Obrazy na stronie

the adoption of sons. And filiorum reciperemus. Quobecause you are sons, God hath niam autem estis filii, misit sent the Spirit of his Son into Deus Spiritum Filii sui in your hearts, crying: Abba, corda vestra, clamantem : Father. Therefore, now he is Abba, Pater. Itaque, jam not a servant, but a son. And non est servus, sed filius. if a son, an heir, also, through Quod si filius : et hæres per God.


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!

GRADUAL. Thou art beautiful above the Speciosus forma præ 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 to the King : my tongue is the mea calamus scribæ veloci- pen of a scrivener, that writeth ter scribentis.

swiftly. Alleluia, alleluia.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. Dominus regnavit, de- . The Lord hath reigned : corem induit : induit Do- he hath clothed himself with minus fortitudinem, et præ- beauty: he hath clothed himcinxit se virtute. Alleluia. self with strength, and armed

himself with might. Alleluia.


Sequentia sancti Evangelii Sequel of the holy Gospel acsecundum Lucam.

cording to Luke. Cap. II.

Ch. II. In illo tempore : Erat At that time : Joseph, and Joseph, et Maria, mater Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Jesu, mirantes


his were wondering at those things, quæ dicebantur de illo. Et which were spoken concerning benedixit illis Simeon, et him. And Simeon blessed dixit ad Mariam matrem them, and said to Mary his ejus : Ecce positus est hic Mother : Behold, the Child is in ruinam et in resurrec- set for the fall and for the retionem multorum in Israel: surrection of many in Israel : et in signum cui contradi- and for a sign, which shall be cetur : et tuam ipsius ani- contradicted : and thine own

iam pertransibit gladius, soul a sword shall pierce, that ut revelentur ex multis cor- out of many hearts thoughts dibus cogitationes. Et erat may be revealed. And there Anna Prophetissa, filia Pha- was one Anna, a Prophetess,

, nuel, de tribu Aser. Hæc the Daughter of Phanuel, of processerat in diebus mul- the tribe of Asar: she was far tis, et vixerat cum viro suo advanced in years, and had annis septem a virginitate lived with her husband seven sua. Et hæc vidua usque ad years from her virginity. And annos octoginta quatuor : she was a widow until fourquæ non discedebat de tem- score and four years : who deplo, jejuniis et obsecrationi- parted not from the temple, by bus serviens nocte ac die. fastings and prayers serving Et hæc, ipsa hora superve- day and night. Now she, at niens, confitebatur Domino, the same hour, coming in, conet loquebatur de illo omni- fessed to the Lord, and spoke bus, qui exspectabant re- of him, to all that looked for demptionem Israel. Et ut the redemption of Israel. And perfecerunt omnia secun- after they had performed all dum legem Domini, reversi things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into sunt in Galilæam, 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 hy 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.

OFFERTORY. God hath established the Deus firmavit orbem terworld, which shall not be ræ, qui non commovebitur; parata sedes tua, Deus, ex moved ; thy throne, O God, is tunc : a seculo tú es. prepared from of old ; thou

art from everlasting.


SECRET. Concede, quæsumus, om- Grant, we beseech thee, O nipotens Deus; ut oculis Almighty God, that this sacrituæ majestatis munus obla- fice, offered to thy divine matum, et gratiam nobis piæ jesty, may obtain for us the devotionis obtineat, et effec- grace of true devotion, and a tum beatæ perennitatis ac- happy eternity. Through, &c. 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.

COMMUNION. 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, quærebant animam pueri. who sought the life of the


POSTCOMMUNION. Per hujus, Domine, ope- May the efficacy of this sarationem 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, dc.

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.


(Ecclus. XLIV.) 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 iracundiæ factus reconciliation.

est reconciliatio.


This Confessor of the Lord, whom the christian people,

Iste Confessor Domini,



* In the Monastic Breviary it is as follows :

R. Breve. Elegit eum Domi. Membra languentum modo saninus,

Sacerdotem sibi. Elegit. tati, V. Ad sacrificandum ei hostiam Quolibet morbo fuerint gravata, laudis. * Sacerdotem sibi. Gloria Restituuntur. Patri. Elegit.

Unde nunc noster chorus in Iste Confessor Domini sacra- honorem tus

Ipsius, hymnum canit hunc li. Festa plebs cujus celebrat per

benter : orbem,

Ut piis ejus meritis juvemur Hodie lætus meruit secreta

Omne per ævum.
Scandere coeli.

Sit salus illi, decus, atque Qui pius, prudens, humilis, virtus, pudicus,

Qui supra coli residens cacuSobrius, castus fuit, et quietus, men, Vita dum præsens vegetavit Totius mundi machinam guberejus

nat Corporis artus.

Trinus et unus. Ad sacrum cujus tumulum Amen.


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