We Have Never Left That Silent Night
Two millennia and very little has changed. The darkness still remains, even encompasses the world, but those who recognize the Light know the Way, the Truth and the Life.
"Correggio's famous chiaroscuro La Notte painting of The Nativity leaves all shadow except the infant Jesus and His mother, Mary. Even her face is illuminated only by the light that comes from Him. It makes little sense to see our existence in any way other than this simple yet profound image. He is truly the Light which pierces the darkness of this world as He pierced the darkness of that town so long ago. Amid the sin, the distortion, the deception, the hypocrisy, the selfishness, the hate, He alone brought clarity and truth. Amid the blindness, deafness, and muted souls, He alone brought vision, sound, and voice to the Way of Salvation. If we honor His Blessed Mother, we do so in His light. If we aspire to salvation, it is only through His direction. If we find our God, it is through His brilliance. If we awaken to a new life, it is only through His dawn. No, nothing has changed since that night in Bethlehem so long ago. The world is still in shadows and Its Salvation is still the Light. The more things change, the more they stay the same."
Through all of these years, through all of these fears, and through all of these tears, we have never left that silent night so long ago. It is almost as if the world stopped that night for, no matter what supposed changes and so-called progress we have seemingly made in the following two millennia, we are still shivering in the cold breeze of Bethlehem that fateful evening.
There is Still No Room at The Inn
The Blessed Mother is still bringing Him to us, but we are still ignoring him. The Holy Family is still trying to enter the household of our hearts, but we are still closing the door on Them with pathetic excuses. He is still trying to be born within our midst, but we are still more concerned with pushing Him out so as not to offend or disturb this group or that person. On the most Holy and Blessed day which this earth has seen, on the most Sacred and Transcendent Birthday witnessed by this world, we are still trying to forget Christ on the very day which was forever set aside for Him, to Him, about Him!
It is not enough that we forget Him most of the other days as well, for we insist on pushing Him out on His very own Birthday. Our so-called leaders call this a holiday and treat a nativity scene like some weapon of mass destruction. We are told over and over that diversity and tolerance and consideration of other groups demands that we turn this into some generic celebration and strip It of Its true and only meaning: The Birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. That is the ONLY TRUE REASON FOR THE SEASON! A society which protects vulgarity and elevates bad taste to art is never as diligent as when it is busy kicking out The Savior of The World from His Own Birthday. Yes, there is still no room at the Inn, for that Inn is ringing with earthly rhythms and worldly intoxications, with secular delusions and modernist myths, and with dancing fools and boastful ignorance too self-absorbed to notice or care for that shivering Mother in the night. Through all of these years, nothing has changed. The Inn is still an out when it comes to welcoming Christ.
He is Still an Outcast for Outcasts
Despite all of the solemn processions in golden cathedrals, despite all of the jeweled crowns and red robes, despite all of the causes and warriors sworn to His service, He is still an Outcast for outcasts. He is still marginalized to the outskirts of souls, hearts, and minds and isolated to a cave where no human being, much less a King, should arrive.
Those most loyal to Him are still those most detached from the pomp and concerns of the ever more distant world, for that pomp and concern blinds the eyes and wraps the ears to the sweet message of love, peace, and sacrifice which He carries. He is still betrayed by those claiming to be His disciples. Yet this is still exactly where He wants to be, for He brings a message of humility, obedience, and surrender to The Will of God Almighty.
It is still the most poor, the suffering, the lowly, and the disrespected of society who come to Him. It is still the rich, the selfish, the privileged, the respected and high of society who ignore Him due to ignorance, cowardice, arrogance, stubbornness, and selfishness. He is still despised, and those wishing to truly follow Him must still be willing to be despised as well.
Innocents are Still Being Murdered
Just as in that distant town so long ago, innocents are being murdered for selfish, arrogant, corrupt, material, and despicable reasons. However, while all mothers cried during the tragic massacre of that distant Bethlehem, many of them now sigh in relief as they willingly hand their innocent children to be slaughtered by twisted authority.
Innocent blood is still being spilled to preserve lifestyles, power, influence, and material possessions while pathetic justifications and vile spin are spun in answer to the drops of innocence which fall to be trampled under foot. No, nothing has changed amid the modernizations, industrializations, and inventions which have transpired since that distant past. Blatant treachery and naked greed still reign the day, and rationalizations and excuses still rule the night. We have not moved one millimeter forward, and likely have slipped much distance back into the cool, callous, clinical shroud which murder wears today.
Hypocrisy Still Thrives
The air of hypocrisy which surrounded that Air of Sacred Peace in Bethlehem is still alive and well today. This society still pretends to respect, to love, to forgive, to consider, to feed, to clothe, to serve, and to worship, yet it only respects, loves, forgives, considers, feeds, clothes, serves, and worships its perverted, despicable notion of truth and morality.
Like the innkeepers who concealed their selfishness and apathy with notions of respect and diligence toward their patrons while disrespecting and ignoring The Holy Family, this society still likewise conceals its ills with pretensions of inclusion, respect, diversity, and concern for others. Like the confused fools who preferred to favor those who could benefit their pockets over a shivering family preparing to witness a birth, this society prefers the opinion of man over the Word of God. Like the vile authority which pretended to define honor, justice, and order while concealing selfishness, disrespect, and treachery, this society pretends to favor all while disfavoring the God who made all. Like the drunken revelers who proclaimed celebration while demonstrating despicable, tragic apathy, this society still tells us to enjoy life while ignoring those who cannot. Like the town which opened its arms to earthly visitors while turning its back on Heavenly ones, this society bows to secular power over spiritual reverence. Yes, the hypocrisy which did not concern itself with that silent night was not silent at all, for its message of arrogance, selfishness, greed, and apathy was loud and clear. Is this society's message of self any less so?
We are Still Called to Come and Worship
As in that fateful night long ago, we are still called to come and worship The Savior of The World. Unlike that night, we have witnessed why and how He Saved us and yet many of us still refuse to approach Him! Just as the shepherds did not wait for Bethlehem to give them permission to come to Christ, so too we must not wait for this society to give its consent to our worship, for that worship belongs to God and does not concern itself with this temporary, limited, society. We have seen the Star, and that Star is Christ Himself who guides us toward Him through His sacrifice on the cross. Like the Wise Men who brought Him gifts, we too must bring Him the gifts of our talents offered for His service.
He is Still The Light Which Pierces This Darkness
Correggio's famous chiaroscuro La Notte painting of The Nativity leaves all shadow except the infant Jesus and His mother, Mary. Even her face is illuminated only by the light that comes from Him. It makes little sense to see our existence in any way other than this simple yet profound image. He is truly the Light which pierces the darkness of this world as He pierced the darkness of that town so long ago. Amid the sin, the distortion, the deception, the hypocrisy, the selfishness, the hate, He alone brought clarity and truth. Amid the blindness, deafness, and muted souls, He alone brought vision, sound, and voice to the Way of Salvation. If we honor His Blessed Mother, we do so in His light. If we aspire to salvation, it is only through His direction. If we find our God, it is through His brilliance. If we awaken to a new life, it is only through His dawn. No, nothing has changed since that night in Bethlehem so long ago. The world is still in shadows and Its Salvation is still the Light. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
To all readers, I've enjoyed being able to write here regularly and look forward to helping tweak hearts just a little bit, comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comfortable in the coming year. To you and yours, a very Merry Christmas and my prayers for all for a blessed New Year.
Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.