Christmas, God’s gift to us, soon becomes January, a new year of grace. It is a time to begin anew, to give thanks for Light – the light of Christ, born among us, revealed to all people. Linked with the feast of Epiphany is our special feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, January 4.
From centuries ago and from our own time, words of wisdom and insight abound. We ask Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Vincent de Paul, and Louise de Marillac to walk with us in the radiant light of Christ.
ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON
Christmas day is begun. The day of our dear Redeemer’s birth here…is the day that opened to us the door of everlasting life.
Go in spirit to the Manger…and make your profession of faith at the feet of your Infant saviour – adore the Eternal Word in his silence, his almighty power in his weakness –the God of Heaven in a stable–
Loving you in God I cannot speak any other language – that we may be happy in the ages of Eternity is the fervent New Year wish of your affectionate friend.
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL
The solemnity of Christmas is almost upon us. I ask Our Lord to grant you the grace of entering fully into the love and practice of the virtues resplendent in his holy birth and to be more than ever the life of your life and the unifying bond of your little family whom I embrace tenderly.
LOUISE DE MARILLAC
The Crib is the throne of the Kingdom of Holy Poverty in which I ardently desire to be a subject, since the King of the Poor loved this virtue above all others. He proved this by allowing only the truly poor and simple to recognize him.
I gaze upon you today, most pure Virgin Mother of Grace,….By bringing him [Christ] into the world you became both Mother of God and Mother of the Man who at His birth brought a new law to the world, the law which alone leads to eternal life. You are the Mother of the Law of Grace because you are the Mother of Grace incarnate.
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What the crib confronts us with every Christmas is the challenge to go into new things open, vulnerable, willing and trusting. In the end, those may be the very qualities that separate the happy from the unhappy when life is finally over. (Joan Chittister, OSB, Sparks of Advent Light)
We live always during Advent. We are always waiting for the messiah to come.
The messiah has come, but is not fully manifest.
The messiah is not fully manifest in each of our souls, not fully manifest in humankind as a whole; that is to say, that just as Christ was born according to the flesh in Bethlehem of Judah, so too he is born according to the spirit in each of our souls. (Jean Danielou, The Advent of Salvation)