Chaplain’s Greeting

Published by: Círculo Sacerdotal Cura Santa Cruz, December 21, 2022.

In anticipation of the appearance of issue number 6 of the magazine PELAYOS – in which the names of the winners of the Christmas contest will be announced – we publish the Christmas meditation that appears in the magazine under the heading «Saluda del capellán» (Chaplain’s Greeting). Its author is Rev. Father José Ramón García Gallardo, Consiliary of the Traditionalist Youth and Royal Chaplain.

The editorial staf of LA ESPERANZA and the team of the magazine PELAYOS wish a merry and holy Christmas to all our readers.

«Et Verbum caro factum est»

These are the solemn words we pronounce each time we recite the Creed at Holy Mass, at the end of the last Gospel ―the sublime prologue of St. John― and also when we recite the Angelus; then, we kneel reverently to adore in spirit and in truth the immeasurable mystery that we celebrate this Christmas: the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, to be our Good Shepherd, Sovereign King, High and Eternal Priest.

Numerous angels came down from Heaven into Bethlehem to adore the Child and with immense joy they sang in chorus the first Christmas carol: «Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will». They were the ones who announced the good news to the shepherds and invited them to go and adore the Divine Child, whom they found wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Everyone who still has a little of that good will left, urged on by charity (1), will run in haste to the Bethlehem manger to adore, contemplate and admire with his own eyes a God who before was invisible, but now yes, now you can see, touch and hear Him! And happy is he for whom Jesus is not a cause of scandal, whether in the manger or on the cross! (2).

I invite each one of you pelayos to go in haste to that manger of Bethlehem, which with art and piety represents in your homes the sublime mystery of the «Word of God made flesh», to adore Him, kneeling down, as the angels did yesterday; today you can do the same with the company of your Guardian Angels, who together with the nine Angelic Choirs in Heaven celebrate the birthday of the One who is eternal, but as man, on this Christmas, turns 2022 years old. Of course, offer your gifts to the shepherds Isaac, Josephus and James and also sing Christmas carols to them, joining your voices to the heavenly choirs.

About a thousand years ago, in those valleys near Bethlehem, a shepherd named David, who was also a king and prophet, the egregious ancestor of the Child Jesus, shepherded his flocks. Dear pelayos, at one with the shepherds, David, Isaac, James and Josephus, I invite you to bring to the newborn Good Shepherd many, many little lambs, but above all: little black lambs. The Heart of this Divine Child is the best Heart, infinitely merciful and what He loves above all things is the heart of the little black lambs, of so many bad children, some naughty and others perverse; some because they never received grace and others because they did not value its price. Be generous, your human sacrifices and His Divine Love will make them good. These little black lambs are the most in need of God’s mercy and in Heaven there is more joy, and there will be more joy at the manger, for one little black lamb that is converted, than for the ninety-nine little white lambs that remain in the sheepfold (3).

You will ask me: ―How can we bring them to the Child Jesus? Many are surly and rebellious. Others run away and we can’t catch them or their hands are broken and they can’t walk. They are covered with scabies and we can be infected. They have lost themselves in the dense thickets of disordered passions, they have plunged into the abrupt precipice of vice or have hidden behind their cowardice and selfishness.

However, the Good Shepherd warns us that He has other sheep that are not of this sheepfold and if these little black lambs could hear His voice, they would docilely follow in His footsteps and thus one day He will be able to establish one flock and one shepherd (4). In this way, when the final judgment comes, He will be able to place these little black lambs under the protection of His glorious right, separated forever from the goats, which will go to His left for all eternity (5).

The solution was already suggested and offered to us by Our Lady at Fatima: «It will be especially by your prayers and sacrifices that you can save them from the fires of Hell», «in order to bring them to Heaven, especially those most in need of His Mercy». There are many sacrifices that we can choose, but it is very important to know how to meekly accept those that Providence imposes on us in our daily domestic life; these are the ones that have the greatest value in the eyes of God! Therefore, through your prayers and sacrifices, many souls will become part of the flock of the Good Shepherd. The lambs that are black with the filth of sin will become white as clean wool. Now that it is the time of mercy, before Our Lord is the supreme and definitive Judge, we will put them in good shelter next to the Shepherd Child. There they will be sheltered from wolves and vultures, from cougars and foxes. Thanks to your sacrifices, you will be able to cure them and remove those filthy worms that the flies of the Internet have sown in their hearts. Thanks to your mortifications you will be able to untangle them from the brambles of the world, which hold them captive and prevent them from frolicking freely in valleys and hills, tasting the fresh herbs and drinking the clear water of the streams of sound doctrine. Rest assured that nothing will bring more joy to the Child Jesus, his Mother and St. Joseph than this gift: a little black lamb.

