All articles from December 24, 2018

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Archbishop Gänswein’s Christmas Reflections

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By Maike Hickson

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) - Today, Archbishop Georg Gänswein – the personal secretary of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI and the Prefect of the Papal Household – published a Christmas reflection in Germany that LifeSiteNews wishes to present in it’s full English translation. Gänswein goes back to the roots of our Christian Faith which is based on the Annunciation and the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. “Christ's Birth is the reference point per se of our history,” he says and points out that “every atheist will automatically date his letters with the year 2018.” The birth of Christ has formed Western “culture, art, and music,” the German prelate explains. But it is more than that. Christian civilization has built such good societies, he says, that refugees in distress “flee to Europe, and not, for example, to China.”

In contrast to these blessings coming to the world through Christ, Archbishop Gänswein also shows some negative examples and counterpoints; first he speaks about the “'annus horribilis' as the year in which China succeeded for the first time with the generation of a 'designer baby,'” but then he proceeds to describe the fear of Muslim terrorism in Europe. “By way of contrast,” the prelate explains, “'Allahu akbar!' is the call to prayer of the Islamic world. That means in German [here in English]: “God is the Greatest!” Here, we would like to join in. But from the mouth of terrorists, it [this call] has become in the meantime a terrifying call in our cities – as it just again happened in front of the Cathedral of Strasbourg.”

In light of these developments, the German archbishop reminds us that we are to listen to the “little whimpering of the Christ-Child in the creche” who is “is whispering the opposite into our ears: 'God is the Smallest!'” That world, as built by Christ, wishes to be “defended by our witness, often against enemies that seem all-powerful.”

Full text as published by Archbishop Georg Gänswein:

The year 2018 will one day perhaps enter history as an “annus horribilis,” as the year in which China succeeded for the first time with the generation of a “designer baby,” thereby decisively interfering in God's Order of Creation.

Nevertheless, on Christmas Eve, every atheist will automatically date his letters with the year 2018, with which the years are counted from that day on which, in Bethlehem, the Creator of Heaven and Earth came into the world as an infant. Christ's Birth is the reference point per se of our history.

What God has there done to Himself is an unfathomable miracle, and it is nevertheless – together with the Annunciation of that birth spoken by the Archangel Gabriel to Mary – the kernel of our Gospels. The King of the Universe has entered into our nature. A greater act of love is not imaginable. That is why, up to today, this is unfortunately also seen by many, and in many religions, as a provocative imposition.

Worldwide, the persecution of Christians is not understandable without this challenge in our minds. Nevertheless, no birth has ever changed the world as much as the birth of the Holy Infant in Bethlehem. And no birth has made the world more beautiful and more human than this miracle in the Virgin Mary, in whose womb the Redeemer of the world grew. All the beauty of Rome and of Freiburg is due to this one act of love, as also is the whole cosmos of the culture, art, and music of the West.

One cannot understand this, it can only be marvelled at, and best so with the eyes of children. Christmas invites us to do just that, as does no other feast anywhere in this world. For me personally, it is also the remembrance of those days when we, for the first time, stood under the tree adorned with candles, in front of the crèche, with hearts beating and with that deep inner trust in our father and our mother who had given us all these things – as a beginning of all those additional gifts which they had prepared for us.

And this is how we have to picture Christmas in its entirety: as God's opening to a world and to a life filled with gifts which we could never have dreamed of or imagined. Here, for the first time, we learned what it means that we are created in His Likeness, as the Bible has described it in its history of Creation. Here, we saw this likeness in all of its radical nature: in a helpless newborn Child!

He who wishes to see what has made Europe beautiful and great and lovable, and what the “C” in her last Christian political parties means, has to look therefore into this crèche. He who wishes to understand why millions of people in their distress set out and flee to Europe, and not, for example, to China, has to look upon this Child, to whom we owe the most important foundation of our western world, which thus has been formed in such a different manner, with its social welfare systems, with its will for freedom, and with its constitutions enshrining inviolable human dignity.

By way of contrast, “Allahu akbar!” is the call to prayer of the Islamic world. That means in German [here in English]: “God is the Greatest!” Here, we would like to join in. But from the mouth of terrorists, it [this call] has become in the meantime a terrifying call in our cities – as just again happened in front of the Cathedral of Strasbourg. But the little whimpering of the Christ-Child in the crèche is whispering the opposite into our ears: “God is the Smallest!” He Himself has wished it to be so. This unfathomable humility of the Greatest has been inscribed in the most precious way into that world which we love and which wants to be defended by our witness, often against enemies that seem all-powerful.

A joyful, peaceful, and grace-filled Christmas.

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Merry Christmas from LifeSite!

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By Patrick Craine

Dear readers,

The entire LifeSiteNews family would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas!

We’ve had a custom here for many years of publishing Christmas reflections by our staff and contributors on Christmas Eve. We encourage you to read each of these often personal and always thoughtful pieces as you go about celebrating the birth of our Savior. Here's the full listing of this year's reflections:

Christmas witnessing and blessings – Steve Jalsevac

Thank God for faithful priests, who, like St. Joseph, are often quiet heroes – Claire Chretien

Heart speaks to heart: The most essential reality of true religion – Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

Why being Christian means traveling with Jesus from Bethlehem to Calvary – Doug Mainwaring

After centuries of suppression, Christmas in Edinburgh is finally back – Dorothy Cummings McLean

How faithful Catholics can find joy this Christmas in face of apostasy everywhere – John-Henry Westen

Christ reigns as King from the crib – Come, let us adore him! – Joseph Shaw

Let’s pray for persecuted Christians who celebrate Christmas with fear in trembling – Jonathon van Maren

How a homeless war vet taught my family to trust God – Lisa Bourne

How Trump brought Christmas back to America – Pete Baklinski

The reflections will be highlighted on our front page throughout our Christmas break, which we take every year between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We’ll be back again with our regular publishing schedule on January 2.

God bless you all!

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Christmas witnessing and blessings

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By Steve Jalsevac

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – I have made it a habit during the Christmas season to always wish those I encounter in stores and elsewhere a “Merry Christmas”. When someone initially says “Happy Holidays” to me, my response is “and a Merry Christmas to you.” And you know, there has never been a problem. Frequently, the person appears to be relieved that someone is not playing the politically correct game with them, especially if their store bosses have ordered them to say only the pathetic “Happy Holidays.”

