Archive for December, 2005

Feast of the Holy Innocents

December 28th, 2005 No comments

You died in the place of the One
Who would die in the place of us all.

Kyrie eleison.

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Merry Christmas!

December 26th, 2005 No comments

May the peace of the Christ Child be upon you and yours this Chrismas season!

The Risk of Birth, Christmas 1973

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn —
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn —
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.

— Madeleine L’Engle, The Weather of the Heart

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The Kew Continuum: Marriage

December 18th, 2005 No comments

From Richard Kew:

It has for a long time been my conviction that one of the points on the ethical downward spiral of North American Anglicanism was the Episcopal Church’s weakening of the marriage canons in 1973. I fully agree with my revisionist friends who say that those who claim orthodoxy cannot have it both ways when it comes to the sexuality issues that divide us. Unlike them, I do not believe this justifies changing our values to suit the climate, rather I would prefer to see us recovering what we have lost.

I am increasingly convinced that one of the primary building blocks for putting the Christian faith in the West back together is to not only reassert the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, as counter-cultural as such a fundamental idea is becoming, but also to do all in our power to enable marriages that have been contracted to survive and prosper.

Amen. Read the whole thing.

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Mr. T vs. Bishop Spong

December 14th, 2005 No comments

I wish I’d thought of this:

Mr. T vs. Bishop Spong

A splendid example of “dialogue” with “fraternal correction” in the style of “muscular Christianity”.

For those of you who are offended at this, may I remind you that even Santa Claus loses his temper with heretics? That’s right, St. Nicholas, after hearing Arius speak at the Council of Nicea, responded by punching him in the nose.

St. Nicholas of Myra, pray for us!

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And Now, A Word From My Sponsor…

December 9th, 2005 2 comments

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.
— G. K. Chesterton

Yes, that’s the new tagline for Eclectic Amateur. I’ve had that quote in my mind for years, but it struck me this morning in a new way.

GKC was writing about the things that every man should do for himself, such as blowing his own nose or writing his own love letters (I don’t think he forsaw the latter being usurped by the greeting card industry).

But, there’s a deeper meaning here too. If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. The more it is worth, the more we should dare to do it, even if we will do it badly. