The Shepherd, December 2005

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Christ is Born!
Give ye glory!

FROM THE FATHERS

“WE ARE NOT as the many, able to corrupt the word of truth, and mix the wine, which maketh glad the heart of man, with water, - mix, that is, our doctrine with what is common and cheap, and debased, and stale, and tasteless, in order to turn the adulteration to our profit, and accommodate ourselves to those who meet us, and curry favour with everyone, becoming ventriloquists and chatterers, who serve their own pleasures by words uttered from the earth, and sinking into the earth, and, to gain the special good will of the multitude, injuring in the highest degree, - nay, ruining, - ourselves, and shedding the innocent blood of simpler souls, which will be required at our hands.”

Saint Gregory the Theologian, + 390 A.D.

“SOME THINK that the Wise Men who came from the East to the Lord when He was born in the flesh and who adored Him by offering gifts by no means understood in those same gifts the noblest mysteries that Holy Church now sublimely understands, namely: in gold, a king; in incense, a God; in myrrh, a human being who would in due course die an be buried - but that they were bringing mysteries greater than they knew, and each simply offered as gift to Him, Whom they had come to adore as king, the most valued product of his country. But if we diligently ponder their own words we ascertain it to have been far otherwise; for this is what they said when they were coming into Jerusalem: “Where is He that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship Him?” Surely it is apparent that they understood Him to be a human being, because they say: “Where is He that is born?” And it is apparent that they understood Him to be a king, because they declare it in the same saying. And it is apparent that they believed Him to be God, whence afterwards they add: “We are come to worship Him.” For such learned men would not have come so far to worship one whom they believed to be merely a human being and a king, and not God as well. They also had this lofty and noble perception about Him: namely, that although He was King of the Jews, He was also able to save the Gentiles who were willing to believe in Him and to come to Him. They proved this especially by their own coming, and by their action.”

Venerable Bede of Jarrow, + 735 A.D.

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