Another witness is through outdoor Christmas decorations. For many years we have had a lighted, manger scene in the front of our house surrounded by many lights on our bushes and tree. The old manger was eventually getting damaged by years of winter weather and I found it took several years to find a replacement. They are no longer anywhere near as available as they used to be. My daughter in Virginia finally found a suitable replacement online that I could order.

The new manger scene is larger and more artsy looking, but it does the job in explicitly witnessing to the reality that Christmas is all about the birth of the Christ child and not about blown up, huge, lighted and moving snowmen, Santas, elves and other figures that we see on many front lawns. We have received a lot of compliments on the manger scene, even from strangers and non-Christians.

Last year, a few days before Christmas, I was also blessed to see a large and beautiful angel statue in a Canadian Tire store that had been drastically reduced in price. That angel is not only now part of our nativity scene, but is kept at the front of the house year-round as a sign of the guardian angel of our home.

Inside the house, we have always placed a Christmas manger scene in a prominent place in our living room. Of all the Christmas preparations, that is the first one, along with an Advent wreath, that is put up at the beginning of Advent as a constant reminder of the all-encompassing importance of this sacred time of the year.

And of course, the most important Christmas witnessing is to be extra kind, patient, charitable and generous to those we meet during the Christmas season and to take every opportunity that is appropriate to refer to the holiness of this great commemoration of the birth of the Savior of the world. Visiting the sick and inviting in the lonely witness to the love of Christ for all of mankind.

Christmas has drastically changed for my wife Bonnie and I in the past few years since all but one of our eight children have moved out and all of them have in-laws that they must naturally also celebrate the feast with. So, things are far quieter around here Christmas Eve and during most of the Christmas season than they used to be when all the children were at home. Actually, during this stage in life, with years of exceptional busyness and attending our children’s many Christmas concerts behind us, we usually enjoy this new contemplative-assisting experience.

On the other hand, when the children do visit, it is as though a large bus has pulled up and they come pouring out with their spouses and now 20 grandchildren on the rare occasions when the two Virginia based families also come up. Then the house that always used to be adequate, seems way too small. Still, we have a wonderful time, with the children all happily running around with each other and the adults, all of whom get along remarkably well, spend precious time with each other.

The Christmas Eve Mass and then Christmas Day dinner and family time together is my favorite time of every year. The highlight of every Christmas Day occurs just before presents are given out. Our children and grandchildren process from a back room towards the manger with all the manger figures and several burning candles, singing Away in a Manger, as they one by one place the figures into the manger. Then we break out into a very enthusiastic Happy Birthday to Jesus followed by a lot of laughter.

We have our struggles and considerable challenges, as does any family, but we have also been greatly blessed. We are indeed grateful and realize our situation is not the norm today for many families. The joy and peace of Christmas helps us to not take our blessings for granted and to understand that we must do whatever we can to help others experience the wonderful true meaning and blessings of Christmas.

May God abundantly bless all of you and your families and friends this Christmas season and may you above all experience the special inner peace that only Jesus Christ can give, no matter what your particular circumstances may be.

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Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

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Thank God for faithful priests, who, like St. Joseph, are often quiet heroes

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By Claire Chretien

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – St. Joseph is often depicted in art or nativity scenes as an old, rather frail-looking man. Regardless of his actual age, though, he was anything but weak. 

St. Joseph was a carpenter, which means he was likely physically strong. More importantly, he had the strength to remain with Mary even when she became pregnant, but not with his child, and to listen to God and protect the family unit through which the Savior came into and learned about the world. 

Many of the priests and bishops – representatives of Jesus Christ – who dominated headlines in 2018 may have been powerful and connected, but they certainly didn’t embody authentic masculinity, like St. Joseph did. Some of these newsmakers preyed on those whom they should have guided and protected. Some lied about their actions. Some were found out to have covered up their and their friends’ filthy deeds for decades. When finally exposed, some bloviated about “policies” and issued apologies that can hardly even be called apologies. 

The real strong men of our time are less noticed than the crooks in cassocks and the menaces in mitres whose actions seem aimed at reducing Holy Mother Church to a smoldering pile of ruins. The real men of strength aren’t acknowledged in commercials or movies, which usually mock them as helpless dunces.

The strong men of our time – the St. Josephs, if you will – are priests who face persecution from without and within the Church for being faithful to Christ, yet who quietly live out their vocation to preach the truth for the salvation of souls. Faithful priests are true fathers, like St. Joseph, who often quietly sacrifice themselves for their families. They are the ones, who, like St. Joseph, are unafraid to follow God’s will in their lives, no matter where the road leads and what the cost might be. 

It is the example of such priests that teach younger men what it means to be a man – to protect, provide, and lead those for whom one is responsible – in a culture that is determined to emasculate them.

This Christmas, I am thanking God for the men who are what they were created to be, especially faithful priests, who lay down their lives for those around them and who emulate St. Joseph’s fortitude and selflessness.

In a time when there is so much confusion about what it means to be a man or a woman, and, when so many of the men leading the Church have disfigured the Bride of Christ, those men who embrace real masculinity while answering the call to be faithful shepherds couldn’t be more important.

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Heart speaks to heart: The most essential reality of true religion

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By Dr. Peter Kwasniewski

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – St. John of the Cross writes:

In giving us His Son, His only Word (for He possesses no other), He [the Father] spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word—and He has no more to say . . . because what He spoke before to the prophets in parts, He has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son.

The Father has spoken His Word. This is what we remember at Christmas, each and every year. In the Fall, man turned away from God’s voice, no longer willing to listen. The Lord who “walked” in the garden every day with Adam and Eve seemed to hide His face, though in reality it was mankind that hid in fear from the light of God’s countenance.

After centuries of stumbling like a blind man through the darkness of ignorance, error, and sin, the old Adam – at least in the form of the prophets of Israel and the wise men of the Gentiles, the most self-aware of men and, for the same reason, the most God-aware – knew that some kind of dramatic rescue from the outside would be necessary for restoring humanity to health.

