EPIPHANY: DO SOMETHING!

“Or else then it will be too LATE!”     I’m not sure how helpful a memory generated by fear can be,  but those are the words that my father often spoke to me.    “Look at the situation; and act;  do your duty while you can or else  then it will be too late!

Yeah ,  little girl being taught (and taught well) by her big giant Marine Corps daddy with Viking fury blazing out of his deep blue eyes.

Sounds too tough?   Well, I got through my father’s parenting, and the older I got the more I was really, really glad I learned  some of   his lessons.     Every word was spoken out of love.

Do something about it!” 

“While you still can.”

gulag campfire

I am reminded of  Solzhenitsyn of the newly formed Soviet Union and his two friends crouching around a small fire in the freezing cold of a Siberian gulag,  discussing with regret that they should have seen this coming.  But they had done nothing but speak and write and discuss  political hypotheses,  as though the danger were not  real.

So what do all these dire  thoughts have to do with Epiphany today?

WISE MEN Invis Blue 280

There are wonderful, important, life-and-death,  eternal lessons to learn from the actions of the “three” Wise Men from Persia: seeing a star,  knowing its meaning,  and traveling towards it.    The Spruce Tunnel has written about the religious significance on other Epiphanies.

This year there seems to be some urgency.

The Star heralded the birth of the Anointed One from God-Most-High  come to earth to save the people from their sin;     to bring blessing and aid to the humans who are so divinely loved.     For 2,500 years,  more or less,  scholars had been reading of this  promised  Christ — they didn’t know when,  but there would be signs that indicated His coming.   These Magi from Persia saw the Star –

–    and they  did something.

They studied their own times,   they studied the wisdom of the past,  they saw something new in the sky;  and they concluded that now was the time to act – to actually act, not to study it more,  to think about it more,  to be “happy” about it — but to act.    In so doing,  the eyes of these non-Jewish Magi beheld and accepted the Messiah that had come for Jews and Gentiles alike.

The Door has now opened to the whole world.

Wise men afar

Epiphany presents the Actions of God for us;   the actions of faith from us;   and a request for an act of commitment to the Christ-Child,  forever rejoicing in the Light of Life.

Has there ever been any century when the Forces of Darkness did not work through the hearts of men?    Our times, maybe?       Have we shown that we can save ourselves?  make the world a better place?   on our own, without the need for God in our everyday lives?

Of course there’s  a “fun ” side to Epiphany.  Wise Men with  gifts and “We Three Kings of Orient Are…”;   and it’s the Twelfth Day of Christmas;  and we get to put our Christmas decorations away . . . .   but let me show you what I just read today:

The Marquis de la Force in France,  late 18th century,   was a modern and successful man,  up-to-date with the latest in liberal thinking.  All the liberal philosophies that were forming made sense to him and to his society which was in the process of throwing off the old ways, and especially that superstitious enemy of the modern world, the Catholic Church.

And his lovely young daughter entered a Carmelite convent.

And his countrymen began a revolution that ended in regicide and the bloody overturning of his own society.

rev terror

The  philosophical wanderings and  political dallyings of de la Force and his trendy friends had led to bloodshed and chaos and changing alliances, so that soon no one was safe.

rev guill

This political party,  that political party,  in and out of favor,  no compass, no guide,  no restraint —  just “the politics of personal destruction  and rule by public opinion — and lives destroyed on the guillotine.

Including his own lovely young daughter,  who was one of the Carmelite nuns of Compeigne,  led one by one up the stairs to the block, under the blade.

com 2

The nuns sang sweetly as they waited,  the Veni Sancte Creator, I think,  and as it happened,   little Blanche de la Force’s voice was  the last one left singing before she was executed.

We know this from history:    the French blithely tossed away  the Catholic Church and  then lost their foundation of moral law and truth and justice.    What takes the place of the Church are the Forces of Darkness, ready to rip through the hearts of men.

Her father spoke these words:

“This outrage is intolerable!   Something ought to be done about it!   Religious people should see to  it.  I’m told that they still exist in sufficient numbers.   I hope they will increase.   These circles are indispensable for law and order.   Why don’t they do something!”   *

We don’t know much about what happened to the Marquis,  but, as the author of this little book says:  “Life took the initiative . . .  and as far as I can see,  the actual events were the logical consequences of his (political)  beliefs.”

So here at Epiphany  with the Wise Men,  and now,  and  there at the French Revolution with all its faith in a society without the Church,  and later at the Soviet Revolution,  with its determination to create a perfect society without God,   we can witness great ideas that influence mankind,  wise men who put the good ideas into action,  and others who just let the Forces of Darkness steer the events of this world.

There is a present meaning for us  in Epiphany.    With the Light it brings,   with the epiphany it creates in our minds,   I hope we can do something to head off the Darkness that is coming  —  or then it will be too late.

 

(I feel  like a little girl again.)

“This outrage is intolerable!   Something ought to be done about it!   Religious people should see to  it.”

 

.*  The Song of the Scaffold,  by Gertrud von la Port

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2 Comments on “EPIPHANY: DO SOMETHING!”

  1. Jon Says:

    Thank you for this post. It says a lot. DO something! An old friend of mine told me once that: “being lukewarm ain’t so hot” Thanks again, J


  2. Oh, thanks! Great comment, from your friend too!


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