Christmas – awaiting a birth in unpropitious times
|In this short excerpt we may see the mixture of profound intellect with an unfeigned humility that is one of the most compelling aspects of the man, and not common among scholars. In our current fractured world, we miss his graceful presence and wisdom even as we pray for the repose of his soul.
As we approach the Feast of the Nativity (and remembering also the 100th anniversary of the birth of René Noël Théophile Girard on December 25, 1923) it is good to again be reminded that:
Finally, when Peter Robinson asks René to give a summary of his insights for those unfamiliar with his work he protests that it is unimportant – emphasizing again the fundamental religious understanding of history and each person’s essential part in it.
It is clear that René Girard was faithful to the work he was called. Here at The Cornerstone Forum we strive to emulate that faithfulness in our work and lives. We are grateful to all those who have made our work possible by their prayers and material support and wish a blessed Christmas to all.
What concerns me this Christmas is the mystery of Mary’s Yes to Gabriel’s invitation to play an incomparable role in the most important event in human history. (It shocks “progressives” when one says that history’s most important event lies, not in the future, but in the past.) And yet, there is truth in the “progressive” timeline, one that is a good deal more truly progressive than one the progressives are forever imagining. The old world is passing away and the Kingdom is breaking in. The victory over sin and death has already been accomplished. It was a victory foreshadowed by the Yes of Abraham and brought to completion by Mary’s Yes to the archangel. Alas, we live in the meantime. Skirmishes between the reality of love and the unreality of sin will continue to play out. The perennial Christian challenge is to enter into the fray on the side of love – of truth, goodness, and beauty. The Christmas creche is a beautiful reminder of how almost necessarily insignificant in worldly terms the Christian act of loving self-sacrifice is. It occurred in the last place we would have looked. Let us pray this Christmas that we recognize the opportunities we have to bear witness to what took place that night in Bethlehem. Most of us have vocations that are analogously hidden. May God find uses for us this Christmas and in the year ahead.