An excerpt from the book “What Is Heaven” by Mother Angelica:
The first Christians sang all the time, sometimes even as they were in the arena waiting to be devoured by lions. Can you imagine what a beautiful song that must have been to God? And can you imagine the effect it must have had on the people in the arena who were crying out for their blood? This was a song of abandonment to the Will of God, the song of total freedom, free of fear of anyone or anything. When we think of that kind of song, don’t we wish we could sing it right now?
After all, in the fifth chapter of Ephesians, St. Paul says, “Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together, and go on singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts” (Ephesians 5:19). That’s how we’ll pray in the Kingdom, with a song coming from our hearts. You see, in Heaven, we will sing tunes in our hearts and minds because we will see everlasting beauty face-to-face…. We have no more concept of the beauty of God than a child in the womb has a concept of the beauty of his mother’s face or a sunrise or a sunset. As we begin to sing in the Kingdom, we will sing of His mercy to us. We will understand how many times He protected us, guided us, and how many times He kept us from even greater sins than the ones we committed, even greater mistakes than the ones we made.
“He is the Word brighter than the sun, made incarnate in a tiny son of man: Jesus the light of the world. This is why the prophet cries out: ‘The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light’ (Isaiah 9:1). There is darkness in human hearts, yet the light of Christ is greater still. There is darkness in personal, family and social relationships, but the light of Christ is greater. There is darkness in economic, geopolitical and ecological conflicts, yet greater still is the light of Christ….
“May Emmanuel bring light to all the suffering members of our human family. May He soften our often stony and self-centred hearts, and make them channels of His love. May He bring His smile, through our poor faces, to all the children of the world: to those who are abandoned and those who suffer violence. Through our frail hands, may He clothe those who have nothing to wear, give bread to the hungry and heal the sick. Through our friendship, such as it is, may He draw close to the elderly and the lonely, to migrants and the marginalized. On this joyful Christmas Day, may He bring His tenderness to all and brighten the darkness of this world.” –Pope Francis
An excerpt from “The Blessing of Christmas” by Pope Benedict XVI:
“In that day, the mountains will drip sweetness, and the rivers will flow with milk and honey.” (Joel 4:18)
Truly, the earth must flow with this honey on that day: when He is present, all bitterness disappears, and there is harmony between heaven and earth, between God and man. The honey and the sweets are a sign of this peace, of concord and of joy. This is why Christmas has become the feast when we give presents, when we imitate the God Who has given His own Self and has thereby given us once again that life which truly becomes a gift only when the “milk” of our existence is sweetened by the “honey” of being loved. And this love is not threatened by any death, any infidelity, or any meaninglessness.