chicago
Post cover, December 23, 1944

Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim
Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit
Post cover, December 15, 1934

Post Illustration, December 25, 1948
Question: Is that Mr. Rockwell smoking a pipe?

Santa 2
Christmas, 1926
Post cover, December 4, 1926

Extra Good Boys and Girls
Post cover, December 16, 1939

Christmas Rush
After the Christmas Rush.
Post cover, December 27, 1947

Santa on a Subway
Santa on a Subway Train
Post cover, December 28, 1940

Post cover, December 29, 1956

This theme came about because my husband is reading Christmas with Norman Rockwell by John Kirk that his dad gave him. Norman Rockwell has been featured here previously. I know he is a favorite of some of you as he is mine. He has done so many Christmas works which I think you will all enjoy.

O Antiphons - 3rd Day

Day 3
O ROOT OF JESSE, who stands for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: Come to deliver us, and tarry not.

Isaiah 11:1-3., 10 Symbol: vine or plant in flower, especially a rose.

Women for Faith and Family - Christmas Novena

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Traditional Way of Setting Up the Nativity

Photo taken by Esther

Lisa has a very informative post about setting up the Creche. I found this interesting because this year our family will not be getting a Christmas tree. We will do the more traditional Peruvian custom on focusing the attention on the Nativity.

Traditinal Manner of Setting Up the Creche

The Traditional Manner of Setting Up the Creche

The Christmas Crib, or Creche, affords an effective and visible means of teaching the facts of Our Lord's Incarnation to all members of the parish, children and adults. Just as the Stations of the Cross is a pilgrimage in spirit along the way of Sorrows to Our Lord's Crucifixion, so the Christmas Crib is intended to foster the pious desire of the faithful to venerate His Lowly Birthplace.

On December 8th,
the day on which we celebrate the beginning of the spotless life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the framework of the Crib is set up. This framework symbolizes the Virgin Mary's part in the Incarnation, for she was the "framework," or instrument, chosen by God, for the "god-bearer," the mother of Our Lord's humanity. The framework of the Crib (the stable) is covered by a Virgin Blue Veil upon which has been placed the double Davidic triangle, or star, and before the Crib a blue vigil light burns. All of this is very significant and teaches great lessons.

The Blue Veil is a symbol of the Messianic prophecies relating to the person of Our Lord. "Therefore, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; behold a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His Name Immanuel." (Isaiah vii, 14)

The Davidic star is a familiar emblem of the Trinity and is a combination of two equal triangles, one with the apex upward and the other with the apex downward, thus forming a six-pointed star enclosing a hexagon, which is the symbol of the six attributes of God. The star is also a symbol of creation, expressing the fact that it was the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, who created the heavens and the earth. The Davidic star also expresses the truth that Our Lord not only is God, but that He also sprung from the Royal Seed of the House of David, insofar as His Blessed Mother and the lineage of His Human Body are concerned. (St. Mat. i, 1-18)

The blue vigil light symbolizes the dim light of faith which burned in the hearts of the faithful all through the centuries preceding Our Lord's Birth. It is also symbolic of His Second Advent when "He shall come again, in glory, to judge both the living and the dead, whose Kingdom shall have no end."

On December 18th,
the day of expectation, the animals are placed in the stable, These too are symbolic of Our Lord's earthly mission and foreshadow certain events pertaining to the Ministry of the Incarnate Son of God. The lamb prefigures the words of St. John the Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." The ox, the beast of burden, prefigures Our Lords' own words "Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." The foal of an ass foreshadows Our Lord's Royal entry into Jerusalem as foreseen by the prophet Zechariah: "Behold thy King cometh unto thee, lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass." (Zech. ix, 9; St. Matt. xxi, 5)

On December 24th,
the Eve of the Christ Mass, the Holy Family and the lowly shepherds, the first to be brought the "good tidings of great joy" about the Saviour's birth, are placed in the stable and the blue veil is removed, to show that the Messianic prophecies are fulfilled.

