Thursday, 27 December 2012

Benedict XVI: a happy Christmas to you and your families

“Veritas de terra orta est!” – “Truth has sprung out of the earth” (Ps 85:12).

The Pope's Urbi et Orbi message:

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, a happy Christmas to you and your families!

In this Year of Faith, I express my Christmas greetings and good wishes in these words taken from one of the Psalms: “Truth has sprung out of the earth”. Actually, in the text of the Psalm, these words are in the future: “Kindness and truth shall meet; / justice and peace shall kiss. / Truth shall spring out of the earth, /and justice shall look down from heaven. / The Lord himself will give his benefits; / our land shall yield its increase. / Justice shall walk before him, / and salvation, along the way of his steps” (Ps 85:11-14).

Today these prophetic words have been fulfilled! In Jesus, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, kindness and truth have indeed met; justice and peace have kissed; truth has sprung out of the earth and justice has looked down from heaven. Saint Augustine explains with admirable brevity: “What is truth? The Son of God. What is the earth? The flesh. Ask whence Christ has been born, and you will see that truth has sprung out of the earth … truth has been born of the Virgin Mary” (En. in Ps. 84:13).  (the rest of the article)

Come and see the nativity scene in St Peter's Square here and here.


Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury: (Midnight Mass)
Across the centuries Christians have gathered amid the winter darkness and the shadows of night to welcome a Saviour who has been born for us (Luke 2:11). No matter how profound the darkness, how disturbing the shadows all the faithful have recognised on this night: “a great light has shone,” in the words of Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah (9:1) that “God’s grace has been revealed,” in St. Paul’s words, “and has made salvation possible for the whole human race” (Titus 2:11); and have heard tonight the timeless message of the angels: “I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people” (Luke 2:10).

Past generations have gathered in this Cathedral on Christmas night amid many shadows which seemed to obscure the future for them. We think of the ideologies of the past century, Communism and Nazism, which in living memory threatened to shape and distort the whole future of humanity. These inhuman ideologies would challenge, in the name of progress, the received Christian understanding of the sanctity of human life and the family. Winston Churchill, Britain’s war-time Prime Minister, a man without clear, religious belief himself, saw in this deadly struggle nothing less than the defence of Christian civilization. The alternative he vividly described as a dark age made more protracted by the perversion of science. I would appeal to our political leaders this Christmas to similarly glimpse these deeper issues where respect for the sanctity of human life and the authentic meaning of marriage as the foundation of the family are threatened.  (the rest of the homily)

Archbishop Nicols attacks governments' gay marriage plans:  report from BBC

and High Court Judge criticises governments' plans for gay marriage   report from BBC

Archbishop Di Noia  on a seldom sung verse of the carol "Joy to the world"  here
   (Fr Coilin and I met him in the Autumn - he was very good then)

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)