The day of joy returns, Father in Heaven, and crowns another year with peace and good will.
Help us rightly to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wisemen.
Close the doors of hate and open the doors of love all over the world…
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil, by the blessing that Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children,
And the Christmas evening bring us to our bed with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.
-Henry Van Dyke
"Give us, O God, the vision which can see Your love in the world in spite of human failure.
Give us the faith to trust Your goodness in spite of our ignorance and weakness.
Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray with understanding hearts.
And show us what each one of us can do to set forward the coming of the day of universal peace."
-Frank Borman, Apollo 8 space mission, 1968
"Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place.
"When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…
And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way, in all that we do and in all that we say.
Then the work of Christmas begins."
Are you willing…
to forget what you have done for other people,
and to remember what other people have done for you;
to ignore what the world owes you,
and to think what you owe the world;
to put your rights in the background,
and your duties in the middle distance,
and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground;
to see that men and women are just as real as you are,
and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy;
to own up to the fact that probably the only good reason
for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life,
but what you are going to give to life;
to close your book of complaints against the management
of the universe, and look around you for a place where
you can sow a few seeds happiness--
Then you can keep Christmas.
-Henry Van Dyke
"The Christmas story reminds us once again it was not man’s idea that the Son of God should be born in a stable. And so the first thing we learn from Jesus’ birth is that the Lord will not always be found where we expect to find Him. We tend to look for Him in the nice, the clean, the warm. We expect Him to be in churches and in the Bible and in hymns of praise and in Christmas cards which have Scripture verses on them…And if these are the only places we search for the Lord, then we’re not looking in the stable."
-James F. Colaianni
"Humanity's dream which began in the Garden of Eden – we want to be like God – is realized in an unexpected way, not through the greatness of man, who cannot make himself God, but through the humility of God Who came down among us in His humility, raising us to the true greatness of His being."
-Pope Benedict XVI
"A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season is here;
Then he's thinking more of others than he's thought the months before,
And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime."
"O Father may that Holy Star
Grow every year more bright,
And send its glorious beams afar
To fill the world with light."
-William Cullen Bryant
"The joy of Christmas is contagious—but not primarily because of our gifts of dolls and trucks, bikes and pretty dresses, sweaters and ties…The joy of Christmas is contagious because of the spirit behind the gifts. The glory of Christmas is that a gracious God became one of us to tell us that He loves us. And, in his or her Christmas giving, the genuine believer symbolizes his or her inner desire to spread this Good News.
Today we celebrate Incarnation! Today we rejoice! The eternal God comes into the flesh and blood of humanity. Christmas cards portray the little Babe, the Manger, the Magi, the shepherds. Little children learn that today is Jesus' birthday. But these pieces of the story only touch the edge of the mysterious event which brings us together. The Good News is that the God of Mercy has come into the history of humanity to bring us perfect peace."
-Sunday Sermons, The Millennium Edition
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