DAILY CATHOLIC     CHRISTMAS ISSUE     December 23-27, 1998     vol. 9, no. 248


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    Dear Friends of Mary,

         As Spiritual Director for this apostolate, I wrote my last Christmas message in the final print issue of A CALL TO PEACE last year. For well over a year since All Saints Day in 1997, those tuning in to the Catholic-Internet Network have been able to keep up Monday to Friday with the DAILY CATHOLIC, the only and first ever regular Catholic publication on the net.

          Christmas, my dear friends, is really the Feast of LOVE INCARNATE. Jesus came to give us His love, and He showed the depth of that love by becoming like us in all things but sin. We need to really meditate on this point. God was born of a woman, our Blessed Mother Mary. He did not suddenly appear out of nowhere. He accepted a fully human nature, inseparably united to His Divine nature. And thus, like the rest of us, He was born into this world. This is not just a story or a myth! This is reality! Pope John Paul II stressed the importance of this fact when he said: "It is necessary to recover the truth about Christmas in the authenticity of historical fact and in the fullness of the meaning it bears. The historical fact is that at a given moment in history, in a certain area of the earth, there was born, of a humble woman of the race of David, the Messiah announced by the Prophets: Jesus Christ the Lord."

          The Pope then explains that this historical fact causes all of history to fall into place. The meaning is that, with the coming of Christ, the whole of human history found its outlet, its explanation, its dignity; God came to meet us in Christ in order that we might have access to Him.

          Christmas is a great birthday celebration for all of us are members of God's family. Jesus said: "Whoever wishes to be my follower must deny his very self, take up his cross each day and follow in My footsteps." Jesus wants us to become like Him in all things. He is our Exemplar, our Model. As He lived, so we should live.

          Terrence Cardinal Cook once wrote: "At Christmas the doors of God's Mercy and Love are open to us. We enter and rejoice in the presence of the Lord among us." This Christmas let us truly offer God fitting worship with hearts overflowing with love, His love.

          A friend of mine sent me a Christmas greeting. I would like to share this greeting with everyone who here in the DAILY CATHOLIC. The message reads as follows:

      "I am wishing you this day a Blessed Christmas. I wish to send you these gifts which are beyond price...and will out-last time and bridge all space. I wish you laughter and pure joy, a merry, hearty and clear conscience and love which thinks no evil, is not easily provoked and seeks not its own. I wish for you the fragrance of flowers, the sweet association of holly and mistletoe and fir, the memory of deep woods of peaceful hills and of the mantling snow which guards the sleep of all God's creatures. I wish that the spirit of Christmas time may draw you into deeper companionship with Him Who has given you the greatest gift possible, the Gift of Himself...the gift that only a God-man can give."

          Please continue to pray for the spiritual success of this most wonderful apostolate of MIR-A-CALL Center and the DAILY CATHOLIC. Tell your friends about this magnificent ministry which has literally reached hundreds of thousands of people. May God bless you abundantly this Christmas and all through the coming year of 1999. This is my HOPE, my WISH, my PRAYER for you!

Father Al Svobodny, OMI

December 23-27, 1998       volume 9, no. 248


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