What they did not know is that the rescue “from outside” would be, even more profoundly, a rescue from within. When the Word was made flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, the only-begotten Son of the eternal Father became man, so that He might insert into human nature the grace and glory of His divinity. It was to be a reparation and restoration from within our nature, not “from the outside,” like repainting an old building.

The Word became flesh. The Voice took up a bodily habitation. The hidden God has a human face. His holy lips preach the words of everlasting life. Now it is for us to sit at His feet, like Mary of Bethany, and listen continually to Him, soaking up His words and holding fast to His Heart.

When John Henry Newman chose for his Cardinal’s motto Cor ad cor loquitur, “heart speaks to heart,” he was capturing in a phrase the most essential reality and medium of true religion: it is, before all else, a personal relationship in which everything is at stake. It is a total gift of oneself to the Lover of mankind. It is a question of friendship, not of doctrinal propositions, moral rules, liturgical customs, and so on.

The one who loves accepts everything else – all of the propositions, rules, customs – without complaint, indeed with an infectious joy, because they are the expressions, tokens, and reminders of the one we love. We cannot dismiss or disdain these things without offending the beloved.

The crisis of theology today, and, more broadly, the crisis in the Church, is due at root to the prevailing absence of the spirit of the “holy fools,” the “fools for Christ,” who are ready to throw everything else away if only they can cling to the Lord. The holy foolishness of being in love with our crucified Savior is the very opposite of the worldliness that has infected the Church. What we need today are holy fools, not crafty bureaucrats, media-savvy apologists, or unquestioning automatons. The divine Son lying as a babe in the trough of farm animals: this is the “foolish” way God introduces Himself when He comes among us, with a wisdom far greater than that of the philosophers of this age.

You see this spirit of holy folly – sometimes a rushing torrent like white river rapids, sometimes as silent and peaceful as snow – in flourishing religious communities. You see it, too, in faithful Catholic families who are living out the demands of the Beatitudes as well as they can, and are winning the Lord’s blessings for it. In such communities or families, the poisonous atmosphere of an egoistic rationalism has been driven away, replaced by the pure, fresh air of living for the divine Lover who loved us and gave Himself for us.

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Why being Christian means traveling with Jesus from Bethlehem to Calvary

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By Doug Mainwaring

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Nowadays, when I think of the Incarnation — that pivotal moment in all of human history when the Second Person of the Trinity became man and was born in Bethlehem, lying helpless in a crib — I have difficulty sustaining cozy thoughts of Christmas hearth and home the way I once might have.

Everything my eyes see and all that my ears hear during the weeks leading up to Christmas wants to push my whole attention toward capturing a certain warm and fuzzy Christmas spirit, or perhaps toward grasping for the nostalgia of Christmases past. 

Yet, during the Christmas season, my thoughts rush to the Cross of Christ, the climax of His mission, and it seems to me, the sustained climax of each of our own lives as Christians.

As a journalist who often writes about our rapidly decaying society and our Church — which increasingly finds itself in turmoil — while also facing my own sins and their consequences in my life, I’m buoyed up not by the carols and wreaths, the fire in the fireplace and the aroma of fresh baked cookies, but by the message of the Cross of Christ.  

A preacher/theologian who first caught my attention while speaking at a Vatican colloquium in 2014 — Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission — has brought this theme into clear focus during talks he has delivered in recent years. 

“We cannot be longing for Mayberry,” he once said, speaking of the iconic, folksy small town setting of the popular 1960’s TV program, The Andy Griffith Show, idolized and romanticized by many.    

“The world of nominal, cultural Christianity that took the American dream and added Jesus to it in order to say, ‘you can have everything you ever wanted and Heaven too,’ is soon to be gone,” said Moore.  

“Good riddance,” he added.

“We don’t have Mayberry anymore, if we ever did. Good. Mayberry leads to hell just as surely as Gomorrah does,” said Moore another time.  “Christianity didn’t come from Mayberry in the first place, but from a Roman Empire hostile to the core to the idea of a crucified and resurrected Messiah.” 

“We’ve been on the wrong side of history since Rome, and it was enough to turn the world upside down,” he noted.

With those words, Moore was prescient.  That world is already gone, if it ever actually existed; the apostles of the sexual revolution and their followers now have the upper hand on the airwaves and internet, in our schools, in government, in corporate America and even in the world of sports, claiming moral superiority over Christianity.  From child drag queens, to homosexual “marriage,” to women “shouting” their abortions, this is the new normal, and it is even working its way into the Church.  

But the battle isn’t actually about morals.  It’s about crucifixion.  It’s about crucified lives.

Said Moore: “We must have a voice that speaks to the conscience, a voice that is splattered with blood.” And, that blood is the blood of the Cross – Jesus’ blood.  

“The Kingdom of God is not made up of the moral,” declared Moore. “The Kingdom of God is made up of the crucified and our mission is to speak to a world of people who are often going to come to the end of that mess of pottage that is the sexual revolution, that is pursuit of self, and will ask, ‘what else is there?’ The final word that we must have for those repented souls who throw themselves upon Christ after an abortion, after murder, after family dissolution, should be, there is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ.”

If you frantically feel as though you are losing; if you frantically feel as though the culture is leaving you behind, then the problem is that we will become just like the culture that we are critiquing: who’s up, and who’s down, and who’s in charge, and who’s not. God is not surprised by whatever is happening right now in the world around you, in your community, or in the world at large. And maybe God is interested right now not so much in getting America in line with the church, as God is interested in getting the church out of step with America. He says to His disciples, ‘You are different. You have a distinctive calling. You have a distinctive witness. You have a distinctive future. We have a different way.’

And that way is the Way of the Cross.

“We proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,” (1 Corinthians 1:23).  

Jesus, the babe in the manger, was born for crucifixion, and so am I

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After centuries of suppression, Christmas in Edinburgh is finally back

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By Dorothy Cummings McLean

EDINBURGH, Scotland, December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – “Any questions?” asked my husband’s oncologist.

“No,” said Mark, still dazed by the news that his brain tumors, which have stopped growing, had been growing very quickly before his radiotherapy.

“Yes,” I said. “Can he go to Canada for Christmas? It’s an eight hour flight.”

It’s seven, really, but I wanted to be on the safe side.

The doctor looked worried.

“Have you bought tickets already?” she asked.

“No,” said Mark.

“No,” I said. “We were waiting until we could speak with you.”

The specialist hemmed and hawed about air pressure, wondered if relatives could come to Scotland instead, observed that the medical insurance for Canada would be astronomical, and finally said that if we insisted, she could give Mark steroids to help him through the journey.

“Oh no no no. No, thank you,” I said, slaying my home-for-Christmas dreams. I imagined Mark passing out or growing delirious seven miles over Greenland, and I couldn’t live with the risk. So once again we are trapped on the wrong side of the Atlantic for Christmas.

That said, I am grateful that Mark’s tumors have stopped growing.

When I was a child I enjoyed reading about “Christmas Around the World” and was disappointed that Scotland did not have its own Christmas customs. Christmas in Scotland was well and truly squelched by the Protestant Reformation for centuries. Christmas Day was just like any other working day unless it fell on a Sunday, in which case it was just like any other Sunday, until 1958, when it became a public holiday. Before then it was seen as suspiciously Catholic and somehow unbiblical.  

The Scottish traditional winter festival is Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve. The contemporary Christmas, or “Crimbo,” as it is jocularly called, is largely imported from England and Germany. English Yuletide traditions are fuelled by television ads for supermarkets, which encourage feasting, and for pharmacies and department stores, which encourage gift-buying binges. There are also English Christmas films, like Love, Actually, and Christmas-themed music video specials, to tempt Scots into the English Christmas spirit. Tacky Christmas jumpers (sweaters) are lightheartedly donned from Land’s End to John O’Groats, and every self-respecting town has its Christmas panto performance. Meanwhile, a German-style Christmas market has been a fixture in Edinburgh for almost 20 years. Christmas trees, a tradition brought to Britain from Germany by Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert, appear in Scottish homes from December 1.

England, Scotland, and Wales are increasingly secular countries, but nevertheless millions of Britons begin Christmas Eve celebrations by tuning into the BBC’s broadcast of the annual carol service in the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge University. For those willing to brave the Scottish dark, cold, and damp to attend public worship, there are Christmas Eve carol services in several Edinburgh churches and, of course, Christmas Vigil Mass in the Catholic ones.

Now that a large Polish community calls Edinburgh home, traditional Polish Christmas Vigil feasting carries on behind many doors. Some years Mark and I host “Wigilia” supper for Polish friends apart from their families. This is one of those years, although I had to promise Mark not to attempt the 12 traditional dishes on my own. Because Christmas Eve is traditionally a fasting day, Wigilia recipes are vegetarian and alcohol is (theoretically) eschewed. Our compromise with the latter is to clear wine off the table at 9:00 p.m., three hours from the beginning of Midnight Mass.

The Poles exchange their presents on Christmas Eve; the indigenous British tend to unwrap theirs on Christmas morning, as in America. Although we have no children, I am always up early to bake my family’s traditional Christmas morning cinnamon bun. As the flavor always conjures up decades’ worth of happy memories of Canadian Christmases, it is a non-negotiable tradition.

When the sun rises, there are more church services for those Christians who observe Christmas. (The adherents of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, for example, still do not.) Then, of course, there is the traditionally huge family meal, beginning sometime after noon. Alongside the goose, turkey, or ham, there are often chipolata sausages or pigs-in-blankets, which are cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon. Brussel sprouts are considered the traditional Christmas Day vegetable sine qua non. The traditional desserts are flaming plum pudding, fruitcake, and trifle.

At 3:00 p.m., several television and radio stations broadcast the Queen’s Christmas Message. This is also a particularly British tradition, dating back to King George V’s Christmas radio broadcast in 1932. It lasts only ten minutes, and then everyone gets back to their regularly scheduled eating.

When we share contemporary British Christmas with friends and family, it’s all very good fun. For the 53 percent of Britons who don’t have a religion, friends, family, and fun is what Christmas is all about. Being Catholics, Mark and I know better, of course, although being apart from family at Christmastime is rather melancholy.

Still, compared to the persecuted Christians of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, we have nothing to complain about. Thank heavens the worst Mark and I have to fear on our way to Midnight Mass is a delay in finding a taxicab to take us back. The penal days are over in Scotland, but not, sadly, in so many other places in the world.

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How faithful Catholics can find joy this Christmas in face of apostasy everywhere

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By John-Henry Westen

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – “This has been such a grace-filled year!” Those were the words of one of my LifeSite colleagues when I expressed being at a loss to write a positive Christmas reflection considering the state of the Church and the world today. I'm grateful that my dear brilliant friend Maike Hickson permitted me to share her thoughts as my own this Christmas. They were a gift to me, to lift my spirits, and I pray they may be so for you too.

In order for any remedial action to be taken for any malady, a proper diagnosis needs to be made. The patient must recognize the gravity of the illness in order to take appropriate steps to find a cure and root out the problem.

That is the gift we were granted by the Almighty this year. God has revealed so much truth about the state of the Church, opening more eyes to the crisis than we may have dreamed possible. The explosion of clergy sex abuse investigations and revelations around the United States and in different countries beginning with the devastating report on ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick did much to open eyes. 

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò took up the mantle of whistleblower, calling out Pope Francis as being involved in the cover-up of abuser Cardinals and bishops. The credibility of Archbishop Viganò — which resulted from his own life of holiness and concern for the good of the Church — brought countless faithful, both laity and especially clergy, to a new awareness of the scope and gravity of the crisis in the Church.

The Church has had to come face-to-face with the evil of homosexual acts and the horrendous consequence of not taking that evil seriously. 

With the world exacting ever-greater penalties for those who refuse to wholeheartedly celebrate homosexual relationships, the external pressure on the Church to cave in on its constant teaching is fierce. But what is truly crippling is the betrayal of these truths by the successors of the Apostles themselves.

It has become plain for those with eyes to see that there are many Judases in our Church today among the hierarchy who for the love of money, fame, and even, at times, because of unnatural desires of their own, are selling out the truth of Christ. 

