Make Haste, The Lord Is Nigh
Thomas A. Droleskey
Make haste today, Christmas Eve, the Lord is nigh. Yes, make haste today for Our King, Christ the King, will come at Midnight in piercing cold in Bethlehem, born miraculously, passing like crystal through glass, of His Most Blessed Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and placed in a manger that served as a feeding trough for the barn animals as His foster-father, Good Saint Joseph, prayed in wonder to see God's Holy Will unfold before his very eyes.
Yes, we make haste today to prepare to go to Bethlehem in piercing cold. Our haste, however, is not a matter of a last-minute rush. Not at all. Our haste is an sense of anxious anticipation for the commemoration of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb's Birthday. We have, if you will, prepared these past twenty-five days to "make haste" for the commemoration of the Nativity of Our Divine Saviour. We have prepared by the Masses at which we assisted and the Rosaries we have prayed and the fasting that we have offered up to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Our "haste" this evening will be a "considered" one as we have sought, despite our weakness and lethargy, to make a good, spiritually-fulfilling Advent to make room in the "inns" of our hearts for Our Lord's weekly Coming to us by means of His Absolving our sins in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance and His daily Coming to us by means of Holy Communion, that incredible encounter in which we, unworthy though are, play host to the King of Kings in our own bodies and souls. Our "haste" this evening will represent a careful following of the journey that the Holy Family has made from Nazareth, to the City of Bread, Bethlehem, where the Son of Jesse, David, was chosen out of fields by Samuel to replace King Saul and thus to start the royal line that would lead to the Birth of the Saviour at Midnight tonight in piercing cold.
Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., described the anticipation that defines this Vigil of Christmas in his The Light of the World, Volume I:
"This day you shall know that the Lord ill come and save us, and in the morning you shall see His glory" (Introit). The motif of the liturgy of the day is expectation. Tomorrow is to be the day of fulfillment.
Tomorrow you shall she His glory with your bodily eyes, in reality and truth. "You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger" (Luke 2: 12). Near His crib, in silent prayer and adoration, you will find His virgin mother. There, too, you will find, silent and absorbed in prayer, the blessed Joseph. Silent night, holy night! There yo will find the child, nestling in the forbidding straw, deprived of all comforts which an ungrateful people might have given Him. "he came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1: 11).
We shall see Him also with the eyes of faith. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth" (John 1: 1, 14). In this child in the manager are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. "For in HIm dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead corporeally" (Col. 2: 9). He is the one "who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. For in Him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and in Him. And He is before all; and by Him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the Church, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things He may hold the primacy. Because in Him it hath well pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell; and through Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, making peace through the blood of His cross, both as to the things that are on the earth, and the things that are in heaven" (Col 1: 15-23).
We behold the child. His human soul is completely immersed in the majesty and the glory of the Godhead. Since He is in the continual possession of the vision of God, He has all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. His soul possesses the vision of he future; it is continually concerned with my salvation, and offers itself up for me and prays for me continually. In the hands of this child is placed the government of the heavens and the earth; His power extends over angels and men, over spirits and hearts. "All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28: 18).
This is He "who was made to Him of the seed of David according to the flesh; who was predestinated the Son of God in power according to the spirit of sanctification by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead; by whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith in all nations for His name, among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ our Lord" (Epistle). We rejoice in the honor that is bestowed on us in our election to the faith in Jesus Christ. With our whole soul we believe in Him who has become true man and our brother in the flesh. We believe, too, that He is the Son of God, for He convincingly proved His divinity by His resurrection from the dead.
The King of Glory will come to mankind, to the family of nations, and to the hearts of all men, in order to bring them salvation. "Be ye lifted up, O eternal gates"; be opened to Him in faith and longing that you may receive His rule. For it is a rule of grace, of love, and of peace--peace for man with God and with himself. Today we prepare ourselves for His blessed rule by purifying our hearts, our souls, and our thoughts. We shall make our hearts a crib in which He may rest secure.
