Christ, our hope

_Dec-2107-toonSpring, in December, is unthinkable. Nature is a husk of faded flowers and fallen fruit: its breezes have become blizzards, its streams have all stopped. And yet we know that there is a term to the world’s cold fury, a limit past which its tempests may not pass. The endless cycle of seasons is a permanent lesson in transience, a lesson so transparent and powerful that the preacher uses it as a metaphor for all of the life’s passing phases: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Eccl 3:1). Indeed, “season” itself derives from the Latin word for “sowing,” an action that depends on the very cycle our English word names. An end to winter’s tyranny must always come.

This lesson from the seasons offers great consolation to pro-lifers after a year of stinging setbacks. Our prime minster continues his abhorrent, racist, and eugenic project of depopulating other nations with $650 million in newly announced funds for “weaponized aid”: money, that is, earmarked for abortion and abortion advocacy around the globe. At home, the news is no less disheartening, as protective regulations of the barbaric abortion pill, Mifegymiso, have been slashed, and it can now be prescribed up to nine weeks into pregnancy (and doctor training is no longer required). In spite of these radical assaults on the unborn, both foreign and domestic, Andrew Scheer, the new leader of the Conservative Party, has vowed not to “reopen” abortion issues, a stance of moral cowardice which is especially outrageous in the face of Trudeau’s active agenda promoting infanticide in all of its atrocious forms. What’s true of the federal Tories is true of their provincial counterparts too, but because of treachery rather than mere cowardice. Patrick Brown has betrayed the very principles of democracy by impeding rank-and-file members of his party and their parliamentary representatives from advancing any social conservatives initiatives whatsoever – an abrogation of democratic authority in a province which just recently legislated totalitarian limits on its citizens’ rights to the freedom of assembly and the freedom of speech. Ontario’s bubble zone restrictions, which have been dormant for years, were recently reactivated by notorious Wynne government.

Our enemies are aggressive and indefatigable, our would-be allies traitorous and inept; pro-life Canadians seem to have no reason for hope. But, of course, we do have reason – more reason, in fact, than those who wait, in winter, for the spring. Political pendulums invariably swing, and the waxing fortunes of our foes will eventually wane – this, after all, is the simple truth of all political cycles. Our hope, however, is anchored in an even deeper reality, a reality glimpsed in the stories that ancient religions told about nature’s transition from death to life. These myths tell of a sick and impotent monarch being miraculously rejuvenated along with his ailing kingdom and they articulate two permanent truths. One is perfectly distilled in Shakespeare’s famous scene-setting line: “something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” The rot, however, is at the root of all human culture; there is a detectable decay, invisible but felt, that pervades our human nature, a sickness which images of illness and plague strive to capture. The malady of original sin, hidden in figures throughout all world religions, awaits a remedy, like those in bondage await a redeemer. But what spring could be expected to cure such a spiritual blight?

This is the second truth that our oldest myths of spring reveal – one so unthinkable that it was relegated to fantasies and fables but one, nevertheless, for which the human heart never ceased to long. It is the truth of a hope that exceeds every horizon; a conviction lodged in the soul that sin and death are not its destiny; a dim but indestructible recognition that the human spirit is a spark of the infinite, something born beyond the stars, from a homeland to which it will, for the first time, return. The holy hopes of pagan dreams were an obscure foretelling of something too bright for the intellectual gaze to bring within its view, a truth with no authority within the world of the mortal and condemned could affirm. Such a truth could only be uttered by a God made man, or from a dead man risen and returned by his own power.

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Lk 2:10). The angels, God’s messengers, announce “good news,” and “gospel,” becomes the permanent name for the revelation of the messianic event because it was the word from beyond for which everyone – “all the people” – had been forever waiting to hear. The immortal longings of our hearts have always cried in protest again what seems like the unjust judgement of inevitable death. We have been waiting, since the primordial fall of our first parents, for this sentence to be, somehow, commuted. We have all languished in death’s shadow awaiting a spiritual dawn.

Christmas, the unthinkable arrival of our deepest, truest hope, gives us the courage to reread the seasons’ cycles with the heavenly conviction that good will triumph in the end, to trust that our deepest hopes will have their impossible fruition. Evil has been given time to strut with passing pride; but the birth of a God-man celebrarted each year at the end of December has already heralded its end. Yes, things look bad now, but we are called to see past this passing season to the spiritual spring which we await with hope – a hope founded on a victory which has already been accomplished. So let us rejoice in present for a future founded in Christ, our hope!

We, at The Interim, wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, and a New Year full of joy.

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