It is painfully obvious with 85% of clergy sexual abuse victims being male we are dealing with a homosexual problem (by comparison, two-thirds of sexual abuse in general is perpetrated against females). It is also evident that Church authorities, beginning with the Pope himself, are refusing to acknowledge the obvious. Rather, the finger of blame is being pointed to vague and undefined problems like ‘clericalism’ which leave wide open the possibility of foisting heterodox changes in the Church as supposed solutions for the abuse crisis.

We’ve seen suggestions of married priests, female priests, and altering the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Cardinals are dueling openly over homosexuality. Bishops are doing the same.

The prophecies of Our Lady of Akita seem to have been realized in our day. “The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres.”

So we have had a great awakening of sorts, but the really great news — the hope-filled awesome thing that should make us rejoice and fall to our knees in thanksgiving before the Babe in the manger — is that the Almighty has given us the grace not to be seduced.

Through the intercession of His Mother, Our Good Lord has chosen many to see His truth and hold on to it. Those who have been given the grace to see what’s wrong, suffer. But it is a grace to suffer. The saints teach us to thank God for it, thank God for the pain so that we may unite ourselves with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

We have been led in these times of uncertainty to embrace the truth more firmly than before, to turn to tradition for solidity and to hold to God rather than men – no matter their stature or standing.

We should be grateful moreover for all the good and holy friendships that have developed in this time of crisis. The crisis has led us to meet and collaborate with great men and women of deep faith who are shining examples of how to live holy lives.

Both Sts. Therese of Lisieux and Louis de Montfort prayed to live in these times. They were not granted that grace, but we have been. What an honor for us to have the opportunity to defend our Lord and His teachings on faith, life, and family. In these times, when living a life of virtue seems impossible, we must realize that we can do nothing at all by ourselves, but we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

We’re defending that Little Baby in the Manger of Bethlehem at the behest and under the direction of His Holy Mother! 

A happy and holy Christmas to all of you and best wishes for a blessed New Year!

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Christ reigns as King from the crib – Come, let us adore him!

By Dr. Joseph Shaw

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Christian message is dominated by two events: the Nativity and the Passion. In each case we find Jesus Christ at the center of the picture, apparently helpless. 

The culmination of the Passion sees Christ nailed to a cross before a jeering crowd: as the onlookers observe, he saved others, but, apparently, cannot save himself (Mat 27:42). In the Nativity he is a tiny babe, speechless, unable to walk, his family without even a home of their own, his bed a convenient animal feeding-trough. Here he, surely, can do nothing for anyone: indeed, everything must be done for him.

And yet we speak of Christ reigning from the Cross, and judging the world from that elevated position. St Luke places the good and bad thieves on either side of Jesus (Luke 23:33), recalling the image of Christ in judgement, placing the good on his right, and the bad on his left (Mat 25:33). This idea is sometimes extended, in depictions of the Crucifixion, with the group of the Virgin Mary, St John, and other supporters on Christ’s right, and the surly soldiers and Chief Priests on the other side. The Crucifixion is a moment of judgement (John 9:39; 3:17ff). Christ judges us from the Cross: or we may equally say that we judge ourselves. Those around Jesus on the Cross have sorted themselves into separate groups—the saved and the lost—by their attitude to what is happening.

At the crib the same paradox is displayed. The Wise Men leave no room for doubt: it is the King of Israel they seek (Mat 2:2), and naturally enough their first thought is to seek him in the royal palace in Jerusalem. Nothing dismayed, they find him at last in the stable, and, giving him gifts worthy of a king, worship him. The Christ-child graciously receives these great men from distant lands who have come to do him honor, as he accepts the more humble offerings from the representatives of his own, Jewish, people: the shepherds.

Not everyone is so well disposed to the newborn messianic king. Herod the Great seeks to kill the child, and his efforts to do so inject a note of violence and tragedy into the story. The arrival of the Christ forced Herod to a decision. Herod was ultimately judged by this tiny baby. Christ was already king, in his crib: already exercising his judicial prerogatives.

God came among men to bring healing and peace, and the domestic scene of the Nativity encourages us to focus on this reality. It must not be forgotten, however, that Christ also brought a sword (Mat 10:34), and that he warned his disciples that he would divide families (Luke 12:53). Why? Because he forces us to a decision. Are we with him, or against him? This question is raised from the moment of his birth, and the helplessness of the child in the crib raises the stakes. The violence offered to the child is just as horrible as the violence offered to the man, the worse for being offered to a child, and to those many small children in Bethlehem who died in Christ’s stead. 

As we contemplate the infant in the crib this Christmas, the message he is there to give us is not a sentimental one. The infant is a stern judge, because by our reactions to him we judge ourselves sternly: we commit ourselves to the one side or the other. In the end, neutrality is impossible. When we reach the end of our earthly lives, we will make the final journey as friends of the Christ-child, or as enemies.

The infant came to share our burdens, however (Mat 11:28): to serve, and not to be served (Mat 20:28). He is not our judge only, but our Savior. It is through the grace he offers us that it is possible for us to choose the side of life. This is why the story of the Nativity is a joyful one: Christ is the hope of those who dwell in darkness, because he can lead us out of it (Is 42:7).

We are obliged to choose, as Herod and the crucified thieves were obliged to choose, by the circumstances which confront us throughout our lives. Each day we choose life or death in numerous small ways, and sometimes in big ones. Throughout our lives we are taking sides. 

A serious, Catholic celebration of Christmas should not exclude the human and cultural expressions of joy associated with the season. They are appropriate because we hope to be saved by this tiny child, not by his indulging our vices, but by transforming us in grace. The Christmastide values of family solidarity, of song, food and drink, of fellowship and beauty, provide a worthy setting for this truth, as long as they do not obscure it.

May the Christ-child lend my readers the grace of final perseverance.

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Jonathon Van Maren Jonathon Van Maren Follow Jonathon


Let’s pray for persecuted Christians who celebrate Christmas with fear in trembling

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By Jonathon Van Maren

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Nobody knows where Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman recently released from years on death row for “blaspheming” the Muslim religion, will spend Christmas. Her spokesman said only that it will be in a closed room in protective custody, to keep her safe from the mobs in Pakistan who have been baying for her blood since the nation’s supreme court acquitted her of the charges. Many Western nations that enjoy bragging about their love of human rights have refused to offer this beleaguered woman asylum from her tormentors.

