It sometimes seems that the culture of life enjoys few victories. The news is almost always bad. Dignity is insulted, virtues fade, and the foibles and follies of a world gone wrong can sometimes discourage even the most stout-hearted defender of life. Society is becoming postmodern, post-moral and, most distressingly, post-Christian. As Peter Kreeft puts it, “we cannot go back to being pagan virgins.”
In the darkening time of year, as nature quietly dies, these Christians prepare for Christmas. But, even this Christian feast is not free from the aspersions of society. The current culture will not permit the familiar words to be spoken, nor any images of Christmas to be evoked: it is now a sanitized season full of amorphous, but non-religious, tidings of joy. It sometimes seems that every remnant of religion is being removed from both the public and the private spheres of life.
And yet, on a cold Demeber night, for reasons unknown to the “enlightened” post-Christian world, millions of seemingly normal people will gather together, honouring the unglamourous beginnings of a first-century Jew. Why?
In the dead of winter, they will see life; in the dark, they will sing about the light; on a December night, they gather to celebrate the birth of Christ. Even in a world of bad news, the Christian message of Good News is never diminished.
To everyone else, this newly christened “holiday season” is a Christmas without Christ; this “winter festival” has nothing to celebrate but the dying of the year. The attempt to celebrate Christmas without Christ is a microcosm of the modern world’s attempt to live without meaning.
In fact, it sometimes seems that even the most stout-hearted defender can forget that, as Dr. Jack Wilke, president of the International Right to Life Federation, puts it, “the culture of death contains within itself the seeds of its own defeat;” the culture of death too shall die. Confident that the slippery slope has a base and that spring blooms after even the coldest of winters, ours is not to wait for a nihilistic society to reach its eventual end, but to bring into being the culture of life here and now.
Horace Greely, founder of the New York Tribune, always started his Christmas editorial with the words: “Remember the poor today.” This Christmas, remembering those who are destitute, let us not forget, as well, those who are morally bankrupt.
And in this season of hope, let us not forget that the victory of the culture of life is assured. We need not worry about the vicissitudes and setbacks which assail us. Every important question has been decided. Every victory is assured. The question is, rather, will we be steadfast or will we succumb to despair?
We gather with loved ones; the old look to their children, spouses to each other, and Christians to their unborn God. We gather with our cherished families and our oldest friends, endeared to us, now more than ever, in this season of joy. And we do not need to wait for spring to celebrate life.
We at The Interim wish you and your family every blessing in the coming year, but most of all, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.