Christmas Day.

On the Birth of Our Lord.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

On the Birth of Our Lord.

To-day, my soul, betake yourself in imagination to the manger wherein the Saviour was laid. And whilst you meditate on this subject, endeavor to realize the great and all-important moment in that hallowed night, when the cave at Bethlehem was suddenly lighted up with the radiance of the celestial glory, and Mary and Joseph knelt in devout worship before the new-born Infant Christ. Join them in spirit, kneel down beside Mary and Joseph, and gaze with reverent awe, with delicious joy, upon the adorable Infant.

1st. Consider first the sweetness, the solace, the unspeakable joy that Mary and Joseph experienced at the sight of the divine Child. With deepest reverence they, first of all the dwellers on the whole wide earth, salute the Infant Redeemer and salute Him in the name of all the human race. One can fancy how fervently they thanked Him on behalf of all the world, to whom His birth brought such immense favors and blessings; how gladly and unreservedly they offered their poor services to the divine Child. You, my soul, ought to do likewise; the same sentiments ought to animate you to-day, when you kneel, not merely in spirit, but in reality before the Saviour’s crib; I mean the tabernacle where Christ, the divine Child, actually reposes. Oh, let it be your chief delight to contemplate the Child Jesus as Mary and Joseph did, by assiduously visiting the Most Holy Sacrament, not to-day only, but every day of your life.

2d. Consider how the Blessed Virgin, overwhelmed with holy awe, hesitated long before taking the divine Child in her arms, and how at length love overcame fear, and impelled her to take up the divine Infant, to warm its tender limbs, to clasp it to her maternal bosom, to cover it with respectful kisses. What words can describe her happiness at that moment, the consolation, the joy that she felt!

Now, my soul, it is the same with you; reverence for the Infant Jesus in the tabernacle seems to hold you back from receiving Him into your heart, yet does not love, love for this same Jesus urge you to do that from which a salutary awe bids you refrain? Arise then, draw near to-day to the divine Infant, and by receiving Him in Holy Communion take Him, like Mary, into your arms. But what do I say like Mary? Are you worthy to do as Mary did? Oh, how far you fall short of the purity, the love, the humility of the Blessed Virgin! What do you propose to do from this time forward, in order that it may be otherwise with you?

3d. Finally, fix your gaze once more on the Infant in the manger. Do not rise up from your meditation until you have impressed His image vividly upon your soul, until you have, so to speak, before your eyes the gracious, lovely Child as He lies there, so indescribably poor and yet withal so rich, so lowly and yet so exalted, suffering so much from the cold and yet imparting life and warmth to the whole world, abandoned so entirely by mankind, and yet their only hope of salvation. And then surely you will need no suggestions from any one; your own heart will already have told you what you ought to do.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

Meditations on the Life, Teaching, and Passion of Jesus Christ

(Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur: New York, December 31, 1900)

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Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

Prayers for the 25th Day of the Month.

V. O God, come unto my assistance!
R. O Lord, make haste to help me!
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

I. Jesu, sweetest Child, who didst come down from the bosom of the Father for our salvation, who wast conceived by the Holy Ghost, who didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb, and who, being the Word made flesh, didst take upon Thee the form of a servant, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.  

II. Jesu, sweetest Child, who by means of Thy Virgin Mother didst visit Saint Elisabeth, who didst fill Thy forerunner, John the Baptist, with Thy Holy Spirit and didst sanctify him in his mother’s womb, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.  

III. Jesu, sweetest Child, who, enclosed for nine months in Thy Mother’s womb, wast looked for with eager expectation by the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, and wast offered by God the Father for the salvation of the world, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.   

IV. Jesu, sweetest Child, born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, announced by Angels and visited by shepherds, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.   

All honor, laud, and glory be,

O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee;

All glory, as is ever meet,

To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

V. Christ is near to us;
R. Come, let us adore Him.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

V. Jesu, sweetest Child, wounded after eight days in Thy circumcision, called by the glorious Name of Jesus, and at once by Thy Name and by Thy Blood foreshown as the Saviour of the world, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.   

VI. Jesu, sweetest Child, manifested by the leading of a star to the three Wise Men, worshiped in the arms of Thy Mother, presented with the mystic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.  

VII. Jesu, sweetest Child, presented in the temple by Thy Virgin Mother, taken up in Simeon’s arms, and revealed to Israel by Anna, a prophetess, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.   

VIII. Jesu, sweetest Child, sought by wicked Herod to be slain, carried with Thy Mother into Egypt by Saint Joseph, rescued from the cruel slaughter, and glorified by the praises of the martyred Innocents, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.   

All honor, laud and glory be,

O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee;

All glory, as is ever meet,

To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

V. Christ is near to us.
R. O come and let us worship.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

IX. Jesu, sweetest Child, who didst dwell in Egypt with most holy Mary and the Patriarch, Saint Joseph until the death of Herod, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.  

X. Jesu, sweetest Child, who didst return from Egypt to the land of Israel with Thy parents, suffering many hardships in the way, and didst enter into the city of Nazareth, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.  

XI. Jesu, sweetest Child, who didst dwell most holily in the holy house at Nazareth, in subjection to Thy parents, wearied by poverty and toil, and didst increase in wisdom, age and grace, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.  

XII. Jesu, sweetest Child, brought to Jerusalem at twelve years of age, sought by Thy parents sorrowing and found with joy after three days in the midst of the Doctors, have mercy on us.

R. Have mercy on us, Child Jesus, have mercy on us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.   

All honor, laud and glory be,

O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee;

All glory, as is ever meet,

To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

 (For Christmas Day and its Octave):
V. The Word was made flesh, alleluia.
R. And dwelt amongst us, alleluia.
(For the Epiphany and its Octave):
V. Christ hath manifested Himself to us, alleluia.
R. O come and let us worship, alleluia.
(Throughout the year):
V. The Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt amongst us.

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, Lord of heaven and earth, Who dost reveal Thyself to little ones; grant, we beseech Thee, that we, venerating with due honor the sacred mysteries of Thy Son, the Child Jesus, and copying them with due imitation, may be enabled to enter the kingdom of heaven which Thou hast promised to little children. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

An indulgence of 5 years once a day.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions when these prayers are said devoutly on the 25th day of any month(S. C. Ind., Nov. 23, 1819; S. P. Ap., June 8, 1935).

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