Francis devotion at Christmas
The birthday of the Child Jesus Francis observed with inexpressible eagerness over all other feasts, saying that it was the feast of feasts, on which God, having become a tiny infant, clung to human breasts. Pictures of those infant members he kissed with thoughts filled with yearning, and his compassion for the Child flooded his heart and made him stammer words of sweetness after the manner of infants. His name was like honey and the honeycomb in Francis' mouth. When the question arose about eating meat that day, since that Christmas day was a Friday, he replied, saying to Brother Morico: "You sin, Brother, calling the day on which the Child was born to us a day of fast. It is my wish, he said, "that even the walls should eat meat on such a day, and if they cannot, they should be smeared with meat on the outside."
On this day Francis wanted the poor and the hungry to be filled by the rich, and more than the usual amount of grain and hay given to the oxen and asses. "If I could speak to the emperor, " he said, "I would ask that a general law be made that all who can should scatter corn and grain along the roads so that the birds might have an abundance of food on the day of such great solemnity, especially our sisters the larks." He would recall, not without tears, what great want surrounded the poor Virgin on that day.
Once when he was sitting at dinner, a certain brother talked about the poverty of the Blessed Virgin and recalled the want of Christ, her Son. Francis immediately arose from the table and, with great sighs and many tears, ate the rest of the meal on the bare ground. For this reason he used to say that this virtue shone forth so eminently in the King and Queen was a royal virtue. And when the brothers were discussing at a gathering which virtue does more to make one a close friend of Christ, Francis, as thought making known to them a secret of his heart, answered: "Know, my sons, that poverty is the special way to salvation; its fruit is manifold, but it is really well known only to a few."
Celano—Second Life 1246
VISITOR'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE:
Homily by Fr. Robert Altier—Solemnity of Christmas 2001
Reading I (Isaiah 9:1-6) Reading II (Titus 2:11-14 )
Gospel (St. Luke 2:1-14)
Today we celebrate a most wonderful feast. Indeed, as we hear in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah, God has given to us great rejoicing because we rejoice at the Birth of Our Lord.
All of us would understand the great rejoicing when a baby is born into the world. For those who are parents yourselves, you understand this more than anyone. For those who are grandparents, you know how you rejoice with your own children when their babies are born. For those who are brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles, we all understand that exact same kind of rejoicing.
No one is untouched by the birth of a baby - no one. It is the most glorious and the most miraculous thing on the natural level that can ever happen, that a baby is born. They are the most glorious and wonderful little creatures that God has made. They are the closest things that we can understand to the Incarnation of Love because that is all that a baby is.
A baby is about love. But a baby is also about helplessness, about dependency. A baby is completely dependent on others to do everything for him.
And so this feast, as glorious and wonderful as it is, is also one that is of the greatest mystery. It seems the least mysterious to us because it is a mystery that we celebrate so often when we celebrate birth. For all the billions and billions of babies that have been born over the centuries, you would think that after time the wonder would wear off. But instead, with each baby it only grows even more.
But today we celebrate the birth of the most wondrous Baby. And it is not just a natural mystery of a baby being born (as this one, of course, is different from any other anyway); today is a feast of contradictions. It is, as I said, the most tangible of all the mysteries of our faith for us to be able to grasp. It is something that, on one level, we can all understand. None of us can walk away unmoved by the thought of a little baby being born and laid in a manger.
Yet at the same time, it is the least understandable and the least able to be grasped of all the mysteries of our faith because this little Baby is God. This little Baby, who is dependent entirely upon His mother, is the same Person who created His mother, and upon whom His mother is entirely dependent for every single thing that she would ever do in her life. The One who became incarnate in the womb of a virgin is the One who created that virgin so that He would be able to become incarnate within her womb. The One who shivers in the cold is the One who created the whole world. The One who lies helpless and dependent is the One who is the Almighty God. The One that is a great sign that the angels talk about to the shepherds - the sign that you would find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger - makes no sense because swaddling clothes are the clothes of the dead and now you have an infant, a newborn life at its beginning, and it is wrapped in the clothes of the dead. Yet this is a baby who was born for the sole purpose of dying.
