It's nearly Christmas time at the Pillars' homestead and some things have been taking shape in the way of holiday decorating. Trying to stay in keeping with the liturgical calendar and not the secular materialistic calendar, we pace ourselves...or so I thought we did! Looking around the house, some things have been happening to my surprise. The joy of family! What a beautiful time of year and during this carnival, I got a little picky just wanting us all to take in the spirit of God's love through Mary and Joseph's sacrifice. You guys are amazing and there is lots to learn. Take a look.
For starters, Anne Murray, gives us a beautiful perspective to prepare for the baby Jesus in her post, Penetential Service from her blog, Poetry, Prayers, and Praise. Thank you, Anne, this was very beautiful
Kevin Miller presents HIS GRACE, OUR KING posted at HMS Blog. I always enjoy Kevin's reflections. Thanks, Kevin.
Tom Hall, from Evangelization 2.0, has an early Christmas gift for us in his video submission of "O come Emmanuel" Thanks, Tom.
Hilary, from Long-skirts Poetry, shares a sweet poem called, All for Jesus through Mary. Thanks, Hilary!
Michele shares with us beautiful moment in time in her post, Poor Gifts, where she reflects on Mary's gift to us, on the fullness of salvation through her willingness to be impoverished. Thanks, Michele, I can truly relate to your post, my kids were all born in the winter, December, January, and February.
The 'O' Antiphons are so lovely, Jean did a great job in keeping up with them on her blog, Catholic Fire, so here is the December 23rd complete with a video. O Emmanuel.
Julie presents Teaching Kids The Meaning of Christmas posted at More4kids Parenting & Family Life.
Clare shares with us an amazing story called, Only by God's Grace, this is an 8-part story of complete miraclous proportion. If ever you wanted to get a better understanding of the Pro-life movement, read Clare's story. Thanks, and God blessed us all with Aiden!!
ChristianPF presents Trusting God in a recession posted at Christian Personal Finance.
Ok, Sarah needs a hug this Christmas, but after you do, please be sure to use a sanitizer. Here in her submission, she shares both a laugh and a reality which comes whether you want it or not as parents, it's a gift in a poem called, "Insight into our Night." This is one time you don't teach sharing!
Aloysius Ong presents T: Advent Trio posted at Life's Crosses.
Jane Marcoux presents Building the Ark posted at Building the Ark.
Next, how's this for fun, Tom Hall, our founder of "Love to be Catholic" website. is offering a rather delightful contest, Best Catholic new media and Innovation award for the most creative? Catholic media. Put in your nominations now.
To top things off, I am introducing Evann's poem in full, this poet didn't know it, but with Christmas shortly arriving, our society can't the Christ Child be diving. So here in totality, is the true Christmas reality to try to redirect her little home society. Thanks, Evann!
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.
Merry Christmas from our home to yours!