The whole point of Christmas: Jesus Christ came to free the faithful from the “curse” of the Law.


Glory to God in the highest:
and on earth peace to men of good will.

(Luke 2:14)

by Doug Lawrence

Days after the annual Christmas celebration, people continue to ask, “What’s the point?”

Aside from the modern emphasis on mass consumerism, the main point of Christmas is fairly simple, if you happen to like mysteries:

Jesus Christ, who is God, took on flesh and became man in order to save us from our sins, which under the old Mosaic Law, or the more recent Muslim variation known as Sharia, still carry with them the penalty of death and hell.

Since no naturally born human being is without sin, all are uniformly and irrevocably cursed to the same, decrepit fate. In fact, things are actually much worse than anyone could possibly imagine.

Satan was the supernatural entity in charge of enforcing the death penalty … ruling ruthlessly over an evil earthly dominion that we brought down on ourselves, through Adam’s fall from grace.

The incarnate Jesus, the divine Son of God, who is also the Son of Adam (man) was infinitely good, just and holy … and he was also more than powerful enough to destroy Satan’s evil dominion … making possible the reconciliation of sinful mankind, with God.

Christ’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary satisfactorily atoned for Adam’s (mankind’s) sins. Christ’s glorious resurrection three days hence, furnished absolute proof of Christ’s (and through him, man’s) victory over the powers of death and hell.

According to the grace and power of Jesus Christ … King of Kings … Lord of Lords … the new and perfect head of all mankind … eternal salvation would now be freely offered to every generation … through the Catholic Church that Jesus personally founded.     

Thanks to Christ and his Church, baptized Christians are no longer under the curse of the law … no longer under Satan’s evil dominion … but are instead, living temples of the Holy Spirit, adopted children of God and citizens of heaven … subject only to the gracious and merciful judgment of Jesus Christ.

But what of the Ten Commandments? Aren’t Christians still “bound” by these?

Under the terms of the Old Covenant, there was no remedy for the “curse of the law”. Any sin, no matter how minor, would suffice to permanently and irrevocably condemn. But when we fail today, Christians have Jesus and the grace-giving sacraments of the New Covenant (Catholic) Church on which to rely … so condemnation under the law (breaking a commandment) no longer need be permanent or irrevocable. Hence, Jesus Christ is now the final recourse for every Christian. Not any law.

Does that mean Christians (and particularly Catholics) get some sort of a free pass?

No. If anything, we’ll be judged to an even higher standard than our Jewish, Muslim, and Pagan friends.
(See Luke 12:47-48)

When Jesus came, he did all that was necessary to free mankind from eternal slavery to Satan, sin and death. The last thing he did, just before he ascended to Heaven, was to appoint and empower the leadership of his universal (Catholic) Church, which from the Day of Pentecost forward, according to the power of the Holy Spirit, would continue to be the universal sacrament of salvation for the world, until Jesus comes again, at the end of time.

It is through the sacraments and good offices of the Catholic Church, paid for by Christ’s own blood, that we might be permitted to freely receive absolute forgiveness for even the most heinous violations of God’s law, and hope to experience a total restoration of the sanctifying grace that was lost through our illicit and sinful acts.

The Catholic Church, and particularly the Catholic Ministerial Priesthood, acts in Christ’s stead until he comes again … exercising God’s awesome authority, according to his inestimable love and abiding favor (grace) … for the benefit of the “People of God” (members of the Church).

Non-Catholic Christians (and others) should note that for all of this, there is no known substitute.

The only sure way for anyone to hope to escape the curse of the law and render his/her soul pleasing and acceptable to God, is through full, faithful, and constant participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church, of which Jesus Christ remains the “head”.

In short … if Jesus didn’t come, we would all still be hopelessly caught up in our sins and destined for an eternity in hell. Now, thanks to Jesus, it’s possible for anyone to receive forgiveness of sins and hope to spend eternity in heaven with God, simply by becoming a faithful and active member of his one, holy, apostolic and universal church … the Catholic Church.

That, my friends, is the whole point of Christmas … and it also pretty much explains “the meaning of life” as well.

“Deep” background

What did the incarnate Jesus know … and when did he know it?