That is exactly what we hear in the second reading. We hear about the mystery we cannot grasp: that the grace of God has appeared to us. The grace of God has appeared to us. The grace of God is within each one of us if we are in the state of grace. If we have cleansed our souls and we have confessed our sins and we are free of any mortal sin, God's grace dwells within us. We can see its effects within our lives. But the grace of God is the life of God. And how can our life be seen? Your life cannot be seen. The person who has life can be seen. But with God it is different because God is life; and God, of course, is invisible. God has no body; we cannot grasp God with our senses. Yet now the invisible God has been made visible. A Word has become flesh and dwelt among us. A light has shone in the darkness so that the people who dwelt in a land of gloom and darkness could see a great light, and they would be filled with abundant joy and rejoicing. And all of this, Isaiah says, because "a Child is born to us, a Son is given us".
All of these things, as we ponder them, make no sense because we hear that this Child on the day of His birth has broken the rod of the taskmaster, has smashed the yoke and broken the bonds. It is the bonds of sin; it is the yoke of Satan that has been broken. And it is broken, not by one who rode gloriously into battle - as we hear about the fact that every cloak that was rolled in blood is going to be used to be burned and all of those who have been trampled in battle are going to be freed. This is a different kind of battle; it is one which has been won by humility. Once again, it does not make sense on a natural level. It is like a parent staring in absolute awe at a newborn baby: on one level able to grasp the reality before them and on another level not able to understand a thing; trying to grasp with the mind the miracle which lies before them, the miracle which from their own flesh and blood has issued forth new life which cannot be grasped at all and yet is the most easily grasped on another level. That is the mystery that we are celebrating today: the eternal God being born of a woman, the incomprehensible God able to be grasped in human form, the invisible God made visible, the Almighty made dependent, the Creator as a creature, God as man.
But Saint Paul tells us that beyond this very humble appearance we await the appearance in glory of Our Savior. He will come once again. This is merely the foreshadowing, but it is for each one of us a way to be able to understand the love of God. When we ponder these mysteries, each one of us needs to be able to recognize that God has done this for us. In order to demonstrate His love for us, He has shown us in a way that we cannot reject. He has shown us love in a way that each one of us can understand and that none of us can walk away unmoved because He has shown us love in a baby.
Any human heart that would be so hardened as to be unmoved by a baby is a heart that has completely rejected God and has completely rejected love. And so, God, wanting to demonstrate to us that there would be absolutely nothing that He would not do for us, in order to show us His love, and in order to help us to understand how much He loves us, has given Himself to us in the way that each and every human being would be able to understand love and would be able to grasp vulnerability in its most complete manner: as a little baby.
But if that was not enough, He continues to give Himself in ways that we will not be able to reject, that on one level we cannot comprehend but on another level we cannot push away because the Baby laid in swaddling clothes is the One who died for us. The One who is born for us is the One who died for us. The newborn Infant is the One who is born so that He could die, so that we could be reborn into eternal life.
He is indeed a sign. What is a baby doing being laid in a feeding trough for animals? What is a newborn Infant doing being wrapped in the clothing of the dead if not to demonstrate to each one of us that He has come, not for a natural reason, but for the most extraordinary supernatural reason: to become food for each one of us – and to die for each one of us; that His death would become life for us and that this Food would become the life of our soul and that unless we eat of His Flesh and Blood that we would have no life within us?
He is born in a place called Bethlehem, a word which means a "house of bread" because He is going to come to us, not in the form of a baby, but in the form of bread to be the food for our souls.
And so we see how God has arranged for everything. Saint Joseph and Our Blessed Lady have to leave the area called Galilee and go to the country of Judah to the city where David was born to be able to show that this little Baby is the fulfillment of the prophecy that we see in Isaiah 49: that from Judah, the fourth-born son of Israel, is going to come forth one who will be the king and the savior; and to be able to demonstrate that the promise made to David that one of his sons would reign forever upon his throne [is fulfilled]. He is born in the place of Judah and in the city of David so that we would understand that He is the fulfillment of all the prophecies: that a virgin would be with child and bear a son; that God, for whom we looked, has come to save us - but not in the way that anyone would have expected.
