Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!



The Nativity of our Lord


Caravaggio



And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 
-- John 1:14


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And at the risk of becoming too technical on my simple little blog, I reprint the following Catechism section, as it behooves us to know why the Second Person of the Holy Trinity (GOD!) became man, as it strikes at the core of who we are:


PART ONE
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION TWO
THE PROFESSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

CHAPTER TWO
I BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SON OF GOD

ARTICLE 3
"HE WAS CONCEIVED BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY"

Paragraph 1. The Son of God Became Man

I. WHY DID THE WORD BECOME FLESH?

456 With the Nicene Creed, we answer by confessing: "For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit, he became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and was made man."

457 The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who "loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins": "the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world", and "he was revealed to take away sins":

Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?

458 The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God's love: "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him." "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

459 The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me." "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: "Listen to him!" Jesus is the model for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: "Love one another as I have loved you." This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example.

460 The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."

II. THE INCARNATION

461 Taking up St. John's expression, "The Word became flesh", the Church calls "Incarnation" the fact that the Son of God assumed a human nature in order to accomplish our salvation in it. In a hymn cited by St. Paul, the Church sings the mystery of the Incarnation:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

462 The Letter to the Hebrews refers to the same mystery:

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, Lo, I have come to do your will, O God."

463 Belief in the true Incarnation of the Son of God is the distinctive sign of Christian faith: "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God." Such is the joyous conviction of the Church from her beginning whenever she sings "the mystery of our religion": "He was manifested in the flesh."



Read the rest of this section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, fully footnoted and with brief summary, here.



Merry Christmas from the Miller house to yours!






Oh, and uh… just one more little thing. Check this out!




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9 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas Leila and friends!

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  2. Beautiful family, Leila! Merry Christmas! I need to catch up on posts....super sick from expecting another little one :). Thankful for the new baby, wish it didn't involve feeling awful!

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  3. Very informative post! Thanks for the wonderful read Leila. May you and your beautiful family have a very merry Christmas! :)

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  4. Merry Christmas Miller family! It has been a joy to get to know you through this blog!

    DD

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  5. What the heck? How did you get Santa in your house?? Dennis set his "Santa trap" and we thought we had him locked in the sun room--sneaky guy!

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  6. Merry Christmas, Leila! A lovely picture of your family! +JMJ+

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  7. Merry Christmas to one of my fav bloggys!

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  8. Merry Christmas. Thank you for posting a wonderful picture of your family (plus Santa).

    Family is very counter-culture today. I just received a "Happy Holidays" "card" from a co-worker (a practicing RC) that consists of a picture of his 3-year old son. I wonder what happened to the rest of the family. Every year I receive several of these picture cards only showing the kids. I think it is demonstrative of the child-centered parenting style so prevelant in our society today. I wonder if these adults are ashamed of being a family.

    Thank you for your efforts. Best wishes for a fruitful New Year.

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