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venly wisdom, and by the love she has for all her children—forcibly reminds us of a beautiful passage in one of St. Augustine's Sermons for Christmas Day:
"Exult, 0 ye Virgins of Christ! for the Mother of "Christ is your companion. You could not be his "Mother; but, for his sake, you would be Virgins: "He that is not born of you, is born to you. And "yet, you remember his words: Whosoever shall do "the will of my Father, is my brother, and sister, "and mother.1 Now, have you not done the will of "his Father?
"Exult, O ye Widows of Christ! for ye have "vowed a holy continency to Him, that made Vir"ginity fruitful. And thou, too, O nuptial chastity! "you, I mean, that are faithful in the married state, "you also may exult; for what you lose in the body, "you do not lose in your hearts. * * Let your soul "be virginal by its faith, for it is by her Faith that "the Church is a Virgin. * * Jesus is Truth, and "Peace, and Justice; conceive him by your faith, "give him birth by your good works; in order that "what the womb of Mary did in the Flesh of Jesus, "your heart may do in the law of Jesus. Believe "me, you yourselves are children of virginity, for are "you not the members of Christ? Mary is Mother "of Jesus, who is our Head; and the Church is the "mother of you who are his Members. Yes, the "Church is, like Mary, both Mother and Virgin: she "is Mother, by her tender charity; and Virgin, by "the purity of her faith and holiness."8
But, the Holy Sacrifice is about to commence. The Introit tells us of the Birth of Jesus our Sun of Justice. The brightness of his first rising, is the presage of his mid-day splendour. Strength and Beauty are his. He is armed for victory, and his name is Prince of Peace.
1 St. Matth. xii. 50. 8 Ninth Sermon On our Lord's Nativity.
A light shall shine upon us, this day; because the Lord is born for us: and his name shall be the Wonderful One, God, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the world to come; of whose reign there shall be no end.
Ps. The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty : the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded himself. ft. Glory, &c. A light.
Lux fulgebit hodie super nos; quia natus est nobis Dominus: et vocabitur Admirabilis, Deus, Princeps pacis, Pater futuri saecuh; cujus regni non erit finis.
Ps. Dominus regnavit, decorem indutus est: indutus est Dominus fortitudinem, et praecinxit se. ft. Gloria Patri. Lux fulgebit.
The prayer of the Church, in this the Mass of the Aurora, is the begging of God to pour upon our souls the rays of the Sun of Justice, that so we may be» come fruitful in works of Light, and be no more the slaves of darkness.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Da nobis, quaesumus, omAlmighty God, that as we are nipotens Deus, ut qui nova enlightened by the new light of inca rnati Verbi tui luce perthy Word become flesh, we may fundimur, hoc in nostro reshow, in our actions, the effects splendeat opere, quod per of that faith, which shineth in fidem fulget in mente. Per our minds. Through the same, eumdem. &c.
Commemoration of St. Anastasia.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Da, quaesumus, omnipo
Almighty God, that as we tens Deus, ut qui beatae
celebrate the solemnity of Anastasiae, Martyris tuae,
blessed Anastasia, thy Martyr, solemnia colimus, ejus apud
we may be sensible of the te patrocinia sentiamus. Per
effects of her prayers to thee Dominum. in our behalf. Through, &c.
Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli
Charissime: apparuit benignitas et humanitas Salvatoris nostri Dei: non ex operibus justitiae, quae fecimus nos; sed secundum suam misericordiam salvos nos fecit per lavacrum regenerationis, et renovationis Spiritus Sancti, quem effudit in nos abunde per Jesum Christum Salvatorem nostrum: ut justificati gratia ipsius, haeredes simus secundum spem vitae aeternae, in Christo Jesu Domino nostro.
Lesson of the Epistle of Saint
Most dearly beloved: the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared: not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laverof regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost, whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour: that being justified by his grace, we may be heirs according to hope of life everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This Sun which has appeared on our earth, is God our Saviour, full of tenderest mercy. We were far off from God, and were sitting in the shades of death—the rays of the divine Light had to reach down to us in the deep abyss of our sins; and now, praise be to this Infinite Mercy! we are set free, and, with our freedom, have received regeneration, justification, and heirship to eternal life. Who shall henceforth separate us from the love of this Infant Jesus? Is it possible, that we ourselves can ever frustrate the designs of that love, by rendering all that it has done for us useless, and becoming once more the slaves of darkness and death? May God forbid it! and grant us grace to maintain our hope of everlasting life, which the Mystery of our Redemption has purchased for us.
Benedictus qui venit in Blessed be he that cometh
in the name of the Lord: the Lord is our God, and he hath shone upon us.
ft. This is the Lord's doing, and it is wonderful in our eyes.
ft. The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded himself with might. Alleluia.
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke.
At that time: The Shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word, that has come to pass, which the Lord hath showed to us. And they came with haste; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the Infant lying in a manger. And seeing, they understood of the word, that had been spoken to them, concerning this Child. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the Shepherds. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart. And the Shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
nomine Domini: Deus Dominus, et illuxit nobis.
ft. A Domino factum est istud, et est mirabile in oculis nostris.
ft. Dominus regnavit, decorem induit: induit Domiminus fortitudinem, et praecinxit se virtute. Alleluia.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.
In illo tempore: Pastores loquebantur ad invicem: Transeamus usque Bethlehem, et videamus hoc verbum quod factum est, quod Dominus ostendit nobis. Et venerunt festinantes; et invenerunt Mariam"et Joseph, et infantem positum in praesepio. Videntes autem cognoverunt de verbo quod dictum erat illis de puero hoc. Et omnes qui audierunt, mirati sunt, et de his quae dicta erant a pastoribus ad ipsos. Maria autem conservabat omnia verba haec, conferens in corde suo. Et reversi sunt pastores glorificantes et laudantes Deum in omnibus quae audierant et viderant, sicut dictum est ad illos.
Let us imitate the earnestness of the Shepherds in their hastening to Jesus. No sooner do they hear the Angel's words, than they start for the holy Stable
in Bethlehem. Once in the presence of the Divine Infant, they know him by the sign that had been given them by the Angel; and Jesus is born in their souls by his grace. These happy men delight, now, in their poverty, for they find that He, too, is poor. They feel that they are united to him for ever, and their whole lives shall testify to the change that this December Night has worked in them. They do not keep the great event to themselves; they tell every one about the Babe of Bethlehem, they become his Apostles, and their burning words fill their listeners with astonishment. Like them, let us glorify the great God, who, not satisfied with calling us to the admirable Light, has set it in the very centre of our hearts, by uniting us to himself. Let us often think of the Mysteries of this glorious Night, after the example of Mary, who keeps unceasingly in her most pure Heart the wonderful things that God has been accomplishing by her and in her.
During the Offertory of the sacred gifts, the Church extols the power of our Emmanuel, who, that he might reform this fallen world, humbled himself so far, as to have a fewpoor Shepherds for his courtiers, He whose Throne and Divinity are from eternity.
Deus firmavit orbem ter- God hath established the rae, qui non commovebitur: world, which shall not be parata sedes tua, Deus, ex moved : thy throne, O God, is tunc ; a Saeculo tu es. prepared from of old; thou
art from everlasting.
Munera nostra, quaesu- May the offerings, 0 Lord,
mus, Domine, Nativitatis we make, be agreeable to the
hodiernae mysteriis apta mystery of this day's Birth,
proveniant, et pacem nobis and always pour forth peace
semper infundant: ut, sicut upon us: that as He, who,
homo genitus idem refulsit though born Man, showed him
et Deus; sic nobis haec self also God, so may this