“The knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the beatific vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love.” (Pius XII, Mystici Corporis 75)

The Church has taught that, even in his human intellect and soul, Christ Jesus knew – with an unlimited, universal, and infallible knowledge – all things, past, present and future. Further, the popes do not say that this knowledge came little by little or that there was any time in which he was ignorant – rather, it is affirmed that our Savior possessed this knowledge from the first moment of his conception.

The Christ Child, living in the womb of Mary his Mother, already had perfect use of reason and will – he was able to know each of us, and he loved us all not only as God but even as man. The unborn Child yet had a Sacred Heart with which he loved us even in his humanity.

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The absurdity of a “green” Popemobile

The only truly “green” Popemobile

by Doug Lawrence

How much time, effort and money should be wasted, merely to make a political point?

The Popemobile travels no more than an estimated 200-300 total miles per year. How much pollution and how many tons of carbon could it possibly put out?

A modified electric golf cart with a few extra batteries could get the job done … or even a natural gas or propane powered, conventional automobile platform.

So why all the commotion?

Link

Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing’s legacy: Followers include EWTN and SSPX


When I contact the Catechetics and Liturgy Office in the diocese of Sydney they too assume that the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are an exception to the dogma. So widespread is this issue in the Church.

From the liberals to the SSPX Holy Cross seminary in Australia all assume that there is a visible baptism of desire.

The Archbishop assumed the baptism of desire was visible and so contradicted the dogma outside the church there is no salvation. He assumed that those saved with the baptism of desire and in invincible ignorance were known to us and so it contradicts Fr. Leonard Feeney’s traditional interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

Since the time of the Archbishop Cardinal Richard Cushing it is assumed there are two interpretations of the dogma. 1)the rigorist interpretation of Fr. Leonard Feeney, the popes and saints and 2) the non rigorist interpretation. The non rigorist interpretation says everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation except for those in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire. It is assumed here that the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are exceptions to the dogma. So this is a ‘new ‘interpretation.

We now know that there is only one interpretation of the dogma, the centuries old interpretation since the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance are not known to us.

It is assumed that Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium 16 (invincible ignorance, good conscience) is an exception to the dogma. This would be assuming that those saved in invincible ignorance are defacto known to us in particular cases. We know that they are not visible and explicitly known to us but known only to God. So they are not exceptions to the dogma.

De facto, everyone needs to enter the Church for salvation. De jure in principle those saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire are known only to God. The baptism of water is explicit. The baptism of desire is implicit.

The Letter of the Holy Office 1949 was addressed directly to the Archbishop of Boston. It was critical of the Archbshop. It mentioned ‘the dogma’, the ‘infallible statement’. The dogma does not mention any exceptions. The dogma also indicates, like Fr. Leonard Feeney, that everyone needs to explicitly enter the Church for salvation.

Today the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), Eternal Word Television Network, Catholic Answers, Society of St. Pius X, Pontifical seminaries and universities, sedevacantists, priests, nuns and lay Catholics are all unknowingly following the legacy of the Archbishop of Boston and the Jesuits of Boston College.

They assume the baptism of desire etc is visible and so is an exception to the dogma.

Probably many readers here too would make the same assumption.

The book the Bread of Life mentions ‘the catechumens’ who die without the baptism of water.

Unlike the Catechetical and the Liturgy Office of the diocese of Sydney, Australia, the Jesuits there and the SSPX Holy Cross Seminary they do not consider the baptism of desire (followed by the baptism of water for them) as exceptions to the dogma.

The Bread of Life was published after the excommunication and before the lifting of the excommunication. He was not required to recant or change his writing.

In The Bread of Life he recognizes that a genuine desire of a catechumen could provide justification. These were rare cases, ‘in certain circumstances'( Letter of the Holy Office 1949). These cases of the baptism of desire were not the ordinary means of salvation. God would then provide the grace for the person to receive the baptism of water.

So in general there were not three types of baptism but only one. Only God could know who was saved with the baptism of blood and desire. So they were not an exception to everyone needing the baptism of water and Catholic Faith to go to Heaven.

De facto, in reality the ordinary means of salvation for all adults is only the baptism of water and Catholic Faith. This is the only explicit means of salvation.

