Christmas at the rectory


Leading up to Christmas. I note a theme of donkeys, and that makes me very happy indeed. Thank you. The rosary is a work of art. More on that in a future post. This post is an experiment, as it is created entirely with my phone. I would rather not travel to Rome with a computer this time.

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


Of course, a donkey brought Mary to Bethlehem. A donkey’s breathing kept Jesus warm in the manger. A donkey accompanied the Holy Family to Egypt and all the way back to Nazareth. A donkey was used by the good Samaritan. Donkeys can sing. Most intelligent, they only do what they understand. They are not stubborn as mules. They are hard workers and terribly loyal. They are the symbol of Judaism along with the Lion of the tribe of Judah. They have suffered humiliation by elitist Democrats but are nonetheless resilient. It is the donkey who protects the sheep.



Filed under Donkeys, Thanks

6 responses to “Christmas at the rectory

  1. Lara

    Ever a Christmas at the Hermitage? :)

    • Father George David Byers

      Great to hear from you Lara! I think I may indeed do an overnight there this year. Paradoxically, the smaller the parish, the more busy one is, especially with “10,000 square miles of parish” as the bishop jokingly said. I found a place in the new rectory for the baldacchino, and will be very happy to have it with me. But I won’t be able to bring it back with me just yet, I think, as it looks like it will be raining non-stop into the foreseeable future.

  2. Merry Christmas, Father George. Tomorrow night there’s a Penance the neighboring parish – priests from at least two and probably three parishes will hear confessions. Thought of you. God Bless,

  3. pelerin

    Good to be reminded of Chesterton’s poem.

    My favourite ‘donkey’ book was The Small Miracle by Paul Gallico. My copy was published in 1962 – which was probably when I bought it – and contains delightful illustrations of the little boy Pepino and his cherished donkey Violetta. With its tale of the simple faith of the little boy and the link to St Francis of Assisi to whom the book was dedicated it is a perfect read at Christmas time for children and adults alike.

    I have just looked up Paul Gallico and see that he was an American writer presumably of Italian extraction.

  4. Dear Father George,
    Have you ever read “Platero y Yo”, by Juan Ramon Jimenez? It is a beautiful read in Spanish, about a donkey (burro), and is also available in English as ‘Platero and I’ – a lovely, small book with much heart.
    God bless you in this very new year and thank you for all your writings on confession, which have helped me in coming to this sacrament more.

    • Father George David Byers

      Thanks jdbangel – You are the second one to mention Platero to me. I would love to read about him.

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