Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Take Hold of the Christ Child

On one particularly memorable Christmas Eve in the French village of Ars, the parish priest Saint John Marie Vianney (1786-1859), the "Cure of Ars" was seen to be deeply moved during midnight Mass as he held the consecrated host over the chalice. Gazing at the Eucharist, his lips moved in silent prayer, and tears ran down his face, alternating with smiles. The cure' had to remain in this posture for sometime as he awaited the completion of a long hymn. When afterward his sacristan apologized to him for this delay, he replied, "Oh, I did not find the time long." Upon being asked what he was doing as he held the host, he answered that he had prayed to Christ in the Eucharist, "If I knew that I should have the misfortune to be deprived of seeing you throughout all eternity, now that I hold you in my hand I should never let you go." This Christmas, let us all take the Christ child into our hearts and never lt him go, that we may gaze upon him forever. (courtesy of James Monti, editor for the saints of the Magnificat)

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