On January 6th,
the Feast of the Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles, the shepherds are replaced by the Wise Men, or Magi. The Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the visitation of the learned men from the East (probably Persia) who, by following the new star, which they knew meant the birth of a King, found the Christ Child. These Kings and their gifts are also symbolical -- the gold, of tribute to a King; the incense of adoration and prayer to God; the myrrh, of recognition as a mortal, a man of sorrows. These learned men would not have worshipped a mere child; even though He might have been of the lineage of earthly royalty. It was their conviction that Jesus was the destined God-Man incarnate, veiled in humanity.

Our Lord was nearly two years old by the time the Wise Men found Him and we read in St. Matthew ii, 11 that "when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His Mother, and fell down and worshipped Him." This explains why the Wise Men are not placed with the Nativity group until twelve days later, to denote the length of time which elapsed before they finally found the Child Jesus. To this day, the reigning Sovereign of England pays a twelfth-day oblation at the Offertory in the Mass, in gold, frankincense and myrrh, to commemorate this visit of the Wise Men to pay tribute to the King of Kings.

On January 13th,
the Octave of the Ephiphany, the Crib is removed, marking the close of the events surrounding the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Let us become little with the Little One, that we may grow in stature with Him.

"Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man."

For Homeschooled Graduates - Homeschool Alumni

H/T Maureen Wittmann

Then please join Homeschool Alumni

Send a Christmas Letter to a Pro-Life Heroine in Jail for Silently Witnessing to Life

Christmas Blinky
LifeSiteNews Article
Pro-life heroine Linda Gibbons will spend another Christmas in jail this year for her refusal to abide by an injunction which forbids even silent prayerful pro-life witness on the public sidewalk in front of the Scott abortion mill in Toronto.

Rosemary Connell of Show the Truth Canada informed today that Gibbons appreciates very much the letters and cards she receives from pro-lifers all over the world. She assures them of her prayers as well.

Accepting Nominations - Catholic New Media and Innovation Awards

The following is from Love to Be Catholic founder Tom Hall

At long last, I am moving forward with an informal award to recognize
excellence in Catholic New Media and innovation. This is my small effort to
bring attention to the good work of many talented people who unselfishly
find unique and original ways to evangelize the Catholic faith.

I set up a special email account to accept suggestions:

There are no specific award categories. I prefer to keep the nomination
field broad and defined only as new media and innovation. It will be fun to
see what suggestions people send to us.

Here is a link to my blog post about the awards:
Click here

If you will kindly promote this idea in your colleagues, friends, and blog
readers, I will be very grateful.

Peace be with you this joyous season,

Tom Hall
More on the Catholic New Media and Innovation Awards

Announcement for Families Who Have Children With Down Syndrome - MARCH FOR LIFE 2009

March for Life
From Leticia of Causa Nostrae Laetitiae
Please join us in publicizing this

For immediate release: For more information:
November 30, 2008 Eileen Haupt: 802-899-4882
Leticia Velasquez: 860-556-9116


Leticia Velasquez and Eileen Haupt, two mothers who each have a daughter with Down syndrome are organizing a group of families who have children with Down syndrome to march together in the 2009 March for Life in Washington, D.C. We are calling our endeavor KIDS (Keep Infants with Down Syndrome) to raise awareness about the 90% abortion rate of babies with Down syndrome and to challenge the misinformation that often leads mothers who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome to seek an abortion.

WHEN: Thursday, January 22, 2009, 11:30 a.m. to Noon
WHERE: National Right to Life Committee, 512 10th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
WHAT: Meeting place for families who have children with Down syndrome (and other prenatally diagnosed conditions) to walk together in the 2009 March for Life

For more information please contact Eileen Haupt or Leticia Velasquez.

Eileen Haupt Leticia Velasquez
5 Old Pump Road 227 Cemetery Road
Jericho, VT 05465 Canterbury, CT 06331
(802) 899-4882 (860) 556-9116

Leticia Velasquez is a mother of three daughters and lives in Connecticut. Her 6-year-old daughter, Christina, has Down syndrome. Leticia has a background in Journalism. She is the creator of several blogs and writes for several publications, including the National Catholic Register and Faith & Family Magazine. Her recent article published in the NCR entitled “Down, Hero Dad, and Palin” reported on the recent passage of the “Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act,” and the influence that Sarah Palin and the late Tom Vander Woude had on the success of the bill becoming law.

