In recent decades there has been an all-out war to annihilate the true meaning of CHRISTmas. So what can we as lovers of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph do to restore its sacredness? What can we do to remind souls that CHRISTmas is the joyful celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ? Here is a simple suggestion:
*** Restore the CHRISTmas manger scene in as many places as possible ***
I remember as a child being enamored by manger scenes; even now they exercise a holy influence upon me. They are an incredible source of catechesis without a single word being spoken. St. Francis of Assisi originated this practice to honor the beauty, warmth, and sacredness of this most Holy Night.
The CHRISTmas manger scene ‘preaches’ the glad tidings of the Virgin Birth. It ‘cries out’ in silence so many beautiful truths of our most holy Faith; all of which were accomplished through God’s infinite love, such as:
- Almighty God, Who dwells in eternity, willed to leap from His glorious throne in Heaven into time and space!
- Almighty God, Whom the universe cannot contain, contained Himself by the Power of the Holy Spirit in an earthly ‘throne’ – the Immaculate Womb of a teenage, virgin girl, Mary most holy! The Lord of glory dwelling in microscopic size held all things in existence by His infinite Power!
- Almighty God willed to become completely dependent on the Blessed Virgin Mary for everything to set us an example – Total Consecration!!! (Please read “True Devotion to Mary” (TAN books) by St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, that fiery Apostle of Mary.)
- Almighty God, Who created man, willed to radically humble Himself and become a Man! Oh, that Love willed to become our Brother! And because of this great truth, the Immaculate Conception has become our Mother!
- Almighty God willed to be born by the Virgin Birth and “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, no. 57). Our Lady remained a virgin before, during, and after the Birth, which occurred:
- In a miraculous way : “…just as He afterwards went forth from the sepulchre while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which His disciples were assembled, the doors being shut; or, not to depart from everyday examples, just as the rays of the sun penetrate without breaking or injuring in the least the solid substance of glass, so after a like but more exalted manner did Jesus Christ come forth from His mother’s womb without injury to her maternal virginity” (The Catechism of the Council of Trent, article 3).
- Without pain : “To Eve it was said: In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children. Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate she brought forth Jesus the Son of God without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain” (The Catechism of the Council of Trent, article 3).
- Almighty God willed to be born in a cave/stable where animals lived, fed, and relieved themselves, to teach us the beauty of holy poverty and detachment.
- Almighty God willed to be born into a family that was rejected and refused shelter, to reveal His association with and preferential love for the poor and the outcasts.
- *** NOTE ***: Regarding the next paragraph, if you’ve had an abortion or cooperated with one in any manner, you are still precious in the sight of Almighty God and still infinitely and perfectly loved by our most merciful Father!!! If you haven’t done so yet, please go to sacramental Confession and confess the sin ASAP, so the Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ can wash away your sin and heal you!!! If you’re not yet Catholic, convert ASAP, so you can experience the power and healing of God’s forgiveness in sacramental Confession!!! If you are still distressed by your abortion or cooperation in one, you may want to refrain from reading the next paragraph and reach out to Rachel’s Vineyard for healing.
- Almighty God willed to be born a Child to reveal the dignity, beauty, and value of every child; all are precious gifts willed into existence by Love Himself. This is so important in an age that has been deemed “the culture of death” by Pope St. John Paul II. The evil of the “contraceptive mentality” has poisoned so many hearts and minds, leading to the brutal murders of over 59,600,000 children in the United Sates alone and over 1,438,000,000 worldwide!
- Almighty God willed to be born into a family to reveal God’s plan for every child and the importance of marriage and the family. Every child has the right to be born into a valid, loving marriage according to God’s design between one man and one woman in a lifelong covenant. “Male and female He created them” (Gen 1:27).
The CHRISTmas manger scene is an extremely simple, beautiful, and powerful means to bear witness to these and so many other beautiful truths of our most holy Faith. All of the above should move us out of love to properly prepare our hearts to celebrate the Birth of God-made-Man in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; most especially by making a good, humble sacramental Confession of our sins.
Let us not allow our blessed Lord to enter into hearts that resemble the cave/stable in Bethlehem – cold, filthy, foul-smelling, and full of dung (in this case our sins). Let us welcome Beauty Himself into hearts made pure through penance and Confession; hearts which resemble the Heart He most loves – the Immaculate Heart of Mary!!!
Coming soon – a follow-up article explaining how using Mary CHRISTmas in place of Merry Christmas can be used to reveal more beautiful truths of our most holy Faith.