Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday within the Octave of Christmas

  • Mass: Dum medium silentium tenerent omnia. The Lord is king, and hath put on glorious apparel; the Lord hath put on his apparel and girded himself with strength. The natural law: He hath made the round world so sure that it cannot be moved. Reflecting the epistle, the weak yet all-powerful Christ Child is enthroned under the little baldacchino where the crucifix or monstrance (in our 100-year-old faux-Gothic exposition chapel of a church) usually goes. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
  • ’Tis the season. For some of us and the other Christians in the liturgical family to point out that while secular Christmas (Kitschmas), which has been gearing up at least since American Thanksgiving or even since Halloween, is now winding down fast (it ends New Year’s Day but sadly you see discarded trees at the curb now), the church is celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas that silly song is going on about (and that Shakespeare set one of his plays in). I admit as a kid I thought, ‘Why are we singing carols in church now? That’s stupid!’ Seems naff for liturgical Christians to point it out every year (showing off?) but I’m doing it just as a fun observation. Good quote from John J. O’Sullivan: in his house the green doesn’t come down until the winter liturgical green goes up in church. In other words, Christmas lasts through the feast of the Epiphany (the Three Kings, los Reyes Magos, the gift day in some Spanish and other countries) and afterwards gradually fades out through Feb. 2 (the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple), after which is the run-up to Lent or the great Easter cycle. You can keep your Christmas decorations up all through January, gradually putting them away. In fandom terms, Kitschmas is fanfic, Christmas is canon.
  • From Takimag: a traveler in search of tradition. A romantic adventurer whose story will appeal to Catholics and Guenonian perennialists.
  • The Woman and the Dragon takes an interesting tack where conservative Christians meet libertarianism: should Christians enter state-based civil marriages? She repeats the Western part of the church’s understanding of the sacrament: a couple makes promises to each other and has sex. Beyond that it’s a private matter uniting two families; no need for the state! Reminds me of the beautiful scenes in Sicily with Michael Corleone and his first wife in The Godfather. After Trent the priest witnessed the promises part of starting marriages; most Catholics in Europe just had a quick ceremony at the church door like the young Corleones. I think with the wedding-night scene the movie also showed the mystery and romance of sexuality as the church sees it.
  • An LRC writer covered this once: good lessons from Mafia movies or why millions, including Italian-Americans, including the Italian-Americans I know, love these, among the best movies. Thought of that while getting to see Goodfellas twice recently, probably because the real Henry Hill died this past summer. The lesson of course isn’t ‘crime pays’ (they teach that in the long run it doesn’t) but that there’s something to be said for family first; don’t trust outsiders including the government, and who needs the government anyway? (Traditional order minus the modern state.) Not a bad lesson for Catholics from one of our oldest cultures (they came into the church when the Caesars still led them, back when the WASPs’ ancestors were still dancing around trees). On that note, as Steve Sailer’s observed (about a culture he describes as clannish and low-trust, which I think he says with a mix of misgiving and envy; he wishes Anglos were a little more self-interested like that), Italian-Americans largely rode out the Sixties, changing little. Reminds me of a great scene from a great, rarely seen film I got to rewatch recently: ‘Now youse can’t leave.’ Fighting back. (That and the lesson that prohibition doesn’t work: the market will serve people regardless.)


  1. Wife and I saw Les Miserables (movie) this weekend. Loved it - found it deeply Christian. Would love to hear you take on this movie or musical.

  2. Every time I visit cousins in Italy, I sigh and take in a deep breath of refreshing non-PC air. "Gay marriage" and other SWPL obsessions

    1. are delightfully muted in that free country. Lots of corruption and bad government, but that---and the family networks---keeps Italy immune from Big Brother creep.

    2. Tomasz8:09 am

      Americans have so much money that they don't see any corruption in their government. The US government can do anything it wants - the "free press" in the USA is more of a "slave press". In Italy people criticise their government - something which Americans can't accept because of the Kennedyan "Don't ask what the gov'ment can do for you but what you can do for the gov'ment.".

  3. "...I think he says with a mix of misgiving and envy; he wishes Anglos were a little more self-interested like that."

    Reminds me of a quote I read somewhere- "I want either less corruption, or more opportunity to participate in it".


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