Christmas Tree; Burning Bush; Tree of Life; Yggdrasil; Menorah, Tree of Lights; Pillar of Cloud & Fire; Chariot Throne (wheels in wheels); Sun of Righteousness; Heavenly Host; Cosmos (host in order of battle); Sabaoth; Jacob’s Ladder; Rainbow Bridge: Milky Way; Gate of Heaven; Vine; Flowering Rod of Aaron; Root of Jesse (“Yah Is”); Tropaeum; Faithful Cross; one and only Noble Tree. All are types of the manner of our Lord’s descent and manifestation to us, of his creation, preservation, and blessing of all this our life; of his Incarnation and Passion, his Redemption of his world, of his Resurrection, and his Ascent.
The ancients thought that stars are the bodies of angels. We think of them as only balls of gas. But in so doing, we accede reflexively to the purblind materialist account of nature, according to which all the world is dead, and even we ourselves are nothing but sacks of meat. This is to accept a notion of existence that contradicts every jot of our experience – the only evidence we have, or can have, of what it is like to be. This is not to say that we are not sacks of meat, or that stars are not balls of gas. But from the truth of these characterizations, it does not follow that there is nothing else to us, or to the stars, than our material effects. That Plato is chemical does not mean he is only chemical; his chemistry cannot comprehend the Timaeus, or vice versa. His chemistry, then, and his works, can be comprehended only under the aspect of Plato himself – or, what is perhaps more likely, of Plato’s angel and his supersidiary choirs.
If mere sacks of meat such as we can apprehend the stars, wonder at their sublime glory, and begin to understand them, then who can prudently asseverate that the stars cannot be seats of angelic minds? If the flux of the weather within our skins can respond to our thoughts, is it such a stretch to admit that stellar weather – or for that matter galactic weather – might likewise respond to the vast motions of other sorts of minds?
If God exists – as he must, if anything is ultimately to make any sense at all – then what can this world be, in whole or in part, but throughly the weather moved of his uncreate Light? How, then, could any bit of it be cheated of the whole flux of his Glory, or fail to tell of it? Where might anything escape the influence of Ubiquity? Or where might Omnipotence be stymied?
Nowhere. That is why to turn from God is to turn from communion with everything that is, and so from one’s own being.
Merry Mass of the Birth of the World, and a Happy, Happy Navel of Time. Bless all of us now at the turning of the year on his axis mundi. Let us all forswear our foolish ways and turn back, for the love of God, eastward, toward the Advent of the Morning Star. Let’s deck the halls of house and body with gladness: trim the tree, light the lamps at the high table, tune our heartstrings, and make ready the wedding feast of the King of all kings. Christ is born; Christ is Risen; Christ is come again. Behold, he makes all things new.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
– Luke 2:8-14
Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered. Merry Christmas!