A Christmas Prayer from St. John Paul II

We thank you, eternal Father, for the Motherhood of the Virgin Mary, who under the protection of Joseph, the carpenter of Nazareth, brought your Son into the world, in utter poverty. “He came to his own home, and his own people received him not” (John 1:11). And yet, he received all of us from his very birth and embraced each one of us with the eternal love of the Father, with the love that saves man, that raises the human conscience from sin. In him we have reconciliation and the forgiveness of sins. We thank you heavenly Father, for the child laid in a manger: in him “the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior appeared” (Titus 3:4). We thank you, eternal Father, for this love, which comes down like a frail infant into the history of each human being. We thank you, because, though  he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, so that by his poverty we might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9)…

nativity

Mystic Nativity by Sandro Botticelli

Impel individuals and peoples to break down the walls of selfishness, of arrogance and hate, in order to open themselves to fraternal respect for all human beings, near or far, because they are people, brothers and sisters in Christ. Induce all individuals to offer the help necessary for those in need, to renew their own hearts in the grace of Christ the Redeemer.

-St. John Paul II, Message at St. Peter’s Basilica, December 25, 1983

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