So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Standing on guard for us at Christmas

Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.—Jacques Maritain

Our brothers and sisters in the armed services—soldiers, sailors, airmen, medical and support crew—and in the security and police services are standing on guard for us. Their service keeps them from their families and friends at Christmas.

Canadian Air Task Force (ATF) Lithuania | RCAF

The freedoms we enjoy are not something we can take for granted. Events of recent years should serve as poignant reminders to Canadian citizens that others devotedly serve on the front lines at home and abroad protecting us from physical and economic harm.

Do we squander those hard fought freedoms by becoming like the uncivilized people who threaten our societies with violence and death? Do we repay our armed forces and security services by promoting a culture of death in our own country? Let us honour our protectors by promoting a culture of life and responsibility at home and abroad, a culture that respects human life from conception to natural death.

The freedoms we enjoy are always purchased for us at a high cost. Our protectors suffer loss of life and limb so that we can remain safe. When those protectors complete their active service, many suffer at home in silence. Those whose minds have been shattered by conflict need our gratitude and understanding. In this Year of Mercy, perhaps we can spare time to visit with wounded service men and women to listen to their stories, and to share a message of hope, the hope found in and through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let us offer our protectors our gratitude, especially those serving abroad in dangerous places where lives are threatened daily. Let us pray for their safety as they defend freedom abroad and let us pray for their safe return.

Consider sending a note of gratitude to those in one or more of our defence services at Christmas:

Mindful of Mercy

There is no shelter for Our Lady and Saint Joseph in Bethlehem. Our Lord and Saviour is born in a stable and laid in a manger. Angels announce to shepherds Christ is born. The shepherds leave their flocks and hurry to adore the Son of God. After paying homage to the Lord of hosts,
The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.—St. Luke 2:20
1) Adoration of the Lord expressed through 2) action or witness to the Good News.

The shepherds had their priorities in order. Do we?

This Christmas and always, especially during this Year of Mercy, we may also enact the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. Disciples of Jesus are called to:
  1. Feed the hungry;
  2. Give drink to the thirsty;
  3. Clothe the naked;
  4. Shelter the homeless;
  5. Visit the sick;
  6. Ransom the captive and visit the imprisoned;
  7. Bury the dead.
  1. Instruct the ignorant;
  2. Counsel the doubtful;
  3. Admonish sinners;
  4. Bear wrongs patiently;
  5. Forgive offences willingly;
  6. Comfort the afflicted;
  7. Pray for the living and the dead.

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