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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Augustine on Christmas

Merry Christmas friends!

I thought today I'd share some of my favorite excerpts from Christmas sermons by St. Augustine of Hippo. Pay special attention to how he focuses on the paradox of the event. Amazing and beautiful stuff. May this continue to help us adore and delight in the Christ child while standing in awe of God's incarnation.

He by whom all things were made was made one of all things. The Son of God by the Father without a mother became the Son of man by a mother without a father. The Word Who is God before all time became flesh at the appointed time. The maker of the sun was made under the sun. He Who fills the world lays in a manger, great in the form of God but tiny in the form of a servant; this was in such a way that neither was His greatness diminished by His tininess, nor was His tininess overcome by His greatness. [St. Augustine, Sermon 187 1,1]

God became a human being, so that in one person you could have both something to see and something to believe. [St. Augustine, Sermon 126, 5]

He lies in a manger, but contains the world. He feeds at the breast, but also feeds the angels. He is wrapped in swaddling clothes, but vests us with immortality. He found no place in the inn, but makes for Himself a temple in the hearts of believers. In order that weakness might become strong, strength became weak. [St. Augustine, Sermon 190 3,4]

He so loved us that for our sake He was made man in time, through Whom all times were made; was in the world less in years than His servants, though older than the world itself in His eternity; was made man, Who made man; was created of a mother, whom He created; was carried by hands which He formed; nursed at the breasts which He had filled; cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word without Whom all human eloquence is mute.[St. Augustine, Sermon 188 2,2]

He who was God was made man by taking on what He was not, not by losing what He was... Let Christ, therefore, lift you up by that which is human in Him; let Him lead you by that which is God-man; let Him guide you through to that which is God. [St. Augustine, On 1 John 23,6]

Truth, eternally existing in the bosom of the Father, has sprung from the earth so that He might exist also in the bosom of a mother. Truth, holding the world in place, has sprung from the earth so that He might be carried in the hands of a woman. [St. Augustine, Sermon 185, 3]

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