And it is not only Asia Bibi who will celebrate Christmas under the shadow of the persecutors. 

A widespread crackdown on Christians in Iran led to the arrests of over 100 Christians, with many of them arrested for “proselytizing” Muslims to Christianity, which is a crime in the Islamic Republic. Those arrested were ordered to detail their past religious activities and cut contact with any Christian groups they might be involved in. Christianity has existed in Persia since shortly after the Crucifixion some 2,000 years ago. Despite this, many Christians fled after the Islamic revolution of 1979. Some reports indicate, however, a rising rate of conversion to Christianity despite the obstacles. 

In China, police officers in some cities are apparently being given quotas for how many Christians they need to arrest. Open Doors, an organization that tracks the persecution of Christians around the world, noted that police officers could lose their jobs if they do not imprison the required number of Christians. This comes in the wake of a massive nation-wide crackdown which began with the arrests of the leadership of a prominent evangelical house church, with apartments being surrounded and entire families dragged off to jail. Chinese Christians are promising to stand firm in the face of this persecution. 

In Egypt, some have been trying to draw attention to a silent epidemic for years: The systematic kidnapping of Christian girls by Muslims. Girls are pulled off the streets, held in captivity, sexually assaulted, and told they must convert to Islam. Violence is used to break their will: One young Coptic Christian girl from Minya was kidnapped by five Muslim men, forcibly stripped naked, and filmed. The kidnappers threatened to make the video public if she did not convert to Islam and marry one of them. Christians in Egypt keep a close eye on their daughters, and try to ensure that they never travel alone. The authorities rarely bother to assist those families who are robbed of their daughters.

In Nigeria, the massacre of Christians by Fulani radicals has continued. Hundreds have been killed in the past several months in an ongoing humanitarian crisis that has been largely ignored by the world, with men, women, and children being hacked to death with machetes in what many in the press are simply writing off as a tribal conflict over farmland. Christian girls have also been kidnapped by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, and one fifteen-year-old schoolgirl named Leah Sharibu remains in captivity because she refuses to convert to Islam. 

Around the world, Christians will celebrate the birth of Christ while fearing for their families and for their lives. They will pray for safety for their daughters, the release of their friends, and the protection of their communities. When I was asked to write a Christmas reflection, it was these headlines that my mind immediately went to, because it seems some days as if the world is on fire and Christians are the primary victims being thrust into the flames. 

Reading these stories should give Western Christians a valuable sense of perspective. As secular jihadis continue their holy war against all those who will not bend the knee to their new sexual orthodoxies, it often feels as if persecution is only just around the corner. Christians are demonized if they admit they still hold the beliefs that Christians have held for 2,000 years. Christian adoption agencies are being shut down, businesses are being hounded out of existence, and mockery and blasphemy are the norm for Western elites rather than the exception. And yet, compared to the physical persecution experienced by Christians around the world, the West is still a haven for those who wish to celebrate Christmas this year.

The Lord Jesus came into the world as a despised and rejected man of sorrows, as I heard again at a performance of Handel’s Messiah this Advent season. Almost as soon as His existence was made known to the authorities, Herod sent men to have Him murdered. Around the world today, the spiritual descendants of Herod still send their minions to persecute those who bear the name of the Saviour who was born over 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. They will celebrate His birth with joy mixed with fear and trembling.

Spare a thought and a prayer for them as you sit in church this Christmas season. 

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Lisa Bourne Lisa Bourne Follow Lisa


How a homeless war vet taught my family to trust God

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By Lisa Bourne

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews)My daughter and I were out Christmas shopping recently, attending a local winter farmer’s market, washing the car and running some errands. 

It was a beautiful weekend day, unseasonably warm for mid-December, making the coming-and-goings more pleasant.

On our way into one stop, we happened to pass by a homeless gentleman seated outside the store. 

He sat with his eyes down, and had a sign placed nearby that said, "house burned down, vet, God bless." 

There’s been an increase in people standing at various Des Moines intersections asking for money with signs describing their respective situation, as I imagine is the case in other places. While I’ve certainly been approached for money in parking lots, this was the first time we’d encountered someone sitting outside a retail store in this fashion. 

My daughter and I were moved and discussed continually what we could do to help while completing our errand.

The man was just as hesitant to make eye contact when we left as when we’d gone in.

We went to the Chick-fil-A nearby and got him a meal and gift card.

I’d left it to my daughter, who’s 21, to decide which one of us would give the things we’d bought to him. She opted to do so, and I pulled up, waiting at the curb for her to go give him the food, coffee, and gift card.

The gentleman hadn't eaten that day when we made contact with him, and when he saw the gift card he told my daughter, "Oh good, now I can bring my wife some food."

He made a point of looking up to find me in the car, catch my eye, nod and say thank-you.

My daughter chatted with him briefly and returned to the car.

As we drove away we were in agreement that we needed to do more. So we stopped at the nearest grocery store and picked up some bread, peanut butter, plastic silverware and personal care items – what we thought he and his wife could use short-term but not be burdened with by having to carry.

When we returned to him, we weren’t sure if he’d been drinking the coffee or just using it to keep his hands warm.

My daughter knelt down to him again to explain what was in the bag. He smiled, looked down, possibly a bit embarrassed. But he looked up again my way, smiling reservedly and nodding in gratitude.

They chatted some more. I saw him stand up and she gave him a hug. 

Two other people passing by on their way out of the store had slowed down to hand him money while he spoke with my daughter. One, a woman, also stopped and hugged him when she saw my daughter give him a hug.

After he stood as my daughter hugged him I saw that he was shorter than her. 

The gentleman told her his name was Shorty.

It turns out that after their house burned down they’d been living in a tent with furniture and their remaining belongings. Shorty told my daughter he and his wife had been kicked out of the tent by police with no time to get their personal effects, so they only had a couple of their things. 

He’d built a lean-to from them to live in until the VA can help them - but it'll be another couple months before that happens. His wife is disabled and sits in the lean-to with a little heater.

The couple is in their 60's. Shorty talked with my daughter about getting a bunch of pallets together with carpet squares over the top for their "floor," so they didn't have to sleep on the cold ground.

