Bonus quote: The quieter the mind, the more powerful, the
worthier, the deeper, the more telling and more perfect the
prayer is. To the quiet mind all things are possible.

Meister Eckhart (1260-1327)
Photo by Chuck Bowman
Photo: Chuck Bowman
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Photo by Chuck Bowman
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                         The Religion Network
                        Inspirational Quotes for the Day.

                       
                                                     

     
TODAY'S INSPIRATIONAL THEME: Two Advent Treasures
This page changes each weekday.



    At the top of the Home Page:
    --Christmas version of 1 Corinthians: 13

    Midway down the page:
    --The Story of the first Nativity

    For Prayer Warriors who scroll down:
    --(See above -- it's a long story)

          
    And the Last Word: G. K. Chesterton
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And now, the Last Word:
Bonus Quote: Whatever you have in your mind -d
forget it; whatever you have in your hand - give it;
whatever is to be your fate - face it!

Abu Sa'id (d. 1049)
Persia

 
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Photo by Stephen Bowman
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Photo by Chuck Bowman
Photo by Chuck Bowman
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            1 Corinthians:13..... A Christmas Version                 

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling
lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just
another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table
at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another
cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all
that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits
me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted
snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s
cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the
decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and
tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated
Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful
they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who
are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures
all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces
will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

The author of this wonderful piece is unknown. God bless her!
The Story of the First Nativity Scene
On the night of December 24, 1223, a group of
barefoot monks led local residents through the
snow up Mount Lacerone to the small, almost
primitive monastery of Greccio, located about 60
miles east of Rome.

There in a small cave on the mountain,
Il Poverello,
the humble friar that we know as St. Francis, had
created a magical scene: The birth of the Baby
Jesus. He had placed straw on the stone and beaten
earth floor. A crude manger was nestled in the corner
of the cave. About a dozen local peasants stood in
tableau, acting as Mary and Joseph and the
shepherds. Francis had even included an ox and a
donkey in the torch-illumined scene. All night long
villagers shivered in the cold, waiting for their turn
to stand in awe of the blessed re-creation.

St. Francis died three years later, meaning this great
gift to the world was also one of his final gifts.


Omer Englebert wrote a definitive biography of St.
Francis that was first published in French in 1947
and revised in 1956. It was revised and translated
into English in 1964. The following is excerpted from
that edition, which is published by Servant Books in
Ann Arbor, Michigan.
    "It is from Thomas of Celano's Vita Prima that we shall paraphrase the account of the feast.
It is almost contemporary, for he wrote it only four or five years afterward.
    The people of the country had joined with the friars of the surrounding hermitages, bearing
torches and candles to lighten the darkness of this night which, like a star, has shone for
centuries and will shine forever. Winding up the mountain, the procession wended its way toward
the spot where -- between a great ox and a little donkey -- the Crib was set up. Under the great
trees it was as light as day, and from rock to rock the echo reverberated of the chanting of the
friars, mingled with the pious refrains of the crowd.
Standing before the Crib, torn with compassion and
filled with unspeakable joy, the
Poverello, sighing
deeply, awaited them.
    The Mass commenced, at an altar placed in an
overhanging niche. Never, the celebrant himself
confessed, had he experienced such consolation while
offering the Holy Sacrifice. Vested in the dalmatic,
*
Francis assisted as deacon. At the proper moment,
he intoned the Gospel in a sonorous voice; then he
preached a sermon to proclaim the joys of Heaven to
those men of good will who had flocked to his appeal.
In words honey-sweet he spoke of the poor King who
twelve centuries before, on such a night, was born in the little town of Bethlehem, calling him
either "Jesus" or the "Babe of Bethlehem," and pronouncing the word "Bethlehem" like a
bleating lamb. And whenever one of these divine names occurred in his sermon, he would pass
his tongue over his lips that he might longer taste their sweetness.
    Thus it was a night marvellous above all other nights; and we must not be surprised that God
afterward wished to shower down His blessings upon his blessed spot. Many sick folk recovered
their health here and even domestic animals who ate a few stalks of hay from the Crib were
cured. For it is true that on this hay the Saviour of the world had miraculously rested.
    John Velita
** in fact reported that he saw the little Jesus asleep on it, and that there was a
moment when the Divine Infant awakened, opened His eyes, and smiled at St. Francis."



Excerpted from "St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography" by Omer Englebrecht

*The dalmatic is the outer liturgical vestment of a deacon. In Italy it is a robe with wide sleeves that falls to the
knees in length.
**John Velita was a friend of St. Francis'  and the Lord of Greccio. He owned the steep hill on which the Nativity
was reenacted on Christmas Eve of 1223. The ritual continues to be celebrated every year, and the grotto, seen
above, is virtually unchanged, except for the nativity scene fresco, which was painted approximately 100 years after
the death of Francis.
The Nativity Grotto in Greccio, Italy
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Nativity scene from the Wurzburg Manuscript
When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our
stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for
filling our stockings with legs?


G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
English born Gabonese Critic, Essayist, Novelist and Poet
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