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As we approach this Christmas season, it's good to turn to the Scriptures (as it always is) for some deeper insight. And, for the record, we mean insight and reflection offered to us by the Church who gave us the Scriptures — not our own personal opinion of what they mean.
In the last 50+ years, there have been loads of various editions published (some obviously much better than others), and around Christmastime, my eyes are always drawn to one particular passage and how modernists mangle it. It's the scene with the heavenly hosts joining the angel in the night sky above Bethlehem, singing "Glory to God in the highest" at the birth of our Lord.
Many editions report it as this: "Peace on earth. Goodwill toward men." That is such a bad mangling and corruption of what is actually sung by the angels that it seems it couldn't be anything but deliberate. What they actually sang was, "And on earth, peace to men of goodwill."
Those are two entirely different meanings — they're not even closely related. Yet all over hallmark cards and in multiple homilies, you hear, "Peace on earth." Wrong. That's a fabrication. That is not what the angels sang.
First, it doesn't even make sense. Angels are messengers. That's their office. It's what their name translates to. By flipping around the words, the entire meaning is lost. Peace on earth as a standalone statement makes no sense. At the time, much of the world was under the subjugation of the empire.
There may not have been actual war going on. But peace, certainly heavenly peace, is not merely the absence of war. The world into which Our Blessed Lord was born was under the heel of a brutal empire: An empire with slavery; unjust executions; heavy, crippling taxation and abject poverty.
The notion that there was "peace" is nuts — likewise, the words "goodwill toward men." When exactly does God not extend goodwill toward men? That horrible translation comes straight out of the Church of Nice's playbook: Feel good, sweet words, ultimately empty.
Now consider the actual words: "On earth, peace to men of goodwill." This is a call from the heavenly choir to change and amend, to repent. The Prince of Peace has come among you offering you not a break from war, but heavenly peace, a peace that can only be had if you are of goodwill.
God offers and we respond. The mangled translation is simply, "God offers, with nothing required on our part." Talk about a one-sided relationship. Relationships demand interaction, not passivity. So what is man by goodwill, without which no man can attain heavenly peace? Well, it's pretty simple. Not only is it the Prince of Peace that has been born, but Truth Himself.
And 33 years later, He would tell Pilate He'd come to bear witness to the truth. Whoever hears the truth hears His voice. There is a direct association between Our Lord and the truth, so much so that he told his disciples in the upper room that He is truth. They are one and the same.
So follow the association — the Prince of Peace is at the same time and in the same respect Truth. Heavenly peace is directly related to truth. One cannot be had without the other, for ultimately they are the same. You can't jump in the ocean and not get wet. You can't immerse in peace without also being in truth.
So the "men of goodwill" are those who are predisposed to receive truth. Their wills are directed to truth. When they hear it, they recognize it, and they embrace it. They fall in love with it, and, in so doing, fall in love with Christ because He is Truth. This is the only way to experience "peace" — from the Prince of Peace who has come to bring Himself, all truth.
All other "peace" is little other than a temporary cessation of hostilities. The angels coming from the heavenly realms were not talking about passing political peace among nations. It's stupid to even propose that. But just because men have goodwill and would accept truth when they encounter it, it doesn't mean they have.
They must first hear the truth, and here is where we turn again to the moral crimes of the U.S. hierarchy — to be condemned for their outrages against truth. As Church Militant has plodded through this election cycle, conducted dozens of interviews and met even more people on the "conservative" end of the political spectrum, we have been struck by how many are ex-Catholics.
Just last week, three were here in the studio or on Skype with us. We always make it a point of asking, "Are you Catholic?" The most common reply we hear is, "I was baptized Catholic, but now I go to [fill in the blank]." Many of the more politically aware tend to be somewhat older and are almost all children of the Vatican II era, an era filled with Church of Nice garbage.
They left it. With no catechesis and no solid foundation, they left. And every one of you out there knows scores of people who fit this description. They are bereft of the sacraments on a frequent basis. They are bereft of the deep knowledge of Scripture. They have been cut loose by a wicked group of men, cut loose to drift along on their own. What sadness. What heartbreak.
On a natural level, they have what we can easily see is goodwill. They recognize "truth," at least in the social and political order in the natural world. Yet, on a more supernatural level, they have been abandoned by twisted, homosexual men and career-minded rogues whose arrogance and lust have driven them from the Church.
And they have nowhere to go, so they land in various houses of worship and find some degree of fellowship among like-minded orphans. Not for nothing did conservative evangelicals vote for Trump by a whopping 80+%. In the meantime, Catholics voted for Trump at just 50%.
Over the last 50 years, the hierarchy has constructed a Church of gruel. No reverence, no apparent meaning, void of anything — except liberal politics, which they favor to support their own depraved lifestyles and views. They punish good priests who try to feed their flocks the truth, and they allow the sheep to wander away, deprived of the Eucharist, confession and the multitude of graces available to the faithful.
They promote homosexual clergy preaching the filth of sodomy under a distorted notion of charity. They advance wicked thieves in their midst. They cover for each other's sins, right up to and including the pope himself, as evidenced in the McCarrick Report.
And they make it nearly impossible to evangelize our fallen-away brothers and sisters because they look at the Church and see a George Soros funded NGO run by gays in dresses. It's one thing to explain the Faith to someone willing to hear it. Its an entirely different thing to explain away wicked men who are the successors of the Apostles.
Thank God Our Lord's traitor was one of the Apostles, because that is the only point of reference we have when trying to explain the rot. Imagine, bishops, when you all die. Just imagine the evil you will have to give an account for. Peace to men of goodwill indeed. But notice, your excellencies, first, you have to have goodwill, meaning love of the truth. No goodwill, no peace.
The writing is on the wall as to your eternal lots.