"The King of Glory shall enter in." He comes now in the lowliness of suffering in order to overcome death; He will one day come in glory as Judge and Ruler of the world. Christmas is the complement of the coming of the Lord on the las day. Blessed are they who now share His lowliness, for they may look forward to His coming as Master and Judge with confidence and hope." (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, Volume I, B. Herder Book Company, 1954, pp. 93-95.)
The world was in waiting for this day even though most of the people in it did not recognize Him when He came as a helpless infant in a cradle in the stable in the cave in Bethlehem. Even some pagans, such as the Roman poet Virgil, who died just twelve years before Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Nativity in Bethlehem, had a vague inkling, implanted in their souls by God Himself, that He was to intervene personally in human history:
Now is come the last age of the Cumaean prophecy: the great cycle of periods is born anew. Now returns the Maid, returns the reign of Saturn: now from high heaven a new generation comes down. Yet do thou at that boy's birth, in whom the iron race shall begin to cease, and the golden to arise over all the world, holy Lucina, be gracious; now thine own Apollo reigns. And in thy consulate, in thine, O Pollio, shall this glorious age enter, and the great months begin their march: under thy rule what traces of our guilt yet remain, vanishing shall free earth for ever from alarm. He shall grow in the life of gods, and shall see gods and heroes mingled, and himself be seen by them, and shall rule the world that his fathers' virtues have set at peace. But on thee, O boy, untilled shall Earth first pour childish gifts, wandering ivy-tendrils and foxglove, and colocasia mingled with the laughing acanthus: untended shall the she-goats bring home their milk-swollen udders, nor shall huge lions alarm the herds: unbidden thy cradle shall break into wooing blossom. The snake too shall die, and die the treacherous poison-plant: Begin, O little boy, to know and smile upon thy mother, thy mother on whom ten months have brought weary longings. Begin, O little boy: of them who have not smiled on a parent, never was one honoured at a god's board or on a goddess' couch. (Virgil, Fourth Ecologue, referred to be Saint Augustine as the "Messianic Ecologue," Eclogue IV.--Pollio )
Saint John the Evangelist, whose feast day we celebrate on Friday, December 27, 2013, told us that Our Lord came to His own, the Jews, and they received Him not:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1: 1-11.)
We are Our Lord's own now, are we not? More often than not, however, we do not receive Him, preferring the world and worldly "saviours" of the naturalist "left" or the naturalist "right" to Him and His Holy Church, preferring naturalistic "solutions" to this or that problem rather than a firm and complete adherence to His Social Teaching, starting with our desire to plant seeds for the restoration of His Social Kingship over all men and their nations.
Father John Croiset wrote of the pain we have caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Sacred Heart by our failure to make room for Him in the "inns" of our hearts by our worldliness and our attached to vain pleasures and earthly amusements:
Consider that it was no less afflicting and sad for Jesus Christ to see the ingratitude of the majority of the faithful, who would have only coldness and indifference for Him in the Sacrament of His love. He saw the little esteem, nay, even the contempt with which they would treat this greatest proof of His love. He saw that no matter what He might do to be loved by the faithful, even dwelling always amongst them in the Blessed Eucharist, neither this excess of His love, nor His benefits, nor His very presence would be capable of making the greater part of them love Him or would prevent them from forgetting Him. he saw that those churches in which He was to be sacramentally present would be left for most of the time without adorers. He saw what little reverence, nay, what disrespect would be shown in His presence. He saw clearly how the greater part of His followers, who spend long hours in vain amusement and useless visits and complete idleness, would rarely find a quarter of an hour to spend before Him in the Blessed Sacrament. He knew how many others would visit Him only under compulsion and without either devotion or reverence. And finally, He saw the very small number who would eagerly visit Him and devoutly adore Him. He saw clearly that the greater number take no more notice of Him than if He were not really present in the Blessed Sacrament or than if He were a person of no consequence.
