Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Spirit

We strive for perfection, we don't usually achieve it at Christmas

The Turkey is overcooked and burnt
The potatoes are like bullets
Uncle Fred gets drunk
Mum has just had a minor row with her new daughter-in-law,
they are both tight lipped - she has just announced she is a veggie!
Granny doesn't like her presents
Gran-Pa is annoyed with her and has just kicked the cat
The dog knocked over the Christmas tree
There is a power-cut
Dad has put too much brandy on the pudding, its catches the curtains alight
Auntie Molly broke her dentures on a mince pie
Great Uncle Bob shouldn't have eaten the sprouts
The children all eat too many sweets, so they are either sick or hyper
The neighbours are having a row
etc, etc, etc

This is the Spirit of Christmas and Jesus wants to be part of it, to become one with it all. in all the nonsense of it and with all the imperfection of most people's Christmas. It is never going to be as perfect as we want it to be. Human beings are not perfect, there are always flaws, always something going wrong.

In the muck and filth of a Bethlehem stable He is Emmanuel, 'God with us', He wants to be amongst us, that is all. He doesn't make the stable perfect, there is no tinsel, the smell and stench is there before, during and after his birth. It is as it is, the best they can find but far from perfect. There is no tinsel. The angels sing away in the fields. The shepherds come, and they aren't CRB checked, some are downright shady, so are the neighbours. God doesn't change the stable, he simply comes to be present.

Actually Christmas, the real one is ghastly, no preparations, the midwife a stranger, no family around. It happens amongst strangers.
Jesus' message is "Come to me ..." He wants to be with us, we are called to choose, either we gather with him and learn to love Him and come into an ever closer union with Him or we are deaf to his call and remain outside of presence.

The choice given to us is either to say "Yes" to Him or remain strangers.


Pablo the Mexican said...

Hard hitting post.

Feliz Navidad, Padre.



Fr Ray,
A Blessed,happy and peaceful Christmas to you and to all your readers!

God Bless,


gemoftheocean said...

Parboil the potatoes for a few minutes (or zap them in the microwave for 4) and then put them in with the turkey about 35 minutes before the turkey is done, and for heaven's sake get some foil for the top of that turkey for the last half hour. Send the kids over to the neighbor's to bother, as they've probably been annoying all year. They deserve each other. [The kids and the neighbors.] As regards the vegetarian member, throw a tofu burger at her, it's all she deserves - ma ain't running a restaurant. Grandma needs to be glad she wasn't stuck in a home somewhere, and next year send the men out in the backyard to deep fry a turkey, because God knows, liquor, men with fire and deep fryers are such a winning combination. Maybe the vegetarian can take them down to the emergency room. Sprouts shouldn't have been served in the first place, and Aunt Molly's teeth would have probably broken on custard anyway - she never brushes them. The cat probably needed a good kick anyway, as it has undoubtedly tried to kill all the family members by darting under their feet while they are at the top of the stairs trying to descend. And next year just GIVE the dog tinsel to eat right away and he won't knock the tree over trying to get at it. If you are lucky, the vegetarian daughter in law can drop of the menfolk at the emergency room and the dog at the emergency vet on the same trip.

Problems SOLVED!!!!

My own private bet about the details of the Nativity have the Innkeeper's wife as the midwife. I doubt if Mary pulled the Baby out herself, Kardashian style.

[Merry Christmas.]

Genty said...

Food for thought. I ponder, as I look at the Crib, whether I would have opened the door to the Holy Family when they sought shelter.
It leads me to wonder whether my heart and soul are open fully to Christ or whether the door is only just ajar.
That's what your posts do, Father. They make me stop and think.
I wish you a happy, holy and joyous Christmas.

Richard Collins said...

Thanks Father - a merry and holy Feast to you.

Pablo the Mexican said...

Christ did not travel through the birth canal.

The Holy Mother was conceived without sin, therefore, no mid-wife.

To claim Christ needed help in being born, is like saying someone came by and helped Him roll away the stone at His resurrection.

We need Catholic catechism to have Catholic thought, Traditional Catholic catechism, which is far different than Modernist catechism.


Fr Ray Blake said...


What you claim is opinion not dogma.

The midwife, Susanna in medieval Mystery Plays is a very important character, for indeed she testifies to the Holy Mother's virginity, before, during and after.

She is part of the Apocryphal and Iconic tradition of east and west.

momangelica said...

"Christ did not travel through the birth canal".
Thank you for that. Is is obvious to some but many don't get it, so refreshing to encounter this kind of Faith which is so rarely seen - sadly. Everything is brought down to human level which leads to the unraveling of Faith and the culprits are usually RE teachers who do not even accept Mary's virginity

gemoftheocean said...

Good grief. So I guess Jesus Christ just popped out of Mary's belly button. Jesus Christ coming through the birth canal WOULD NOT AFFECT MARY'S VIRGINITY AT ALL.

One can only lose one's virginity by having SEX. S.E.X. Mary did not have sex. Lack of hymen (you do know, Pablo, since you seem to know everything) that some women are born without one? It does not make her a non-virgin.

Spare me from rampant ignorance that passes for wisdom amongst the SSPX types.

Pablo the Mexican said...

"....Spare me from rampant ignorance that passes for wisdom amongst the SSPX types..."

Once again:

I am not a member of the SSPX.

My blogs and websites have much SSPX material as I cannot find Catholic catechisms and sermons in the Novus Ordo.

I do not like clown Masses, or Freemason Masses, or gay Masses, and so on.

If I comment on things Catholic, it comes from my pre Vatican II catechism.

We were taught Christ did not cause pain to the Holy Mother, as she was without Original Sin, and He appeared without the normal childbirth most women go through.

I am fortunate to have heard these sermons and catechisms from Priests that knew how to keep women in their place.

There is much rage in the Modern Woman.

Her soul knows she has surrendered to Satan, but she just cannot help herself.

Pray for the Holy Father.


Pablo the Mexican said...

From the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas:

6. Our Lord was born of Mary without opening her virginal womb. Therefore, Mary had no suffering, no pains or distress, in giving birth to her divine Son.


For the edification of souls.


Fr Ray Blake said...

The doctrine is that she did not suffer from the pain of childbirth.
The dogma is that she did not share in the curse laid on Eve at the Fall, how it happened is not defined.

The tradition is that she remained "a virgin", in every sense, not merely "spiritually, some of the Fathers said he passed through the Virgin's womb, as he passed into the upper room. How, has not been defined, there is only opinion.

gemoftheocean said...

Pablo -- DO you REALLY want to go there with the scientific knowledge of Thomas Aquinas? He also thought that a soul wasn't present in a fetus until "quickening." i.e. the baby could be felt to be moving in the womb. Thomas Aquinas knew as much of fetal development and women's anatomy as the average retarded 7 year old knows today. No offense to retarded 7 year olds -- but they couldn't possibly know then what we know now. [PS - the earth revolves around our sun too.]

There's "tradition" with a small "t" and this is one of them about Him magically passing through her stomach or whatever. If that was going to happen the Holy Spirit may as well have zapped the Infant down to earth instead of making Mary go through 9 months of labor. HE WAS LIKE US IN ALL THINGS but sin and the way He was conceived. I rather suspect if Jesus was born in any way other than through the normal birth canal it would have been mentioned. If her becoming pregnant via the Holy Spirit was mentioned - one would think this amazing phenomenon would also have been mentioned. The thought that lack of hymen automatically makes someone a non-version is peasant thinking - or sheer ignorance. Thomas had an excuse. I bet Jesus had to go to the bathroom too and had night emissions like all men.

The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...