, ,

Though all the divine utterances exhort us, dearly beloved, to “rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4), yet today we are no doubt incited to a full spiritual joy, when the mystery of the Lord’s nativity is shining brightly upon us, so that we may have recourse to that unutterable condescension of the Divine Mercy, whereby the Creator of men deigned to become man, and be found ourselves in His nature whom we worship in ours. — St. Leo the Great, Sermon XXVIII On the Nativity

On December 8th, ABC aired “Prep & Landing,” the first “holiday” special done by Disney. I am not going to comment on the show itself, as I did not see it; however, I think it is obvious by the subject matter (elite elves that help prep houses for Santa Claus to land on) that it strays greatly from what St. Leo calls the “mystery of the Lord’s nativity.” Indeed, much of the “holiday” cheer that we experience at this time of year fails to grasp the paradox of Christ born in a cave. Let us remind ourselves:

Mary, why are you amazed and awed by what was done in you? And she answers, “For in time I have brought forth a timeless Son. But I have no understanding of His conception. Husbandless am I: how can I bear a son? Who has ever seen seedless childbirth? But where God wills, the order found in nature is overcome, as it is written.” So Christ was born from the Virgin Maiden, in Bethlehem of Judea. — Kathisma from the Orthros of Christmas

He whom nothing can contain has been contained in a womb. He is in the Father’s bosom and His Mother’s embrace. How can this be, but as He knows and willed and was well pleased. Fleshless as He was, He willingly took flesh. And He Who Is became what He was not, for us. And while departing not from His own nature, He shared in our nature’s substance. So Christ was born with dual natures, wishing to replenish the world on high. — Kathisma from the Orthros of Christmas

I see here a strange and paradoxical mystery. For, behold, the grotto is heaven; cherubic throne is the Virgin; the manger a grand space in which Christ our God the uncontainable reclined as a babe; Whom in extolling do we magnify. — Ode ix, Canon i, Katavasiæ of Christmas