Thoughts for the Fifth Day of Christmas: St John Henry Newman and the Lesson of Joy


(continued from yesterday’s post: Thoughts for the Fourth Day of Christmas)

The second lesson is that of joy, as Newman relates.

“Fear not,” said the Angel, “for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” And then, when he had finished his announcement, suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men.”

Such were the words which the blessed Spirits who minister to Christ and His Saints, spoke on that gracious night to the shepherds, to rouse them out of their cold and famished mood into great joy; to teach them that they were objects of God’s love as much as the greatest of men on earth; nay more so, for to them first He had imparted the news of what that night was happening. His Son was then born into the world. Such events are told to friends and intimates, to those whom we love, to those who will sympathize with us, not to strangers.

How could Almighty God be more gracious, and show His favor more impressively to the lowly and the friendless, than by hastening (if I may use the term) to confide the great, the joyful secret to the shepherds keeping watch over their sheep by night?

Christmas is a day of great joy, one in which the poor and lowly of the world are lifted up and become heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. No matter our social status in the world, God loves us and calls us back to himself.

This is the great joy of Christmas, which all the world can partake in.

Padded Pews for the affluent (Crusader Will)


A beggar at the rich man’s door

is not so easy to ignore.

But what if Lazarus lies curled

on the other side of Dives’ world?

In cracks in the pavement lettuce grows

not far from where they eat grass, too

in cities bombed and besieged as shows

of what could strike any local crew

caught up in the end-times battle

discreetly hid from pious people
amid the “neo-Modernist prattle”

gleaned by wise owls parked in the steeple.

Sheep who faithfully follow shepherds

are not good at becoming leopards

when wolves parade with a purloined crook.

Few seem to have studied the right book!

note; line 11  comes from LANDMARKS IN THE FOG by Christopher Ferreira

By Crusader Will