So for us today, living in a land of gloom, dwelling in darkness, indeed a light has been shone upon us; the Word of God has been made flesh for us. As we look back over this year of our own lives, as we celebrate today the anniversary of 2,001 years, the beginning of a new age, the beginning of the first Christian millennium, the beginning of new life, as we celebrate now in our own country the end of this first year of the new millennium, it has indeed been a year of great darkness and gloom and fear for the people of this country. As we celebrate the birth of a baby, we ask ourselves how many babies have been destroyed. As we think about the glory of God shining in the darkness, we think about the tragic events that took place just a few months ago before the eyes of everyone in this country. And in that darkness a light has shone.
The angel of the Lord appears to each one of us: the little ones – not the great ones. God came in humility and He announced the tidings of Good News to the most humble, to the shepherds. And He comes to each one of us now today and He announces the exact same news as the angel of the Lord says to each one of us: "Fear not." Do not be afraid. It does not matter how dark things are, it does not matter how evil things become because in the midst of the darkness the light has shone. And the darkness will not be able to overcome it. A Child is born to us, a Son is given us, and upon His shoulder dominion rests. We have absolutely nothing to fear because God is with us. He is Emmanuel. There is nothing for us to fear as long as we are with Him and He is with us.
The grace of God has indeed appeared to each one of us. And each one of us is transformed by this mystery into the grace of God as we receive Him in Holy Communion. We think about all these apparent contradictions and all that we can do is join with the angels and join with the shepherds and join with Our Blessed Lady and Saint Joseph and glorify God because for us today a sign is given: an Infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. The One who is food for us and the One who died for us is the One who is born for us so that we would live, so that we would be reborn into everlasting life.
Today we praise God for the most incredible of all His mysteries, for the most incredible of all His gifts, for a baby, for Love Incarnate, for Jesus Christ – born for us so that our sins would be forgiven and so that we can live forever.
Always be ready to do good.
This admonition was given as part of a homily written in the second century which
we encountered in the Office of Readings for November 14th. We were already into
the fast of St. Martin and pondering what we might write about for our December
Administrator's message. It is a simple admonition. However, as we approach Christmas with our next newsletter this them of being ready to do good seemed most appropriate and worthy of consideration by us all.
St. Peter says the same thing in his first epistle. He says "Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for good? But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you! Do not be afraid… Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence keeping your conscience clear..." (1 Pet. 3:13-16).
The thing that jumped out at us as we read this Reading was the implications one can make from the statement. It is implied that we are not always going to do good, or we would not have to be ready to do it. We would have done it, or be doing it. It is also implied that is none of us can always be doing good; we all get distracted from that and must come back to it. So, with these implications in mind we can look at our daily lives, and should. There are so many areas where we can apply this admonition.
Let's take prayer. Prayer is definitely a good. Do we pray enough. Let's say we don't. We want to pray more but cannot. We need to set our hearts on the goal to pray more. We need to put that inside our mind. Create the thought. Probably write it down somewhere where we can see it from time to time. On our 'wish list' or something. When we come back to it, if we have not started to pray more we should make plans to do so. To be ready to do this good. Even if we don't pray more, the fact we have made plans to pray more and hope to make plans to pray more is an incentive to a greater good, and that makes it a prayer in itself. Our Lord is the judge of our hearts and intentions. The road to hell may be paved with good intentions; but so also is the road to heaven with good intentions that became good actions. We are always ready to do good.
What about money? Money can be a good if it is used correctly. Are we tithing? Are we taking care of our parents? The poor we can affect. That is a serious part of the question on money. What effect can we have on the poor? How can we help others and the Church. So, we put that on our wish list. We ponder it. The thought is the father to the act, and the fact we ponder it may bring us to better use our money to do the Church's work; help the poor and our parishes. We stand always ready to use our money better.
Of course, the greatest good we can do is to love others. We need to always stand ready to love others, remembering that love is a verb. Love demands we do something, and love demands love in return. As St. Theresa ...the Little Flower, wrote once about heaven: "O soul in God, hidden from sin, What more desires for thee remain, Save but to love and love again and all aflame with love within love on, and turn to love again?"
