Come Lord Jesus!! Christmas is almost here! Yes, I'm cheating and posting Quick Takes on a Saturday.
I haven't been getting in much Quick-Taking because I've been either in Vermont or on airplanes for the last several Fridays. In fact, I was on an airplane most of yesterday returning from an annual science conference in California. I thought I would share Skeletor's Best Insults from one of Jenn's previous 7QTs, including his opinion of scientists.
"Why can't I join your gang???" "Cause you were a wimp scientist and you could be a wimp villain!" Is he calling all scientists wimps?
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As Advent preparations reach fever pitch I thought I'd share David Crowder Band's version of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
The Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.
As we approach Christmas Day and the season of Christmas that follows (remember it's still Advent!) I would like to remind certain people that the X in Xmas comes from the Chi in Christos, the Greek origin of the word Christ. I don't disagree with the observation that most people have taken the Christ out of Christmas. But complaining about Xmas instead of Christmas is silly. Let it be a teaching moment. "Do you know why it's abbreviated Xmas?"
Ideally one would spend extra time in prayer and silent reflection during the season of Advent. It's also a season of penitential observance in preparation for the second coming. (This year I only had the heart to stop drinking soda.) But for me, the Advent season is always the Bus-Busiest Time of the Year! The chaos has one thing going for it. I often find myself thinking Come Lord Jesus!! You know Jesus, you could come today if that works. The sea of blood and all that sounds a little scary but I'm pretty excited about the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.
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On December 17th, we start to use what are known as the O Antiphons in the Liturgy, in preparation for Christmas. The December 20th antiphon is:
O Key of David, Scepter of the house of Israel, you open and no man closes; you close and no man opens. Come, and deliver him from the chains of prison who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.
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Somewhere I Have Never Travelled
by E. E. Cummings
somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which I cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will enclose me
though I have closed myself as fingers
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, I and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(I do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
This is our first Christmas without gramma, but I'm blessed to have spent three decades of Christmases with her. They were good and bad. Certainly some were better than others. I do have a sense of peace and a conviction that the Lord delivered her from sin and death and allows her to intercede for us. Call me crazy, but I feel like I've received some special graces since her passing. Now she can obtain for us gifts of infinite value. Now she can love us perfectly. Now we have no reason for guilt. She knows that we love her and that we wish we could have loved her better. May her prayers help us to love each other better.
This Ain't the Lyceum!