The prayer has such beauty and power because it unites our petitions to the blessed “hour and moment” of Our Lord’s birth, in the piercing cold of Bethlehem. We ponder what it means for God to hear our prayers “in that hour” of the Nativity, two-thousand years earlier than when we utter them. Our prayers help bring us to that moment and to realize that its importance completely dwarfs even the most momentous of events in our calamitous modern world that seems to grow darker by the day.
Throughout Our Lord’s entire life, our salvation was “a motive of all His actions.”
In his classic This Tremendous Lover, Dom Eugene Boylan wrote of our presence in Christ’s thoughts throughout His life:
“If, then, you who now read this book say that you were in Our Lord’s thoughts, in His mind, in His heart, throughout all His life — that our salvation was a motive of all His actions — you say truth. Because Our Lord would have done it all for a single soul. In fact, you can say that if it were necessary for your salvation, He would have suffered it all over and over again. It is, however, not necessary, for He has done more than enough to save the whole human race.”
Throughout Our Lord’s entire life, our salvation was “a motive of all His actions.” This unfathomable love for us could be the source of constant meditation, and can lead even the most wretched sinners to a repentance that brings unspeakable joy and peace, even in this life. “If it was necessary for your salvation, He would have suffered it all over and over again.” We should want to share the Faith with as many people as possible, not only to bring souls to Christ for their own good, but out of love for our Redeemer, who suffered so much for each of us and thought of us “throughout all His life.”
If He thought of our salvation throughout His life, surely that means He thought of us “at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.” In his Christ in His Mysteries, Blessed Columba Marmion wrote about the way in which Christ’s desire and work for our salvation began in the manger:
“In accordance with this divine will we have been sanctified; and it was as far back as the manger that He inaugurated the life of suffering that He willed to live for our salvation, an earthly life of which Golgotha was the appointed end, and which, by its destruction of sin, restored friendship with His Father to us. The manger was undoubtedly only the first stage, but in contained at root all the others.”
Our joy becomes more real and enduring if we can see that the Passion and Crucifixion are not only compatible with the joy of Christmas, but in a way inseparable from it.
The modern world — and indeed many nominal Catholics — find it appalling to think of Christ’s Crucifixion and so would never allow that thought to interfere with their shallow fondness for their materialistic version of Christmas. But the true joy of Christmas would be impossible were it not for the fact that Jesus Christ is our Savior — who would eventually die to save us — as announced to the shepherds tending their flock:
“And the angel said to them: Fear nor, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people: for this day is born to you a Savior, this is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.” (Luke 2:10-11)
So even though the Church wants us to experience the joy of Christmas and gather graces from its particular mysteries, we know that the joyful Nativity is intertwined with a life of suffering that Christ “willed to live for our salvation.” Our joy becomes more real and enduring if we can see that the Passion and Crucifixion are not only compatible with the joy of Christmas, but in a way inseparable from it.
Should it come as any surprise, then, that our modern world has produced a chintzy and materialistic substitute for Christmas that positively excludes any thought of Our Lord’s suffering to destroy sin? They want us to forget the real meaning of Christmas because they want us to forget why Christ was born in the manger.
Those who truly appreciate why Christ was born in the manger — to be our Savior — know that the finest gift we can offer the Divine Infant is to do God’s will.
Those who truly appreciate why Christ was born in the manger — to be our Savior — know that the finest gift we can offer the Divine Infant is to do God’s will. As the Church has always taught, we must cooperate with God’s grace to obtain the benefits of the abundant graces Christ won for us. Indeed, our entire life can be reduced to the question of whether we are doing God’s will. Dom Boylan wrote of this lifelong process of trying to always accept the graces of God:
“The old self in us struggles hard against its death, and in every single action we are confronted with the choice: Who shall live in this particular moment in me — myself or Christ? The self asserts its claim, but the choice rests with our free will, even though the grace of God comes to our aid. We can decide; we have the awful power of saying no to God, of denying Him life in us. It is true that we depend on His grace for the power to do good but grace does not take away our freedom, nor can we thus escape responsibility for a refusal. The two lives are present in us; that of Christ which He wants to make ours, and that of the old Adam, our own independent self. In every single deliberate action we have to choose between them.”
The angel’s announcement to the shepherds of “good tidings of great joy” is of no value to us if we do not choose to say yes to God’s graces. As Catholics, we know that we are called to say yes to every grace God offers us. How could it be otherwise?
If we realize that the greatest gift we can offer Jesus is our obedience to God’s will and fidelity to His grace, how do we feel about the false shepherds who have spent the past several decades teaching that God is pleased with us no matter what we do? We of course feel the sting occasioned by Francis’s most recent attack on the Mystical Body of Christ, but it is worth pausing to reflect on the even greater offenses to God caused by those who have spent decades deliberately leading souls away from God’s grace and thereby robbing precious gifts from the Divine Infant. We cannot make adequate reparation for these crimes unless we acknowledge them.
