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Under the Mantle: Marian Thoughts from a 21st Century Priest

Father Donald Calloway, MIC, skillfully shares his personal insights on topics including Divine Mercy, the Eucharist, the Church, Confession, prayer, the cross, masculinity, and fe... Read more

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Photo: Ruth Sanderson

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By Sarah Chichester (Dec 24, 2015)
The four long weeks of Advent, full of expectation and longing, seem so fleeting as we gaze with wonder on the newborn Jesus. How beautiful He is! The love reflected in Mary's face is indescribable, and the sweetness of her smile melts our hearts. Joseph also cradles Him in his strong yet tender embrace, gazing with joy on the Messiah.

You sit there, content to happily watch them, when suddenly Joseph turns to you and places Jesus gently in your arms. Here He is — the One who is the comfort in your distress! The One who is your joy and your peace!

And how content He is to be by your heart for He knows that He is at home there.

Saint Faustina had an experience such as this once during Midnight Mass in 1937. "I was left alone with the Infant Jesus who stretched out His little hands to me, and I understood that I was to take Him in my arms," she writes. "Jesus pressed His head against my heart and gave me to know, by His profound gaze, how good He found it to be next to my heart" (Diary of St. Faustina, 1442).

As you hold Jesus, thank Him for coming, thank Him for the greatest gift of Himself. Love Him. Let this Christmas Season be an occasion for a new cry to arise in your heart, "Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, my Joy and my Hope!"

A Merry and Blessed Christmas to all.

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ics - Dec 24, 2009

Jesus Christ, The WORD Incarnate, give us the grace to participate in the Holy Mass of the Catolic Church always to the Will of Heavenly Eternal Father and to receive the HOlY EUCHARIST with the genuine faith and love of the Centurion.

MDC - Dec 25, 2009

Thank you Lord Jesus.

gma - Dec 20, 2011


Ann - Dec 20, 2011

We are blessed by the coming of Jesus each moment of our lives....may we always be mindful of his great love for all humanity and give him praise in all things at all times.

Helena - Dec 21, 2011

We give thanks to God for his Divine Mercy thru wich we have His Son our Lord Jesus , our Redeemer !
We thank our Faustina Divine Mercy Secretary for spreading the good news of God's Divine Mercy to ALL.
Blessed Christmas to All.

Isabel - Dec 21, 2011

Thank you LordJesus. I trust in You with my life.

csr - Dec 22, 2011

Thank you heavenly Father for the gift of your Son, the gift of your love. Help us to never forget or be apart from your love!

Ellzeena - Dec 22, 2011

I think it very important that we remember Jesus was a human infant, like any other except of course for his Divinity. He cried; he nursed; he was helpless and had to learn everything,just as any newborn. This is important to remember because it is so humbling: the great God, He who put the galaxies in place, He who holds the universe together with one thought, took on the frail body of a creature for US. He suffered, he had fears, he was extremely joyful, he sometimes became righteously angry, he loved deeply and his compassion had no bounds, even when it threatened His life which He then gave up in a gruesome manner so that WE can be FREE. Thank you Jesus, my Savior, my best friend, the love of my life.

S T.M. - Dec 22, 2011

Thank God for Infinite Love and Mercy that He has loved me and my family and all of humankind with in giving Us all Jesus Christ as the ONLY important Gift this Christmas. Thank you Mary, the young Virgen girl who said Yes to God without rebellion nor hesitation for being ultimate Grace! May all have a blessed and safe Christmas with Jesus as the focus! Amen.

Rebeca Salazar - Dec 22, 2011

Dear baby Jesus, as my dad is ready to go, please take his soul and don't let him get lost in his way to the meeting with you

Gilda Smith - Dec 22, 2011

Thank you; I never though of baby Jesus wanting to be held by me. How sweet is His love!

Cecilia - Dec 23, 2011

Thank you for the beautiful meditation and for all the sharing specially that of asking Baby Jesus to lead the way of the ones that will depart from this life during this time of Christmas. Mother Mary be our Star of the Sea and may your love and that of Jesus be always with us and our loved ones. Please pray for the people that make your life difficult, as they bring you many blessings. Merry Christmas to all!

Ron - Dec 25, 2011

Extraordinary that the Baby Jesus, God Himself, would wish to be held by a human being. Yet since Jesus is human, too, it makes sense. Amazing, still.

Granny - Dec 26, 2011

We belong to St Anthony of Padua Parish in Ambler PA. The priests and parishioners have helped make this a memorable and more meaningful Christmas just as the Marians do. You draw people closer to God and God holds everyone closer to Him through everyones prayers. I love Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and I am ever praying that Jesus will hold onto my family so that none of us will ever be separated from Him. I pray the Holy Family will embrace all people and bring everyone closer to Jesus. I can't imagine how lost people must feel without God in their lives. Thank you Infant Jesus and Mary. St Joseph intercede for us with the Angels.

Jim - Dec 28, 2011

The will of God never takes us where the mercy of God will not protect us. Life is difficult enough when we go through trials. Jesus never gives us more than he knows we can handle. Can you imagine what life would be like or is like to those who do not believe in God! Who and what does one turn too? Thank you, Lord,for all the graces you have every bestowed upon me and my family. Merry Christmas

Kathleen Roesch - Dec 21, 2012

Thank you for giving us the thought to meditate on what it would be like to hold Baby Jesus in our arms as Mary did, and surely St. Joseph did too. How beautiful!
My family and I have a cake for Jesus at Christmas,with a candle, to sing Happy Birthday to Him on this great day.

