Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas - ~R. L. Bruckberger

By becoming the Son of Man, the all-powerful Word of God subjugated the whole of sensible nature to men of good will; it is all men of good will that nature protects under the clouds of His luminous Presence, it is all men of good will who can henceforth traverse dry-shod the Red Sea of sin, of suffering, and of death. The benediction promised Abraham is no longer limited to his race: it extends to infinity in space and time, to every point where there is a man of good will.

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We must believe that the Son of God was simultaneously on earth and in heaven and that if His destiny goes from eternity to eternity it is nevertheless never separated from eternity; it is contained in it like a sphere in a larger sphere. Through His Incarnation, by becoming a Man, Jesus did not immerse Himself in time; he drew time into His own eternity. Jesus Christ is youth itself, perpetually welling forth and perpetually renewed. In Him eternity swallows up not only the years but the whole of time entire. For every man, natural birth is the end of a period of maturation of nine months; it is the fruit that detaches itself naturally from the tree. The Birth of Jesus is that too, but it is above all the appearance in our shadowy and miserable world of the sweetness and the smile of God: “Apparuit benignitas…” – “The goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared…”

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When Saint Leo, the Pope, wished to define for the faithful the significance of Christmas, he gave an urgent exhortation which has not, alas, lost any of its timeliness: Agnosce, O Christiane, dignitatem tuam…” “Christians, be on your guard, be conscious of your dignity. You have been made participants in the divine nature. Do not, through your conduct, fall once more to the level of your former decadence.”

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Since the optimism of the humanist and of the philosophy of the enlightenment has sunk in ridicule and dismay under the impact of the experience of two world wars, in which the nature of man revealed itself as even more disquieting than had been imagined, we are witnesses to a vast plot to defame humanity and particularly the image of God in man. For some thirty years literature, motion pictures, and even philosophy, not to mention political and economic theories, have been trying to convince us that we emerge from nothingness and return to nothingness after a fugitive career in which our loftiest motives of action hardly rise above the level of the most elementary appetites and instincts – I might almost say the level of tropisms. If man in truth is nothing that but, what good is man? And if that is the case I say very seriously that it is an insult to the noblest animals, such as cats and horses, to put man in the same class with them.

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May those Christians who have allowed themselves to be swept away by this vogue bestir their intelligence, pluck up the courage of their convictions, and recapture some insolence of contempt toward images of human nature that are false and so degrading. And may the light of Christmas, rising on our night, put to flight all such timorous hobgoblins.

2 comments:

Tiago said...

Helo!

Do you have a book by R.L. Bruckberger, "Oi a la peine de mort"?

Tanks!
Tiago (Brazil)

latinmass1983 said...

Hello Tiago,

No, I do not have that book. After a quick internet search, I was not able to find it online, either. I will continue to look it up. I really like his books, hiw style of writing and his insight into everything he writes about.