Martyrology - 7th December
The morrow is the eve of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the same day is kept the feast of the holy Confessor Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, and Doctor of the universal Church, the which is adorned by his holiness and teaching. (His birth into the better life, in the year 397, is recorded upon the 4th day of April. The 7th day of December is the day of his ordination to the Bishopric of Milan.)
Upon the same 7th day of December, were born into the better life:
At Alexandria, the blessed soldier Agatho. During the persecution under the Emperor Decius, there were some that would make mock of the bodies of the martyrs, and Agatho forbade them, whereupon straightway a cry of the whole mob was got up against him, he was brought before the judge, and as he stood firm in the confession of Christ he was beheaded, (about the year 250.)
At Antioch, the holy martyrs Polycarp and Theodore.
At Tebourba, in Africa, the holy martyr Servus, who in the Vandal persecution under the Arian king Hunneric, was long cudgelled, repeatedly jerked up with pulleys and dropped upon flints, and scraped with sharp stones, and by this torment gained the palm of martyrdom, (in the year 384.)
At Chieti, in the kingdom of Naples, (in the ninth century,) the holy Confessor Urban, Bishop of (that see.)
At Saintes, in Gaul, (about the year 400,) the holy Abbot Martin, at whose grave by the power of God famous miracles are oftentimes wrought. (He was the founder and first Abbot of the Monastery of Sanjon.)
At Meaux, (in the year 657,) the holy Virgin Fara (de Champigny, Abbess of Faremoutier, in the diocese of Meaux.)
And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God
Meditations - Wednesday in the Second Week of Advent: The Glory of God through the Incarnation
Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation
We will meditate tomorrow on the glory accruing to God through the mystery of the Incarnation. The glory of God consists in the exterior manifestation of His infinite perfections. Now we shall see that the Incarnation shows forth marvellously: first, the power of God, allied to infinite wisdom and greatness; second, the mercy of God, allied to infinite justice and holiness. We will then make the resolution: first, often to ask God for an ever-increasing knowledge of His perfections, so that we may love Him ever more and more; second, to honour His divine perfections by frequent acts of love, accompanied by deep religious feeling, especially in church and during prayer. Our spiritual nosegay shall be: “The Word was made flesh . . . and we saw His glory” (joh i:4).
Meditation for the Morning
Let us adore God sending His angels to announce to the world the Incarnation of the Word in these beautiful words, “Glory to God in the highest”. Let us repeat to ourselves these heavenly words in a spirit of love and conviction: for nowhere do the divine perfections shine forth more gloriously than in this mystery.
How the Incarnation Makes the Alliance of Power, Wisdom and Goodness to Shine Forth.
What immeasurable power did it not require in God to unite in one person His supreme majesty and our lowliness; His sovereign independence and our servitude; the strength which can perform all things and the weakness which can do nothing! What power did it not require in order to consummate this union such as faith shows it to us, and to give to the Word our nature without changing His own, and the form of a slave with out derogating from the form of God; to bring down the heights of the Divine Being as low as ourselves without its being less great; to despoil it without impoverishing it; to abase it without sinking it, and to render the Divinity visible without rendering it less adorable! Herein is contained, O Lord, the masterpiece of Thy omnipotence, or, rather, it is Thy chief work, compared with which all Thy other works are as nothing (hab cant. 2). And what is not less marvellous, to power is here united infinite goodness, which, in order to pardon us, conciliates the apparently incompatible rights of justice and mercy, and which, in order to cure us, opposes to our ills the most suitable remedies: to our pride, the humility of a God; to our sensuality, the sufferings of a God; to our horror of death, the death of a God. O divine wisdom, how I venerate thee in this mystery! (1co ii:17) And yet the goodness of God shines forth in it more brightly still. Can there be a display of more marvellous goodness than that which makes a God descend to our lowliness? It is the monarch who comes and mingles with his servants, that he may render himself more beloved by them; it is the good father who humbles himself so far as even to lisp with his little children, that he may instruct them and form them to the life of a perfect man; it is the good shepherd who covers himself with the fleece of his sheep, in order to attract them to him. O Incarnate Word, Thou didst come in order to make Thyself one with us; to remain and converse with us, to live our life; humbling Thy greatness, to render it more familiar to us; contracting Thy immensity in order to communicate it still more to us. O divine goodness! O infinite goodness! What else can we say? Ah, Lord, I ought to die of love at the sight of so much love!
How the Incarnation Shows forth the Holiness, Justice, and Mercy of God.
What is holiness, unless it be the sovereign hatred of sin? Now, God nowhere shows better than in this mystery how much He detests sin. He pursues it even down to the shadow of it in His own Son, and that with unexampled rigour. This beloved Son He covers with wounds, with suffering, with ignominy; He drains all the blood out of His veins, and He makes Him die. He sees nothing in Him but an anathema, an object worthy of malediction, for the sole reason that He has made Himself to be the security for our sins, and He strikes Him without mercy. O God, how holy Thou art! How Thou dost detest sin and how much ought I not to detest it myself For if Thou hast thus treated Thy Son, how wilt Thou treat me, who am a sinner by nature and through malice? (luk xxiii:31) O holiness of God, I tremble before thee! I should not tremble less in face of Thy justice, O Lord, if, by Thy Incarnation, Thou hadst not taken my debt upon Thyself; for, being obliged to make an infinite reparation for my sins, I was evidently an insolvent debtor. But behold, by becoming incarnate Thou hast paid a superabundant price for my ransom; and Thy Father, in requiring it, has shown both heaven and earth that Thy justice is infinite, since it would not pardon me except by means of a satisfaction equal to the offence. O justice, higher than the mountains, more profound than the abysses, the blood of Jesus Christ has fully satisfied you; you have nothing more to demand, and even hell would be an infinitely less satisfaction. Herein is the work of Thy mercy, O my God: Thou were the offended, and it is Thou who repairest the offence; Thou didst make Thyself a victim in my place, and Thou hast submitted to the punishment which was my due. O mercy! O justice! You give the kiss of peace the one to the other; you make an ineffable alliance together, which will make us exclaim from ago to age, in an ecstasy of faith and of love: Yes, God is truly, infinitely great, infinitely merciful! How, then, O my heart, dost thou remain insensible in presence of so great a mystery; wherefore dost thou adore in so small a degree such justice as this, and show so little love for such mercy?
Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.