Dear pelayos, at one with the angels of Heaven and with your Guardian Angel, come running to kiss His feet and thus pay homage to a God who was intangible, who as man is our King, as the Archangel Gabriel had announced to His Mother: «He will inherit the throne of David, His Father». Instead of being scandalized, we should, like the Magi, edified and consoled, offer the gold of our love to the King who has conquered our heart, exchanging the heavenly throne for the humblest throne, a manger with straw. To the Child King we must offer the crown and the scepter that belong to Him with the legitimacy of divine origin. His infinite power must reign to the farthest reaches of our nothingness, just as His Divine Justice rules to the depths of Hell. May His Kingdom come to us and be established in all spheres of human society; may the scepter of His charity and the influence of the evangelical law be spread throughout the universe. (6)

Therefore, with enthusiastic spirit, let us work in all circumstances for our King, to expand the frontiers of His Kingdom on this earth, conquering the unknown and reconquering the lost. He was born so that the empire of His Grace may reach the deepest depths of our misery, the most intimate fibers of our souls; so that the Divine Medicine may reach the most recondite folds of our hearts, beyond all that original sin inflicted. May He destroy with His grace that bad leaven that makes us rotten people, fermenting daily in thoughts, desires and deeds that shame us before God; for that is where the old man lives, murderer of the new man, who tries to prevent each one of us from living in righteousness and holiness. May that light that He is in this world, tear with its truth the dense darkness of error and lies; so that Life, which at Christmas we contemplate newly born, may ask very soon: “Death, where is your victory?

To meditate in front of the crib is to place the soul in a place that is naked and stripped of everything, despised by men, but undoubtedly the best and most suitable, because God himself chose to be born there. Bethlehem is an invitation to discover the true riches and treasures of a Christian. They are not precisely those that the world and its prince, liar and murderer, want to impose on us in order to seduce us, to distance us little by little and forever from the poverty of the Shepherd, the empire of the King and the grace of God. In the mystery of Bethlehem, the beauty of poverty and the greatness of humility stand out in all their splendor: Vanitas vanitatis, All is vanity! This is one of the fundamental messages that Christmas proclaims.

We must generously and courageously offer Him that love that makes good will, which has nothing to do with a pious fickleness or a mystical utopia; it is that same good will that the angels praise in song and gives us peace, «pax Christi in regno Christi». Many children today think that Jesus is asking of lies, as are the constitutional kings, shoddy kings, who reign, but do not govern. That is why, like all liberals, they keep repeating: Jesus, Jesus! But only with lip service, because they do not respect His authority, nor obey His law, nor execute His will. They do not want to establish, consolidate or extend His kingdom. The Child Jesus is King. He is King of true truth. King Herod knows this very well, because when the Magi asked him where the King of Israel was born, the rabbis of Jerusalem were there to give him the news and to confirm, in the light of Daniel’s prophecies, where and when the awaited Messiah was going to be born. But Herod did not know how to interpret it, but thinking and feeling carnally, he feared to lose his throne and his power. Then he immediately ordered a bloody and cowardly persecution to take the life of Him by whom kings rule, because all power comes from God. There were many martyred children, innocent victims of that liberal terror that the evil kings who rule the world have, when they fear the supreme divine primacy of the Incarnate God; they, like Herod, want to reserve for themselves autonomous plots, independent of their infinite power. Pelayos, this hatred of the Child King persists even today and that is why they try, with all their might and by all means, to kill your souls, to rob you of that innocence that your parents take care of so carefully and that, to save it, many times, they have to flee from the world, fleeing to the desert of Egypt and thus put in safekeeping that precious grace that God loves so much: innocence.

Dear pelayos, hear how the Angels sing in Heaven announcing the peace that the Child brings to all those who have good will in their hearts. Peace is the fruit of tranquility in order and there is no tranquility where there are quarrels and grudges, turning the spirit black and dark as a coal where charity is extinguished. Order cannot exist, nor can peace reign, where there is no room for forgiveness. Give to the Child the fangs of that wolf that tears the heart, put at the foot of His cradle the skin of a jackal, that in ferocious butchery left the flock battered and decorate His manger with the hunting paws of the Persian leopard that made murderous incursions under cover of night. There are no more beautiful trophies to offer to the Divine Child than to lay at His feet, defeated, one by one, our defects. Do not be afraid and place the bag full of your sins at the feet of the Child Jesus when you approach the confessional, He will receive them very happy and will make them His own, to take them one day to The Cross, so He will reward the offering that you make of your faults with that divine gift that is forgiveness.

Contemplating the stable of Bethlehem, we can ask ourselves, what would his great-great-grandfather the Prophet David say when he saw this miserable temple that houses the offspring of his lineage, the Desire of the nations? What a poor and humble enclosure for the Child God in comparison with the first temple that David built in Jerusalem to guard the symbols that showed God’s covenant with His people! Nevertheless, in the midst of this closed night, the new covenant dawns. All that happened in the Old Testament were only images that now leave their place to the sublime reality of the «Word that became flesh», the longed-for arrival of Emmanuel, God with us. A famished fox who was prowling around looking for a partridge for his supper, when he passed near the stable and heard more commotion than in a henhouse, approached it curiously and exclaimed in admiration, when he saw that all the homes of Bethlehem had closed their doors to Him: What an amazing thing this is, that we foxes have comfortable burrows and the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head!

With the angels, the shepherds and also with the Magi, come to the House of Bread ―that it is what Bethlehem means― because today its cradle is an altar: come to communion with the Word who became flesh under the appearance of bread. Prepare your heart as St. Joseph prepared the manger, humble and stripped of everything, poor and simple at the same time, to receive Him in body and blood, soul and divinity; receive Him as the Holy Patriarch received Him there. Offer Him your nothingness so that He may fill it with His all, and as David taught us, lay at His feet your contrite and humiliated heart and He will not despise it (7). By your hunger and thirst for justice, by your humility, your souls will be filled with good things, which will be like that manger that shelters Our Highest Good (8).

Come, pelayos, to this humble stable, the only enclosure that did not close the doors to the Divine Despised One. In the middle of the cold night, it seems that the stars sigh to twinkle closer to the cradle, like that privileged star that arrived with the royal procession from the East, and the stars want to come down from the dark canopy of the firmament. The shepherds came with their flocks of sheep and the tolling of their shears and bells were the first bells that called us to come ready to worship Him in the tabernacles. With the dry branches of the mountain, the shepherds have lit a bonfire, the embers warm terrified hands and in old sandals, some frozen feet. The flames draw fleeting brushstrokes of light on the happy and astonished faces of the shepherds. A shepherd boy, wrapped up in his fleece jacket, put embers in a brazier on which sprigs of thyme and rosemary were burning: that was the first censer that paid homage to a real, true God. To the rhythm of the breeze, lights and shadows dance, outlining silhouettes on the humble walls of mud and straw of the stable. The first lamp has just been lit, indicating the Divine Presence in the first tabernacle of Christianity.

That manger is also a throne and an altar; Pay attention and you will hear how the Word expresses itself in the silence and – when the angelic carols come to an end, amidst the silence of the night, the stealthy steps of the shepherds on the fluffy snow, the moaning of the wind between the cracks ―though it tries to slow down its impetus so as not to wake the Child, still rustling in the branches as it sweeps away the dry leaves of a bygone autumn―, listen to the slow ruminating of the tired ox and the rustling of the straws under the donkey’s hooves and those snorting, warm breaths that want to prevent the night’s frost from leaving the Child frozen with cold.

In spite of all precautions, even though it is night, the bat that was sleeping in the recesses of the stable has flown out to warn the reptiles and amphibians, with shrill chirps, of the wonder its astonished eyes have just witnessed. Already the owl has been warning all the other birds of Bethlehem and there is a hubbub of songs of goldfinches and larks, blackbirds and thrushes. The migratory birds that were stopping in those plateaus come at once, they are amazed! and enthusiastic; they will soon carry the good news to distant latitudes. Pelayos, above all, you will hear the unspeakable groans with which the Word of God expresses an ineffable prayer, expressing infantile demands to His Virgin Mother, whose lap will be the chair from which He will impart to us the first lesson as Teacher: total abandonment, trust without limits, in His ever-Virgin Mother. Therefore, as He taught us: pray, groan, cry, ask always and everything to Her, also Our Mother, the Virgin Mary.

Pelayos, a very Merry Christmas! – The Word has become flesh, and dwelt among us.

  1. II Cor, 5-14- «For the love of Christ compels us».
  2. Lc VII, 23 23 «And blessed is the one to whom I am not a cause of scandal».
  3. Lc XV, 4-7 «If a man has a hundred sheep and loses one, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the field and go and look for the one that was lost until he finds it? And when he finds it, he carries it on his shoulders, full of joy, and when he gets home he calls his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the sheep that was lost. I assure you that, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who is converted, than over ninety-nine righteous who do not need to be converted».
  4. Jn X-16- «I have, moreover, other sheep which are not of this pen and whom I must also lead: they will hear my voice, and thus there will be one flock and one Shepherd».
  5. Mt XXV 32-33- «All nations shall be gathered before him, and he shall separate one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and shall set the one on his right hand and the other on his left».
  6. Zac 9, 10 – «He will break the warrior’s bows, he will dictate peace to the nations; he will rule from sea to sea, from the great river to the ends of the earth».
  7. Ps. 51, 19 – «… My sacrifice is a contrite spirit, you do not despise the contrite and humbled heart».
  8. Lc. I 52 – «He has cast down the mighty from their throne and lifted up the lowly. He filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed».

Father José Ramón García Gallardo, Consiliary of the Traditionalist Youth and Royal Chaplain.