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"God.1 Let us make our promises with confidence "and love; Re will enable us to keep them * 1 "And when I speak of promises, I would not have "any one think that I mean the promise of fleeting "and earthly goods. No—I mean, that each of us "should offer what our Saviour redeemed, namely "our soul. 'But how,' some one will say, 'how shal "'we offer our souls to Him, to whom they already "' belong V I answer—by leading holy lives, by chaste "thoughts, by fruitful works, by turning away from "evil, by following that which is good, by loving God "by loving our neighbour, by showing mercy, (for we "ourselves were in need of it, before we were re. "deemed,) by forgiving them that sin against us, (for "we ourselves were once in sin,) by trampling or "pride, since it was by pride that our first Parent "was deceived and fell."2
It is thus our affectionate Mother the Church invites sinners to the Feast of the Divine Lamb; nor is she satisfied until her House be filled? The grace of a New Birth, given her by the Sun of Justice, fills this Spouse of Jesus with joy. A new year has be gun for her, and, like all that have preceded it, it is to be rich in flower and fruit. She renews her youtl as that of an eagle. She is about to unfold another Cycle, or Year, of her mysteries, and to pour forth upon her faithful children the graces, of which Goc has made the Cycle to be the instrument. In this season of Christmas, we have the first-fruits of these graces offered to us; they are the knowledge and the love of our Infant-God: let us accept them with attentive hearts, that so we may merit to advance with our Jesus, in wisdom, and age, and grace, be fore God and men.* The Christmas Mystery is the gate of all the others of the rest of the year; but it is
1 Ps. lxxv. 12.
2 Fourth Homily On the Nativity of our Lord Jems Christ.
3 St . Luke, xiv. 23. 4 Ibid. ii. 52.
a gate which we may all enter, for, though most heavenly, yet it touches earth; since, as St. Augustine beautifully remarks, in one of his sermons for Christmas ..1 "We cannot as yet contemplate the splendour "of Him, who was begotten of the Father, before the "Day Star;2 let us, then, visit Him, who was born of "the Virgin, in the night-hour. We cannot under"stand how his Name continueth before the sun f "let us, then, confess that he hath got his tabernacle "in Her that is purer than the sun* We cannot as "yet see the Only Begotten Son dwelling in the "Father's Bosom; let us, then, think on the Bride"groom that cometh out of his bride chamber.5 We "are not yet ready for the banquet of our heavenly "Father; let us, then, keep to the Crib of Jesus our "Master.''^
1 Eleventh Sermon On the Nativity of our Lord.
! Ps. cix. 3. 4 Ps. xviii. 6. 6 Is. i. 3.
3 Ibid. lxxi. 17. * Ibid.
MORNING AND NIGHT PRAYERS
During Christmas, the Christian, on waking in th morning, should unite himself with the Church, who( in her Office of Matins for Christmas Day, thu invites the faithful to come and adore the Messias:
Christus natus est nobis; Christ is born unto us venite, adoremus! come, let us adore him!
He should profoundly adore this dear King, wh has rendered himself so accessible to his creatures and in this disposition of loving reverence, he shoul perform the first acts of religion, both interior an exterior, wherewith he begins the day. The tin for Morning Prayer being come, he may use tl following method, which is formed upon the very prayers of the Church:—
First, praise and adoration of the Most Ho Trinity:—
$\ Benedicamus Patrem Let us bless the Fatht
et Filium, cum Sancto Spi- and the Son, and the Ho
B. Laudamus et super- B. Let us praise him ai
exaltemus eum in saecula. extol him above all, for ever
f. Gloria Patri et Filio, ft. Glory be to the Fatht
et Spiritui Sancto; and to the Son, and to tl
R. Sicut erat in principio, R. As it was in the begi
et nunc et semper, et in sae- ing, is now, and ever shall t
cula saeculorum. Amen. world without end. Amen. Then, praise to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ:
We adore thee, O Christ, Adoramus te, Christe,
and we bless thee. et benediciinus tibi.
R. Because by thy Cross Py. Quia per Crucem tuam
thou hast redeemed the world. redemisti mundum.
Thirdly, invocation of the Holy Ghost:—
Come, O Holy Spirit, fill Veni, Sancte Spiritus, re
the hearts of thy faithful. and ple tuorum corda fidelium,
enkindle within them the fire et tui amoris in eis ignem
of thy love. accende.
After these fundamental acts of Religion, you will recite the Lord's Prayer, asking of God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to grant that his holy Name may be glorified on earth, now that he has blessed it by sending it his Son, over whose Crib the Angels sang: Glory be to God in the highest! This divine Messias is come to establish the Kingdom of God on earth: he is come to do the will of his Father, and to teach us to do it here on earth, as it is done in heaven. Let us reverently share in these divine intentions. Let us, also, ask, with all instance, that we may be granted to partake of that heavenly Bread, which is now born to us in Bethlehem:
THE LORD'S PRAYER.
Our Father, who art in Pater noster, qui es in heaven, hallowed be thy name: ccelis, sanctificetur nomen thy kingdom come: thy will be tuum: adveniat regnum tudone on earth as it is in heaven. um: fiat voluntas tua sicut Give us this day our daily in coelo, et in terra. Panem bread; and forgive us our nostrum quotidianum da notrespasses, as we forgive them bis hodie: et dimitte nobis that trespass against us: and debita nostra, sicut et nos lead us not into temptation: dimittimus debitoribus nosbut deliver us from evil. tris : et ne nos inducas in Amen. tentationem: sed libera nos
a malo. Amen.
Then address our Blessed Lady, using the words of the Angelical Salutation. It is now that she is Blessed among all women: her virginal womb has yielded the divine fruit, of which the world was in expectation: every creature should proclaim her to be the Mother of God.
THE ANGELICAL SALUTATION.
Ave Maria, gratia plena: Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of the Lord is with thee; art thou among women, and blessed is thefruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
After this, recite the Symbol of Faith; and as you pronounce the words, Born of the Virgin Mary, dwell on them with a special attention, adoring the Saviour, who has deigned to come down from heaven, and be born in a stable.
THE APOSTLES' CREED.
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, creatorem coeli et terrae. Et in J esum Christum Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum: qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilate, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus: descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis: ascendit ad coelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis: indeventurus est judicarevivoset mortuos.
Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam, Sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell, the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost: the Holy Catholic Church; the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.