The Church in its wisdom asks us to consider this Christmastide the words of St. John the Evangelist.
I have written to you, young men,
because you are strong and God’s word has made its home in you,
and you have overcome the Evil One.
You must not love this passing world
or anything that is in the world.
The love of the Father cannot be
in any man who loves the world,
because nothing the world has to offer
– the sensual body,
the lustful eye,
pride in possessions –
could ever come from the Father
but only from the world;
and the world, with all it craves for,
is coming to an end;
but anyone who does the will of God
remains forever. – 1 John 2:14-17
The reason is simple. St. John reminds us that Christ’s coming, to be with us and like us, was not for us a word to become attached to the world; a Word of unity to the world. But rather, a Word to the Spirit, that acts to separate us and our love from the world. Thus love incarnated in this world as Jesus Christ, and in our hearts through his Spirit, detaches us from temporal goods and draws us to eternal ones.
The Divine Humble Incarnate Child is the sword that frees us from the slavery of this world; slavery to sin and our weak nature, concupiscence, that is drawn to the glamor of evil.
Good men — fight on in the coming year against the placing of lesser goods before greater goods which threaten to starve, often via distraction, the soul’s innate craving for Divine Love. The Divine Child brings us a sword. What a gift!