Lux fulgebit hodie super nos, quia natus est nobis Dominus.
(A light will shine on us this day, the Lord is born for us.)
(Roman Missal, Christmas, Entrance Antiphon for the Mass at Dawn)
The liturgy of the Mass at Dawn reminded us that the night is now past, the day has begun; the light radiating from the cave of Bethlehem shines upon us.
The Bible and the Liturgy do not, however, speak to us about a natural light, but a different, special light,
Christmas hath a darkness;
Brighter than the blazing noon;
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.
There is a phrase of Dostoevsky that accompanies me these
days, when I have to speak of Christianity to all kinds of people in Italy and
abroad: “Can an educated man, a European of our time, believe–truly believe–in
the divinity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ?” This question rings like a
challenge for all of us. It is precisely on the answer to this question that
the success of the faith depends today. In an address given in 1996, the
O God, Who in Your very nature contain all the riches
of heaven and earth, You loved the poverty of humanity by choosing to become
one of us. You are the descendant of Kings and the Heir of David the Venerable.
You were satisfied to be born in a stable and a humble manger. We beseech You,
through Your Pure Nativity and through the intercession of Your Mother and Saint
Joseph, Your Chosen One, to grant us an appreciation of voluntary
Members of The World Jewish Congress, among others, have made their opinions about Pope Benedict’s acknowledgement of his predecessor’s heroic virtues, step two of four with the goal of being recognized a saint. Pope Pius XII was head of the Catholic Church (1939-58) during the Second World War and falling asleep in the Lord in 1958. The WJC thinks Benedict was wrong in moving Pius closer to sainthood. BTW, a pope does not have the power to make saints because he doesn’t have absolute power; that would make