The harsh treatment which He received from the Jews, Gentiles and heretics was indeed very painful to Him, but they were His open enemies. But could we ever thought it possible that those who recognize His benefits, that those who make profession of being faithful to Him, that His own children should not only be insensible to His benefits and in no way touched with compassion at the sight of the grief caused by such contempt, but that they should treat Him with contempt by their irreverences and sacrileges? Our Saviour might well say: "If pagans and Turks and infidels had treated Me so, I might have endured it." "for if my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne it". (Ps. 54:13), but that Christians, Catholics whom I have not only redeemed, but have fed and nourished with my Body and Blood, should have nothing but contempt for Me, that they should treat Me with ingratitude, is too much. "But thou a man of one mind, my guide and my familiar: who didst take sweetmeats together with me! (Ps. 54: 14-15)
What must be the sentiments of this most generous and tender Heart of Jesus which has so loved men, and which finds in the hearts of those men only coldness and contempt? "I am become a reproach among my enemies." (Ps. 30: 12). If after exposing Myself to the contempt and hatred of My enemies in the midst of the outrages which I suffer, I could at least find a large number of faithful friends who would console Me! But it is quite the contrary: "They that saw me without fled from me." (Ps. 30:12) The greater number, seeing that I have disguised Myself under the feeble appearance of bread in order to have the pleasure of dwelling among men, abandon Me and forget Me as a person who has no place in their hearts, "I am forgotten as one dead from the heart." (Ps. 30:13) (Father John Croiset, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: How to Practice the Sacred Heart Devotion, republished by TAN Books and Publishers.)
We can make amends for how we have grieved the King Whose Nativity we will commemorate this evening in piercing cold. We can on this day of penance, a day of fasting and abstinence, permit the Immaculate Heart of Mary to make our stony hearts into hearts of flesh that beat as one with the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, letting Our Lady herself fulfill in our puny little hearts that are so stained with the after-effects of our sins these words written by the Prophet Ezechiel under the inspiration of God the Holy Ghost:
For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols.
And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them. And you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for corn, and will multiply it, and will lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the held, that you bear no more the reproach of famine among the nations.
And you shall remember your wicked ways, and your doings that were not good: and your iniquities, and your wicked deeds shall displease you. It is not for your sakes that I will do this, saith the Lord God, be it known to you: be confounded, and ashamed at your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord God: In the day that I shall cleanse you from all your iniquities, and shall cause the cities to be inhabited, and shall repair the ruinous places, And the desolate land shall be tilled, which before was waste in the sight of all that passed by, They shall say: This land that was untilled is become as a garden of pleasure: and the cities that were abandoned, and desolate, and destroyed, are peopled and fenced. (Ezech. 36: 24-35.)
The desolate land that needs to be tilled is our souls, which are meant to become gardens of pleasure by means of the Sanctifying Graces that have been won for us by Our Newborn King as He hung on the gibbet of the Holy Cross thirty-three years after His Nativity this Midnight. Our Newborn King did not want to leave us in the filth of our iniquities. He desired out of love to take upon Himself the debt of our own sins so that we might be able to know the glory of the Beatific Vision of the Most Blessed Trinity in Heaven for all eternity, where we will find the true peace and the true joy that are announced this very night to the shepherds tending their flocks the fields near Bethlehem.
Saint Joseph sought to find a place for his foster-Son to be born. He will help us to find a place for Him in our own hearts as we cling so devotedly to His Ever-Virginal Spouse, the Immaculate and Spotless Mother of God herself, as we make haste tonight to be present at Midnight Mass, commencing our Christmas Octave and Season of rejoicing that a Saviour has been born for us. We can, at the very least, say an extra Rosary after going to Confession today to make our hearts a bit cleaner than they would otherwise be, asking Saint Joseph to help us find the place in the Catholic catacombs where His foster-Son will be truly present as a true bishop or a true priest who makes no concessions to conciliarism utters those powerful words, "Hoc Est Enim Corpus Meum. . . .