I watched my daughter choking up as she spoke with him both times and I wasn’t surprised. 

I hadn’t yet heard the specifics, but she’s extremely compassionate. She’d tried to give her only pair of mittens to a homeless man in Washington D.C. while we were there for the March for Life some six years ago, when the weather was brutally cold and it would have been dangerous for her to do so.

But in addition to the tragedy of his overall situation, something Shorty said to my daughter surpassed all else in significance.

He told her, "If this doesn't work out, I know what He has waiting for me will be better, when I get 'home.'"

We drove away in abject sadness at the thought of him and his wife and what they had in front of them, whether or not it means a two-month wait for VA assistance. We couldn’t get past the thought that there was something else we could and should have done.

Even if you were to drop everything and give everything you have, the need in the world is overwhelming and never-ending. I emphasized to my daughter what she already knows – always do what you can, with what you have, for whatever and whoever is in front of you. 

"But, we must never forget those in need," I said.  

It’s now been several days since our encounter with Shorty and I remain convinced I didn’t do enough for him. 

He stays with me, inside my heart. 

The weather continued to be balmy for the next few days, but it’s turned back colder, and I wonder how he and his wife are doing. Did they get hold of some pallets to get themselves off the ground in their lean-to? 

What will their Christmas be like?

But I’m also certain that by his witness of faith, Shorty did more for me and for my daughter than we could have done for him. 

As a mom, I’m grateful for the experience for my daughter, her having seen his faith up close. 

That’s crucial; one human being in the midst of tremendous need thinking to tell another it’s okay because God’s got it handled. I expect Shorty could save a lot of souls with this kind of message. 

It’s a mixed-up world we live in, with tons of evil around, and endless human suffering and failings. 

Amidst all struggles there are still plenty of blessings to be grateful for – for me, nothing so much as the gift of encountering Shorty, and by extension his wife, both children of God, with no roof over their head. 

Will you join me in praying for them this Christmas? Let’s pray for them and everyone in their situation. And let’s pray too for all who are suffering, to trust in God the way Shorty does. 

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President Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in the 95th annual national Christmas tree lighting ceremony held by the National Park Service on the Ellipse near the White House on November 30, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images
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How Trump brought Christmas back to America

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By Pete Baklinski

December 24, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump was introduced by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke at the 2018 lighting of the National Christmas Tree as the “man who brought Christmas back to America.”

It’s a big claim to make. Can it possibly be true? 

Left-leaning media often like to take advantage of claims like this, mocking those who try to cast Trump as if he were the lead role in “Ernest Saves Christmas,” as Vanity Fair put it. 

When Trump campaigned in 2016 on the promise that America was going to start saying “Merry Christmas” again, his critics accurately pointed out with video evidence that Obama had never actually stopped saying “Merry Christmas.”

When, after Trump’s inauguration, conservatives began celebrating what they saw as the new president’s overthrowing of the “War on Christmas,” they were soundly mocked for thinking there had been a war in the first place. 

This leads to the big question: Did Christmas really leave America under Obama and his administration? Has Trump really brought Christmas “back”?

The only way to go about answering this question is to compare how the two presidents have commemorated Christmas. There are no better examples of this than the presidential addresses at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies and the annual White House Christmas Cards. What messages about Christmas have Obama and Trump conveyed on these occasions? 

Obama’s National Christmas Tree Lighting addresses

Barack Obama gave his first address at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in 2009

He did indeed say “Merry Christmas” at the beginning and end of his address, a phrase he included in all of his future tree lighting addresses. When speaking in particular about why Americans celebrate Christmas, he highlighted the “story of a child born far from home to parents guided only by faith.” This child would grow up, he said, to “ultimately spread a message that has endured for more than 2,000 years, that no matter who we are or where we are from, we are each called to love one another as brother and sister.”

While these are pleasant sounding words, they do not capture what Christmas is essentially about. What is Christmas essentially about? The angels said it best to the shepherds with their “tidings of great joy,” as recorded in the Gospel of Luke (2:11): “For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

The keyword here is “savior.” 

Christianity holds that mankind needs to be saved from sin and its consequence, eternal death. Jesus, the God who became man, is the one who saves. This is the “good news” the angels tell the shepherds. And since men and women today are still sinners who need a savior, this good news is as relevant today as it was 2018 years ago. This why Christians around the world continue to celebrate Christmas and will do so until the end of the world. 

So, getting back to what Obama said in his first Christmas address as president, from a Christian perspective, he basically botched the whole affair. He failed to speak about what Christmas is really about. Not only did he not say the word “savior,” but he also failed to say the words “Jesus” or “Christ.”

Obama failed, moreover, to quote from Scripture during his entire address, a trend he continued for the following seven addresses that he delivered at this event. 

In 2010, he basically repeated the theme of 2009, mentioning a “child” born “far from home.” This time, however, he noted that this child was to “spread a simple message of love and redemption to every human being around the world.” While this mention of “redemption” is more on target in reference to Christmas, there’s still no mention of Savior, Jesus, or Christ. In 2011, Obama added a little more detail, mentioning the “stable” and “Christ’s birth” that “made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar.” The child “grew up to become a leader with a servant’s heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful: that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves.” 

In other words, the “child” grows up to be a great moral teacher with a powerful message, but certainly not a “savior.” Obama’s conception of the mission of this child, the reason he was born, is vastly different from what Christianity holds. 

In 2012, Obama praised “Christ” for teaching that “it is truly more blessed to give than to receive.” No mention of him being a savior. In 2013, Obama praised Nelson Mandela as a “man who championed that generosity of spirit.” He did not mention Jesus by name. He again mentioned the “birth of a child” in a “stable” who “assumed a mighty voice, teaching us lessons of compassion and charity that have lasted more than two millennia.” He again portrays Christ as some great moral teacher, but there’s no mention of him as a savior. 

More of the same in 2014 and 2015. He mentions the birth of a “singular child” who would “grow up to live a life of humility, and kindness, and compassion; who traveled with a message of empathy and understanding.” “Jesus” is mentioned once in Obama’s 2015 address as a man who taught moral “lessons” that are the “bedrock values of all faiths.” In other words, for Obama, there’s nothing really unique in Christ’s message: it’s just that this man we’re celebrating happens to have practiced what he preached more than others. 

