Friday, December 21, 2012

Links - Children, Christmas, and December

And I told my son something I tell everybody, all the time, when they run into something confusing or disheartening about the way the Catholic Church is run: Honey, what did you expect? This is what it looks like when you have a universal church, a church that lets everyone in -- a church that wants everyone to come in. And that includes sticklers, ad libbers, scowlers, memo-missers, chiders, and the generally clueless. I guarantee you, it's just as chaotic and nutty behind the scenes at St. Peter's as it is in the sacristy of your typical shoestring parish.
But it can be frustrating, never knowing what to do, and never seeming to do it right, no matter how hard you try -- to the point where you might just say, "I don't want to do this anymore." I don't want to be a part of this. You can do it without me; I'm going to go back to my seat. This is what my son told me.
"A Mixture of December Thoughts":
My December wasn’t busy when I viewed it from the safety of Thanksgiving weekend. I could look at the calendar–mostly empty–and hope that in between the holiday shipping there would be time for some peace. If I look back at the calendar days I’ve just been through, they still look pretty empty, but I know that they were not. December is always like this, or at least it has been for the last several years. It is the unrelenting list of things to do, each one small but important.
"Killing Jesus: All Sins Are Not Equal":
Child killing is so bad all analogies fail and become foolish. Children are the closest humanity unredeemed can come to the Edenic state: as close to innocence, hope, and possibility as we can see in this mortal flesh. God placed it deep in our beings to protect and defend them at any cost.
Christmas this year is a season where children died, just as children died two-thousand years ago. A sick and twisted man killed the innocent in Connecticut in 2012 as a depraved and broken man killed them in 0.
Herod is dead, but his spirit lives: violent, hateful, twisted. Knowing it was Messiah, Herod wanted to kill Jesus. He was not mistaken or deceived: he heard glad tidings and decided to silence them.
"Little Joys" - This one is written by the father of quintuplets:
We're celebrating our babies and baby-ish things in this household (I admit, there are times when I just hold my head in frustration and think about crying). These babies are sure giving me a more intimate and raw perspective of the Christ story. The almighty God of this world bent so low as to incarnate Himself in the body of a tiny, helpless baby like one of my three little boys. What? Why? They can't talk! They can't really do anything without our help!
 Oh, the strange and awesome wisdom of our Lord. This Jesus experienced a full life just as we each do. He knows firsthand a stubbed toe, an incredible sunset, the joy of family, the smell of baked bread, the painful loss of a friend. He knows temptation to sin.
How amazing and humbling to know that He lived His whole life without sin, yet was tempted just as any of us. Can you imagine how incredibly hard it would be to successfully resist every time you are tempted to sin? Sinning is easy-- resisting temptation, that's when things get tough. Jesus had a tough life.

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