Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

          I would like to start out by wishing everyone a Mary Christ Mass and a Happy New Life of Grace - the life or lives I speak of is being baptized into life, the eternal life that we hope for and for all the new lives conceived and born into this world.

      Look, It's Frosty

          When thinking about writing this Christmas message I had to first find a mental hermitage in order to get away from all the decorations and lights with Santa, the Snow-people and all the reindeer that are out during this lightly penitential time of penance and preparation for the presentation of our Lord into this passing world in which we live. I had to put out of my mind the way seemingly everyone begins to celebrate the “holidays” that used to involve the birth of our Lord into this world for a couple of months before the date of His birth and end it on January 2nd a month before the Christmas season actually ends. Getting the idea that most of the people I know in the world, “Christians” or not, celebrate not Christmas but rather they celebrate being off work and having more time free in order to drink more and watch more TV.

      Mental Hermitage

          I managed to find this mental hermitage by going to Confession and then spending a couple of hours kneeling and sitting before the Blessed Sacrament. There is Christ, about the size He was a couple of months after having been conceived on the joyous occasion of the Annunciation March 25th some 2008 years ago. Our Lord resided in the Immaculate womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary completely dependant on her whom He created. He did this in order to bring the possibility of salvation to all. Those who go through the season of Advent without a whiff of the true faith, those who engage in all sorts of sins against the sixth and ninth Commandments throughout this holy season, those who spend this time of penance partying and living this life as if death ends it all. Yes all these people thanks to the conception, birth, death and resurrection of our Lord have the chance to enjoy His presence through all eternity whereas had our Most Holy Lord not been conceived they would not.

          If these materialists who make great sacrifices to go to stores and get great deals on black Friday rather than “sacrifice” some to be present to the Christ-child, the King of Kings convert - both exteriorly and interiorly - they will spend all eternity with our Lord. Alas, as it stands I can’t help but to wonder if at their judgment our Lord might not ask them why they would want to spend all eternity with Him when they all but entirely avoided Him in this life.

          However, we must remember that it is in this passing vale of tears that our hope lies.

          It is because of the materialist superficial mindset of the general public that those of us who try to remain close to Christ have the opportunity to merit glory for ourselves in Heaven. Thank God for the secular-humanists who try to bury anything holy about the holy days which they spell “holidays”. Through our sorrow and prayers for them and all who need them will come our joy.

          For the true Catholic everything is good no matter how bad it is.

      Blessed Be His Holy Name!

          When we cannot get good customer service no matter where we go from people who want our money in exchange for a dirty look and an a nasty attitude – Praise be to God! When care givers do not care about your elderly mother-in-law and seem to prefer her death rather than her restoration to health – Deo gratias! When you get pulled over by an officer trying to boost the economy by stealing from those who pay his salary – Blessed be His Holy name! When a judge is extra hard on a man who dresses for the occasion and calls him “your honor” rather than “judge” and wears a crucifix and raises a God-fearing family while contributing to the betterment of our society but looks the other way when it comes to the pierced-tattooed riff-raff which is our paganistic heathenish youth and their parents – Blessed be Jesus Christ true God and true man!

          Thank you one and all for giving us yet another opportunity to knock off some serious Purgatory time.

      Whine is Fine

          Thinking about beneficial suffering and knocking off some Purgatory time I cannot help but recall how during a recent talk with my mother (no, it was not talking to my mother that I mean to suggest falls under the category of beneficial suffering!) I had come to find out that my Aunt was a whiner as a baby. Yes all babies cry, but she would constantly moan for no reason, just to get her mother to fuss over her or pay attention to her. I also found out that I was the same way though I would prefer to think of myself as having been a determined, resolute and effective communicator for one my age. Dear Lord may you please apply all the burdensome sniveling my mother had to endure for the sake of her soul. In our two generations we were the only two whiners and my Aunt never stopped. Neither did I, as you can tell by my articles when I cry about the absolute insanity of various people who claim high places and of those who follow him. Pray God invincible ignorance is enough to stave off their following him to where objectively speaking if he does not repent his final end may be.

