A MESSAGE FROM FATHER LOU
Boris Pasternak poured out his blood in his novel “Dr. Zhivago.” As a Jew in Russia who converted to the Orthodox Christian faith, he knew a great deal of personal suffering. What sustained him is summarized in these words: “I could not have endured it without my discovery of Jesus Christ. He came to me! Jesus comes to us today. If we need greater light, He comes to dispel our darkness. If we need peace, He comes – He who is our peace. If we need strength, power to forgive, power to love the unlovely, He comes – He who is the Pantocrator – the Almighty. He comes to enable us, to empower us, to uplift us, to save us. He came. He comes. “And His name shall be called Emmanuel, which means God with us. “ (Mt 1:23). (From Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth, Fr. Anthony Coniaris, pg. 372.)
The great miracle of Christmas is revealed in the remarkable fact that God comes to us. This is at the same time a universal and cosmic reality and a very personal event, the context of which is agape love. “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “ (John 3:16). The great proof of His love for us begins with the incarnation – God’s humble taking on of flesh – our Lord Jesus’ Nativity – and ends with His passion, death on the cross and glorious Resurrection. These events are life changing for the entire human race and for you and me, personally. However, they become healing, transforming and salvific for us ONLY when we accept our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as our God. As Boris Pasternak affirmed, he could not have endured life without the discovery of Jesus Christ. He came to him. He comes to us also. Let us therefore discover Him and His love for us in our daily lives. And let us come to Him and accept Him as our loving, saving and merciful God. This Christmas, may we find room in the inn of our heart for our loving Lord! Have a blessed and Merry Christmas and a healthy and spirit filled New Year.
With our Lord’s blessings,
BY ST. ISAAC THE SYRIAN (D. AD 700)
“This Christmas night bestowed peace on the whole world – let no one threaten; This is the night of the Most Gentle One – let no one be cruel; This is the night of the Humble One – let no one be proud. Now is the day of joy – let us not revenge; Now is the day of Good Will – let us not be mean. It is the Day of Peace – let us not be conquered by anger. Today the Bountiful impoverished Himself for our sake – so, rich ones, invite the poor to your table. Today we receive a Gift for which we did not ask – let us give alms to those who implore and beg us. This present Day cast open the heavenly doors to our prayers – let us open our door to those who ask our forgiveness. Today the DIVINE BEING took upon Himself the seal of our humanity in order for humanity to be decorated by the Seal of DIVINITY.”
The Clergy, Parish Council, Ministry Teams and Staff of Saint Catherine pray for a blessed Christmas Celebration for you and your family.