"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Advent 2017: December 24

Christmas Eve is the feast day of our first parents, Adam and Eve.  They are commemorated as saints in the calendars of the Eastern churches (Greeks, Syrians, Copts).  Under the influence of this Oriental practice, their veneration also spread to the West and because very popular towards the end of the first millennium of the Christian Era.  The Latin church has never officially introduced their feast, though it did not prohibit their popular veneration.  In many old churches of Europe their statutes may still be seen among the images of the saints.  Boys and girls who bore the names of Adam and Eve (quite popular in past centuries) celebrated their "Name Day" with great rejoicing.  In Germany the custom began in the sixteenth century of putting up a "paradise tree" in the homes to honor the first parents.  This was a fir tree laden with apples, and from it developed the modern Christmas tree.

--Francis X. Weiser

A very modern Christmas tree!

Farewell, Advent, Christmas is come!
Farewell from us both all and some!

1. With patience thou hast us fed,
And made us go hungry to bed;
For lack of meat we were nigh dead;
Farewell from us both all and some!

2. While thou hast been within our house,
We ate no pudding nor no souse, [pickled pork]
But stinking fish not worth a louse -
Farewell from us both all and some!

3. There was no fresh fish, far or near,
Salt fish and salmon was too dear;
And thus we have had heavy cheer;
Farewell from us both all and some!

4. Thou hast us fed with plaices thin,
Nothing on them but bone and skin;
Therefore our love thou shalt not win;
Farewell from us both all and some!

5. With mussels gaping at the moon
Thou hast us fed at night and noon -
Just once a week, and that too soon!
Farewell from us both all and some!

6. Our bread was brown, our ale was thin,
Our bread was musty in the bin,
Our ale sour before we did begin
Farewell from us both all and some!

7. Thou art of great ingratitude
Good meat from us for to exclude:
Thou art not kind, but very rude -
Farewell from us both all and some!

8. Thou dwellest with us against our will,
And yet thou givest us not our fill,
For lack of meat thou wouldest us spill [want to destroy us]
Farewell from us both all and some!

9. Above all things, thou art so mean
To make our cheeks both bare and lean.
I wish you were at Boughton Blean!
Farewell from us both all and some!

10. Come thou no more, here nor in Kent,
For if thou do, thou shalt be shent; [ruined]
It is enough to fast in Lent;
Farewell from us both all and some!

11. Thou mayest not dwell with none estate,
Therefore with us thou playest checkmate;
Go hence, or we will break thy pate!
Farewell from us both all and some!

12. Thou mayest not dwell with knight or squire,
For them thou mayest lie in the mire;
They love not thee, nor Lent, thy sire,
Farewell from us both all and some!

13. Thou mayest not dwell with labouring man,
For on thy fare no work he can,
For he must eat both now and then,
Farewell from us both all and some!

14. Though thou shalt dwell with monk and friar,
Canon and nuns once every year,
Yet thou shouldest make us better cheer,
Farewell from us both all and some!

15. This time of Christ's feast natal,
We will be merry, great and small,
And thou shalt go out of this hall;
Farewell from us both all and some!

16. Advent is gone, Christmas is come;
Be we merry now, all and some!
He is not wise that will be dumb
In ortu Regis omnium. [At the coming of the King of all things]

--English Carol, 15th century

It is strange that the gospel read at the beginning of the time of preparation for Christmas is that of the end of the whole history of the world.  Yet that is not really surprising.  For what is afoot in a small beginning is best recognized by the magnitude of its end.  what was really meant and actually happened by the coming, the "advent", of the redeemer is best gathered from that contemplation of his coming which we rather misleadingly call the "second coming."  For in reality is it the fulfillment of his one coming which is still in progress at the present time.

--Karl Rahner

Marana tha.

--1 Corinthians 16:22


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