I would like to share with you one of the most delightful Christmas presents that I have ever received. In the mission parish of Katase in Yokohama Diocese where I was stationed we had a special catechumenate class for couples where the wife was baptized, but the husband was not. Six couples came faithfully to the evening classes.
O God, help me to be a better person.
Make me prudent in my undertakings,
courageous in dangers, patient in afflictions,
and humble in prosperity.
Grand that I may be attentive at my prayers,
temperate at my meals,
diligent in my work,
and constant in my good resolutions.
O God,You brought Your Son, Jesus
into this world to teach us
the power of love and sacrifice.
Bless our tree
as a symbol of our celebration of Jesus' birth
and our gratitude for His sacrifice.
May the joy this tree brings
and the gifts we place under it
remind us of the many gifts You have given us.
We ask Your blessings upon our loved ones,
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” This insight comes from the pen of Helen Keller who, though blind herself, inspired countless others gifted with sight to discover its truth in their own lives. I am one of them.
O Mary, I wish I could see how
you used to behave toward father and mother,
especially toward St. Anne;
and then how you behaved toward the priests of the temple;
and then toward St. Joseph;
and toward St. Elizabeth,
and St. John the Baptist;
and afterwards toward the Apostles,
especially toward St. John.
I should see how sweet
Lord, You are the source
of my strength, peace and joy.
Send Your Spirit to renew
my trust and hope in You
and give me peace in my life.
O blessed Jesus,
give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of Gentleness, King of Peace.
Let Your divinity shine on my intellect
by giving it divine knowledge, and on my will
by imparting to it the divine love
and on my memory with the divine possession of glory.
O God, our Creator and Redeemer,
Mercifully hear our prayers as we venerate Your servant, St. Lucy,
for the light of faith You bestowed upon her,
and to preserve this same light in our souls,
that we may be able to avoid evil,
to do good and to abhor nothing
so much as the blindness
and the darkness of evil and of sin.
O Virgin of Guadalupe,
Mother of the Americas,
grant to our homes the grace of loving
and respecting life with the same love
with which you conceived in your womb
the life of the Son of God.
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Fair Love,
protect our families so that
they may always be united
and bless the upbringing of our children.
Dear God, all over the world now,
the children of Holy Mother Church are singing:
"Send down dew from above, you heavens,
and let the skies pour down upon us
the rain we long for, Him, the Just One.
May He, the Savior,
spring from the closed womb of the earth!"
We know, Lord, and we have seen,
what drought does to the land.