Hic Est Calix Sanguinis Mei, Novi et Aeterni Testamenti: Mysterium Fidei: Qui Pro Vobis et Pro Multis: Effundetur in Remissionem Peccatorum," making his foster-Son Incarnate under the appearances of bread and wine.
We must make room in the "inns" of our hearts every day of our lives by rejecting the anti-Incarnational falsehoods of Modernity and the anti-Catholic falsehoods of Modernism of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, asking Our Lady and her Most Chaste Spouse to keep us free of the filth of the world and the rot of heresies that the Modernists dare to propagate in the Holy Name of the Babe Who was born for us to bear witness to His immutable truths as He hung on the wood of the Holy Cross, which has become the true manger from which we are fed His very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion.
Make haste, Our Lord is nigh. Make haste. Prepare well. Reject the world and its false allurements. Make haste. Our Lord is nigh. May we give him the gift of an undivided heart as we make our own this prayer of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque to her Divine Visitor Who comes to us every day in Holy Communion and Who was born for us this very night:
O Divine Heart of Jesus, inexhaustible Source of love and goodness, ah! how I regret that I have forgotten Thee do much and loved Thee so little! O Sacred Heart, Thou dost merit the reverence and love of all hearts which Thou hast cherished so much and laid under infinite obligations. And yet Thou dost receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude and coldness, and especially from my own heart which merits Thy just indignation. But Thy Heart is all full of goodness and mercy, and of this I wish to avail myself to obtain reconciliation and pardon. O Divine Heart, I grieve intensely when I see myself guilty of such cowardice and when I consider the ungrateful conduct of my wicked heart, which has so unjustly stolen the love that it owes to Thee and bestowed it on myself or on vain amusements.
O Heart most meek, if the sorrow and shame of a heart that recognizes its error can satisfy Thee, pardon this heart of mine for it is sorry for its infidelity and ashamed of the little care which it has taken to please Thee by its love. O Sacred Heart of my Saviour, what could I expect from all this but Thy displeasure and condign punishment if I did not hope in Thy mercy. O, Heart of my God, Heart most holy, Heart to which alone belongs to pardon sinners, do Thou in Thy mercy pardon this poor miserable heart of mine. All its powers unite in a supreme effort to make reparations to Thee for its wanderings from Thee and the disordered application of its love.
Ah! how have I been able hitherto to refuse Thee my heart, I who have so many obligations to make Thee its sole possessor, nevertheless I have done so. But now how I regret that I have wandered away from Thee, from the love of Thee who art the Source of all goodness, in a word, from the Heart of my Jesus, who although needing me not, hast sought me out and lavished Thy favors on me. O adorable Heart of Jesus, is it possible that my heart can have treated Thee thus, my heart which depends entirely on Thy love and thy benefits and which, if Thou shouldst take them from it, would fall into the utmost extremes of misery or be reduced to nothingness? Ah! how I am beholden to Thy goodness, O indulgent Heart of my Saviour, for having borne with me so long in my ingratitude! Oh! how timely Thy mercies come to pardon my poor, inconstant heart!
O Heart of my Jesus, I now consecrate to Thee and give Thee all my love and the source of my love, which is my heart; I give Thee both irrevocably, although with great confusion for having so long refused Thee Thine own possessions. O Divine Heart, my very capability of bestowing my poor hear on Thee is a proof of Thy great love for me, but alas! I have availed myself badly of such a favorable opportunity to merit Thy love and grace. Oh! how great is my confusion at the thought of this! O Heart of my Jesus, reform my faithless heart, grant that henceforth it may bind itself to Thy love by its own, and that it may approach Thee as much in the future as it has wandered away from Thee in the past, and as Thou art the Creator of my heart, may Thou, I beseech Thee, one day give it the crown of immortality.
