"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Fr. Campbell, "A Believer’s Christmas"

A Believer’s Christmas
Fr. Campbell 

“Transeámus usque Bethlehem”, said the shepherds to one another, Let us go over to Bethlehem.  Like the shepherds, on the Feast of Christmas we make our way in spirit to the manger where we may find the newborn Christ Child.  Not only is He the Son of a human Mother, the Holy Virgin Mary, but He is the Son of the Most High God – His Divine Son, before Whom we must bend the knee in adoration.

His Mother herself is God’s chosen Theotokos – the God-bearer – untouched by the sin of this world so as to be ready for her exalted vocation.  And He is no ordinary child, but the Word Incarnate, already filled with the Divine Wisdom, and every perfect gift:

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.  And we saw his glory – glory as of the only-begotten of the Father – full of grace and of truth” (Jn.1:14).

The Infant Savior is not bothered by the cold of the stable, the uncomfortable surroundings, or the darkness of the night.  His laments are for the cold hearts of those who refused to receive Him.  Since there was no room for Him in the inns and homes of Bethlehem, He reaches out His arms to us asking for room in our hearts.  The Holy Mass we are offering invites us to welcome Him, because He still grieves for the cold hearts that refuse Him today.

St. John tells us in the prologue of his Gospel:

“In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness grasped it not” (Jn.1:4,5).

Jesus Himself says, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me does not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn.8:12).  This Light is truth, goodness, beauty, innocence, holiness, and purity, whereas the world stands for darkness, deceit, corruption, impurity, greed, pride, and death.

Just as the light of a lamp in a dark room reveals the presence of the objects in the room, so the Light of Christ reveals us to ourselves.  We begin to really understand what evil is, what sin is.  The very presence of the Light convicts us of sin, yet at the same time heals us and restores us, if we turn to Him and away from the darkness.  But if you turn away from Him you are swallowed by the darkness and become enslaved by sin, since if you don’t have the light you don’t see the evil, and are overcome by it.

Here we come to the reason why the world rejects, even hates the Christ Child – it does not want its evil deeds to be shown for what they are.  As Christ said:

“Now this is the judgment: The light has come into the world, yet men have loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil.  For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, that his deeds may not be exposed.  But he who does the truth comes to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, for they have been performed in God” (Jn.3:19-21).

Thus the problem is revealed for what it is.  The war against Christmas is really a war against Jesus Christ, waged by those who hate Him, because their works are evil.  They love “the darkness rather than the light,” so that they strive to wipe out His very name and memory.  For them it’s “Happy Holidays,” but not “Merry Christmas.”  

The war against Jesus Christ is also a war against His true Church.  The false church makes compromise with the world, trying to please the world by hiding the Light of Christ under a bushel, and preaching the gospel of human brotherhood – liberty, equality, and fraternity – as the freemasons have it.  But the true Church preaches what it has been commanded to preach by the Lord:

“Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned” (Mk.16:16).

True Catholics believe as the Church believes. That makes it very simple. You don’t have to have a PhD in order to understand. You simply believe what the Catholic Church has always believed. Her doctrines are enshrined in the great Creeds, such as the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed, and in the doctrines defined by the true popes and the authentic councils of the Church.

Catholics believes “all that the Catholic Church teaches” (Act of Faith). If you decide not to believe any one of the essential doctrines of the Church, you are no longer a Catholic. The denial of one essential doctrine makes one’s faith null and void. But believe as the Church believes. The Church is our Mother. We believe what she has believed and taught from the beginning.  

We have these birthday wishes for Christ, our Newborn King:

“May he endure as long as the sun, and like the moon through all generations.  He shall be like rain coming down on the meadow, like showers watering the earth.  Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more.  May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth… For he shall rescue the poor man when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.  He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.  From fraud and violence he shall redeem them, and precious shall their blood be in his sight” (Psalm 71).