Christmas-New Year's Issue
December 22, 2002 - January 4, 2003
volume 13, no. 148
Christmas Message from Michael and Cyndi Cain
One Solitary Life!
From the wood of the manger to the wood of the cross Jesus made it possible for everyone of us to know Him, love Him and be happy with Him in this world and the next. If only we would.
He was born in an obscure village, the Child of a peasant teen who knew not man. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never married or owned a home. He never held a job, yet paid taxes. He never set foot inside a metropolis. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never wrote a book, or held an office. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He received no awards, no medals, no prizes from His peers. While He was still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies, and went through the mockery of a trial. He had no lawyers, no friendly juries, no fair hearing. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While He was dying, His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had - His cloak. After He died, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave. Those who stood watch could not explain His disappearance. And yet two thousand years have come and gone, and today He is still the central figure for much of the human race. All the armies that ever marched and al the navies that ever sailed and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this "One Solitary Life."
With credit to Jim Bishop, the preceding is a powerful meditation of the effect Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior has had on history. In these times when the ACLU threatens to obliterate His memory, aided by the ecumaniacs outside and inside the Church who deny or rationalize His command in Mark 16: 15-16 - we wanted to share with you something that is boldly and proudly proclaimed. Where? In the heartland of America; not church but in many of the theaters of Branson, Missouri. It is called "One Solitary Life." The internationally-known, beloved singer Andy Williams makes it a key component of his annual Christmas Shows. It is the focal point of the Living Nativity depicted in the Radio City Rockettes' Christmas show; one that is truly spectacular and one of the most moving, religious portrayals we have ever seen. Indeed, the Rockettes were more modest than many of the youth attending World Youth Day in Toronto this year. The Christmas Spectacular at the Grand Palace credited the origins for the Living Nativity to the holy originator of the tradition of the creche scene - Saint Francis of Assisi. The program proclaims:
"The Living Nativity presented at Radio City Music Hall since 1933, is in keeping with a revered tradition originated by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223 for the people of Greccio, Italy. Realizing Christmas has lost its meaning for many in his day, St. Francis pondered various ways of bringing the story closer to them. Then he had a wonderful idea: to re-enact the nativity scene on Christmas Eve. That night, he had the creche bring Christmas to life for the people of that small town. This year, we hope our depiction of this timeless story will be a moving and memorable experience for you."
In these days when we hear how much the secular has invaded the sacred, it is refreshing to know there is a place where the sacred is held more cherished than the secular. That is another reason we fled from the immoral morass of Southern California and so the year 2002 was an eventful one. After our oldest graduated cum laude from Rancho Buena Vista High School we bid adieu to our Vista abode after a five-year stay there. It was through prayer and the providence of God that we were able to leave the eroding climes of the San Diego area for the quieter, more affordable, and definitely more wholesome midwest area of the Tri-Lakes region near Branson, Missouri. Why? Many reasons. Most importantly we found a picturesque, ideal home in the Ozarks atop a verdant peninsula mountain plateau in the middle of the Mark Twain National Forest with a scenic view that takes one's breath away. Truly Our Lord and His Blessed Mother have blessed us. As Kevin prepares for College, his younger brother Kellin has immersed himself in high school life, making many new friends and blossoming in this new, more relaxed atmosphere. Our two precious Shi-Tzu 'puppies' Sir Smidgens and Lady Siena can run and romp to their hearts content while deer graze nearby, the eagles soar above, and the water glistens on beautiful Table Rock Lake below.
Everyone sends and receives Christmas cards this time every year, but we wanted to find one that best depicts the true meaning of Christmas, that reminds us of the greatest Gift of Love our dear Blessed Lord left us. It is a Gift that many have forgotten, but one that so completely represents His great love carried out as He directed His Apostles in the eternal sacrifice; first through Peter whom He appointed and all his successors thereafter for nearly two millennia. The visibility of this authority carried out under the Primacy of Peter. Never is this more visible in the sanctuary of the Tridentine Altar than at this time of year in all its Christmas splendor.
Christ left for us the Holy Sacrifice of the New Covenant as He promised in John 17: 17-19,
"Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. As Thou has sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for them do I sanctify Myself: that they also may be sanctified in truth. And not for them only do I pray, but for those also who through their word shall believe in Me."
It is through the Word and the Sacraments established by Our Lord and passed down through Tradition that Truth prevails: Christ is sanctified - the Immolated Lamb offered up in an unbloody manner to the Father at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That is why this illustration of the holy altar above is so meaningful for Christmas.
The focus must be on the Christ Child - the "Word made flesh" - "Verbum caro factum est" - through the mystery of the pure tabernacle of the Immaculate Mother of God who was conceived of the Holy Ghost. From the wood of the manger to the wood of the cross His great Gift of Love was manifested to all, climaxing with the immolated Lamb being offered up to death. By His total Gift to the Father, the Son merited redemption and salvation for His universal flock in the New Covenant between God and man. No greater love does anyone have than to give his life for another. The Creed of the Faith He established for all men for all time, which are contained in the twelve articles of the Apostles' Creed established at the Council of Jerusalem by His Apostles, can never be compromised.
