Tag Archives: Christmas

Proclamation of the Nativity of Jesus: Roman Martyrology misses the plot

styrofoam

Don’t think I haven’t ever been in the habit of reading the Roman Martyrology daily. With that in mind…

Proclamation of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

THE TWENTY-FIFTH DAY OF DECEMBER:

  • when ages beyond number had run their course from the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth, and formed man in his own likeness;
  • when century upon century had passed since the Almighty set His bow in the clouds after the great flood as a sign of covenant and peace;
  • in the twenty-first century since Abraham, our Father in Faith, came out of Ur of the Chaldees;
  • in the thirteenth century since the people of Israel were led by Moses in the exodus from Egypt;
  • around the thousandth year since David was anointed king;
  • in the sixty-fifth week of the prophecy of Daniel;
  • in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
  • in the year seven hundred and fifty-two since the foundation of the city of Rome;
  • in the forty-second year in the reign of Caesar Octavian Augustus…

… the whole world being at peace…

  • Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, desiring to consecrate the world by His most loving presence, was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
  • and when nine months had passed since His conception, was born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judah,
  • and was made man…

THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE FLESH.

/// That’s nice Styrofoam. All true. But lies are cloaked in truth, right? Lies can come about through telling part of the truth, looking fulsome, but actually omitting, well, really, pretty much everything, but – Hey! – leaving people with nice feelings! “Jesus is nice and even as maybe perhaps as important as Caesar ’cause He’s mentioned along with Caesar! That’s nice!

I suppose people will think I’m a shallow heretic and a dullard in that I can’t appreciate the intervention of the Word Incarnate in human history at just the right time, and that that’s the point of the Roman Martyrology’s account, and that not everything can always and in every way say everything and therefore I should just cool my jets and appreciate what is presented for what it’s worth and just get over it. After all, there are words like “covenant” and “consecrate” and stuff like that there. And tinkeritis must be avoided at all costs, even that of our salvation, because, you know, we’re used to it. But even the intensely devout are not assisted in their faith by such words as “covenant” and “consecrate” when other words are purposely omitted by self-congratulatory intelligentia who do know more but are too smug to JUST SAY WHAT WE NEED TO HEAR.

I’m an equal opportunity disdainer of tender snowflake dumbing down wherever I find it, whether after or even before Vatican II. And anyway, what dullard made Vatican II the absolute center of human history, replacing the Incarnate Word? Sound’s blasphemous to me, and also ignorant. I mean, most heresies came about before Vatican II and most were presented in – oooo! – Latin!!! Now that I’ve successfully made people angry, let’s make the point (I only mention here a couple of possible tweakings):

  • What if we were to have a Roman Martyrology that actually presented the faith?
  • What if the history of the proclamation were to mention – even if only in just a few words – the vicious sin of Adam bringing death and hellish mayhem into the world, handing us over to Satan?
  • What if we were to speak of, say, the binding of the son of Abraham to the wood of the sacrifice as prefiguring of the Redeemer’s violent death to come?
  • What if we were to recount the unworthiness of David to have a future Son that would save us from our unworthiness, saving us from… wait for it… SIN?
  • What if we were to speak of the lust for violent power of now secular leaders?
  • What if we were to say that – I mean, it pains me to say this as it should be obvious – what if we were to say that it is precisely because THE WHOLE WORLD WAS NOT AT PEACE that the Prince of the Most Profound Peace came to save us from that state of NOT being at peace?
  • What if we were to tell the truth for once, that there is sin and the Jesus was born to redeem us, save us from sin, that He was born to die and then rise to bring us to life, to the eternal life we did NOT have?

/// I can just hear it now, you know, all the condemnations:

  • We’ve done just fine with being dumbed down, with escaping reality! Stop trying to evangelize us! We’re nice with what we’ve always had! Leave. Us. Alone.
  • And then: You’re a heretic for trying to say that what we’ve always had isn’t quite up to what it should be! Stop it!

