Christmas Blessings

This Christmas is already very different. Of course, 2020 has been a different kind of year. There will be no American relatives visiting us here in Canada (given the fact that the border is closed), and even our dinners will be low key in trying to keep with less than ten at each gathering. But one thing that hasn’t changed is how we decorate our Christmas tree. Over the past nearly 39 years, my husband and I have collected hundreds of ornaments. Placing the ornaments on our Christmas tree is like taking a trip back in time.

The first Christmas we were married, we asked friends and relatives to make or give us ornaments. Not all of these ornaments have survived 39 years, but these are some that are still in excellent condition. Clockwise from upper left: 1) Angel with bell: my mother gave this to me in 1978. 2) Small wreath with grandma: My mother-in-law gave this to us on our first Christmas together as a married couple. 3) An old-fashioned glass ball given to us by my Aunt Flossie and 4) a red sleigh given to us by my cousin Linda in 1984.

Despite the challenges of 2020, let us imitate the Blessed Virgin and open our hearts to the Christ Child!

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Perhaps because this Christmas feels so strange….

 ….and lacks the comfortable sameness of so Many wonderful family Christmases…the huge reality of the Incarnation hit me with tremendous force. God became one of us! God came to live among the human being he had created. God’s love is what it is all about.

 I have always been taught this…but the familiarity of it, recited in the Creed, repeated, sung, discussed, emphasised, can make it just a formula.  It isn’t.  The drama of the plan of God from the beginning, his  calling of Abraham, his choice of David…the temple planned by David and built by Solomon…the total fulfilment of it all in the birth, in David’s city, in the fulness of time… of Christ.

The more you explore it all, the more it fits together, from Genesis through to the New Testament. All planned from the beginning. The Word that was spoken across the waters became flesh, and dwelt among us.

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The Politics of the Incarnation

There’s something rarely heard about the commercialization of Christmas. On the one hand, I can forgive the neo-pagan Marxists for the suppression of Christ—they know not what they do. On the other hand, Catholics, who should know better, have in recent decades anesthetized the Incarnation so as to empty it of all physical reality. The physicality of the Incarnation—that our Lord was truly born during the reign of Caesar Augustus around the year zero—is what brings into relief all of the event’s political and social ramifications.

As time has gone by I have realized this more and more. Marxists and heretics hate Mary because they hate the Incarnation. As Newman observes, they would rather accept Jesus Christ as a “poetical expression, or a devotional exaggeration, or a mystical economy, or a mythical representation”—anything but Jesus Christ, Son of Mary, Son of God. This is because the political and social power in this world can be exercised either according to the authority of God (Rom. 13:1-7) or by means of Satan (Apoc. 13:12).

The Socio-Political Context of the Incarnation

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