A CHRISTMAS REFLECTION
Dec 24th, 2010: We gather to celebrate the beautiful feast of Christmas. As 2010 comes to a close, we look back to find that 2009 ended in a similar way: generalized chaos and confusion as risks increase and an atmosphere of apprehension spreads over the whole country.
Yet at this Yuletide, we recall the angelic chant to the shepherds on that rustic and poetic first Christmas Eve as the angels sang, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to men of good will.”
Yes, peace is tranquility, but not just any tranquility. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that “peace is the tranquility of order”. Where there is order there is real peace. Where there is an absence of order there is no peace. What exists is a veiled disorder, an artificial order, but no real peace.
Peace exists in Churches where Catholic doctrine is professed in its integrity; where people all love, understand and feel the same way because they are imbued with the divine Holy Ghost, who is eminently a Spirit of Peace.
The true peace that is brought by Faith in Christ, the order of Christ and the Reign of Christ and those who live by its sweet rule and yoke, have true peace! This is the peace that Our Lord Jesus Christ wanted to bring to the world and which He expressed in the magnificent words, “I give you My peace, I leave you My peace.”
So let us approach that heavenly crib of Jesus Christ, the King of Peace, the descendant of a regal dynasty from which also descended Mary Most Holy and Saint Joseph, who, nevertheless, now kneels in the capacity of a humble carpenter before the Savior just born of his wife, the Virgin Mother.
The peace that we desire for the coming year is the peace of order against the agents of disorder. Only then will we have peace. In the generation of thieves and adulterers, let us be souls on fire, souls burning with love and strong warriors engendered by Faith. Whatever the furor of evil throughout the world, whatever their threats, we are agents of peace, we are children of Mary – thus by the grace of Mary we may say like Saint Paul; Lord, throughout this year we fought the good fight. Give us now, during this year, the rewards of Thy glory.
PATRIARCH – AUGUSTINE I
The Most Rev. John P. Walzer, D.D. Archbishop