Meanwhile, do you know who wasn’t so taken with being clever with dumbed down religious and secular history? The angels knew: it was certain little shepherd boys. And, I have to say, this donkey-priest just loves this:

This is a 1968 Disney animated film, which has more sense than the Roman Martyrology. Listen to the narrator. If you didn’t catch it, little Aaron is repentant of his own SIN of hatred (after the horrific violence that took place in his own life), SIN representing the eons of SIN and hatred that sets the backdrop for Jesus to come into this world so as to save us from SIN, He, Jesus, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, yes, that little Babe in the manger. The faith isn’t about our sense – our feelings – of security with the way we’ve always had mere stuff like a book. The faith is about the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God’s Divine Son Jesus saving us from a world which was anything but at peace. Obvious, right? Nope. We have to say it: Jesus is the One; Jesus as the One saving us from sin is the only One.

♬ Pah-rum-pa-pum-pum. ♬

Amen.

13 Comments

Filed under Christmas

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Christmas born to die edition)

flores-christmas

2 Comments

2018-12-25 · 5:35 am

Christmas Gifts: Happy Christmas Heavenly Father!

Christmas Crib

Our Heavenly Father eternally speaks The Word, expressing Himself, His Love, His Truth, with this one Word. The love between them: the Holy Spirit. The Father loved us so much that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, redeeming us, providing salvation, with the Holy Spirit being sent for the forgiveness of sin by way of flooding us with sanctifying grace, making us members of the Body of Christ. The Immaculate Virgin’s Divine Son wants to give us a gift to our Heavenly Father through, with and in Himself.

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas

Unpolished better than polished

https://youtu.be/ktajqxP8c-s

When the Little Drummer Boy is too professional I feel like I’m in the palace of Herod. This is just kids doing their best. I like the kneeling at the last second. Hah.

3 Comments

Filed under Christmas

Isn’t Christmastide 40 days?

Seen during a Communion Call. 

Can you guess the hymn played by this modern drummer boy?

4 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Missionaries of Mercy

Seen at a friend’s house

Ordination anniversary card.

And it’s still Christmas…

2 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Priesthood, Uncategorized, Vocations

Happy New Year: A Resolution? Even donkeys can do it!

img_20171231_195024305472563.jpg

Various and sundry donkeys this Donkey-Priest received for Christmas.

So, today is New Year’s Day and the Octave of Christmas and the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Gospel from Luke includes the oft repeated words in that Gospel about Mary keeping whatever words in her heart and meditating on them. The Greek is more like throwing those words about in her heart. Heart and mind and soul. Great.

We can find those passages, such as the words of Saint Gabriel to Mary at the Annunciation, such as the words of the Gloria sung by the angels and reported by the shepherds, such as the words of Simeon at the presentation of Jesus in the Temple simply by turning a few of the first pages in the Gospel of Luke. We can write them down and then memorize them, letting them come back to us throughout the year in heart and mind and soul, wrestling with those words, and also the words of Mary such as her “Magnificat.”

When I was a kid, I memorized the long form of the consecration to Jesus through Mary of Saint Louis de Montfort, reciting this again and again during whatever manual labor or driving about or waking up at night, whenever, wherever. I loved this. And our guardian angels will certainly help us with this kind of thing, helping to get us on our way, please God, to heaven. That is our hope. And it shall not be taken from us. ;-)

1 Comment

Filed under Christmas, Spiritual life

“Trailer Trash.” Mmm Mmm good! Christmas happiness continues.

img_20171228_0632312134211416.jpg

Marshmallows, Fruit Loops, Pretzels… “Trailer Trash” is what it’s called locally. I like that. People poking fun at themselves because they know they themselves are not trash but can make the most of the trash food around them to come up with something really quite exquisite tasting, at least to me. Salty-sweet.

