December 2014 Bethlehem at the Crossroads
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Man, mortally wounded by sin since Adam, slid down the fatal slope of this original fall. It is true that in the course of the following centuries a careful observer could discern some feeble attempts by men to turn back to their Creator, but the course of history was not changed, until the birth of Our Lord. The humble child who is born into the general indifference of the world is the Child of the Promise, the Redeemer who comes to reveal the Paternity of God.
Admittedly, before being able to sing a song of victory it will still be necessary to wait until the hour of the last ascent, when Christ will follow the way to Calvary, definitively sealing the victory over sin and breaking the yoke under which Satan kept men enslaved.
But already, in the humble crib of Bethlehem, that ascent has already started. For the first time since the original fall, God is at the center of attention. Our Lady and Saint Joseph contemplate the Man-God in this defenseless child and adore in silence this mystery of love.
The shepherds come, called and led by the angels. They also kneel to adore. They thought that they were bringing offerings. But they leave enriched, setting out with a lively step, beginning the ascent with a light heart and serene soul.
The Magi, in their turn, incline themselves and adore God in the Child that the Mother presents to them. Touched by grace, they return to their lands by another way. This new way symbolizes the path of the ascent, the call to the summits and holiness. Tradition tells us, indeed, that these fine souls became the apostles of Christ and the Church honors them as saints.
During this time, ensnared in his sordid calculations, Herod refuses to go and adore. He plunges into a deadly spiral which is but an infernal descent.
Sign of contradiction, the crib becomes a source of grace for those who go there and adore God. But it is a mark of reprobation for those who refuse to recognize the mystery of love enclosed in this Child. Crystallized around the crib in Bethlehem, the amazing drama of Satan’s “Non serviam!” (“I will not serve!”) is reenacted, opposed by the Archangel Michael’s thundering question, “Quis ut Deus?” (“Who is like God?”).
Satan and Saint Michael are again battling. Satan defies God by leading Herod and his henchmen into his own refusal to adore, when the Archangel, by the ministry of the angels, calls the shepherds and Magi to deposit their homage at the feet of the Child, before the throne of God.
The battle rages between these two standards. It will reach its climax on Calvary, at the time of the ultimate ascent of Christ, when He will be exposed on the cross and from that elevation He will dominate forever the history of souls and of men. Is not the “Consummatum est” of the dying Christ the answer to the question of the Archangel Saint Michael opposing Lucifer?
The elapsed centuries have done nothing to reduce this opposition. Today the free thinkers confront the sons of God with the same shouts, displaying the same hatreds and spewing the same vain and senseless anathemas. Then, under the protection of the prince of the archangels, will we join the ranks of the celestial militia, in which are counted those who adore in spirit and truth? Or will we join the useless and already condemned ranks of those who despise God and His love?
The best answer, the only answer, resides in Bethlehem: Faith adores there the Child-God watched over by Our Lady and Saint Joseph. There, at the foot of the cradle, we will deposit the fundamental misery that leads us into lethal descents and, with all confidence, we will ask Incarnated Mercy to give us the sense of the divine ascent.
In Christo sacerdote et Maria.
Fr. Yves le Roux
Notes from the Seminary
On December 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception, 7 seminarians made their first engagement in the Society of St. Pius X. The Seminary was also honored by having 6 priests, ordained here in 2003, make their perpetual engagement in their “alma mater.” It is good to remember that Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre did not simply found a religious society, but a family, a “priestly fraternity,” a brotherhood of priests, and occasions such as this recent ceremony make that brotherhood visible, both an example and a consolation for the younger candidates and members of the same family.
As Christmas approaches, please, do not forget to send us your intentions for the Christmas Novena of Masses that the Seminary offers for you.