In 2016, his last year of giving the address, Obama finally mentions the phrase “birth of our Savior.” But, he uses the title “Savior” in a meaningless way, saying that the main “message that this child brought to this Earth some 2,000 years ago” is not one of salvation, but one of “love,” “unity,” “decency,” and “hope.”

Trump’s National Christmas Tree Lighting addresses

Donald Trump gave his first address at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in 2017

He began and ended his address, as Obama did in his tree lighting addresses, by wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas.” But the similarities between the two messages stop here.  

Trump called Christmas a “Holy season” where Christians celebrate the “birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Unlike Obama, Trump managed to mention in one sentence in his first address the words “Savior” and “Jesus” and “Christ.” 

Trump goes on, praising Jesus who “forever changed the course of human history.” 

Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of this incredible life forever changed the course of human history. There’s hardly an aspect of our lives today that his life has not touched: art, music, culture, law, and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person everywhere in the world. 

Each and every year at Christmas time we recognize that the real spirit of Christmas is not what we have, it's about who we are – each one of us is a child of God.

That is the true source of joy this time of the year. 

That is what makes every Christmas ‘merry.’ 

Trump hits a key truth of the Christian faith here, namely that it’s because of the birth of Jesus Christ that people can become adopted sons and daughters of God, which, indeed, is the source of not only Christmas joy, but any form of Christian joy. 

Trump’s remarks here suggest that he accurately understands what Christmas is essentially about and why Christians celebrate it. Jesus is not simply the great moral leader, as Obama portrayed him to be, but a “Savior” who connects mankind with God and who has “forever” changed the world. 

In his 2018 address, Trump returned to his theme of Christmas being a “sacred season” because of the birth of “Jesus Christ.” This year, he quoted a large passage of Scripture, something Obama never did in his entire eight years of addresses at this same event. 

It is worth quoting Trump at length. 

For Christians all across our nation, around the world, this is a sacred season that begins 2,000 years ago when Jesus Christ was born.  

An angel declared to the shepherds tending their flocks, “Behold, I bring you good tidings, great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is a born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Applause.)  

There in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph held in their hands the Son of God; the light of the world; and, through Him, the promise of eternal salvation.

Trump makes it clear that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus Christ as the “son of God” who is the “light of the world” and who brings “eternal salvation.” Again, this is essentially what Christmas is all about. 

So, how does Obama’s treatment of Christmas in his tree lighting addresses compare with Trump’s? For Obama, Christmas is about honoring a great moral “leader” who brings a message of peace and love that everyone can understand and should imitate. 

For Trump, Christmas is about celebrating the “savior” of the world who offers “eternal salvation” and who reveals to men and women their true dignity, namely, that each is called to be a “child of God.” 

Whose message is more Christian and thus more on target regarding what Christmas is all about? In this case, clearly Trump is the winner.  

Has Trump brought back the true meaning of Christmas to America as witnessed in his Christmas tree lighting addresses? The answer is a definitive “yes.” 

White House Christmas Cards

The Obamas never used the word “Christmas” on any of their eight Christmas cards from 2009 to 2016. In 2009, the Obamas’ Christmas card said “Season’s Greetings.” During other years, the cards frequently used the word “holiday.”

“During their first year in the executive mansion, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama’s selection of their White House Christmas card caused some controversy in that there was no mention of the word ‘Christmas’ anywhere on the front or inside of their card,” states the website White House Christmas Cards.

There was also no printing of a biblical passage on the Obama cards, as there was on White House Christmas cards for each year sent out by George W. and Laura Bush, continues the site.  

The Trump family’s first presidential Christmas card said “Merry Christmas” in swirling gold letters. And, for this year's greeting card, the Trumps replicated the same greeting, wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” 

The fact that Obama’s cards never once mentioned the word “Christmas” while Trump’s have mentioned the word twice in two years strongly suggests that Trump is, in fact, bringing something back to America that was shoved aside in the previous administration. 

On top of the Christmas tree lighting addresses and the Christmas Cards, there’s also the White House Christmas decorations that are indicative of how Trump has brought Christmas back to America. 

The Obama administration, according to the New York Times, considered in 2009 whether to have a “non-religious” Christmas at the White House, which included a thought of whether to display the official White House nativity crèche. In the end, tradition won out, and the crèche was placed in its usual spot and continued to be a part of Obama’s White House Christmas for the rest of his time in office. 

This is in stark contrast to Christmas at the White House under Trump where the crèche has been prominently featured in promotional videos about the White House Christmas decorations both years (here and here). There was no question regarding whether or not the crèche had been put on display (such questions arose during Obama’s time in office) because it was prominently featured in the videos. 

‘Reason for the season’

In the end, I think Secretary Zinke is right that Trump is the “man who brought Christmas back to America.” 

And what kind of Christmas did he bring back? It’s a real Christmas that’s centered on Our Savior Jesus Christ, who’s the “reason for the season,” as the jingle goes. 

There are many people who are skeptical about Trump’s Christian faith, calling into question his supposed conversion that allegedly happened not too long before his jump into politics. 

Trump himself is aware of the skepticism: “I think people are shocked when they find out that I am Christian, that I am a religious person,” he wrote in Great Again, which was published during the 2016 presidential campaign. “They see me with all the surroundings of wealth, so they sometimes don’t associate that with being religious. That’s not accurate,” he added. 

No matter what one might think of Trump with all his flaws and failings, it must be said of him, in the words of Charles Dickens speaking of the converted Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, that he “knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.”

For Trump, keeping “Christmas well” comes across in his Christmas Tree lighting addresses and his Christmas Cards. 

Keeping Christmas well – “May that be truly said of us, and all of us!” writes Dickens. 

Yes, indeed. And may Christians far and wide boldly throw off political correctness and wish everyone a “Merry Christmas,” telling everyone that it's Jesus who put the “Christ” in Christmas.

And may we all be like Tiny Tim, and wish God’s blessings on everyone during this holy season: “God bless us, Every one!”

A merry and holy Christmas to you and yours!

From your Associate Editor at LifeSiteNews, Pete Baklinski 

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