Saturday, December 31, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Reflections from the Saints

"If you do not learn to deny yourself, you can make no progress in perfection."

– St. John of the Cross

Angels Visit Shepherds

"Die Bibel in Bildern / von Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld", Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1794-1872

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"A Partridge in a Pear Tree"

There is one Christmas Carol that has always baffled a lot of people.  What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge in the pear tree have to do with Christmas?

For almost 300 years, from 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to openly practice their faith. During this era, the carol, Twelve Days of Christmas, was written as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning that was known only to members of the church. Each element in the carol was a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

The five golden rings recall the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit:
Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit:
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping are the ten commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stands for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolizes the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

This knowledge was shared with me and I found it interesting and enlightening and wanted to share it with you. Now we know how that strange song became a Christmas Carol.

Merry Christmas!

Gift Wrapping Ideas

These and a lot more packaging ideas at A Gift Wrapped Life.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Reflections from the Saints

St. Augustine rejoiced that his Judge was severe in measuring souls and merciful in saving them: "I have read in Plato and Caesar sayings that are wise and very beautiful, but I have never read in either of them, 'Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.' "

Angles Visit Shepherds

"Kirchen Postilla, das ist, Auslegung der Episteln vnd Evangelien, von Aduent bis auff Ostern / D. Mart. Luth."  Martin Luther, 1483-1546