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the adoption of sons. And filiorum reciperenras. Quo
because you are sons, God hath niam autem estis filii, misit
sent the Spirit of his Son into Deus Spiritum Filii sui in
four hearts, crying: Abba, corda vestra, clamantem:
'ather. Therefore, now he is Abba, Pater. Itaque, jam
not a servant, but a son. And non est servus, sed films.
if a son, an heir, also, through Quod si filius: et haeres per
The Child that is born of Mary and is couched in the Crib at Bethlehem, raises his feeble voice to the Eternal Father, and calls him, My Father! He turns towards us, and calls us, My Brethren! We, consequently, when we speak to his Father, may call him, Our Father! This is the mystery of Adoption, revealed to us by the great event we are solemnising. All things are changed, both in heaven and on earth: God has not only one Son, he has many Sons; henceforth, we stand before this our God, not merely creatures drawn out of nothing by his power, but Children that he fondly loves. Heaven is now, not only the throne of his sovereign Majesty, it is become our inheritance, in which we are joint-heirs with our Brother Jesus, the Son of Mary, Son of Eve, Son of Adam, according to his Human Nature, and (in the unity of Person) Son of God according to his Divine Nature. Let us turn our wondering and loving thoughts, first to this sweet Babe, that has brought us all these blessings, and then to the blessings themselves, to the dear inheritance made ours by Him. Let our mind be seized with astonishment at creatures having such a destiny! and then, let our heart pour out its thanks for the incomprehensible gift!
Thou art beautiful above the Speciosus forma prae filiis sons of men: grace is poured hominum: diffusa est graabroad in thy lips. tia in labiis tuis.
My heart hath uttered a Eructavit cor meum
good word; I speak my works verbum bonum; dico ego
opera mea Regi: lingua mea calamus scribae velociter scribentis. Alleluia, alleluia.
Dominus regnavit, decorem induit: induit Dominus fortitudinem. et praecinxit se virtute. Alleluia.
to the King : my tongue is the pen of a scrivener that writeth swiftly. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Lord hath reigned: he hath clothed himself with beauty: he hath clothed himself with strength, and armed himself with might. Alleluia.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.
In illo tempore: Erat Joseph, et Maria, mater Jesu, mirantes super his quae dicebantur de illo. Et benedixit illis Simeon, et dixit ad Mariam matrem ejus: Ecce positus est hic in ruinam et in resurreetionem multorum in Israel: et in signum cui contradicetur: et tuam ipsius anilam pertransibit gladius, ut revelentur ex multis cordibus cogitationes. Et erat Anna Prophetissa, filia Phanuel, de tribu Aser. Haec processerat in diebus multis, et vixerat cum viro suo annis septem a virginitate sua. Et haec vidua usque ad annos octoginta quatuor: quae non discedebat de temlo, jejuniis et obseorationius serviens nocte ac die. Et haec, ipsa hora superveniens, confitebatur Domino, et loquebatur de illo omnibus, qui exspectabant redemptionem Israel. Et ut
Serfecerunt omnia secunum legem Domini, reversi
Sequel of the holy Gospel according to Luke.
At that time: Joseph, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, were wondering at those things, which were spoken concerning him. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his Mother: Behold, the Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel: and for a sign, which shall be contradicted: and thine own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a Prophetess, the Daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asar: she was far advanced in years, and had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow until fourscore and four years: who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving day and night. Now she, at the same hour, coming in, confessed to the Lord, and spoke of him, to all that looked for the redemption of Israel. And after they had performed all things according to the law of
the Lord, they returned into sunt in Galilaeam, in civitaGalilee, to their city, Naza- tem suam Nazareth. Puer reth. And the Child grew, autem crescebat, et conforand waxed strong, full of wis- tabatur, plenus sapientia: dom: and the grace of God et gratia Dei erat in illo. was in him.
