Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas at Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral, Baghdad 2010

The commemoration of the Nativity of the Lord in all places of the world moves my heart as it does for all people of good will. More than ever the Christmas observance in Baghdad at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation, the place of the brutal killings of Christians –laity and clergy alike– on October 31, 2010.

clergy at OL of Salvation.jpg
OL of Salvation Baghdad.jpg
Christmas observance OL of Salvation Baghdad 2010.jpg
May the newborn Savior, Jesus –Emmanuel– lead us more deeply into our humanity
and to perfect union with God the Father.

Pope Benedict’s homily for Christmas Eve Mass 2010

Christ draws us to Himself through beauty. Beauty in the sacred Liturgy, in music, words, human gesture, the human body, indeed, through His own birth. Here the Pope tells us again that the birth of the Savior, the Incarnation of the Word, i.e., God, really happened in history; it is a fact, not a legend or a pious myth. The birth of Jesus is not “a just nice” story and it is normative for all of humanity, all of history. The following is Pope Benedict XVI’s homily given tonight at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City State, Rome.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!


“You are my son, this
day I have begotten you” with this passage from Psalm 2 the Church begins
the liturgy of this holy night. She knows that this passage originally formed
part of the coronation rite of the kings of Israel.

The king, who in himself is
a man like others, becomes the “Son of God” through being called and
installed in his office. It is a kind of adoption by God, a decisive act by
which he grants a new existence to this man, drawing him into his own being.

The
reading from the prophet Isaiah that we have just heard presents the same
process even more clearly in a situation of hardship and danger for Israel:
“To us a child is born, to us a son is given. The government will be upon
his shoulder” (Is 9:6).

Installation in the office of king is like a
second birth. As one newly born through God’s personal choice, as a child born
of God, the king embodies hope. On his shoulders the future rests. He is the
bearer of the promise of peace.

Baby Jesus, St Peter's.jpg

On that night in Bethlehem this prophetic
saying came true in a way that would still have been unimaginable at the time
of Isaiah. Yes indeed, now it really is a child on whose shoulders government
is laid. In him the new kingship appears that God establishes in the world. This
child is truly born of God.

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A Social Network Christmas

My Mom sent me these two digital Christmas videos. See one and another here. Enjoy watching…

Over 2 million views thus far. Happy Advent!

How does the Vatican celebrate Christmas?

Edward Pentin, a National Catholic Register journalist and based in Rome, wrote a good article on Christmastide –Vatican style. We are in the middle of Advent and it’s time to think of Gaudete Sunday this coming weekend. Read Pentin’s article.

Significance of the Christmas Tree

Vatican Chrsitmas tree.jpegMy mother and the neighbors have had the Christmas tree up for a week. We’ve got three small trees. In fact, my neighborhood is alighted with Christmas lights. New York’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was lit last week with several stars entertaining us with “Christmas songs.” The Vatican put its Christmas tree, a gift from the good people of Bolzano, Italy (a German speaking of Italy where Pope Benedict has vacationed in the past) A little too early for my tastes. SO, it MUST be Christmas time!!! What does it all mean? But what does the Christmas tree stand for? How ought the Christmas tree be interpreted by the Catholic?

The Christmas tree began as a reminder of the tree of life and the life-giving cross of Jesus Christ. When you see the evergreen Christmas tree you will also see the life-giving tree of life on which Jesus hung as our crucified savior.
For those interested, a short history is helpful.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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