Jen - Dec 21, 2012

We are so blessed. A most joyous Christmas to one and all!

flc - Dec 21, 2012

Thank You Jesus For always being at our side mine,and all my family. Thank You .

fredleo1 - Dec 22, 2012

Jesus has rewarded us with a Cross to bear. With HIS help we can carry any cross. This "gift" draws us closer to HIM - Thank you Jesus!!

Linda - Dec 22, 2012

Thank you for the Christmas Inspirations,
Especially when the world is in such turmoil!

Amy - Dec 22, 2012

Praise and Glory to you Jesus! Thank You for coming to save us. Thank You Father for the gift of Your Son. Thank You Mary and Joseph for saying yes.
Happy Birthday Jesus

Jo - Dec 22, 2012

May all come to know the true meaning of Christmas. It's not the wrapped gift, it's the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. God Bless everyone especially lost souls needing courage and strength.

Martha Edmond - Dec 23, 2012

Thank you Jesus for being my savior and my brother. Thank you for your wonderful love. I love you too.

huskeysenior - Dec 24, 2012

Thank you Jesus for being for me these 83 years

Rennie Okoh - Dec 27, 2012

Thank you Lord Jesus for all your love.

Agnes Wickramasinghe - Dec 19, 2013

Thank you my dear Jesus, my Saviour, my brother,the love of my life. Thank you most beautiful Mother for being our earthly mother and heavenly mother too.


Claire - Dec 19, 2013

Wishing all a Blessed Christmas with Jesus and Mary and Joseph in your hearts.

graciela - Dec 20, 2013

Mi SeƱor, yo no soy digna de tener a tu hijo entre mis brazos, pero lo necesito. El es mi consuelo, mi fortaleza y mi esperanza. Perdoname y dejame acercarme a El. Infinitamente gracias.

Patricia - Dec 20, 2013

Such a beautiful meditation; I will use it with family on Christmas Day. When a new grandchild is born into our family, I am always reminded of baby Jesus. A great niece of mine is about 8 months pregnant, but having dire physical problems, and she and the baby will suffer side-effects from meds she has had to take to stay controlled. Please pray for baby and my niece. Baby Jesus and Mama Mary, I give both of them to your healing.

Linda from Chicago - Dec 22, 2013

I love you baby Jesus! How awesome it was for Mary and Joseph to hold that little baby, cooing in their arms. Sometimes I just sit and meditate on that, how awesome! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you...

Liza Worrell - Dec 23, 2013

My favorite Christmas song is " O' Holy Night!". The marvelous and lovely words honestly Andy truthfully the story in a nutshell of our supernatural plan of God, our Father, of all Creation, of our Salvation, Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! Alleluia, forever! Whoever doubts about His plan, I am sorry to say, is not very acquainted about History......His ( Jesus- who, means literally ! God's Salvation, a great gift to a world that was and still cursed with the sin of hate and violence imputed by a demonic influence thru its lies , twisted and wrong thinking by disobeying God's true words and commandments for good and pure heart and hands, living and sharing the Good News of Redemption. (Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Psalms, SoS, Daniel, Ezekiel and Moses)
His heavenly Advent - conception and birth on earth and His crucifixion and death prophesied and promised by our Merciful and glorious God Himself in Genesis 3: 15 and Resurrection @ Easter morning gifted all creation a glorious renewal, a new birth from the corruption from sin and death from hell to everlasting life with the rHoly God that starts from this Holy Night of our Lord Jesus' Immaculate Conception, thru a virgin named Mirriam (Mary), from sorrow and confusion to overflowing Joy and Peace! Ave Maria!
Thanks and praise to the Holy Trinity for Their loving provision and Merciful plan and the good tidings "hello " of the Angel Gabriel, to a heart ready for love, Virgin Mary and to a pining- for - a Savior, oppressed by sin, world! Alleluia, forever! And ever! Amen!

john - Dec 24, 2013

thank you baby jesus for loving me, I love you with all i am and have! You are the way the truth and the life!
Come lord Jesus!

Judy K. - Dec 29, 2015

Thank You my Precious Lord for coming among us as man. I may not hold You in my arms, but in Your gift of Yourself in the Eucharist, I hold You in my heart. You cannot be closer to me than within me. You become one with me and I, one with you. Can there be anything better! It is Your birthday, Beloved, but it is we who receive the gift, You. Thank You! We cannot possibly thank You enough. Let us love You from the depths of our hearts.

Gabriela - Dec 29, 2015

Baby Jesus is a blessing! He is the greatest instrument in bringing us Gods love. I also like the song Holy Night. Thank you people for giving wonderful thoughts. The article is also a blessing. Here's an uplifting thought from a person with the initials FfB. "In Gods human family, let us build upon Gods love in meditation of Trinity. God the Father, Son (baby Jesus), and Holy Spirit are one. This trinitarian love can be in the perspective of through the Father, with Son baby Jesus, in the Holy Spirit. God, an absolute holy being, through the Father created in Divine Mercy love. God, the Son baby Jesus is Emmanuel with us in redeeming love. God the Holy Sprit, especially holy intimately in Holy Eucharist is sanctifying in in us, hearts. Similar to Trinity is Christmas and Eucharist. A great happy (merry, Mary) ChristmMass is purely receiving God in mass, Eucharist." Meditation is from person FfB, and credits heroes Blessed Mary and Jesus. In this extraordinary Jubilee year of Divine Mercy, God bless all hearts in receiving cleansing holy purity, especially in the sacrament of confession reconciliation. Where your heart is, there your treasure will be. Human hearts should ask seek God daily in experiencing Gods Divine Mercy love