Wishing you a most blessed and peaceful Christmas Season. We have received the best, most precious gift in the history of the world- the Son of God, born for us on this day. May we receive this newborn child ever more deeply into our hearts and souls.
The following is a timely and compelling article written by our General Superior,
Sr. Anne Marie Walsh.
Spirit of Herod and the Innocence of the Lamb
December 14, 2012, the spirit of Herod brutally intruded upon our world, upon a
people in festive excitement and preparation for Christmas, many anticipating
the birth of Our Savior and King.In a
little town in Connecticut, at a gradeschool where the approach of Christmas
gave the children there special light and anticipation, 20 children and 6
adults trying to protect them, were suddenly and mercilessly mowed down for no
discernible reason.Just as the death of
the Holy Innocents in Jesus’ timemust
surely have involved the death of adults as well, mothers and fathers desperate
to save the lives of their children, so in Newtown, 6 adults gave their lives
to do the same.
comes into our darkness this Christmas, into a world shocked by its own
violence and yet blinded to some of the deepest violences embedded now in its
own way of life.A question perennially
present once again breaks through the surface into our anguish to demand an answer:Where does this violence come from?Is it situational?Is it cultural?Is there a hereditary predisposition to
it?Why does this keep happening?
problem reveals itself at the beginning of time when Cain first raised his hand
and spilled the blood of his own brother.It comes down to a simple premise.What rules our lives!There are
only 2 answers here.We choose self-rule
or we allow God to order our lives according to His wisdom.
first parents chose self-rule and left us the inheritance of that choice:shattered relationships, disharmony,
weakness, toil, excessive self-love, the loss of divine gifts, a tendency to be
enslaved by sin, the flesh, evil, violence and finally, death.
is a choice we all make.We choose
either self-rule or God’s wisdom, God's way.This is a choice we must make as a people as well.And our choice will determine our future.
shows that self-rule is a seed bed for many tragedies.The first to suffer under the tyranny of
self-rule?The weakest, most vulnerable
and innocent: the unborn, children, the disabled, the elderly, the poor.All those who cannot defend themselves
against the lust for self-seeking power that self-rule generates in man’s soul
are at risk.(Note:the use of the term self-rule here signifies
something different than self-control or self-mastery.)
the same time, those we marginalize are a reflection of the greatest
marginalization of all-God.God is the
most marginalized in our world today.We
push Him out of public life, our government, our schools, out of our personal
lives, and now there is even an attempt to regulate God in the confines of His
own House, telling Him He must be subject to the government in His dictates to
us. (see HHS mandate)
is a marginalization that began with the Fall and is perpetuated everytime we
choose ourselves over Love.We live in a
society that has chosen again and again to proclaim self-rule over God’s
wisdom.And this is deadly.Self-rule as a principle for a people, will
always degenerate into barbarism, for self-rule, infected as it is by
selfishness, rarely is able to exert itself in the discipline of Christian
virtue.It is unable because the
practice of virtue requires denying oneself for a greater good, a good beyond
shows us how to choose Love as the rule for ourselves this Christmas, even in
our deepest darknesses.He shows us how
to choose Him by His own example of continually choosing us, no matter the
level of depravity we sink to.The
witness of the children and teachers slain in Sandy Hook is a witness of this
kind of love:innocent love in the
children andit’smature counterpart, self-giving love in the
adults.If we want more adults who are
self-giving, one thing is for sure, we have to stop destroying the innocence of
kind of love is the only thing capable of conquering the separation, isolation,
selfishness and violence that is born of our narcissistic self-rule.Our hope and our faith reside in the Gift
that comes to us this Christmas, that precisely in our deepest darknesses and
even though we marginalize Him to the stable, God comes, He still comes to
us…in the pure, selfless, innocent love of a Baby Who hides within Himself the
glory of the Divinity’sdesire to save
us, to heal us, to take away our tears, to restore our hearts and to gladden us
with His presence.
knows what Her child is destined for; she receives the prophecy of the sword
that hangs over her own heart.But She
also knows the victory that Her Son, Love Incarnate is destined to win.Her faith holds us fast while in the dangers
and evils and violence of the present age, the darkness is surely and
definitively being banished away.
mourn with the families of Newtown, like Rachel mourning her children because
they are no more, though we know they are safe now with the Lord.But we know too with firm conviction, and
without passing judgment, that the spirit of Herod, Herod whose self-indulgence
led him to madness and a worm-eaten end, is vanquished by the love of the
innocent Child whose promise of a restored inheritance is ours if we have the
wisdom to choose it, an inheritance where:“…the lowly will ever find joy in the Lord…for the tyrant will beno more and the arrogant will have gone; and
all who are alert to do evil will be cut off.”Isaiah 29:19-20
I want to HIGHLY recommend a brand-new series produced by Ascension Press called Oremus.
This particular series on the study of prayer and living a passionate and life-giving relationship with God our Father is hosted by Fr. Mark Toups. Fr. Mark is an outstanding, holy and humorous priest from the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana.