“Silent Night: The Real Night before Christmas”

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By Samuel Schirra, Catholic University

‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the land
Not a donkey was braying or trudging through sand-
Except near a town nearly filled to the brim,
Still gaining more travelers, though sky was but dim.

A woman with child, her husband right by
Sought refuge before her dear Baby was nigh
But when they arrived at the gates of the city
Though desperate, they found not a place; what a pity!

So the husband went knocking from each door to door,
Requesting for anywhere: bed, chair, or floor
Where his wife could repose, for the time had then come
For the God of the world to be born in a slum.

They found a small barn where the animals lay-
How’d this suffice for the God-King’s birthday?
For Goodness Itself, without any base flaw,
Came thus to be cribbed in a manger of straw.

His mother gazed deeply, her heart contemplating,
His Father in heaven with hosts celebrating,
His guardian on earth at complete loss of words,
And others were vigilant while tending their herds.

Blessed angels from heaven appeared to these men,
Proclaiming God’s advent in song to them then:
“Glory to God, peace on earth to the good!”
Then those shepherds went off as quick as they could.

They found the dear family, the Babe in a manger
Eyes widened, supposing Him naught but a stranger
Though He knew their names, and their lives, every one
For He’s the Messiah, and God’s only Son.

He took on man’s nature, complete but for sin
Dwelling among us to make us His kin
For His love is that strong, being Love in itself,
That He took on our sufferings, all of them felt.

And since then each day, He has been with us here
Assuming the appearance of bread so mere
To reign in our hearts, through our deeds all the more,
Restoring the grace possessed so long before.

So this Christmas Eve, it will help to recall
Every limitless blessing bestowed on us all
By the all-loving God, the whole world to alight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a blest night!

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