Friday, December 28, 2012
Communion: a delight to your Infant Savior
"It's a thirst of the heart of every creature that desires to be loved, and the love which can alone satisfy that craving is the Divine Love. Let your heart delight in the love your God has for you, personally, individually. No soul ever in ardent fervor desires to unite herself to our Lord in Holy Communion, as our Lord desires to unite Himself to her.
So Holy Communion is a delight to your Infant Savior; because He loves you, oh, how immeasurably!
He tells you in His heart-to-heart interview that He has become a little Infant so that you may love Him with a human love without fear."
St Katherine Drexel
Feast of the Holy Innocents (Childermas)
FEAST DAY - December 28
As recorded in the gospel of Matthew after the visit of the Magi, Herod, in fear, rage and jealousy, “ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under” in an attempt to destroy his perceived rival, the infant Messiah. The horror of the massacre and the devastation of the mothers and fathers led Matthew to quote Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah,/sobbing and loud lamentation;/Rachel weeping for her children...” (Mt 2:18).
Since the sixth century, on December 28, the Church has celebrated the memory of those children killed because of Herod's rage against Christ (cf. Mt 2:16-17). These innocent lives bear witness to Christ who was persecuted from the time of His birth by a world which would not receive Him. Liturgical tradition refers to them as the "Holy Innocents" and regards them as martyrs.
"Blessed are you,
Bethlehem in the ! You suffered the inhumanity of King Herod in the murder of your babes and thereby have become worthy to offer to the Lord a pure host of infants. In full right do we celebrate the heavenly birthday of these children whom the world caused to be born unto an eternally blessed life rather than that from their mothers' womb, for they attained the grace of everlasting life before the enjoyment of the present. The precious death of any martyr deserves high praise because of his heroic confession; the death of these children is precious in the sight of God because of the beatitude they gained so quickly. For already at the beginning of their lives they pass on. The end of the present life is for them the beginning of glory. These then, whom Herod's cruelty tore as sucklings from their mothers' bosom, are justly hailed as "infant martyr flowers"; they were the Church's first blossoms, matured by the frost of persecution during the cold winter of unbelief." ~ land of Judah St. Augustine
Triumph of the Innocents ~ William Holman Hunt (1883)
Holy Innocents, Infant Martyr Flowers, ora pro nobis!