Especially this month, as we "Prepare the way of the Lord" in our hearts during this fast of St. Martin and holy advent season, let us remember that we need to hide from sin even while here and look out in love to those around us for love is the greatest of goods. Let us particularly strive to love those who hurt us, who hate us, who are our enemies. Let us be love to others. Let us reach out to them in the joy and love of the Child to be born to us; in that love that He gives each of us and we have an accountability for to do some good with. Let us always seek to do good to fulfill His dream for Us, that we will become like Him, and deserve to be with Him always ready to do good, which is all that He will ever call us to do, both now and for all of eternity. Again, like St. Theresa, we should want to spend our heaven doing good on earth. Let's always be ready to get started.
Bruce and Shelley BSP
FROM THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT:
by Janet Klasson BSP
"Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home."
(Matthew 1 : 20-24)
'Tis the season of angels, it seems. Not only do angels figure prominently in the readings of Advent and Christmas and in every Christmas Nativity scene or play, but they may also be found in shops and as ornaments - from the tacky to the sublime. From the Annunciation, to the dreams of St. Joseph to the "tidings of great joy for all peoples" on Christmas night, angels figure prominently in God's plan of salvation for humankind.
It is tempting to think of angels as almost incidental to the plan of salvation, interested observers, messengers of God who do his bidding with joy but are not really involved otherwise. Personally, I don't remember ever giving a thought to what the angels themselves may or may not feel about the salvation of humankind. But something I read this summer changed that.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, had some very interesting things to say about the angels that I had never heard before. Here are the two excerpts from his "Commentary on the Song of Songs" that caught my attention:
"(The saints and angels) each have their special care for you: the saints because they will not themselves be made perfect without you; the angels because without you their full number cannot be restored, for, as you all know, when Satan and his myrmidons fell from heaven, the number of the heavenly host was greatly diminished. Thus all things await their consummation from you, some the completion of their numbers, others the fulfillment of their desires." (Sermon 77, #4)
I had not heard of this idea of "filling in the ranks" before, but as I pondered these words from a Doctor of the Church, it began to dawn on me that the angels must be intensely interested in the salvation of the human race. St. Bernard tells us that all things are awaiting this "filling in the ranks", that its consummation will mark a crucial point in the plan of God. No wonder the fallen angels are so intent on the destruction of human souls! What must they be willing to do to make sure we do not have sufficient numbers to fill the ranks? Are we getting close? Is that why the evil one seems to be raging harder than ever?
"When he uses the ministry of angels for the salvation of the human race, is it not so that the angels may be loved by men? For it is clear that men are loved by the angels because they are not unaware that the losses in their ranks will be made up by men." (Sermon 78, #1)
The evil of contraception takes on an even more diabolical aspect in this light. Fewer souls are being born even to Christian parents. In this light, contraception may possibly be considered a greater evil than abortion because the souls of aborted babies, through the mercy of God, may still fill the ranks, but if souls are prevented from ever being conceived they cannot fill up the ranks of the fallen angels. May God have mercy on this generation!
And there is the key. Mercy is what we have been given and what will turn the tables on the evil one's plan. Mercy is the reason we are called to the penitential way. Mercy is the not-so-secret weapon of God, and we penitents, if we so desire, may be used as instruments of his mercy in this generation.
By his grace we are called to offer sacrifices for souls, so that the numbers of souls stolen from this generation by the consummate liar and thief, may be made up through the conversion of hearts. Our meager penances, linked to the sufferings of Christ, offered with love for the sake of souls will bear fruit. God would not call us to this way if it did no good. He would not equip us to live this way if there was no point to it.
We are preparing the way of the Lord, making straight his paths to hearts by offering reparations and praying for conversions. We are servants of the Blessed Mother who is calling the world to conversion. For over a hundred years she has been calling us to offer prayers and sacrifices for sinners. Are we listening? The angels are praying for us, guiding us, protecting us and pulling for us. Let us join their ranks now. They are counting on us.
"Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, for all peoples..." Lord Jesus come in glory!
Janet Klasson BSP - Canada
NO GREATER LOVE: by PAUL BEERY BSP - December 2007
"The virgin's name was Mary. The angel said to her, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David, and His Kingdom will never end.'" (Luke 1, 26)
"What effect did St. Francis have on the Church? And what effect has he had on your personal life?"
These were the two questions asked of my great nephew Philip in his class at De La Salle High School. He had chosen to report on the life of St. Francis of Assisi, and there are hardly two better questions that could be asked about this particular Saint.
In answer, I would like to focus on just one aspect: Christmas. How we celebrate Christmas today is directly attributable to the influence of St. Francis:
"Three years before he died St. Francis decided to celebrate the memory of the birth of the Child Jesus at Greccio, with the greatest possible solemnity. The humility of the Incarnation and the charity of the passion occupied his memory particularly, to the extent that he wanted to think of hardly anything else.
The Gospel account of the birth of Jesus has also been put to music: Stabat Mater Speciosa, by Blessed Friar Jacopone de Todi (1230-1306). This son of St. Francis wrote what is considered one of the seven greatest Latin hymns of all time, and one of the most tender. I am so enamored of its beauty, the complete text follows:
He asked and obtained permission of the pope for the ceremony, so he could not be accused of being an innovator.
He had a crib prepared, with hay and an ox and an ass. The friars were all invited and the people came in crowds. The forest re-echoed with their voices and the night was lit up with a multitude of bright lights, while the beautiful music of God's praises added to the solemnity. The saint stood before the crib, and his heart overflowed with tender compassion; he was bathed in tears but overcome with joy. The Mass was sung there and Francis, who was a deacon, sang the Gospel.
Then he preached to the people about the birth of the poor King, whom he called the Babe of Bethlehem in his tender love. The child Jesus had been forgotten in the hearts of many; but by the working of his grace, He was brought to life again through his servant St. Francis and stamped upon their fervent memory. At length the solemn night celebration was brought to a close, and each one returned to his home with holy joy.
The example Francis put before the people was calculated to rouse the hearts of those who are weak in the faith. Later, the place on which the manger had stood was made sacred by a temple of the Lord. An altar was built in honor of the most blessed father Francis over the manger and a church was built, so that where once the animals had eaten the hay, there in the future men would eat unto health of soul and body the flesh of the lamb without blemish and without spot, our Lord Jesus Christ, who in highest and ineffable love gave himself to us, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, eternally glorious, forever and ever. Amen."
(From the Major Life of St. Francis, by St. Bonaventure, and Thomas of Celano, First Life of St. Francis)
Stabat Mater Speciosa
By the crib wherein reposing,
with his eyes in slumber closing,
lay serene her Infant-boy,
Stood the beauteous Mother feeling,
bliss that could not bear concealing,
so her face o'erflowed with joy.
Oh, the rapture naught could smother,
of that most Immaculate Mother
of the sole-begotten One;
When with laughing heart exulting,
she beheld her hopes resulting
In the great birth of her Son.
Who would not with gratulation,
see the happy consolation,
Who would not be glad surveying,
Christ's dear Mother bending,
playing with her heavenly Child.
For a sinful world's salvation,
Christ her Son's humiliation
and brooded o'er;
Saw Him weak, a child, a stranger,
yet before Him in the manger
kings lie prostrate and adore.
O'er that lowly manger winging,
joyful hosts from heaven were singing
canticles of holy praise;
While the old man and the maiden,
speaking naught, with hearts o'erladen,
pondered on God's wondrous ways.
Fount of love, forever flowing,
with a burning ardor glowing,
make me, Mother, feel like thee;
Let my heart, with graces gifted
all on fire, to Christ be lifted,
Him accepted be.
Holy Mother, deign to bless me,
with His sacred Wounds impress me,
let them in my heart abide;
Since He came, thy Son, the Holy,
to a birth-place, ah, so lowly,
all His pains with me divide.
Make me with true joy delighted,
to Child-Jesus be united,
while my days
of life endure;
While an exile here sojourning,
make my heart like thine be burning
with a love divine and pure.
