By Fr. James V. Schall, S.J.: The Nativity of Christ: Its Historic Reality

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By Fr. James V. Schall, S.J., Catholic Exchange, Dec. 10, 2021

Rev. James V. Schall, S.J., (1928-2019) was a Jesuit philosopher, teacher, and author. He taught political science at Georgetown University for many years and delivered numerous articles, speeches, and interviews. His books include The Mind That Is Catholic from Catholic University of America Press; Remembering Belloc from St. Augustine Press; and Reasonable Pleasures.

This article is from a chapter in Fr. Schall’s book, The Reason for the Seasons: Why Christians Celebrate What and When They Do. It is available from your favorite bookstore or online through Sophia Institute Press.

How can we talk about God today? The first answer is that we can talk about God because He has talked to us, so the first condition for speaking of God is listening to all that God himself has said. God has spoken to us! God is therefore not a distant hypothesis concerning the world’s origin; He is not a mathematical intelligence far from us. God takes an interest in us; He loves us; He has entered personally into the reality of our history; He has communicated himself, even to the point of taking flesh.

— Pope Benedict XVI, Audience, November 28, 2012

A “War on Christmas” goes on in this and other countries. People are offended that even the mention of Christ’s birth is found in the public order. Great strides have been made to eliminate any specific, public references to Christ and His birth — no Nativity scenes, no reference to Christmas but tinsel, secularized songs, greenery, and various glittering things that refer to nothing really. Some allowance seems still to be made for Christmas music, both the religious and the sentimental kinds. Much of it is too beautiful to ignore. …

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