I'm not sure who said this, either Jesus or Kelly Clarkson."Yes, to the end of time."
I am celebrating with my family in the south of Georgia and we call it the "Land of Lakes." There are many small lakes and large ponds. The hills between the south and the midwest of the state look like mountains. Anyway, every damn body of water worth a shit had at least one Christmas Tree just like the one in the picture all set up. unfortunately, every Christmas for the past five years has had fierce thunderstorms and either tornadoes or tornado warnings. Even in the dense rainfall on our way down, the Christmas Trees remained erect and luminous. I can see why there are so many Goths here in Dixie: summer can be a crimson season of heat and lust whereas winter is a gloomy and foggy season with glimmers of light in the shadows and mist. It is beautiful. Then, it closes in January and February with a nice snowfall which must, MUST be accompanied by dense ice due to humidity. Anyway, I am loving it, dreading that my Grandfather is upset we can't be with them for First Saturday and the imagery you provide seems almost prescient. -A
Merry Christmas. Good memories last a lifetime.
Went to Mass with my family out of a sense of obligation. The pastor has only been there a couple years, but he seems to be making a change for the better. He's an older priest, but a very scrappy fellow who has cut down on the number of "contemporary" hymns sung at Masses, and also the number of verses sung per hymn; Masses now run at a brisk 45-50 minutes, as opposed to the hour+ ordeals of my youth. His homilies are more thought-provoking and personally affecting than I am used to; they seem to emphasize a rather masculine interpretation of Christianity. Tonight's message, for instance, was that the God we encounter at Christmas is not the soft child in the manger, but rather a fierce and passionate God, who refuses to abandon us to the despair of our lives, and was so unwilling to let us endure a painful and ruthless world alone that he chose to endure it with us. -Sean
Glad your experience was as you describe. For someone who belonged to the Order of Preachers, I came to believe that preaching --or any of the parts of the Mass that unleashed the priest's personality on the congregation-- was the weakest moment. Back when I still had more hope in the project, I thought, if I could just find a church where they celebrate the Mass without any preaching, I might be able to take it. But nine times out of ten, as soon as Father opened his mouth I wanted to smack him. I wonder now when I was a preaching pastor how many people felt that same way about me?!Enjoy Christmas with your family, Sean.
Merry Christmas to the both of you. I have found, by the way, that older Priests usually have real insights and have something to say. Preaching has a point. It is with the thirty-minus fellows who just have nothing worthwhile to say. -A
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