I will be leaving for home to spend Christmas
with my sister and best friend, Janie,
and will be away from the computer
for a few days. So here is a
and my warmest wishes
Saint Augustine is a great Doctor of the Church, an outstanding follower of Christ, a bishop in Northern Africa, a convert to the faith, and by his own confession, a pagan and great sinner. Reverse the above order of his life and you see the tremendous working of God's grace and mercy in his life.
On Christmas Eve, in the Office of Readings from the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, there is an excerpt from a Christmas sermon by Saint Augustine. I would like to share a short part of that letter as my Christmas message.
"Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man.
You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time.
Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh.
You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for his mercy.
You would never have returned to life, had he not shared your death.
You would have been lost if he had not hastened to your aid. You would have perished, had he not come.
Let us joyfully celebrate the coming of our salvation and redemption.
Let us celebrate the festive day on which he
who is the great and eternal day
came from the great and endless day of eternity
into our own short day of time.
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Ask if this were merited; ask for its reason, for its justification, and see whether you will find any other answer but sheer grace."
The prayer for Christmas Day says:
"God of endless ages, Father of all goodness,
we keep vigil for the dawn of salvation
and the birth of your Son.
With gratitude we recall his humanity,
the life he shared with the sons of men.
May the power of his divinity
help us answer his call to forgiveness and life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord."
A VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS!