And the Light shines in the darkness…

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O Holy Night….words so precious, so sublime that it seems they must be whispered.  Jesus has come!  The Light has come into the world.  The Son of God has been born, and nothing will ever be the same.

I give thanks to the Lord with all of my heart that I was chosen to live after the coming of Jesus.  I cannot imagine a world without Jesus; a life without the sweet and consoling Presence of His Love.

He is truly the Light of the world.  How dark those places are where He is shut out, where His Beauty, Truth and Love are unknown or rejected.

Imagine….living in the era before the birth of Jesus.  How hopeless life must have seemed, for Jesus is our Hope, our Joy, our Everything!

O Heavenly Father, thank You for the Gift of Your Son, Whose birth we celebrate on this Holy Night.  We are astonished that Your Love would deign to send Him to us, to live among us, to give His Life that we might have eternal life.  Jesus, the inestimable Gift!

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness grasped it not.

It was the true light that enlightens every man who comes into the world.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.  And we saw his glory…glory as of the only-begotten of the Father..full of grace and of truth.

(John 1: 4, 9, 14)

(from the archives)

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From my house to yours…Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends, wish that we could visit for real, but since we can’t, I’m sharing a bit of my Christmas with you…

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We love this painting by Diana Mendoza, and keep it on the mantel all year long, but it makes a great Christmas decoration as well!

Christmas2012 026 I didn’t have time to make my crèche very elaborate this year. Sometimes I stack boxes covered with “snow” and make different levels surrounding the stable. I also like to add greenery, and lots of miniature birds (I used to collect them.) Often I will hang all the angel ornaments right above the crib…but this year, it was very simple.
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I love the curly blond hair and “comfy” smile on the face of the Child Jesus on this statue…and the tenderness of Mary, as she gazes upon her little Son.

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My husband and I bought this tinsel star on our first Christmas together. We couldn’t afford much, and we found it for two dollars in the discount bin at a Winn Dixie market. We have enjoyed much prettier trees, and collected some beautiful ornaments throughout decades of Christmases together. But we have never replaced our tinsel star. Each year when we unpack it, it’s like welcoming an old friend, one that has been with us through good times and bad, and has shone on both Christmas laughter and Christmas tears. And, I like having something so simple and inexpensive to remind me of the poverty of that First Christmas.

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Years ago, when my son grew up, I began replacing the ornaments of his childhood with religiously themed ornaments…like Madonna and Child, angels, crosses, etc.  Probably half of our ornaments are now of this genre.  This makes me especially happy in this era of such secularization of Christmas.

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Benedict and me, relaxing by the fire on one of the very few cold nights we have had this winter. Yes, there really is a fire in front of us…trust me 🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS, DEAR FRIENDS! AND A MOST BLESSED NEW YEAR TO COME!

Light of the world…..

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 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men: and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them He gave great power to become the sons of God: to them that believe in His name: who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.