Eileen Haupt is the mother of two daughters and lives in Vermont. After her daughter Sadie was born with Down syndrome almost 10 years ago, she was drawn into the pro-life movement when she learned about the high incidence of aborting babies with Down syndrome. She is on the board of the Vermont Right to Life Committee and is the Alternate Delegate from Vermont to the board of the National Right to Life Committee. She ran as a candidate for State Representative in her district in Vermont in the 2008 elections.

Fr. Z's 20 Tips For Making a Good Confession


Fr. Z's Tips for Making a Good Confession

The following are really good advice for those of you still not comfortable with going to confession:

We should…
1) ...examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) ...wait our turn in line patiently;
3) ...come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) ...speak distinctly but never so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) ...state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
6) ...confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) ...listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) ...confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) ...carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) ...use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) ...never be afraid to say something "embarrassing"... just say it;
12) ...never worry that the priest thinks we are jerks…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) ...never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;
14) ...never confess "tendencies" or "struggles"... just sins;
15) ...never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) ...memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) ...answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) ...ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) ...keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
20) ...remember that priests must go to confession too … they know what we are going through.

Name that Tune - Christimas Carols

Wise Men Still Seek Him

From Faith and Country

I'm going to bold the ones I know.
Name That Christmas Song 2
I did this back in December of 2006, but I'm in the mood to do it again this year. I will post a lines of a Christmas songs and see who can guess them right (or as many as they can right). Post this on your blog so more people can enjoy the fun.
There isn't any prize other than feeling cool about yourself.
1. The cherry tree bowed low down, Bowed low down to the ground
2. Myrrh to be strewn about his bed, Incense in clouds about his head
3. In fields where they lay keeping their sheep On a cold winter's night that was so deep
4. The little Lord Jesus Laid down His sweet head
5. Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light
6. The Virgin Mary and Christ were there, On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
7. In Bethlehem, in Israel, This blessed Babe was born
8. Bring me flesh and bring me wine Bring me pine logs hither
9. Round yon Virgin Mother and Child Holy Infant so tender and mild
10. His men of might, in his own sight, All children young, to slay
11. This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and angels sing
12. True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal, Lo, He shuns not the Virgin’s womb
13. From angels bending near the earth, To touch their harps of gold
14. And the mountains in reply Echoing their joyous strains
15. Isaiah 'twas foretold it, The rose I have in mind
16. Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king, "Do you know what I know?"
17. Prayer and praising, all men raising, Worship Him, God on High
18. Fall on your knees Oh hear the angel voices
19. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove
20. And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here

Bonus: Secular Songs

21. It's Christmas time in the city. Ring-a-ling, hear them ring
22. In the meadow we can build a snowman, Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
23. O what fun it is to ride In a one-horse open sleigh
24. I don't know if there'll be snow, but have a cup of cheer
25. What a bright time, it's the right time To rock the night away

Tips for Making Altar Linens

Altar Linenspicture source

Once upon a time I posted about altar linens. It has become one of my most popular posts. I still get email questions on where they can learn to make altar linens.

I believe the following will be helpful to those folks looking to make altar linens.

Fr. Z's tips on making altar linens

My previous posts on this subject:

Altar Linens
Online Handbook for Altar Guild

December 18 - O Adonai

O Antiphons - 2nd Day

2nd Day
O LORD AND RULER of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come, and redeem us with outstretched arm.

Exodus 3:2, 20:1. Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets.
Women for Faith and Family - Christmas Novena

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Holiday Inn"

Holiday Inn

December 17 - O Wisdom

Humor Break - Diary of a Colorado Snow Shoveler

Just because my DH's family lives there :-)
December 8 - 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our tea and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

December 9 - We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

December 12 - The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

December 14 - Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way.

December 15 - 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska, after all.

December 16 - Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt sooooo bad. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

December 17 - Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

December 20 - Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the horrid stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Stupid snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

December 22 - Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to stop and help my wife. By the time I got back out there again I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think he is lying.

December 23 - Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What? Is she nuts!!!?? Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.

December 24 - 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the idiot who drives that snowplow I'll drag him through the snow by his hair and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for that rotten snowplow.