To assure this and to perpetuate the Greatest Gift of Love, the Holy Sacrifice was offered up in the Latin Mass - "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven" - the re-enactment of the ultimate Sacrifice on Calvary in an unbloody manner offered by the priest - a consecrated alter Christi - on behalf of the faithful to the Father. For over 1500 years from the time of Pope Saint Gregory the Great up until the last decades of the 20th century this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass has been and remains the only way to fully offer a sacrifice worthy of God and acceptable to Him in the manner offered by Abel and Abraham in the Old Covenant. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the eternal sacrifice.
The great Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a holy Doctor of the Church in upholding the infallible dogmatic decrees of the Council of Trent - which were upheld by every Supreme Pontiff from Pope Saint Pius V through Pope Pius XII - affirmed that:
"The Mass is the most beautiful and the best thing in the Church. At the Mass, Jesus Christ giveth Himself to us by means of the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar, which is the end and the purpose of all other Sacraments. One single Mass gives more honor to God than all the penances of the Saints, the labors of the Apostles, the sufferings of the martyrs, and even the burning love of the Blessed Mother of God. Man cannot perform a more holy, a more grand, a more sublime action than to celebrate a Mass, in regard to which the Council of Trent says: 'We must needs confess that no other work can be performed...so holy and divine as this tremendous Mystery itself. God Himself cannot cause an action to be performed that is holier and grander than the celebration of Holy Mass."
When that is taken away, the "abomination of desolation" which Christ foretells in Matthew 24: 15 will be inevitable to all who read and understand - "qui legit, intelligat". Those who truly understand His words and Sacred Scripture will see the warning signs of what will happen to the New Jerusalem just as Daniel predicted the end of the eternal sacrifice in the Old Jerusalem in Daniel 9: 27 and which was fulfilled in 1 Machabees 1: 57. So also the new sacrifice, promulgated in 1969 by Paul VI's Novus Ordo wishes, has ushered in the possibilities of the imminent fulfillment of this grave prophecy for without the Holy Sacrifice there can be no Paschal Mystery.
This is not our personal interpretation, not some wild conspiracy we thought up, but something affirmed by Christ Himself, the prophets, and every Father, Saint and Doctor of the Church. Pope Saint Adrian I stated clearly that "The first requirement of salvation is to keep the standard of the True Faith." Every pope up through Pius XII realized this and dared not tinker with Tradition. Not so the last four popes. Consider St. Alphonsus Liguori's omen:
"The devil has always attempted, by means of the heretics, to deprive the world of the Holy Mass, making them precursors of the Anti-Christ, who, before anything else, will try to abolish and will actually abolish the Holy Sacrament of the altar, as a punishment for the sins of men, according to the prediction of Daniel 'And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice' (Daniel 8: 12D). "
Therefore, in keeping with Jesus' undeniable words in Mark 16: 15-16, our greatest gift we can bestow on you this Christmas is to not only contemplate on all the love of the Christ Child, but to realize that God never compromises, never changes and that while He is all-loving, all-merciful He is the Just Judge Who will render to each of us according to how we lived, how we responded to His call to
"Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned" (Mark 16: 15-16).
If our gift is considered too preachy, too judgmental, then so be it. Time is of the essence and our present to you is to realize the present you live in and ask if you do not want to make a difference so that when that time comes to present yourself before the Just Judge you will be held worthy in His sight. That is our sincerest wish for you this Christmas.
To be a disciple of Christ means to go against the grain, go against the politically correct secularism and ecumenism of Rome's bent today. We will remain loyal always to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother the Church and the Primacy of Peter no matter what others may do. We take very seriously Saint Paul's warning in Galatians 1: 8-10,
"But though we, or an Angel from Heaven, preach a gospel to you beside that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so I say now again: If any one preach to you a gospel, besides that which you have received, let him be anathema. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I did yet please men, I should not be the servant of Christ."
And so we extend our fondest hope and prayers that you will take this Christmas Message in the spirit of true love and ask God if there isn't more you can do to be true servants of Christ in the humble manner of the Holy Family and the meek and poor shepherds who were richer than any man could ever be. It is that richness of realizing the Truth before them that we extend to you on this actual 2000th anniversary of the birth of our Savior Who gave us so much through that One Solitary Life.
Mary Christ-Mass to all. Love,
Michael and Cyndi
P.S. We invite you to read our 33-stanza parody we composed last year of the traditional poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". With apologies to Clement Moore, we have done so to better illustrate what we spoke of above and that nothing is traditional anymore in the post-conciliar Church of Vatican II. We also hope, through this traditional parody, you will understand more fully why our family and The DAILY CATHOLIC have returned fully to all the Church taught prior to the 1962-1965 disaster known as the Second Vatican Council. We have titled it: 'Twas the Night of the Clutter.