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Monday, December 26, 2016

Spirituality: "The Lord is Near" by Pope Saint John XXIII (1881-1963)

“The Lord is near!” What can the whole year offer us more precious, lovely, and joyful? Christmas is the shining Feast of nature and of life, full of grace and charm. Everything comes to us from that Child whom his Mother gives to every one of us and presents to the whole world.

After two thousand years the beloved image is still the same, wonderful, vivid, full of fascination and appeal …

Christmas is the joy of our homes, bringing happiness even where there are tears, where there are anxieties and sadness. This vision is enough to soothe the most anguished hearts, and to arouse tenderness, compassion, and impulses of kindness and generosity.

Now more eagerly than ever the redeemed of the Savior join with his representative on earth to come into the presence of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and to draw from this sublime reality new inspirations for doing good and for bringing about the true brotherly union of the sons of God.

We all belong to our Lord Jesus Christ, our brother; we all share in the Redemption he wrought. It is true that there are still some who have not received this gift of faith, for reasons extraneous to themselves for which they are not responsible. But there is the great family, not only of Christians, but of the whole universe, for all is the work of God, and dependent upon him.

Source: Prayers and Devotions from Pope John XXIII: His Personal Thoughts for Every Day of the Year, pp. 319-320.

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