December 25 - Merry -GROAN- Christmas! 20 more inches of the white slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's lost her mind. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

December 26 - Still snowed in. Why on earth did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

December 27 - Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze, plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me 1,400 to replace all my pipes.

December 28 - Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE WOMAN I MARRIED is driving me crazy!!!

December 29 - 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

December 30 - Roof caved in. I beat up the snowplow driver! He is now suing me for a million dollars for the beating I gave him !!! The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

December 31 - I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

January 8 - Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. But wonder why I am tied to the bed?

Thanks to Lloyd for sharing.

Guardian of Honor

TY Military
Guardian of Honor

‘Twas the “Night Before Christmas”
They lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of
Plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney
With presents to give,
And to see just who
In this home did live.

I looked all about,
A strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents,
Not even a tree.

No stocking by mantle,
Just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures
Of far distant lands.

With medals and badges,
Awards of all kinds,
A sober thought
Came through my mind.

For this house was different.
It was dark and dreary.
I found the home of a Soldier,
Once I could see clearly.

The Soldier lay sleeping --
Silent, alone –
Curled up on the floor
In this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle,
The room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured
A United States Soldier.

Was this the hero
Of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho,
The floor for a bed?

I realized the families
That I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these Soldiers
Who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world,
The children would play,
And grownups would celebrate
A bright Christmas Day.

They all enjoyed freedom
Each month of the year,
Because of the Soldiers,
Like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder
How many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve
In a land far from home.

The very thought
Brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees
And started to cry.

The Soldier awakened,
and I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry,
This life is my choice;

I fight for freedom,
I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God,
My Country, my Corps.”

The Soldier rolled over
And drifted to sleep,
I couldn’t control it,
I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours,
So silent and still,
And we both shivered
From the cold night’s chill.

I didn’t want to leave
On that cold, dark night,
This Guardian of Honor
so willing to fight.

Then the Soldier rolled over,
With a voice soft and pure,
“Carry on Santa –
It’s Christmas Day –
All is Secure.”

One look at my watch,
And I knew he was right.
“Merry Christmas, My Friend,
And to all a Good Night.”

This poem was written by a Marine
stationed in Okinawa Japan.

Mahalo to Cathy Reilly for sharing this via email.

Act Of Adoration And Thanksgiving Before The Blessed Sacrament

Eucharistic Jesus
I ADORE Thee, Eternal Father, and I give Thee thanks for the infinite love, with which for my redemption Thou didst deign to send Thine only-begotten Son to be the food of my soul.

I offer Thee all the acts of adoration and thanksgiving that are offered to Thee by the Angels and Saints in Heaven and by the just of Earth. I praise Thee, I love Thee, and I thank Thee, with all the praises, love and thanksgiving wherewith Thine own Son praises Thee, loves Thee and thanks Thee. And I pray Thee to grant that He may be known, loved, honored, thanked and worthily received by all men in this Most Blessed Sacrament.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

I adore Thee, Eternal Son, and I thank Thee for the infinite love which caused Thee to become incarnate for me, to be born in a stable, to be brought up in the carpenter's shop, and to be willing to endure hunger, thirst, cold, fatigue, hardships, contempt, persecution, scourges, thorns, nails and death on the hard wood of the Cross.

I thank Thee, in company with Thy whole Church, militant and triumphant, for the infinite love with which Thou didst institute the Blessed Sacrament to be the food of my soul. I adore Thee in all the consecrated Hosts throughout the whole world. I give Thee thanks also on behalf of those who know Thee not and who fail to thank Thee. Would that I could lay down my life to cause Thee to be known, loved and honored by all men in this Sacrament of love, and to put and end to all the irreverences and sacrileges that are committed against Thee!

I love Thee, my Jesus, and I desire to love Thee and receive Thee with all the love, purity and affection of Thy most holy Mother, and with the perfect love of Thine own Sacred Heart. Ah, most loving Spouse of my soul, come to me in Thy Sacrament and bring forth in me all those fruits for the sake of which Thou comest to us, and grant that I may die rather than ever receive Thee Unworthily. Amen.


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