          One of the happiest occurrences of my life in the natural realm was the birth of our dear child of gracious eloquence Mary Elizabeth Gregory. Apart from the most Holy Sacraments of the Church and my most wonderful wife she is the greatest thing that ever happened thus far into my earthly sojourn. It is impossible to describe the feelings I have for her and the joy she brings me. I’m sure other parents know what I mean. In fact there are many ladies who fornicated and contracepted throughout their lives who also must have some idea as they are admittedly very sad for having not had any children – apart from those whom may have been aborted by chemical contraception or surgically - as they reach middle-age.

          But this greatest bundle of joy in my life is the third whiner or effective communicator in three generations. She is as healthy and as happy as can be but she selectively chooses when to whine in order to provoke a reaction from those inclined to do so. I am not exaggerating when I describe her this way as she whines when her mother is in the room and then stops when she leaves and then starts up again when she comes back. We do not have TV. All our waking moments are focused on her as my wife of course stays at home. But every once in a while my wife and I will have the audacity to get into a conversation with each other and this action is absolutely unacceptable to our holy daughter who has committed no sin her entire life of 15 months. And she has a good point as she is an immortal soul entrusted to our care that we may safely guide her to her eternal home. By golly we should be paying attention to her. No?

          Occasionally, in order to console my wife I will call our daughter “The Purgatory Killer”. As wonderful as the smiles, giggles and laughs from our daughter are, the whining, spiritually speaking, is even greater. This gift which God gave us came late in our lives and God willing, we will be eternally grateful for our bundle-of-joy who indeed gives us a great opportunity to endure beneficial penance for the sake of souls, our own and hers included.

      Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

          It is with the examples above that I would like to encourage all to hold their heads up through difficult times without wasting these wonderful God-given opportunities to merit. These times have been fashioned for us from all eternity for the betterment of our souls. But our souls are improved only if we embrace these special crosses, some little and some not so little, rather than run from them. God has given us the opportunity to “pay” in a manner of speaking for our sins through penance now or to pay later, perhaps eternally. As I recently told an acquaintance, “There is no perfect justice in this world but there is Perfect Justice. No one ‘gets away with’ anything which is why we should be grateful for Purgatory as this is a most pleasant alternative to Hell.” In eternity the crosses we endured in this life will all seem minute in the extreme whether we spend our eternity in Heaven or in Hell. It is far better to embrace the crosses Christ sends us now and benefit than to run from them and have God chase us down and whack us over the head with them later. Crosses do not seem like crosses at all when we consider them in light of our final end. As I said, for the true Catholic everything is good no matter how bad it is.

      Our Loss is Gain

          With this in mind I make a late plea to all while keeping myself in mind to make the most of our Advent. If we live a good life we will have a happy death and after-life and if we have a good Advent we are rather likely to have a truly merry Christmas.

          Christmas is a time, first and foremost, to first prepare for and then participate in the perfect celebration of the birth of God at the most holy Mass and worthily receive Him at Communion.

          Christmas is also a time to celebrate the conception and birth of Christ and I would like to use this opportunity to ask for all of your prayers as my loving wife Lorraine, whose sufferings I believe could perhaps be being applied for the sake of my salvation due to the inconsistency of my actions in the moral realm with my knowledge thereof, recently had a very difficult miscarriage and sends out this plea:

            I have some sad news, I lost my sweet bundle of joy that God blessed me with. I had a miscarriage on Saturday November 29th. Thank you all for your support and good wishes.

            I am trying to keep it in my mind that God giveth and God taketh away, and embrace this cross He has given me.

            May the Beautiful Christ Child Jesus bless you all for Christmas and the upcoming New Year 2009.

            To all of you who are not Catholic, May the Little Baby Jesus help you to come to the True Faith - The Holy Catholic Church.

            To all of you who are Traditional Catholic, may the Little Baby Jesus bless you with many wonderful graces of our True Faith and enrich you with the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.

            To all of you who are fallen away Catholics, may the Little Baby Jesus embrace you with His Love and help you back to the One and Only True Faith, and help you grow in the riches of Holy Mother Church.

            May God bless you all and Mother Mary keep each and every one of you. Always in our thoughts and prayers,

        Lorraine, John, Mary Gregory and Grandma Blanche Acosta

    John Gregory

          "Catholics who remain faithful to Tradition, even if they are reduced to but a handful, they are THE TRUE CHURCH"
          Saint Athanasius, "Apostle of Tradition" AD 373

      December 25, 2008
      vol 19, no. 360