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What kind of miracle are you?

In reading a brief passage today from The Backyard Beekeeper I had one of those epiphanic moments we all occasionally have. A bee spends the first three days of its life as an egg, about the size of a grain of rice sliced in half, and after that "the egg dissolves, releasing a tiny grublike larva." From there depending on whether it was fertilized or not it becomes a queen (if the workers decide that), a worker, or a drone. Yeah, yeah, to beekeepers this is nothing special. This is what most novice beekeepers learn early on. My question is where does that bee essence come from? Sure, there's the sperm and ovum, that's true for nearly all living things, but think about it--all living things are composites of their forebears. The individual bees, bears, and humans didn't exist before conception--and yet, here they and we are! What a miracle is this! Skip the genetics lecture, I get it; where did we (that's you and me) come from? How is there bee essence and oak essence and perch essence and you essence to bring these about? In other words, genetics doesn't explain the first of anything because where did "that" come from? From what repository are we drawn? God, in his infinite love, has crafted a world, nay, a universe, before which was a void. And now, here I am, typing with fingers that, while far from perfect, function reasonably well. How am I here now?

Wow, if there is no god someone's got some serious 'splainin' to do.

(Non-sequiter alert): Only twenty minutes ago I finished watching Wes Craven's Red Eye. A worthwhile rental. The violence wasn't vengeance, merely self-defense. I'm so tired of the unnecessary bullet(s) to the bad guy.


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Worth Quoting

"Therefore whoever is not illuminated by such great splendors in created things is blind. Anyone who is not awakened by such great outcries is deaf. Anyone who is not led from such great effects to give praise to God is mute. Anyone who does not turn to the First Principle as a result of such signs is a fool.Therefore open your eyes, alert your spiritual ears, unlock your lips and apply your heart, so that in all the creatures you may see, hear, praise, love and adore, magnify and honor God, lest the entire world rise up against you." -- St. Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in Deum

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"Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place." --Pope Francis, Laudato Si
     Wonder and awe abound in the natural world for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

     Perhaps we are caught short by a vibrant purple emanating from the petals of a wild lupine. We might stare wide-eyed at the lazy circles of a turkey vulture soaring on thermal air currents. Even the most agoraphobic city-dweller can find something beautiful about a landscape even if it's simply the warm and varied red, yellow, and orange of a sunset glowing on a building.

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The 11th Hour

If you haven't celebrated Christmas by now, you're not likely to start. Conversely, you don't have to quite let it go yet.

Fight the ahistoricity! It's a feast of twelve days and depending on how you count, this is eleven or Epiphany Eve.

In the Christian East, tonight is the vigil of Theophany.

Theophany/Epiphany are two different sides of the same coin.

The West honors the Magi--who represent all of us goyim--and the miracle at the wedding at Cana (water for wine, anyone?)

The East honors Jesus' baptism, and in more minor ways his circumcision and the Magi, too.

It's all about a manifestation, a revealing, a shining forth. The Trinity is revealed (at the baptism), salvation is revealed to all the world (the Magi), the start of Jesus' public ministry (Cana).

Just as the Incarnation honors all bodies, as the Son suddenly was born with one, so Theophany honors all the Earth's waters.

Paralleling the Jewish Festival of Lights, this perfectly winds down th…