Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Meaning of Christmas

Grab your tissue box. Watch, listen, and ponder.
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10 comments:

Angie said...

How funny -- I had never heard that song, but heard it this morning for the first time when someone from my MOPS group sang it at our Christmas brunch. Neat video.

Frances said...

My husband heard that song for the first time on our Christian radio station last week and told me he thought it was contrary to Catholic teaching. We read the Annunciation passage (the Gospel at Mass on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception) seeking a deeper understanding of how much Mary actually knew about her child. Although he still doesn't like the song, my husband admits that Mary did not know the events to come in Jesus' earthly life. Listening to the song this morning, however, (and thanks for posting the beautiful video collage, Kristen!) I agree that it says some things contrary to Catholic teaching. Christ saved Mary BEFORE he was born - she was preserved from sin at the moment of her conception.

Right?

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Thanks, I loved it. I believe the artist is using rhetorical poetic language. I really enjoyed it, and I am not one to go on utube, but if you recommended it I knew it would be nice! God Bless!

Kristen Laurence said...

Dear Frances, I assume you are speaking of the following stanza:

"Mary did you know that your baby boy would come to make you new? This child that you delivered, will soon deliver you."

Last year, when I heard this song for the first time I questioned a Norbertine priest aboout whether its lyrics necessarily denied the truth of the Immaculate Conception - or whether it could be interpreted charitably so as not to deny Innefabilis Deus. This was his response:

If we accept the Church's teaching that Mary was "pre-redeemed," in the sense that in anticipation of her Son's foreseen merits, Mary was
preserved from the stain of Original Sin (something that was due to her by her origin from Adam), then the lyrics in question could be charitably interpreted in that way. He "has come to make you new" i.e., to accomplish the sacrifice in virtue of which she had already been made new in grace.

The second line about being delivered could be charitably interpreted as saying something equivalent to what St. Thomas says in his Summa: "The Blessed Virgin was sanctified in the womb from original sin, as to the personal stain; but she was not freed from the guilt to which the whole nature is subject, so as to enter into Paradise otherwise than through the Sacrifice of Christ."

I hope this helps. You know, the song is probably not worth going to great lengths to defend and the lyrics are obviously loose, but if one finds beauty in the song and his love of Mary and Jesus is increased by it, or if it helps him to focus during Advent on Christ's birth and what this season truly is about, then he should know that the song can be interpreted charitably.

Though our Protestant bretheren do not believe in Mary's Immaculate Conception, they have great love for Christ. I'd like to think this song might inspire us to pray for them - that they learn the truth of our Blessed Mother, and come to love her as we do.

shivaun said...

Thank you so much, Kristen, for this powerful reminder!

Love2Learn Mom said...

One thing my daughter (who really likes the song) and I (who am more ambivalent about it) noticed this year was a connection with a beautiful thing we read about in Pope Benedict XVI's "Jesus of Nazareth". The song mentions Jesus being the great "I Am." In the Pope's book, he mentions the scene at the burning bush, when God offers his name to the Israelites as a prefigurement of the Incarnation because he is making himself vulnerable to the abuses of mankind who not infrequently abuse his name. I think I'll always be inclined to think of this concept when I hear the song again.

Nikki said...

Georgeous, Kristin. I am not one to take song lyrics as gospel, so I found this music and montage to be an enlightening reminder of why we celebrate Christmas. I will share it with my children, who will probably only ponder the "hook", "Mary, did you know?"
I was particularly moved by verse asking whether she knew when she kissed her baby boy that she was kissing the face of God. Wow! I have goosebumps just thinking about it.

Matilda said...

I remember last year a debate that was going on over at Jimmy Akin's blog. The simple answer to whether or not Catholics can like that song was:

As long as they realize that the answer is "yes".

Whether she knew specific details, I am not qualified enough to discuss, but we do believe that she knew she was carrying the Savior and that she would have been very aware of what the "suffering servant" would have to endure to redeem mankind.

As far as the one specific verse Kristen mentioned, it sounds as thought the Norbertine father is an example to follow!

Jamie said...

I also love that song and never tire of it. I look at it differently though, as a child asking his mother Mary, did you know? We, as Catholics know she did know but it is a child like question so simple. It makes us put ourselves in her shoes ponder what she must have felt knowing what she did.

Thanks for the wonderful post!

Kimberlee said...

Kristin, thank you for posting the beautiful montage. Regarding the song, we refer to Our Lady as the "new Eve" and she was made new by her Son. Though she was already sinless, He gave her a 'new life' in causing her to be known as the Mother of God and to be called 'blessed' by all generations. When we hear the song I always say out loud that He 'already' delivered you, mainly to keep things clear for my children.