January 6 and Remembering Our Dignity | National Review

January 6 and Remembering Our Dignity | National Review

A digital sketch portraying the Three Magi following the star of Bethlehem. ( lukbar/Getty Images)

January 6 is traditionally the Christian feast of the Epiphany. Wise men still seek Him, each and every day of the year, until our time is up.

In the United States, January 6 will now always be known as the day that the president of the United States wanted his vice president to take the election for him in the U.S. Capitol building.

I remember listening to the president at that rally a year ago and knowing nothing good was going to come of it.

I understand people who supported Donald Trump because they’ve had it with the media and everything else. I understand the feeling that something is being lost in our country. But what happened last year on this day did not help matters. Last January 6 was about a lot of things that have been bubbling up for a long time for a lot of people — good people who were at that rally, who wouldn’t in a million years storm the Capitol. But people did. And the president of the United States instigated it.

I’m fed up, too. Even if the Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade regime it inflicted on us a half-century ago, abortion is still going to exist in this country. The powers that be at the moment seem to want more abortion, not less. The brutal killing of the unborn. Further immiserating women — left alone to bleed out their unborn babies.

But is America about better angels, or is America about storming and taking? It’s being Pollyannish about politics to expect better. From both parties, yes. But we should know better — about what’s right and just and good. Some of what I hear from people who appear to think they are conservatives is not about gratitude for the gifts we have been given, but something that looks a lot like hatred.

And you know what I’m most fed up about? Original sin. Nothing, nothing, nothing works as it ought, because we are fallen. And I know no human way to fix that. It’s why I’ll go to confession today, because mercy is necessary.

I’m still celebrating Christmas — in the pious tradition of doing so until the feast of the Presentation on February 2. And on Christmas Day, there is a reading from St. Leo the Great in the Liturgy of the Hours that comes to mind whenever I think about what people will do and say about politics:

In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind.

And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvelous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men?

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh.

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom.

Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ.

There is often a lot of Christian language and imagery around Donald Trump. (Yes, ditto Joe Biden. The former chaplain of the House making God into the image of pro-abortion Democrats. I know.) And there was even some around those who stormed the Capitol building. Do not sell your soul to a politician or political party. It’s not worth it.

Leo the Great also says Christmas is the birthday of peace:

may those who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God, offer to the Father their harmony as sons united in peace; and may all those whom he has adopted as his members meet in the firstborn of the new creation who came not to do him own will but the will of the one who sent him; for the grace of the Father has adopted as heirs neither the contentious nor the dissident, but those who are one in thought and love. The hearts and minds of those who have been reformed according to one and the same image should be in harmony with one another.

The birthday of the Lord is the birthday of peace, as Paul the Apostle says: For he is our peace, who has made us both one; for whether we be Jew or Gentile, through him we have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Christmas isn’t about warm decorations and get togethers. It’s about living differently. It’s hard work, and we might not see the results during out time on earth. But our time is short and love is the measure.

And pray. For our friends and enemies alike. We’re never going to be better without it.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.