201712.24
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Time at the Manger

I am including you in my prayers on Christmas day, that you and all your family will be deeply
blessed by our loving Savior as you honor Him with your presence on the memorial of His Virgin Birth.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be transported back in time to be there at the manger to help warm and welcome
this darling God-made-man babe, on that cold winter’s night? Wouldn’t it be great if we could spend time with
that beautiful Child, now grown to become our Loving Savior? Well, the tremendous good news is that we
can!

One of the most important initiatives we have undertaken as a parish in these past two years since entering our
beautiful new church is the establishment of our Perpetual Adoration Guild. We are continuing to slowly
grow from our beginnings of one monthly 24-hour Adoration (every First Friday morning.)

Now we have 24-hour Adoration beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the first, third, and fourth Fridays of the month. We
now have 26 guild members who have committed to a specific Adoration time for all three expositions of the Real
Presence in our Totus Tuus Marian Chapel. My prayer is that as you read this you will be moved to make a
commitment to adore our Savior. I have frequently mentioned that if you will only give Adoration a try and
commit to spend an hour at each Exposition for one month, you will be impacted in a peaceful and positive
way.

So, what does one do during Adoration? What do lovers do when they gaze with love at each other? First of
all we need Silence. When Pope Benedict XVI led outdoor Adoration in London’s Hyde Park back in
2010 about 80,000 young people kept silence with the Pope. It was awesome! But this caused great
consternation among the media broadcasters. Silence does not make for good television. Television requires
continuous chatter. Adoration requires silence.

Secondly, Adoration requires attentiveness. It is heart-breaking when I so often see couples sitting opposite
each other in restaurants, both fixated on their smartphone screens instead of each other. It’s easy to see what
dominates that relationship, as we naturally attend to that which we value most. In Adoration, naturally, we
attend to the Lord.

Thirdly, Adoration needs receptivity. In our silence and attentiveness, we open ourselves up to receiving
from God. We are stripped of the illusion that we can do God any favors. He longs to lavish Himself on us. He
thirsts for us to thirst for and desire Him; He desires to be longed for. Our private prayer is good, but
our silence is golden as we listen for Him to communicate with us. He will guide us and teach us, but only if
we let Him. If we are doing all the talking and requesting, we block that out. In Adoration, we receive
from God the truth about God and about ourselves.

We celebrate the memorial of His coming to us to redeem and save us, on Christmas, tomorrow. Why not, in addition to Mass, when you return to your home make a point to spend at least a minute in quiet prayer (include all the family members present) and personally thank and acknowledge Him on His Birthday?

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, thank You for coming to redeem and save us. Inspire us in this new year, to build a personal relationship with You, by spending at least an hour each month, acknowledging You and conversing with You in humble Adoration of the Great Gift you left for mankind…Your Real Presence.

May your Christmas be merry and blessed,