It is always fitting to close by quoting from Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year, as he quotes from Saint Peter Damian's reflection on this very day, Christmas Eve:
'At length,' says St. Peter Damian, in his sermon for this holy eve, 'at length we have come from the stormy sea into the tranquil port; hitherto it was the promise, now it is the prize; hitherto labour, now our home. The heralds of the divine promise came to us; by they gave us nothing but rich promises. Hence our psalmist himself grew wearied and slept, and, with a seemingly reproachful tone, thus sings his lamentation to God: "But thou has rejected and despised us; Thou hast deferred the coming of Thy Christ." At another time he assumes a tone of command thus prays: "O Thou that that sittest upon the Cherubim, show Thyself!" Seated around Thee, look down upon the children of men, who are victims of that sin, which was committed indeed by Adam, but permitted by Thy justice. Remember what my substance is; Thou didst make it to the likeness of Thine own; for though every living man is vanity, yet inasmuch as he is made to Thy image he is not a passing vanity. Bend thy heavens and come down, and turn the eyes of Thy mercy upon us Thy miserable suppliants, and forget us not to the end!
'Isaias, also, in the vehemence of his desire, thus spoke: "For Sion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for the sake of Jerusalem I will not rest, till her Just One come forth as brightness. Oh! that thou wouldst render the heavens, and would come down!" So, too, all the prophets, tired of the long delay of the coming, have prayed to Thee, now with supplication, now with lamentation, and now with cries of impatience. We have listened to these their prayers; we have made use of them as our own, and now, nothing can give us joy or gladness, till our Saviour come to us, and kissing us with the kiss of His lips, say to us: "I have heard and granted your prayers."
'But what is this that has been said to us: "Sanctify yourselves, O ye children of Israel, and be ready: for on the morrow the Lord will come down"? We are, then, but one half day and night from the grand visit, the admirable birth of the Infant God! Hurry on your course, ye fleeting hours, that we may the sooner see the Son of God in His crib, and pay our homage to this world-saving birth. You, brethren, are the children of Israel, that are sanctified, and cleansed from every defilement of soul and body, ready, by your earnest devotion, for to morrow's mysteries. Such, indeed, you are, if I may judge from the manner in which you have spent these sacred days of preparation for the coming of your Saviour.
'But if, notwithstanding all your care, some drops of the stream of this life's frailties are still on your hearts, wipe them away and cover them with the snow-white robe of confession. This I can promise you from the mercy of the divine Infant: he that shall confess his sins and be sorry for them, shall have born within him the Light of the world; the darkness that deceived him shall be dispelled; and he shall enjoy the brightness of the true Light. For how can mercy be denied to the miserable this night, in which the merciful and compassionate Lord is so mercifully born? Therefore, drive away from you all haughty looks, and idle words, and unjust works; let your loins be girt, and your feet walk in the right paths; and then come, and accuse the Lord, if this night He rend not the heavens, and come down to you, and throw all your sins into the depths of the sea.' (Saint Peter Damian, as quoted in
Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Volume I, Advent, pp, 506-508.)
Dom Prosper Gueranger, the father of the Liturgical Movement that was later hijacked by Modernist and ecumenist revolutionaries decades after his own death, exhorts us with his own inspirational words;
Let us enter into the spirit of the Church, and prepare ourselves, in all the joy of our hearts, to meet the Savior who is coming to us. Let us observe with strictness the fast which is prescribed; it will enable our bodies to aid the promptness of our spirit. Let us delight in the thought that, before we again lie down to rest, we shall have seen Him born, in the solemn midnight, who comes to give light to every creature. For surely it is the duty of every faithful child of the Catholic Church to celebrate with her this happy night, when, in spite of all the coldness of devotion, the whole universe keeps up its watch for the arrival of its Saviour. It is one of the last vestiges of ancient piety, and God forbid that it should ever be effaced! (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year, Volume I, Advent, pp, 508-509.)
Is today a day of fast and total abstinence in the counterfeit church of conciliarism? No. The conciliar revolutionaries have seen fit to efface the penances we must observe this day. Enough said.
Make haste. The long-awaited Messias is night. Make haste. Cling tenderly to Our Lady, especially through her Most Holy Rosary. Rely firmly on Saint Joseph. Make haste. The world has a Redeemer. Make haste.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?