The passage of the Gospel selected for this Mass, though bearing on the Divine Infancy, yet gives us, and we may almost say prematurely, the terrible prophecy of Simeon regarding the dear Babe of Bethlehem. The heart of Mary, that was overflowing with joy at the miraculous Birth of her Child, is here made to feel the sword spoken of by the venerable Priest of the temple. Her Son, then, is to be but a sign that shall be contradicted! The mystery of man's being adopted by God is to cost this Child of hers his life!—We that are the Redeemed in his Blood, we may not yet dwell on the fatigues and the Passion and the Death of our Emmanuel; the time will come for that; at present, we are forbidden to think of Him other than the sweet Child that is born to us, and the source of all our happiness, by his having come among us. Let us catch up the words of Anna, who calls him the Redemption of Israel. Let our eye delight in the sight of the earth regenerated by the birth of its Saviour. Let us admire and study well this Jesus newly born among us, and adore, in humble love, the wisdom and grace that are in him.
During the Offertory, the Church celebrates the wonderful renovation wrought in the world, a renovation which saved it from destruction. She sings the praises of the great God who came down into the poor Stable of Bethlehem, yet left not his eternal throne.
God hath established the Deusfirmavit orbem terworld, which shall not be Ire, qui non commovebitur; parata sedes tua, Deus, ez moved; thy throne, 0 God, is tune : a secular tun es. prepared from of old; thou
art from everlasting.
Concede, quaesumus, om- Grant, we beseech thee, O
nipotens Deus; ut oculis Almighty God, that this sacri
tuae majestatis munus obla- fice, offered to thy divine ma
tum, et gratiam nobis piae jesty, may obtain for us the
devotionis obtineat, et effec- grace of true devotion, and a
tum beatae perennitatis ac- happy eternity. Through, <bc. quirat. Per Dominum.
The Commemorations of the four Octaves are given above, page 319; that of St. Thomas, page 357.
The words chanted by the Church at the Communion are those spoken by the Angel to St. Joseph. She has given this Divine Infant to her faithful children in holy Communion, in order that they may carry him in their hearts, and bids them guard him against the snares laid for him by his and their enemies. Let the Christian, therefore, take heed lest Jesus should be taken from him. Let him, by strict watchfulness and by good works, crush the tyrant sin that seeks the life of the Divine Guest of his soul. It is for this reason, that, in the Postcommunion, the Church prays, that our vices may be destroyed, and our desires for a virtuous life be blessed.
Tolle puerum, et matrem Take the Child and his ejus, et vade in terram Is- Mother, and go into the land rael; defuncti sunt enim qui of Israel: for they are dead, quaerebant animam pueri . who sought the life of the
Per hujus, Domine, ope- May the efficacy of this sa
rationem mysterii, et vitia crament, O Lord, cleanse us
nostra purgentur, et justa from our sins, and obtain for
desideria compleantur. Per us the accomplishment of our
Dominum. just desires Through, 4cc.
The Commemorations of the four Octaves are given above, page 320; that of St. Thomas, page 358.
The Antiphons and Psalms are those of Christmas Day, pages 234-241; after which the Office is of St. Sylvester, Pope and Confessor.
Behold a great Prelate, who Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui
in his days pleased God, and in diebus suis placuit Deo,
was found just: and in the et inventus est justus: et
time of wrath he was made a in tempore iracundiae factus
reconciliation. est reconciliatio.
This Confessor of the Lord, Iste Confessor Domini, whom the christian people, colentes
* In the Monastic Breviary it
B. Breve. Elegit eum Dominus, * Sacerdotem sibi. Elegit. V. Ad sacriricandum ei hostiam laudis. * Sacerdotem sibi. Gloria Patri. Elegit.
Iste Confessor Domini sacratus
Festa plebs cujus celebrat per
Hodie laetus meruit secreta
s as follows:—
Membra languentum modo sani-
Quolibet morbo fuerint gravata,
Qui supra coeli residens cacnmen,
Totius mundi machinam guber-
Trinus et unus.