Rorate Caeli

Christmas of wars: War on earth, War against the liturgy, War of shepherds in the church who defend evil: But there are still some who are faithful

A message from the Fraternity of Saint Vincent Ferrer

Chéméré-le-Roi, France

"The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light." (Is. 9:1)

Dear friends,

As is the custom, I would like to bring you a message of peace, the message that the angels sang above the manger in Bethlehem: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace to men of good will" (Lk 2:14). But the celestial symphony is overshadowed by the din of war.

War on earth, here and there; war close to the place where the "Desired One of the nations" was born (Ag 2:8). War in the Church, where some shepherds no longer know right from left - "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil!" says the prophet (Is 5:20) - and scatter the flock rather than lead it, and strike the sheep rather than care for them; where blessing is turned into a curse; where the ancient Latin liturgy has not yet everywhere regained the "right of citizenship" that is its due. On Christmas Eve, when I celebrate the Holy Mysteries, I will have a special prayer for all the faithful who are deprived of them, against their legitimate wishes.

War in the hearts, submerged by the incessant flood of images and information that keep them in a state of fear and lethargic daze; hearts enslaved by fashions, ideology, the sadness of a world without beauty, the despair of a world without horizon. But in this war of souls, there are hearts that resist ugliness and lies: the faithfulness of spouses to their marriage, of priests to their oaths, of religious to their vows. Solid trenches where good works take shelter and the mysterious germinations of grace blossom. In this war, there is the beatitude of all those who refuse a pretended freedom without Christ and the Gospel - the hardest of slaveries; there is the common front of those who want to live free, under the empire of the Wonderful-Counsellor, the Mighty-God, the Everlasting-Father, the Prince of Peace (Is 9:5)!

Despite man's miseries and the wickedness that overflows in torrents from his sick heart, the Christmas miracle is accomplished. God's plan breaks through the glass ceiling of human complacency and malice to set foot on earth. God becomes incarnate, and everything is possible. Nothing can resist the power of the love of the God who comes. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14). In the midst of our wars, he is there with us, Emmanuel (Is 7:14).

To all, a merry and holy Christmas!

Fr. Augustin-Marie Aubry, prior