Catechetical Programs
Christ In Us Grades K–8
Parish, K–8
School, K–8
Bilingual, K–6
We Believe: Living Your Catholic Identity Grades K–6
Full Access
We Live Our Faith, Catholic Identity Grades 7–8
Full Access
One Faith, One Lord Grades 7–Adult
Our Catholic Faith Grades 4–6
God’s Own Making
Grades 4-8
Discovering God
Ages 3–5
Between You and Your Child
Catechetical Bilingual
Cristo en nosotros
Cursos 1–6
Creemos Identidad católica
Cursos K–6
Vivimos nuestra fe
Cursos 7–8
Nuestra fe católica
Cursos 4–6
Una sola fe, un solo Señor
Cursos 7–Adulto
Entre usted y sus hijos
Cursos K–8
Sacraments Programs
Believe • Celebrate • Live | Bilingual Edition Ages 7–15
Reconciliation Primary
Eucharist Primary
Reconciliation & Eucharist Intermediate
Confirmation Restored Order
We Believe and Celebrate
Spanish Edition
Prayer Books
My Reconciliation and Prayer Book, Ages 7–9
Mi Reconciliación y libro de oración, Edades 7–9
My Mass Book, Ages 7–9
Mi libro de la Misa, Edades 7–9
We Believe and Pray, Grades 4–6
Sacraments Bilingual
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Edades 7–15
Reconciliación Primaria
Eucaristía Primaria
Reconciliación y Eucaristía Intermedio
Confirmación Restauración del orden sacramental
Creemos y celebramos
Libros de oración
Mi Reconciliación y libro de oración, Edades 7–9
Mi libro de la Misa, Edades 7–9
Lifelong Faith
Bible Resources
The Compass Bible for Catholic Teens
YOUCAT: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church
YOUCAT: Catecismo Joven de la Iglesia Católica
La Biblia católica para jóvenes
Adult Resources
Becoming a Parish of Mercy
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
General Directory for Catechesis
Professional Development
Professional Development
Catechetical Learning
Theology of the Body Course
Catholic Identity Course
English | View All
Catechetical Resources
Virtual Events
Religion Blog
Catechetical Downloads
Liturgical Seasons
CHATechesis Podcast
Bilingual | ver todos
Recursos catequéticos
Eventos Virtuales
Blog de Sadlier Religion
Descargas Catequéticas
sadlierReligion Hero-1.png

December 21, 2017 WBAS Seasonal Advent & Christmas, WBAS Seasonal Feast Days & Holy Days, REL Seasons - Advent/Christmas

Celebrating Christmas: Incarnational Vision

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

The Incarnation is the central mystery of Christianity and the crux of the entire Christmas season – the coming of God into our world through the person of Jesus Christ

Percy Ainsworth was a youthful and gifted preacher who died in the early part of the twentieth century. Although his writings are well over one hundred years old they continue to resonate with meaning for all of those seeking to deepen their spirituality. In a thoughtful meditation on the Beatitudes, Ainsworth described what he called the “final spiritual purpose” – that of seeing God. Christmas is a season well-suited for such a purpose. Both the Solemnity of Christmas Day and the short liturgical season that follows celebrate the presence of God enfleshed and living among us.

All of this sounds good but how does it work in an everyday sense? How, exactly, do we see God? The beatitude calls for a pure heart as the requisite for such vision. This begs another question: what is a pure heart and how do we achieve it? Purity, Ainsworth wrote, stands for “rightness of character” – a way of living that strives towards what is good and just, compassionate and kind, gentle and open to grace. It is to pursue a virtuous life, but not in order to withdraw into a safe circle of self-imposed sanctity. Instead it is to engage with the world each and every day. Some of Ainsworth’s imagery of ordinary life includes the cradle of the infant and the playtime of small children, the stillness of our thoughts and the busyness of the workplace, the activities of the school and the domesticity of the home. In all of these times and places the spiritual pursuit is to see with ever-clearer eyes the mystery of the Incarnation.

The Incarnation is the central mystery of Christianity and the crux of the entire Christmas season – the coming of God into our world through the person of Jesus Christ and the unfolding of the Divine Presence in our midst. And the more we see, the more we are transformed. In his beautifully poetic language Ainsworth describes it this way: “The more like God we become, the more of God we behold.” And who better to show us how to become like God than Jesus? His example of holiness and trust, his emphasis on justice and mercy, and his adherence to the Spirit of the Law provide the very blueprint needed for the pure heart. Can there be a more wonderful Christmas gift than this?

Download my Prayer for Christmas Giving and share it in your home or parish.

Download Now

Bright Ideas



Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons