Thursday, December 3, 2009


“Winter break” instead of Christmas vacation? “Holiday trees” instead of Christmas trees? No Christmas carols? No Scripture reading in public schools? No nativity scenes on government property?

Without Christmas music I would have spent my early childhood unevangelized—not in some foreign country but in the Heartland of America. My Czech parents were first generation immigrants; they both worked hard to make ends meet. Good, moral folks, they nevertheless didn’t find time for religion or church.

But they did give in to my paternal grandmother who insisted that I be baptized as an infant.

No one attempted to teach me even the basic facts of the Christian faith. So God took over the instruction of His little lamb by His Holy Spirit’s creative ways: He used the simple words of Christmas carols to give me my first, clear and accurate concept of His plan of salvation and my need to respond to it.

We sang carols in school; I heard them on the radio and in all public places during the Christmas season. In retrospect, I now see how God was drawing me to Himself. My baptism was efficacious to incline my heart toward Him. Without being formally catechized, and with childhood naïveté, I accepted every fact about God as truth and immediately believed it. The carols expressed sound, biblical theology. I learned from them that:

Jesus was the Son of God, Messiah, and a King. He was born of a virgin named Mary in a little village of Bethlehem.

He came to ransom captive Israel, and to set all men free. His birth had been expected for a long time. A prophet named Isaiah foretold His coming. Jesus was born to open heaven’s door for me.

Jesus Christ is Lord and came to reconcile God and sinners. He was born to redeem us all. He is holy. He is the Savior of the world, and wants to be my Savior.

Jesus wants me to give Him my heart and will enter in when I invite Him.

His coming brings joy to heaven and earth, but each heart has to receive Him individually. His own Jewish people didn’t receive Him.

God sends angels to minister to men and announce God’s plans. They proclaimed peace on earth and sang the good news to shepherds. He is born the King of angels.

The prophets foretold the future new heavens and earth where Christ will reign.

Jesus was preexistent; He was true man yet also God. He left His throne and glory in heaven and was born as a baby through Mary His mother.

We must worship God and adore Him as did the wise men from afar who brought Him gifts. They followed a star in the East which led them westward to Jesus.

He bled and died for me, and was sealed in a tomb. But He rose from the dead, and will suddenly come to earth again. Jesus will lead me as His child to the place where He has gone.

Jesus was born to give men second birth, and then we will never die. He casts out our sin and enters into our hearts.

All this I learned and received without ever having seen a Bible or heard a sermon. As a child, whatever small or large morsel of truth I heard about God, I immediately accepted without question and incorporated it in simple, practical ways at my level of understanding. When I was faithful in little, God gave me more. The search and hunger and thirst for MORE has characterized all my long life. Indeed, late, very late in life, He finally led me to the Ultimate More, the fullness of Truth in our Catholic Church.

Veni, Creator Spiritus! If there are no human instruments to teach God’s truth, the creative Holy Spirit will find creative ways to instruct His children—even through Christmas carols. If men refuse to proclaim the Good News, or when they seek to suppress it, even the rocks will cry out, Jesus said. But let’s stand firm and not allow the foolishness and prejudice of our secular society to deny our children the glorious music and Word of the Advent season.

LET’S SING THE MUSIC OF CHRISTMAS FROM THE HOUSETOPS AND RING IT FROM BELFRIES AND BROADCAST IT OVER THE AIRWAVES AND IN OUR PUBLIC PLACES so that all may know that Jesus is Lord and we intend to celebrate His birth boldly and with freedom!


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