Pax Christi! The month of December is dedicated to the “Divine Infancy.” As with so many consecrated phrases in the Religion, that innocent pairing of words touches upon a great mystery that a little child can understand, while the greatest minds of Christendom, past and future, could never completely scale its heights. For a moment, let us situate ourselves somewhere between the little child and the greatest minds — hopefully without ceasing to be childlike.
For there to be a “Divine Infancy,” there must be an Infant who is God. For that Infant to be known as an infant by us, He must be of our own ken — a man like us. In other words, if we do not see a baby, we will not know that Baby; if we do not see a boy, we will not know that Boy. Thus, for there to be the month of the Divine Infancy, there must first have been the Mystery of the Incarnation, the Mystery of the God-made-Man. There is no December 25 without March 25.
Why is it that the Father or the Holy Ghost did not become incarnate in Mary’s blessed womb? Why was it the Son?
Simply speaking, it was more fitting, because the Divine Infancy of Jesus is a created echo of the eternal sonship of the Second Person of the Trinity. God, for all eternity, has a Child, who is the Image (Col. 1:15, 2 Cor. 4:4) and the Wisdom (1 Cor. 1:24) of the Eternal Father.
The words of Psalm 2:7 speak of the eternal day of the conception of the Son: “The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.” In the New Testament (Acts 13:33, Hebrews 5:5), this passage is applied to the incarnate Christ.
Compare this to Isaias 9:6 — made so popular by George Frideric Handel,’s “Messiah”: “For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.”
It would not be fitting that the Father become a child in time, for He is not from any other divine Person. He is not a son. Nor would it be fitting for the Holy Ghost to be incarnate, since He is the breath of Love between the Father and the Son. He is not Himself a son.
It is fitting that if Mary would look at a Divine Person and say, “Thou art my son,” it would be that One Person to whom those words are spoken in eternity by the Father.
We have mentioned in the past the “three births” that the three Christmas Masses celebrate: the Word’s birth in eternity (Mass of Christmas Day), Jesus’ birth of Mary (Midnight Mass), and the birth of Christ in our souls by faith and Baptism (Mass at Dawn). These three births are all related, for the unique “Born One” of Eternity is born in time so that we may be “born of God” (1 John 3:9) — that is, made children of the Father.
Since Mary is the Mother of our Head, Jesus Christ, She is also the Mother of His members. Mary is Mother of the “Whole Christ.”
I have summed up these thoughts in a poem, “The Three Births,” which I append to this letter.
Permit me now, please, a two-paragraph tangent. A few letters ago, in considering the “combat against the errors of modernity,” I said that we must prosecute this battle “with or without the help of our clergy.” I received a letter from a priest who took exception to this. In my reply (which I think satisfied him), I wrote that the existence of a crisis in the priesthood, nearly universally acknowledged, could hardly be considered a radical or controversial idea.
Still, the reaction I received from this good priest reminded me that I have never, at least not in writing, collectively thanked all those good priests who support our Crusade in a variety of ways. They are many and diverse, secular and regular, Roman Rite and Eastern. They, along with the seminarians and religious who in any way support us are a source of consolation, encouragement, and help. THANK YOU, GOOD FATHERS!
Now, on behalf of all the brothers and sisters, I say sincerely, “Thank you!” to all our friends and benefactors for your generous support. Without it, we simply could not carry out our apostolate. I also ask for your continued benefactions, which remain truly needed. Your contributions go to the support of such things as:
- The education and formation of our young religious brothers and sisters.
- The material support of the priests who minister to us.
- Our publications.
- Our IHM School.
- The expenses associated with our very fruitful Internet apostolate.
- Maintenance of our physical plant.
- Vehicle maintenance on the small, hard-driven fleet that shuttles our brothers and sisters far and wide to distribute our books and spread the Faith.
All the thoughts in this letter of Our heavenly Father, our loving Mother, and Divine Sonship, reminds us that Catholicism, dear readers, is a family affair. May your families be blessed by the Holy Family this Christmas, New Years, and Epiphany. God bless and Mary keep you all.
The Three Births
|His birth in time transpired thus
At Beth’lem’s midnight manger
Where Joseph’s toil made all things well,
Kept maiden spouse from danger.
He forth from blessed womb did come
His birth in souls is oft renewed
When Shepherds saw the Swaddling Boy
|The ‘ternal birth ineffable,
Out time, and space, and death-shade,
In bosom of the Father-God,
Begets the Son who’s not made.
God’s Image true, the Selfsame’s Word,
Now all three births in one great Feast
And these three Mysteries unite