Friday, December 17, 2010

Advent Versus Christmas - Mattingly Reports

Terry Mattingly often has interesting reports and reflections. This week he posted one on a subject that has been a theme for Orthodox and Greek Catholic clergy for years: The Christmas season begins on 25 December.

It is wearying for an Eastern priest the number of sincere requests by parishioners for dispensations to attend a "Christmas party at the office" or some other such secular celebration. Every couple of years I still get many wrong answers when I ask on what day does the Twelve Days of Christmas commence. Any movement in the Roman Church to increase awareness of the basic rule of liturgical seasons (fast before, celebrate the feast, celebrate the 'leave-taking' of the feast) in the Christian Church is to be commended.

Terry's offering is entitled "Celebrate Christmas — gasp! — in Christmas?" and I encourage everyone to read it.

Here's a quote:

Rather than leap straight to Christmas trees early in December, the bishop urged Catholic families to embrace Advent prayer wreathes — with candles marking the Sundays leading up to Christmas. Families could have “Jesse Trees” that are decorated in Advent purple and symbols of the ancestors of Jesus, before adding Christmas decorations at the proper time.
While the article is very Romano-centric regarding the Advent (read Nativity Fast) season, the point is yet well taken. Read it here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Of cats and holidays

You either get it or you don't.

Simon's Cat, also seen on I Can Has Cheezburger

Incidentally, this posting is in honor of my dearly departed wife, whose birthday would have been today. My Lady is missed more than words can tell.


The Truth Will Out. (Shakespeare 1596)

The truth of the Lord abideth for ever. (Psalm 116)

Eίναι τὸ Α καὶ τὸ Ω.

Kυρία μου, θα σ 'αγαπώ για πάντα

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First Things and Disgust

Joe Carter at First Things' On the Square has contributed an article literally filled with disgust. It is a thought-provoking essay on the role of disgust in human life and society.

Below a few excerpts...

Because we lack an innate sense of what to avoid, the full range of disgust triggers must be taught. Disgust, as an emotion, must be learned. And as with any knowledge that is not inherently in our biological makeup, disgust can be culturally relative and passed on through successive generations.


Repugnance, therefore, may be a form of knowing that precedes rational thought. Reactions to the repugnant may be similar, for instance, to the way that "fight-or-flight-or-freeze" responses work. When confronted with a dangerous situation, we don't have to wait until we can develop a reasoned response based on propositional knowledge before we react. Our autonomic responses, which are conditioned to respond to similar situations, take over and allow us to respond quickly.


If socio-moral disgust is an offshoot of core disgust, then shouldn't we be careful before we dismiss it as a relic of an outmoded cultural bias? What if the wisdom of repugnance protects us from harm in the same way core disgust do? Should this form of cognition be dismissed simply because it may hinder progressivism?
Read the full essay here.