Love and Sacrifice
It is a concept lost today. The fact is there can be no victory without sacrifice, no sacrifice without love. Love conquers all, but not the love the world holds up, but Christ's love - such love that He became man and died on the Cross for us. No greater love, no greater sacrifice, no greater triumph.
"Love alone, nourished by sacrifice, enables one to suffer willingly for the sake of the Kingdom of God. But the connection between love and sacrifice is little understood today. Few learn the value of suffering and sacrifice in a society in which profit and pleasure are the highest priorities. The pursuit of pleasure creates selfishness and spiritual blindness. Children are educated for a place in this world and are then unprepared for eternity. Most people think they will end up in Heaven, and many don't even believe in Hell."
Editor's Note: In Father Louis Campbell's sermon for the Double of the Second Class Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord on New Year's Day, he emphasizes the salvific essence of love and sacrifice, two elements sadly lacking in the New World Order 'Mass' and the tenets of the 'New Evangelization' which seem to bypass the Cross in going straight to the Resurrection. It cannot be done. There is no shortcut! We can only pray the administrators of the New Order apparatchix and the so-called 'Civilization of Love' in the 'new springtime' will realize this before more souls are sacrificed to the false values of mammon. True love means to turn away from sin, away from false prophets and listen only to the One Who is the Truth, the Way and the Life. He is Love and Sacrifice. [bold and italics below are editor's emphasis.]
Father Louis J. Campbell
"God, Who at sundry times and in diverse manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days has spoken to us by his Son…" (Hebrews 1:1,2).
Everything about the life of Jesus Christ speaks to us of love and sacrifice. Today we celebrate the event of the Circumcision of the Lord, when Mary and Joseph, in obedience to the Law, took the newborn Child to the Temple so that the rite of circumcision might be performed for Him. This shedding of His Precious Blood for the first time was a presaging of His sufferings and His death upon the Cross, when the Lamb of God shed His Blood to take away the sins of the world.
The holy Simeon foretold a life of suffering for the Child as he said to Mary: "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed" (St. Luke 2:34,35).
Jesus is the Suffering Servant of the Lord Whom Isaias foretold: "Surely He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought Him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our iniquities: He was bruised for our sins. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him: and by His bruises we are healed" Isaias 53:4,5).
What enabled Jesus to endure these sufferings, and even to lay down His life for us? He Himself gives the answer in the Gospel of St. John: "Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends" (St. John 15:13). It was His love for us that enabled Him to die for us. In Him we see the connection between love and sacrifice, and we realize that the two belong together. Without sacrifice there is little love.
We find in the Holy Bible that sacrifice is an essential element of worship. We are reminded in the Canon of Mass, that the just Abel brought some of the firstlings of his flock to offer in sacrifice to God (Genesis 4:4), Abraham was willing to give up his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:9,10), and Melchisedech offered a sacrifice of bread and wine to God (Genesis 14:18), foreshadowing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.
In Hebrews we read of the superiority of the New Covenant Sacrifice over the Old:
"The first covenant also had ritual ordinances and a sanctuary, though an earthly one. For there was set up a tabernacle in the outer part of which were the lamp-stand and the table and the showbread, and this is called the Holy Place; but beyond the second veil was the tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid with gold…
"But when Christ appeared as high priest of the good things to come, he entered once for all through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made by hands (that is, not of this creation), nor again by virtue of the blood of goats and calves, but by virtue of his own blood, into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkled ashes of a heifer sanctify the unclean unto the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the Holy Spirit offered himself unblemished unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Hebrews 9:1-4a;11-14).
Love alone, nourished by sacrifice, enables one to suffer willingly for the sake of the Kingdom of God. But the connection between love and sacrifice is little understood today. Few learn the value of suffering and sacrifice in a society in which profit and pleasure are the highest priorities. The pursuit of pleasure creates selfishness and spiritual blindness. Children are educated for a place in this world and are then unprepared for eternity. Most people think they will end up in Heaven, and many don't even believe in Hell.
Consider the situation of Novus Ordo Catholics, and I realize that many of them are striving against all odds to be good and devout Catholics. But they seldom hear of sin, Judgment, or Hell, and they are not taught the value of sacrifice. There are very few days of fast and abstinence left for them, and even these are not taken seriously by most. Worst of all, the Mass was deliberately shorn of almost all references to sacrifice by the architects of the New Mass under Paul VI.
Consider the following:
"The extent of the willingness of this unhappy pope to sacrifice even the most sacred traditions of our faith to placate heretics was revealed to its full extent for the first time in an interview broadcast over French radio on December 19, 1993 by Jean Guitton, one of the closest friends of Pope Paul VI. Guitton made public the fact that the Pope had confided to him that his purpose in reforming the liturgy was not simply that it would correspond as closely as possible to Protestant forms of worship, but with that of the Calvinist sect, one of the most extreme manifestations of the Protestant heresy. Guitton's revelation shows how perceptive was the comment by Monsignor Klaus Gamber that the drastic curtailment of solemnity in the liturgy means that Catholics 'are now breathing the thin air of Calvinistic sterility.'" (Michael Davies, Liturgical Shipwreck, Tan Books, p. 3).
The necessity of sacrifice remains. What sacrifices are you willing to make for the sake of the Kingdom of God? After Christ and His Blessed Mother Mary, the saints are our best examples of the connection between love and sacrifice. St. Paul and St. Peter speak to us:
"But the things that were gain to me, these, for the sake of Christ, I have counted loss. Nay more, I count everything loss because of the excelling knowledge of Jesus Christ, my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I count them as dung that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a justice of my own, which is from the Law, but that which is from faith in Christ, the justice from God based on faith; so that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings: become like to him in death, in the hope that somehow I may attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:7-11).
"Since Christ therefore has suffered in the flesh, do you also arm yourselves with the same intent; because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sins; that during the rest of his time in the flesh he may live no longer according to the lusts of men, but according to the will of God" (1 Peter 4:1,2).
For the Proper of Today's Holy Mass, see Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord
January 1, 2004
vol 15, no. 1
"Qui legit, intelligat"
Father Louis Campbell's Sunday Sermons