May Israel Ask: “What Child Is This?”

By David Ettinger

It’s a worthwhile question:

What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

baby manger

The answer is filled with eternal significance: This, this is Christ the King!

These, of course, are the first five lines of What Child is This? the beloved Christmas hymn penned by William Chatteron Dix in 1865 to the music of the sixteenth century English melody Greensleeves.

In the century and a half since the writing of this hymn, millions of people yearly during the Christmas season have asked this same question: “What Child is this?” They ask this question because it is at this time of the year that millions make their token visit to church. If the church is a good one, the Gospel will be presented. If presented, millions will be confronted with the momentous question:…

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Throwback Thursday: 60% of Catholics: “It is not possible to have a personal relationship with God.”


Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on October 12th, 2015 and has been revised.


People talk about having a “personal relationship with Jesus,” but what does that really mean? This afternoon, I was listening to a podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” radio call-in show, originally broadcast on March 13, 2015 on the Station of the Cross, WLOF 101.7FM out of Buffalo, New York. Between phone calls, Catholic priest-host, Dave Baker, and moderator, Mike Denz, were disappointedly mulling over a recent survey that showed that a whopping 60% of Catholics agreed with the survey statement, “It is not possible to have a personal relationship with God.”

Priest Dave said he introduced a course at his parish to show people how to have a personal relationship with God. He even sets up special sessions of “eucharistic adoration”…

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