As the entire world looks for answers that it will never find in the godless lies it embraces, we rejoice to know that God has made it more clear in 2021 than ever before that those who adhere to His Church — with its traditional sacraments and immutable doctrines — are the ones to whom the angel’s “good tidings of great joy” are directed.
Ironically, we can trace what is arguably the most devastating offense against the Mystical Body of Christ to language that sounds almost like the Catholic truths about Christmas. As described in Fr. Patrick de La Rocque’s Pope John Paul II: Doubts About a Beatification, it was Karol Wojtyla who authored a superficially pious sounding sentence in Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes: “By His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man.”
What does this mean that Christ is united “in some fashion” with every man? Is this simply an interpretation of the angel’s words of “good tidings of great joy” to the shepherds?
Many years later, as pope, John Paul II made the meaning clear: “In the Holy Spirit, every individual and all people have become, through the Cross and Resurrection of Christ, children of God, partakers in the divine nature and heirs to eternal life.” (Message to the Peoples of Asia, February 21, 1981)
Then, at the 1986 Prayer Meeting at Assisi, John Paul II provided the dramatic representation of this theological innovation by placing all religions on the same level. If “every individual and all peoples” have become “partakers in the divine nature and heirs to eternal life,” obviously one does not need to be Catholic, or even believe in God, to be saved. So there is no reason why we should pretend that Catholicism is so much more important than any other religion.
The world has grown colder and darker in 2021, but we have been praying that God will hear our prayer “in that hour” of Jesus’s Nativity, and many of us will not let go of the hope and trust that God will do just that.
And if all religions are fine and everyone is saved, the traditional Catholic concept of hell becomes rather outdated. Thus it is proper to speak of it as a mere theoretical possibility that may not actually apply to humans, as John Paul II did in his July 28, 1999 General Audience:
“Eternal damnation remains a real possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human beings are effectively involved in it. The thought of hell — and even less the improper use of biblical images — must not create anxiety or despair, but is a necessary and healthy reminder of freedom within the proclamation that the risen Jesus has conquered Satan, giving us the, Spirit of God who makes us cry ‘Abba, Father!’ (Rm. 8:15; Gal. 4:6).”
All of this — universal salvation, the value of all religions, the unimportance of hell — sounds really quite soothing for those who would otherwise think their eternal salvation depended on doing God’s will as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. Indeed, John Paul II’s words soothed millions of souls out of the Catholic Church, and left millions who remained with the lovely thought that they were saved no matter what they did. Those of us who still believe what the Church has always taught have been left in the piercing cold.
So now almost everyone is very cozy with the thought that they are saved no matter what they believe or do, but what happened to the gifts to the Divine Infant when the prophets of Vatican II convinced Catholics that they no longer needed to say yes to God’s graces? Does it matter that most so-called Catholics no longer want to be truly Catholic? Does it matter that Francis embraces the entire world except for that wretched minority of people who adhere to what the Church had always taught and practiced prior to Vatican II?
We know that He will conquer, and if we suffer now for the Faith He gave us, we can have great confidence that He will never abandon us.
The world has grown colder and darker in 2021, but we have been praying that God will hear our prayer “in that hour” of Jesus’s Nativity, and many of us will not let go of the hope and trust that God will do just that. As the entire world looks for answers that it will never find in the godless lies it embraces, we rejoice to know that God has made it more clear in 2021 than ever before that those who adhere to His Church — with its traditional sacraments and immutable doctrines — are the ones to whom the angel’s “good tidings of great joy” are directed. We see, so clearly by the grace of God, that the globalists who seek to enslave us are the same enemies of God that have tried to transform Christ’s Church into the chaplaincy of the New World Order.
We suffer today, but the offenses we feel cannot begin to compare with the insults directed against God for the past sixty years. God has allowed us to feel those offenses in a special way now because He wants to draw us closer to Him. Thus, if we find ourselves left in the piercing cold, we know that is where we will find the Divine Infant and the graces He won for us. We feel such a great need for His grace, and beg Him to intervene to stop the globalist madmen who have recruited even the princes of the Church to enslave mankind.
And so we draw closer to the manger than ever before this year, more eager than ever to offer the Divine Infant our gifts of fidelity to His grace. We know that He will conquer, and if we suffer now for the Faith He gave us, we can have great confidence that He will never abandon us. The more that we can say, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, that “I will do what God wants,” the more united we will be with Christ in that blessed hour and moment in which He began His suffering to unlock the gates of Heaven for those who do His will.
“Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen”
Watch the Latest from RTV - THE INTOLERANT POPE: Francis Cancels Faithful Catholics