The happiness of Christmas continues. And we’ve just begun. Christmas season continues. We’re in the thick of it with three red-vestment feast days in a row.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas, Recipes

Absolute best Christmas crib

Sent in by a reader. The video will scan over the crib I’m talking about a number of times. Here’s the scene I would like to comment about. It’s obviously just before Christmas, so baby Jesus isn’t in the crib yet.

Christmas Crib

Notice the crib is made up of the words about the Word of God Incarnate, the Sacred Scriptures. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. The donkey is looking on. The sheep are eating the words about the Word. I love it.

This reminds of when bishops are ordained (or whatever word one would like to use for the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders). A very large book of the Scriptures is held open, but upside-down, over the kneeling bishop to be, as if the Holy Spirit were pouring all the words about the Word Incarnate into the soul of the candidate. The first time I saw this I was terribly, terribly, terribly impressed.

This is just wonderful altogether. I wonder if this was idea of the late Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger. I was making arrangements to meet him after I had arrived in Lourdes on June 24 2007, but he died that August before I could make the trip up North.

5 Comments

Filed under Christmas

Merry Christmas to donkeys and all!

img_20171225_0612391754803253.jpg

Some of my favorite parishioners sent me this card while away for Christmas. It was chosen, I’m sure, because of the donkey, what with yours truly being the donkey-priest. I notice that the other beasts are quite a bit further away, distracted by the kings arriving from the East. Meanwhile, the donkey, with great peripheral vision, is keeping an eye on Jesus, just playing with the hay, not really eating. Moreover, that donkey is standing sideways so as to play the billboard, as it were.  He’s giving the Holy Family a good view of the cross painted on his back, not that they haven’t seen it on him before. Mary rode down to Bethlehem from Nazareth, a treacherous journey, on the back of this beast, and would soon be on their way with him to Egypt, and then back. Another similar donkey would bring Jesus into Jerusalem for His crucifixion.

I really like the title: “Watching in wonderment.” This takes purity of heart and agility of soul. It takes a child. If we’re not like children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. So, that’s really important. We need to slow down. “Watching in wonderment.” I love it.

If you can see it, the angels directly behind the Holy Family are one to either side of a smaller manger. That manger is below the main altar of Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome. Meanwhile, there is a tradition that the wood of that manger became the wood of the cross. So how is it that the wood of the manger is still in the form of a manger and the wood of the Cross is to be found on the other side of Rome in the Basilica of the Holy Cross. The artist of this card has presented a good answer, with a support structure over the manger forming a cross.

Think of it. Soldier-executioners responsible for crucifying criminals saw this and brought it back to Jerusalem from nearby Bethlehem when they were there executing all male children two years old and under on Herod’s behalf. I would if I were them. Anyway, just a spurious thought which, however, might transport us back to the day, that quiet day, in which, watching in wonderment, straining to hear the quietest peep from baby Jesus, one hears the echoes on the mountainsides and sloping hills the voices of angels singing: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace…

Meanwhile, I hope for the day that the angels, who, it is true, as pure spirits with no bodies, have no differentiation of male/female, but are each and every one an entirely different creature (see the commentary of the Angelic Doctor), it is also nevertheless true that all angels in the Sacred Scriptures (Raphael, Michael, Gabriel…) and throughout the history of the Church (such as the Angel of Fatima) appear exclusively as male, often as warriors.

Saint Michael’s name speaks to how he wins his battles, that is, with his humility, what with his being “Like unto God.” Saint Gabriel’s name speaks to his being the military commander of Saint Michael (which is not unsupported in the Scriptures), for Gabriel refers to a war-hero, commander type special operator of God.

I digress, but I can’t help it. Even special operators, even angels, sing. Can you, straining, hear them? Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace…

Merry Christmas! Or as the Brits who are not in a drunken stupor say: Happy Christmas!

8 Comments

Filed under Angels, Christmas, Donkeys

Deacon’s Christmas blessing

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized