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On Christmas Eve

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2016 at 6:32 pm

the_angel_appearing_before_the_shepherds_by_thomas_buchanan

“…and the darkness has never been able to extinguish the Light….”

God be praised by His children, and may He bless us, upon whom His favor rests. Merry Christmas, my friends.

~Wheeler

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The Fourth Sunday of Advent

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2016 at 12:16 pm

nativity-by-correggio-470

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

May the LORD bless and keep His children, and keep these things in our remembrance, each and every day.

~ Wheeler

The Third Sunday of Advent

In Uncategorized on December 11, 2016 at 9:17 pm

gabriel-appears-to-mary

What do you do when you realize that most of your prayers have been answered “no,” or not answered at all? What do you do when you realize that your faith is in danger, and that for the first time in your life, you are asking questions that leave a cold knot in your stomach?

Light a candle and put it in a dark room. Look upon the single flame as it wrecks the blackness around it. Sit in its luminous presence and keep asking your Father the bitter questions.

But as you do, look at the candle’s flame. See it chasing the shadows away, warming the small space around itself, moving and consuming oxygen and reacting to your breath.

Say your prayers into the candlelit air. Then listen.

But most of all, watch. Watch.

~ Wheeler

The Second Sunday of Advent

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

russian-christmas

Hush, now. You’ve had all day to speak. Now, in the hours when birds are a-bed and stray cats have found a dry box in which to lie down, now in the stretch of the evening when the streets and roads are growing quiet, now, just now, it is time to put your voice to rest for the night. Work your thoughts. Remember, now. Remember.

The world around you has been clattering with credit cards and consuming and coarseness, and did you lose yourself in it just a bit? Do you feel spattered with the idle ugliness, the throwaway sarcasm, the acceptable lies, the need for attention and drama, the numbness of the brain, the compulsive reaching for the phone, the tablet, the remote control? Don’t you want to pull back from it now, before you try to rest?

Did you light candles tonight? Do the old traditions still hold anything for you down in your locked heart, or is it all rote and automatic and mindless? Did you breathe Per Christum Dominum Nostrum at least once over a task or a meal today, or are you looking to tomorrow’s coworkers for approval, for meaning, for validation?

Your Brother, that great Shepherd and Friend, came and set all the wrong things right. He really did. He came for His siblings, wandering and forgetful though we have been. He really did come, and He really did finish the work. If He were here right now in physical form, He might well beat most priests and pastors out of their own churches with a whip of cords, but He would be exceedingly gentle and understanding with his younger brothers and sisters.

Tonight, before tortured sleep and then the cares and ugliness of tomorrow, tonight you can place yourself in His presence simply by invoking His name, the name you learned while you were still losing baby teeth, the name you associate with this very span of thirty-one days. Tonight, pour out your heart to Him. Not because miracles will come, not because all things will be put right before Monday’s dawn, and not because you will appear holy to someone else. Speak to Christ Jesus because talking to family is what we do, what we are here to do. He is your Brother, and you are His younger sibling. You, personally.

And what a thought that is, blessed friends.

~ Wheeler

On The First Sunday of Advent

In Uncategorized on November 27, 2016 at 11:58 am

2_first_sunday_of_advent

The earth waits in chilly silence, stilled and in shadow. Each element, each rock, each bird, each prowling beast awaits, motionless yet full of the life gifted to it by the King of Kings.

On this day, on this night, set aside time to think on why you are here. What is the purpose behind your coming to this earth? Is your presence here meaningless? Random? Accidental? Unimportant?

Or do you have a purpose, no matter how anonymously you may live out your allotted days? Does a life of virtue make a difference? Should the regretful things you’ve done in your life weigh you down and make you miserable and impotent until you leave this earth, or will you accept the forgiveness you’ve already believed in, the pardon you’ve already been granted, and go forth as a child of royal blood and eternal origin?

In this season where we celebrate and commemorate the coming of Christ the Lord, reflect on why you are here. And consider what you have to do in the time you have left.

May the Father bless you and yours, dear friends.

~ Wheeler

The Word Became Flesh

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2015 at 10:28 am

nativity

 

The season of Advent concludes and Christmastide begins.

May the Father bless all of His children as they walk the paths He has ordained for them.

Merry Christmas.

~ Wheeler

adventwreath