Skip to main content

Gaudete, dammit!

     I was not at my home church for mass this morning (not that I feel like I have a home church since becoming Popish), but nevertheless my mood was buoyant.  After all, how could it not be.  Here we were standing as brothers and sisters commemorating one of the top five greatest events in the history of reality: the Incarnation.  Yet looking out and listening to the participation of my Roman brothers and sisters, one would think that something less than mundane had happened.  Something BORING, even.  We gathered to remember the God of the universe condescending to take on human dress and all we can do is half-heartedly sing and mumble ancient creeds that people died for?  I remained buoyant despite the lack of mutual awe.
     Annie Dillard said waggishly that when people go to church they ought to be wearing crash helmets.  Do they really know who or what they are summoning?  Something more terrible, merciful, and real than the Great and Powerful Oz for certain.  Lest my Protestant brothers and sisters smugly mention something about ritual and zombified believers I'd like to bring their attention to the fact that many Protestant churches weren't even open for their Master's birthday because it didn't fall on a Sunday.  Following that logic, they wouldn't celebrate Easter if it wasn't fixed on a Sunday either. 
     Something mysterious and beautiful occurred a long time ago.  If you believe that, shouldn't you at least have a smile on your face on the anniversary of that day?  Nearly the whole world acknowledges something about this day.  Man up and rejoice!  Simply supporting the economy isn't a good enough reason to go to Midnight mass and then back up again at 9:30 to stand around, kneel, and mumble.

Gaudete!  Christus est natus!

Comments

Tracy Bednarick said…
Love it....My new Unitarian church was quite celebratory, but then again I find myself walking around with an awkward smile on my face quite often as I stand in awe of God.
Scot said…
How do Unitarians celebrate Christmas?
cultul said…
Try the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church or the Latin Mass. There you will find true Catholicism - not the watered down, Protestantized version celebrated by the post-conciliar Novus Ordo crowd.
Scot said…
Cultul,
I do visit a Byzantine rite church in my area on occasion. I love it, except for the awful off-key singing.
Wayne Abernathy said…
Nice post. Important point 1 is be there to worship. Important point 2 (which can't happen without point 1) try to take in what it all means. Again, you can't get to point 2 without point 1.

Popular posts from this blog

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

Dirty Hands Can Save You from Hell

"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.

     "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" asserts the Psalmist. If that verse is true, why don't we live like it? Why are we flabbergasted trying to come up with the names of the many plants and animals we pass by everyday?

     All people respond to beauty in some way or another--even those who have willingly or unwi…

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…