By R.J. Godlewski
© December 22, 2012, All Rights Reserved.
“At present many signs point to a great victory for Christianity. Do not our enemies have a presentiment of it? Does not a secret instinct warn them that the days of their power are numbered, and that the time when it is given to them to prevail cannot be of long duration? This is why they enlist in the war they wage against the Church all the hateful corruption, all the hypocrisies anxious to drop their masks, all the hostile sciences, all the shady and godless politics. The revolution boldly raises its standard against religion, property, and the family; saps the foundations of the social structure; and mounts its attacks against us simultaneously, and on every front. The press, freed from every restraint, disseminates the most subversive doctrines and the deadliest poisons in a thousand organs.” FR. CHARLES ARMINJON, 1881
No religions are the same. Judaism, for instance, witnessed the birth and life of the most spectacular individual person ever to walk the surface of the earth and, yet, for reasons never fully revealed refuse to accept the presence of God within their midst. Later, during the Battle of Jerusalem in 66-70 A.D., the Jewish people often resorted to atrocities against their own neighbors that disgusted even hardened Roman commanders.Islam, the other great monotheistic faith, literally came upon the world as if a thief in the night, stealing whatever it could from preexisting Jewish and heretical Christian cultures. Should the “iffy facts” of Islam’s early history and the “violent conquest and slaughter, mass slavery of the conquered, and radical discrimination against women and non-Muslims” of later years ever be scrutinized as closely as the Roman Catholic Church has been, then the religion of Muhammad would surely die out underneath the burdening weight of its own transgressions.Like an elegant bride, the Christian Church has withstood excesses and challenges that devour rivals.
For over three centuries – approximately thirty times as long as the Holocaust in Nazi Germany – Christians were brutalized within the Roman Empire, being fed to hungry lions and set ablaze as “living” garden torches amongst other inhuman atrocities. Unlike within most religions, however, the Christian lives under the edict that “the individual Christian is to expect persecution and suffering.”And what, precisely, remains the cause of this millennial persecution of Christians in general, and Roman Catholics in particular? That our God so loved the world that He came down to earth as fully human in order to die for the vastness of our sins.The Jews remain steadfast in their arrogance, believing that they would understand beyond a doubt when their messiah would appear, effectively ignoring Him when He did dwell amongst them. The Muslims, for their role, remain so bitter as to not seek the truth about the faith they plagiarized and emerged as a people whose Allah remains so impotent as to not bear the power to visit earth in human form whether he chose to or not.
The Christian God remains both infinitely powerful and eternally loving. Christmas remains His Gift that “keeps on giving” for the entire existence of the physical universe – several trillion trillion years yet to come, perhaps-- remains but a brief blink in the eye of anyone viewing Creation from the perspective of eternity. From the first microbe appearing on the shores of earth on through the eventual colonization of the stars, all will be as forgotten as last night’s dreams as we awake into the heavenly realm of our destiny in life. We will never be able to behold the majesty of God, however, for God never ceases to amaze. Nor are there limits upon His Power or His Love. No mere human author could conceive of an omnipotent being coming to earth as fully human and suffering both poverty (birth in a stable!) and human death (abandoned by even His best friends!). Nor would Hollywood imagine such an infinite power choosing a human creature – the Virgin Mary – as the perfect vessel from which to emerge upon this fragile and chaotic world of His own creations.
Certainly, fiction authors would avail themselves of the glamour and spectacle that sneaks into every tale conceived within the limitations of the human mind. This remains because humanity creates fiction – fabricated stories to match his or her own mirrored expectations. In Hollywood versions of life, some beefed up hunk roaring in unchallenged would save Jesus (probably killing many in the process) and Mary would be swept off her feet to live “happily ever after”. Yet, again, Hollywood and fiction remain fabrications of the human intellect. The Spirit of Christmas remains the gift that we need, not the one that we hope for. It is, after all, the most expensive present ever imagined. Its cost? The Blood of Christ and the Forgiveness of all men.