The Baptism of desire cannot be a part of the ordinary means of salvation since we do not know any de facto case.

The Archbishop of Boston Cardinal Richard Cushing was wrong in assuming that the baptism of desire was an exception to the dogma. For the first time in the history of the Catholic Church he made the baptism of desire and invincible ignorance an issue. Then along with the Jesuits he placed this teaching prominently in Vatican Council II.

The media implied that the baptism of desire etc was an exception to the dogma. So they assumed Fr. Leonard Feeney was in heresy and that the Archbishop was a pioneer.

A defacto-dejure analysis of magisterial texts show that the Letter of the Holy Office does not mention this implication. Neither does Vatican Council II, or Lumen Gentium 16 make the false assumption.

Instead Lumen Gentium 16 only mentions invincible ignorance. It does not say that it is an exception the dogma or the ordinary means of salvation. Neither is it an exception to Vatican Council II, LG 14, AG 7.

So Lumen Gentium 16 only refers to a possibility, de jure. Something always implicit and unknown to us. De facto the ordinary means of salvation is LG 14, AG 7 i.e. the baptism of water and Catholic Faith.

So like Vatican Council II (LG 14, AG 7) Fr. Leonard Feeney affirmed the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus. He accepted in principle, dejure that a person could be saved with the baptism of desire i.e. a genuine desire with perfect charity, followed by the baptism of water which would all be implicit and known only to God.

The confusion on this issue continues since the media is in the hands of the enemies of the Church.

The magisterium however has approved the communities of Fr. Leonard Feeney and has not retracted the dogma which is in accord with Vatican Council II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1257,845,846 ( with a de facto-de jure analysis), Dominus Iesus 20, Redemptoris Missio 55 etc.

The Council of Trent mentions the baptism of desire and we know it is implicit and not the ordinary means of salvation. There is no Church definition which says the baptism of desire excludes being saved with the baptism of water. -Lionel Andrades

From the Merriam-Webster On-Line Dictionary:

Definition of DE FACTO

: in reality : actually

Origin of DE FACTO

Medieval Latin, literally, from the fact

First Known Use: 1601

Definition of DE JURE

1
: by right : of right
2
: based on laws or actions of the state <de jure segregation>

Origin of DE JURE

Medieval Latin

First Known Use: 1611

A note from Lionel Andrades: In the context of this article, the best definition of De Jure would be “in principle”.

Ignorance – Invincible and Vincible

The Church Jesus founded is also a great gift to the world

The spirit of Catholic charity — that we help those in need not out of any expectation of reciprocity, but as a pure gift, and that we even help those who might not like us — finds no analogue in classical Greece and Rome, but it is this idea of charity that we continue to embrace today.

The university was an utterly new phenomenon in European history. Nothing like it had existed in ancient Greece or Rome. The institution that we recognize today, with its faculties, courses of study, examinations, and degrees, as well as the familiar distinction between undergraduate and graduate study, come to us directly from the medieval world.

By the time of the Reformation, no secular government had chartered more universities than the church. Edward Grant, who has written on medieval science for Cambridge University Press, points out that intellectual life was robust and debate was vigorous at these universities — the very opposite of the popular presumption.

It is no surprise that the church should have done so much to foster and protect the nascent university system, since the church, according to historian Lowrie Daly, “was the only institution in Europe that showed consistent interest in the preservation and cultivation of knowledge.”

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An old fashioned Christmas story that’s worth reading, all the way to the end.

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”

“Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It isn’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … Made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.

“You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.

“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ’em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new .” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new one on.

“Those tires ain’t gonna get ’em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”

The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”

George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked.

“None for me,” said the officer..

“Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”

The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!”

The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”

He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter away.”

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”

George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.”

“Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”

“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.

“That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued.

“Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”

Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”

“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”

“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”

“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?”

“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”

“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”

The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.

“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”

The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”

George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”

This story is better than any greeting card.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS!

Now clear the lump from your throat, blow your nose, and send this along to a friend of yours or someone who may need a reminder as to why we celebrate Christmas.

Submitted by Bob Stanley

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) deliberately misses the point, on abortion.

When given the chance to support a bill that would end the practice of race-based and gender-based abortions in the United States, the NAACP passed on the honor. In fact, it protested the bill.

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