May this Christmas be Different

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“Tonight I invite you in a very special manner to renew your family prayer; and during your family prayer, dear children, read especially the special passages in the bible that concern Advent.  Pray my dear children especially during this time, and among your prayers prepare yourselves for the great day that is coming, that this Christmas will be different from the other Christmases, that it will be joyous, dear children.  Remember dear children how we were happy in the stable when my Son was born!  May your family be happy with all those present in the stable.” (December 14, 1992)

Every year for the past 7 years without fail Blessed Mother has given this message to our family just before Advent begins.  Out of the 2000+ messages she has given to the world, every year she has called our family to reflect on this message given to the world in 1992. 

This year is no different, except for one thing.  This year Our Lady has called us to share its meaning for us, which we have never done.When we first started hearing this message it was a time when we lived in Colorado, and were without family.  We were suffering from great financial constraints and there was great tension in our home, about having to come up with funds to buy the Christmas gifts for the children.  We just couldn’t do it, we had almost nothing and were facing losing our home.

As we continued to pray to the Father asking for his help so we can buy gifts for Christmas, this message was given to us.  We prayed to understand its meaning for us.  And when we did, our hearts just sank.  We began to see how worldly we were, and how much retailers capitalized on this holy season to sell merchandise.  The ads on television were sickening.  The birth of Christ had become commercialized as it was said years ago, by the classical movie, Miracle on 34th StSanta Claus had taken over the birth of man’s salvation.  I always thought that St. Nicholas must be grieving in heaven for the world has put him above His God.

The world every year seems to be removing the word Christmas more and more.  Until it came the big debate over which retailers would patronize Christians for one of their most holiest days of the year shy of Easter

As our eyes opened all the more with the help of the Holy Spirit who convicted us, we began to see how we ourselves had played a role, and understood all the more, that the Lord had permitted our financial condition to teach us something more important. 

We as a family have instituted a new tradition in this time, and it has been a most incredible experience for all of us, and the profoundness of grace that has come is more than words can explain.  I will explain this further below.  However this year, when I asked Our Lady what more she wanted from us as a family for this Advent season, the following words came in my prayer.

(Again I remind you dear reader that these words are private revelations.  I ask you to use your discernment and take what is good, and leave the rest to God; yet it is clear Our Lady desires to obtain a special grace for those who choose this path).

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Our Lady said to my heart, “My dear little one I wish that you continue the tradition I began with you; that the birth of my Son should be celebrated in your poverty.  And that your family may be one of mind and heart with Joseph and I in holy adoration of my Son.

Prepare yourselves for this great day; in honor of the poverty and lowliness of the humble birth of your God and Savior, my Son Jesus.Be my witness my little one, and proclaim to the world all that I have taught you.  Enter more deeply in spirit and remove from yourselves all outside distractions and the lies of this world without peace.  I wish to obtain for you a most marvelous light, that your interior life shall never be disturbed or at unrest.  Contemplate the beauty of this great gift my little one as I draw you more unto the likeness of my Immaculate Heart.

Though there may be many celebrations surrounding you, do not let them interfere with my gift and desire for you.  Now is the time to enter more deeply into contemplation.  Now is a time of recollection.  Prepare your hearts for the day that comes.  For my Son desires to be born anew in you.

My little one, I ask you to obey my word with the ardent love you have for me.  I hold you all in my embrace.  Do not forget that I am your Mother, and that I love you.”

I then reflected once more on the Holy Family hidden in the cave away from the towns folk alone with the infant child Jesus.  There was no celebration; it was a night of holy adoration in wonder and amazement.  Joseph and Mary were as far away from the world as they could be, hidden among the animals and living creatures in a dark cold cave, with only one light in their midst and that was the eternal light they held before their eyes.

The world at that time knew nothing about what was taking place, and for the next 30 years it would still be the same.  The Holy Family lived a life of solitude, silence and hiddenness.  Today the world wants to celebrate in the way of men with false glitters, pretty ribbons, adornment and jewels (or even more with the latest and greatest electronic device) that all are passing.  and used for temporal means. The world forgets about the price that was paid for its salvation and why God Himself entered time to free men from death and darkness of sin.

O poor humanity, how we are drowning into the darkness of the abyss and sucked in to a vortex of sin. And all the more we lead our children to follow after us.

The Mother of God recently said “remove the darkness of sin from inside of you so that more of the spirit of Jesus could be born in you…” She desires for us to take Jesus into our hearts, so that we can be more Christ like.
Take these thoughts into consideration if you like.  This is the way the holy Mother has taught our family to adore her Son and put other things into its proper place.

The Feast of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) is celebrated on 12/6.  It is custom in many cultures to commemorate this feast day by small gifts left in shoes outside of a child’s room; However, our family has mini Christmas trees that the children have in their rooms, which they may decorate anyway they like.  Any gifts from Santa are given on this day in the spirit of St. Nicholas, and we pray for his intercession to bring back the spirit of Christmas as God intended it to be.

In preparation for the birth of Christ each of us writes a letter to Jesus in gratitude for all the graces and blessings He has won for us and our salvation.  We put this letter in our Christmas Tree, and we openly read it on Christmas morning out loud

The only gifts we buy are holy gifts to help us grow more in the love of God and for those whom we love.  Our time is reserved for holy Mass, and prayer, and in past have been celebrated with friends or family or have served the church with a local charity. Or we celebrate on our own since we live out of state from most of our family.

I may note, that Christmas of 2009 in this past year, for our area was hit with a tremendous snow storm on Christmas Eve, which left many tucked in their homes.  Those who experienced this in this area said it was one of the best Christmases that they ever had, with their families.  God spoke very loud on this night, and this area found it as no coincidence.

We celebrate the 12 days of Christmas with family and friends (after December 25).  And on the Feast of the Epiphany is the day we open our Christmas gifts, and bless our home.

We have found when we have removed the chaos of rushing to go somewhere that day, it became a day of prayer and a day of rest filled with peace.  Each of us can attest that we have never had such experience of grace as we have had since we have taken up this tradition for our family, and it all began through a great time of suffering for us.  Many today are suffering financial burdens in one way or another. It could be possible that the Lord wants to bring you into a deeper union with Himself through His own poverty of spirit. I leave this for your own discernment.

Yet I challenge anyone to try to remove the material from this Christmas season.  As Our Lady asked, “in a very special manner … prepare yourselves for the great day that is coming that THIS CHRISTMAS will be different from the other Christmases…remember how we were happy in the stable when my Son was born!”  Ave Maria!

“But when you pray go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will repay you…” (Matthew 6:6)

“When you give alms do no let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret.  And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.” (Matthew 6:4) 

(Give the gift of the Holy Family to your family this year. Holy Family Workshop Family Formation)

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