Herein remains a burden for us. How do we “re-gift” God? How do we turn down such an immeasurable legacy without offending God and/or ourselves? Many people attempt to run away from God. Could any mortal being run away from the very air that we breathe? Could any mere human exist without a thought or two within the mind? Can any persistent individual shut off the rest of the mind simply by closing one’s eyes? Humans may, from time to time, consciously choose to ignore God, but they cannot go through life without noticing Him anymore than the Muslims can continue to challenge His power. God is there even if we, sometimes, are not.
The cost of the Christmas Gift measures in Forgiveness. God Himself paid the ultimate price for only He can judge the merits of payment. Not long ago, we tore our hearts apart over the tragic and senseless murder of 20 young schoolchildren and we asked ourselves “How could God allow such things to happen?” We intimately understand the answer, however. God permits such things to happen so that we can learn to forgive. After all, such things usually do not happen while we are thinking about God. They begin to occur when we, as a society, attempt to undertake His job instead of ours. When the infinite Innocence of Mary watched the infinite Forgiveness of Jesus destroyed via the most horrific atrocity ever invented by mortal man – crucifixion – can we expect to abandon our own infinitesimal yoke?
Christ was born to a working class family with an earthly stepfather. At 12, He was left alone in the synagogue for three days. During his first year on earth, He was chased away into a foreign country because the national leadership of his homeland wanted Him killed simply for Who He was. This coming after He was born amongst the sheep and goats of a stable because He held no home or “healthcare facility” to be born within. Within a few short years of accepting a public role, He was threatened with death for His revolutionary ideas. And what, precisely, were these “revolutionary ideas”? That people were required to love God with all their heart and all their mind and love one another as God loved them. For this, Christ was abandoned by all His friends (one actually turning Him in for profit) and suffered death strung out upon a cross with only a few close women nearby for comfort.
Had Christ been merely a man, as the Muslims and Jews like to suggest, this would have been the end of the story. Two thousand years later and counting, Christianity is flourishing like never before. It exists upon every continent and within every group of people. Far larger than Judaism and less prone to polygamy than Islam, Christianity has grown to encompass the planet on its own merits. It has been challenged by all beliefs and all peoples for two thousand years. Some of the worst offenders, unnaturally (satanically, perhaps) have come from within. Yet, despite all of this, the harshness that Christianity has thrust upon the world rests solely with the thought that all people are created equal and that God remains supreme. We may not be perfect, but we can take absolute comfort in knowing that He is.
Christmas represents the one gift that no one need feel envious about. Like a festive meal (i.e., the Holy Eucharist), there remains plenty to go around. Like the latest technological gadget, there exists something everybody desires and, yet, unlike the new iPad® or Kindle®, this gift will never cease to amaze. Yes, it does come with instructions but you already possess the “batteries” within your soul. Most importantly, however, this gift can never be broken unless you, yourself, consciously choose to damage the merchandise. Nevertheless, this “gift” eventually heals despite our best intentions to destroy it. Try running a new Mercedes into a brick wall and see what happens…
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS ONE AND ALL!!!!!
R.J. Godlewski (GOD LESS KEY) is an independent counterterrorism consultant, the director of the private International Nuclear Emergency Response Team [INERT], and the author of several novels, commentaries, and professional articles. He is the author and architect of the Web-based Independent Counterterrorist training program. He is currently a graduate student at American Military University completing his M.A. in Military Studies, Asymmetrical Warfare concentration, and graduate certificate in Security Management. Mr. Godlewski holds a B.A. in Intelligence Studies, Terrorism Studies concentration with a minor degree in Area Studies – Middle East with honors from American Military University. He further holds an undergraduate certificate in Explosive Ordnance Disposal and is a veteran of both the United States Navy and Navy Reserve. His most recent book is Skills of the Assassin: Understanding the Tactics of the Professional Killer.
 Charles Arminjon, The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life trans. Susan Conroy and Peter McEnerny (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2008), 19-20.
 Martin Goodman, Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), 7-25.
 Diane Moczar, Seven Lies About Catholic History: Infamous Myths about the Church’s Past and How to Answer Them (Charlotte: TAN Books, 2010), 167n1.
 Revelation 12:17 New American Bible, fn.
 John 3:16, NAB.
 Fred Adams and Greg Laughlin, The Five Ages of the Universe (New York: Touchstone, 1999).