PathToHoliness

Sanctification in Daily Work
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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Christmas South FloridaHere’s a Merry Christmas to you. My family, minus one daughter who is near term for her first baby, posed after Christmas Mass at St. Gregory Church in Plantation, FL. We had hope to get their beautiful nativity scene in the photo but that didn’t work.

Hopefully you are enjoying the end of the year with family and friends. It should be a great time to relax and thank God for our blessings as we get ready to embark on another year. Too many people get all uptight though.

Please remember that January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and a holy day of obligation.

Kissing the Christ Child

Here’s a video showing St. Josemaria with some young people who brought him a figure of the Christ Child. He talks to them and blesses them with it. One of the things I’ve always loved about St. Josemaria is how he likes to put himself in the scenes from the gospels. Are we putting ourselves in the scene with the manger and the newborn child today?

From Christ is Passing By, 36:

“…a child is born in Bethlehem.”
When the fullness of time comes, no philosophical genius, no Plato or Socrates appears to fulfill the mission of redemption. Nor does a powerful conqueror, another Alexander, take over the earth.

Instead a child is born in Bethlehem. He it is who is to redeem the world.

But before he speaks he loves with deeds. It is no magic formula he brings, because he knows that the salvation he offers must pass through human hearts.

What does he first do? He laughs and cries and sleeps defenseless, as a baby, though he is God incarnate.

And he does this so that we may fall in love with him, so that we may learn to take him in our arms.

St. Josemaria Escriva

Christmas Cards From St. Josemaria Institute

The St. Josemaria Institute has Christmas cards available for order. They’ll send some Prayer for the Family cards along with your order and all proceeds benefit the Institute.

Inspired by St. Josemaria’s love for representations of the Child Jesus, Our Lady, and the Holy Family, we have selected a beautiful painting of the Madonna and Child for the cover that we hope will inspire the true Christmas message in everyone on your list.

“Every time Christmas comes around, I love to look at representations of the Child Jesus. Statues and pictures which show a God who lowered himself remind me that God is calling us. The Almighty wants us to know that he is defenseless, that he needs men’s help. From the cradle at Bethlehem, Christ tells you and me that he needs us. He urges us to live a Christian life to the full — a life of self-sacrifice, work and joy.”

– St. Josemaria Escriva, Christ is Passing By, 18

Suggested Donation: $10

10 cards and 10 envelopes per packet
5″x7″
Inside Greeting: May the light of the newborn Christ be with you and your family throughout the year.
Inside Cover: “This day shall a light shine upon us; for the Lord is born to us.” (cf. Is 9: 1,5; Lk 1: 33)

Merry Christmas

Midnight Christmas MassMerry Christmas from mid-Missouri.

Here’s a picture from midnight Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph with Bishop John Raymond Gaydos celebrating.

Our family has been going to midnight Mass for a number of years now. Then we come home and open presents and have a very early morning breakfast. It was nice having all my daughters home. I hope that you and your families all have a very blessed day too.

The Meaning of Christmas

The text from the Pope’s last general audience of the year prompted me to write today. I realize how much I’ve neglected this website and have used the excuse that I am working too hard and don’t have time. The Advent season is supposed to be one of personal reflection and that has allowed me to notice how much more I can be doing to evangelize. That’s actually why I started Path To Holiness in the first place?

Here’s the segment from Pope Benedict’s message that really caught my eye:

“Christmas is the encounter with a new-born baby, wailing in a wretched grotto”, the Holy Father added. “Contemplating Him in this crèche how can we not think of all the children who still today, in many regions of the world, are born amidst such poverty? How can we not think of those newborns who have been rejected, not welcomed, those who do not survive because of a lack of care and attention? How can we not think of the families who desire the joy of a child and do not have this hope fulfilled?”

“Unfortunately, under the drive of a hedonist consumerism, Christmas runs the risk of losing its spiritual meaning, reduced to a mere commercial occasion to buy and exchange gifts. Actually, however, the difficulties, uncertainty, and the economic crisis that many families are living in these months, and which affects all humanity, can truly serve as a stimulus for rediscovering the warmth of the simplicity, friendship, and solidarity that are the typical values of Christmas. Stripped of its materialist and consumerist trappings, Christmas can become the opportunity to welcome, as a personal gift, the message of hope that emanates from the mystery of Christ’s birth”.

Hedonistic consumerism are the words that stood out for me. Our work utilizes computers, cameras, audio and video recorders, iPods, microphones, etc. Many look at them as gadgets. I look at them as cool tools and am blessed to be able to use them to make a good living. However, it’s easy to want the next best thing just for the sake of having it too. Something we all need to be careful about.