Religion: December 2005 Archives

What came first?

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The pagan Roman celebration at Winter Solstice, or the Christian birthday party for Jesus?
Calculating Christmas pulled together some Biblical and historical sources and writes that, rather than our feast of Christ's mass being at attempt to baptize an existing feast, it was in fact something totally different.
Nathan wrote something in the other direction in his long and well written post Christ Be our Light.

I think that it doesn't really matter in the long run which came first - but rather that we celebrate what is truly important about this season - that God became Man, and dwelt among us - that the Word became Flesh - and that by His birth, death, and resurrection we can be re-united with the Father.

Have a blessed Christmas, all of you.

Christmas meme

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Hot Chocolate or apple cider?
hot apple cider with spices. Or better yet, mulled wine.
Turkey or Ham?
Standing rib roast.
Do you get a Fake or Real you cut it yourself Christmas tree?
Real - and usually we cut it - unless we wait so long that they've closed the cut it yourself places.
Decorations on the outside of your house?
Oh yes - and some of them stay up year round. Icicle lights are so much nicer than the standard porch light, don't you think?
Snowball fights or sledding?
Sitting inside watching the kids yet cold and wet.
Do you enjoy going downtown shopping?
Favorite Christmas song?
Anything that is really about Christmas but not Santa.
How do you feel about Christmas movies?
about how I feel about movies in general. I do like some TFV specials, though (like Charlie Brown)
When is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?
never (in private). But the malls should at least wait until the first sunday in advent.
Stockings before or after presents?
Before, definitely. How else do parents get any sleep?
Carolers, do you or do you not watch and listen to them?
Good ones I love. We had a great group of men come to the hospital Wednesday night, they sang real religious Christmas carols in beautiful 4 part harmony. It made for a wonderful moment of peace in what had been (and continued to be) a very hectic night.
Go to someone else's house or they come to you?
whatever works. We always have done our own Christmas at home and then (when we were close enough) gone to other family.
Do you read the Christmas Story?
not usually
What do you do after presents and dinner?
What is your favorite holiday smell?
food cooking
Ice skating or walking around the mall?
Do you open a present or presents on Christmas Eve, or wait until Christmas day?
usually wait
Favorite Christmas memory?
First Christmas after getting married, holding my 10 day old baby at Midnight Mass.
Favorite part about winter?
when it is over
Ever been kissed under mistletoe? .
oh yes....

What would you do?


gaudete sunday

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Friday we had a relatively short but horribly intense snowstorm. For whatever reasons, my workplace decided to open as usual, so I fought my way the 42 miles to work (it took 2+ hours) and then, a few hours later (we closed at noon) I took 3 hours to go back home. It was exhausting and scary and I must confess that I was rather angry about the whole thing. I was not looking forward to driving back Saturday morning for my 24 hour call.
Saturday morning bright and early I groaned my way out of bed and shrugged into warm clothing. I fed the cats and made tea, grumbling at myself for not having done the dishes and hence, not having my favorite travel mug available. John came downstairs just as I was getting ready to walk out the door and reminded me to drive safely. Yeah, yeh. What made it worse in some ways was that I was not originally supposed to be working that date, but I had traded in order to be able to attend a Christmas party next weekend. I was so not into heading to work in the cold.
Get in the car (thank God that it heats quickly!) and stop twice before exiting the driveway to knock ice off the wipers and to wipe down the side view mirrors. Once I'm on the road, there really aren't many places to stop safely without adding considerable time. Drive down State street and see, once again, the burned out house across the street from the state prison. Wonder about the story here, say a brief prayer for any injured in what was obviously a fast and hot fire. Make my way through town and get on the interstate headed south. There's an uphill stretch just out of town, traveling from one valley to another. I start up the hill and I can see, in the morning sky, that God has graced me with advent colours of indigo and violet with the warm candle yellow of the sun just beneath the horizon. On the radio, still tuned to the local Evangelical Christian station, the Moody Broadcasting System is running highlights from the week, and they front announce "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus". It's a brief moment of grace and my heart just melts.
Cresting the top of the hill, I realize that the melody to which "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" is being sung is not the familiar Stuttgart but rather Hyfrodol, that wonderful workhouse of a hymn tune. Hmmm, I wonder if it would work with Picardy (better known for "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence") I turn off the radio and start singing
Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.

Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art:
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child, and yet a king,
born to reign in us for ever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal Spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all-sufficient merit
raise us to thy glorious throne.

Picardy doesn't quite scan right, but I'm getting into it, and regretting that I haven't moved my Advent/Christmas CDs into the car. Oh well, with the sky like an Advent Wreath and the roads clear, I can provide my own music, and so I move into Steeleye Span's version of Gaudete.
Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!

Tempus adest gratiae, Hoc quod optabamus;
Carmina laeticiae Devote redamus.

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!

Deus homo factus est, Natura mirante;
Mundus renovatus est, A Christo regnante.

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!

Ezechiellis porta Clausa pertransitur;
Unde lux est orta, Salus invenitur.

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!

Ergo nostra concito Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino: Salus Regi nostro.

Gaudete! gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria Virgine: Gaudete!
(english translation at end)
May your gaudete sunday have been blessed!

Happy St. Nicholas day

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Driving home today, I hit the button on my radio for the local Evangelical Christian station. I came in on the tail end of Dr. Warren Throckmorton speaking on Saint Nicholas. I was riveted. The first phrase I heard went "In the Catholic tradition, a patron saint is one who prays to God on behalf of a petitioner." Wow. He had me at "Catholic tradition". I listened all the way through his talk, which was a wonderful exposition of the story of St. Nicholas - and much more. Let me tease you with the other phrase from his talk that stuck in my brain despite the rigors of the commute. "Viewed through the eyes of a pornographer, sex is commerce and sexual purity is restraint of trade." wow. What a concept!
I went on the web and found the text of his talk, which he titled "The Real Saint Nick". I highly recommend it to all of you. It certainly was real food for thought for me.
The other thing that I found of interest is that Dr. Throckmorton teaches as Grove City College - where Scott Hahn was a student lo these many years.....

God and the internet redux


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Religion category from December 2005.

Religion: November 2005 is the previous archive.

Religion: January 2006 is the next archive.

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