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The parish church of St. Jodok that is located in the center of Mittelberg, Austria.
Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.December 20, 20233 min read

A Christmas Note from Fr. Spitzer

Dear Friends of the Magis Center,

May the blessings of the Incarnate Lord be upon you in this Holy Season and throughout the new year.

Judging from the news about the wars in Israel-Palestine and Ukraine, the unraveling of moral teaching and random acts of violence throughout the world, as well as divisions in the culture and the Church, we might think that our world is coming apart at the seams. Yet, Christmas is, and always has been, a season of great hope that reminds us about what’s important and who’s in charge. The Christmas event—the birth of Jesus in a Bethlehem stable—tells us that the Lord of history is not only all-powerful and transtemporal but also unconditionally humble, compassionate, gentle, loving, and healing. Is this hope really warranted?

Common sense and worldly logic suggest that a God who would come to us as a child, in a stable through a poor family in a small town, would not be able to overcome the evil, injustices, hatred, and despotism that appears to be flourishing around us. Yet, evil and darkness have unexpectedly been overcome again and again throughout the Church’s history:

  • Where the blood of 200 years of Roman persecution and martyrdom gave rise to the Edict of Milan (through which the Catholic Church became the official religion of the Roman Empire).
  • Where the atrocities of wars gave rise to increased recognition of individual, religious, political, and economic rights grounded in Christian social teaching.
  • Where cultural (and even religious decadence) was suddenly overcome by men and women of great holiness who actualized reforms, education, and countless programs to enhance healthcare and public welfare.
  • Where the horrors of tyranny, totalitarianism, and extreme despotism were crushed by the remarkable heroism and nobility of countless unheralded men and women of virtue and faith.

Have you ever wondered why the Church and world history did not continue to spiral downward into utter chaos and ruin? Why have there been so many “bounce-backs,” restorations, and even resurrections? Why so many “happy faults” where the end result of decadence and division wound up being better than the original state?

The answer strongly implies the actions of a good and loving transcendent power—a power that is so loving, so merciful, and so healing that He would not let darkness overcome His light. For those of us with Catholic faith, we know that this is the God of Jesus Christ, the God of humble love, the God of the Beatitudes, the God of Christmas. It seems to me that all the historical signs point to the reality of Jesus Christ, His Father, and Their Spirit turning darkness into light, discord into peace, and hatred into love. If this is so, and I firmly believe it is, then we should never ever abandon hope, fall prey to fear, or slip into the darkness. Our faith—not to mention the course of history and the continuous manifestation of miracles of every kind—demands that we follow the teaching of Jesus: “Fear is useless; what is needed is trust.”

This year, the Magis Center has prayerfully sought to fulfill our mission of keeping faith in our culture through contemporary, rational, and science-based evidence by providing resources to parents, teachers, catechists, clergy, and the curious. And, as more young people leave the faith, we must answer the conflict of science and faith with sound scientific research and clearly communicate the reasonability and truthfulness of the Catholic Faith. Together, we must respond confidently and fast to such notions. 

The Magis Center relies heavily on the generosity of others and these charitable donations can make a huge difference in the services that we can provide. That is why we ask you to remember the Magis Center this holiday season and consider making a charitable contribution in support of our meaningful work during the Christmas season. Any amount that you can share will be greatly appreciated and put directly back into this mission.

Please be assured of our prayers for you, your families, our culture, and the world during this season of light and hope produced by the loving heart of God.

In the peace and love of the Lord at Christmas,

Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. and the Magis Center Board and Staff


Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. is a Catholic Priest in the Jesuit order (Society of Jesus) and is currently the President of the Magis Center and the Spitzer Center. He has made many TV appearances including: Larry King Live (debating Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow), the Today Show (debating on the topic of active euthanasia), The History Channel in “God and The Universe,” a multiple part PBS series “Closer to the Truth,” and the Hugh Hewitt Show. Currently appearing weekly on EWTN in “Father Spitzer’s Universe“.