Spotless Maid and sinless Woman,
make us feel a fire in common,
make my heart's long longing sure.
Virgin of all virgins highest,
prayer to thee thou ne'er denyest,
let me bear thy sweet Child too.
Let me bear Him in my bosom,
Lord of life, and never lose Him,
since His birth doth death subdue.
Let me show forth how immense is,
the effect on all my senses,
of a union
All who in the crib revere Him,
like the shepherds watching near Him,
will attend Him through the night,
By thy powerful prayers protected,
grant, O Queen, that His elected
may behold heaven's moving light.
Make me by His birth be guarded,
by God's holy word be warded,
by His grace till all is done;
When my body lies obstructed,
make my soul to be conducted,
to the vision of thy Son. Amen.
A CHRISTMAS WISH
We have a Christmas wish to extend to all of our members and friends with love.
That they may come to know the Lord Jesus more intimately this Christmas as one might know a new born babe.
How gently we hold Him. How tenderly we consider His every need. How quickly we respond to His cries. How we feed Him and nurture Him, and are patient and loving with Him to ease His way into this life, and how perfectly this babe responds to all that is human in the perfection of His humanity.
We wish it may be so for all of us with Jesus:
That we may know His will for us more intimately as we consider Him in His infancy. That the mystery of His power, so real but so quiet in this little child, may possess our hearts and bring us to a deep awe and appreciation of all that He is.
That we may gently hold to the Truth that Jesus is of all that is good and holy and pleasing to God. That we may love Him with all of our heart, and mind, and soul and our neighbors, especially those who hate us, as we love even ourselves.
That we might tenderly consider what this love will require of us, day and night, as we strive to live this Rule that St. Francis gave us for all of our lives, or even part of our lives if we are still in formation or learning how to live it. In this tenderness may we be patient with ourselves and others and be humble in accepting all that it demands of us as the people of God and followers of Jesus that strive to be.
That we may respond quickly to His cries in the voices of the poor and those around us who need someone to listen and care for them. To feed them, and help them prosper. In these others may we respond to the needs of this Child.
That we might bounce Him on our knee and see His bright smile. That they may know Him who moves in all that lives and gives life to all things. May we feel His mystical joy and may this Christmas of all Christmases we have ever experienced be special and filled with the Love of God.
HAVE A HOLY AND HAPPY CHRISTMAS!
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS
The Octave of Christmas, which is the 8 days beginning at Christmas is a Solemnity. As such this is a great time for rejoicing and the mortifications of the Rule are suspended. Our prayers continue as always.
Let us enjoy the Octave and keep our eyes fixed on the Child Jesus. Let this be a special time of meditation and renewal as we prepare to move on in our life and in living our Rule. May the Child lead us into His Love and Peace so we may more perfectly reflect Him to others.
The Nativity by Bernardino Luini, early 1500's, Milan, Italy
BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF PENANCE OF ST. FRANCIS
a.k.a. the BSP, is a non-profit Private Association of the Faithful, which is dedicated to renewing the ancient way of penance as contained in the First Rule of the Third Order of St. Francis of 1221 for lay people in our modern world. We have the blessing of the Catholic Church to do this through several of its bishops. If you are bound by another Rule of life in another profession of the way of St. Francis that does not permit you to enter other religious families you are nonetheless invited to become an Honorary member of our Association and add the elements of this beautiful way of life that Saint Francis of Assisi gave us to the lifestyle of your profession.
All members, and Franciscans, are welcome to submit articles for consideration for inclusion in this newsletter if they are directed towards the spiritual formation of members or are the outgrowth of the lifestyle of the Association. Just send them to the BSP at
email@example.com. Feel free to share this newsletter with your friends or neighbors. It is intended to be the primary monthly communication of the Association. And if you can find it in your heart and in your budget remember that donations to the BSP are used strictly to promote the lifestyle and are tax deductible. We remain, always, sincerely yours in the love of Jesus Christ!
Bruce and Shelley Fahey BSP
Welcome to the Brothers and Sisters of Penance!
"...and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."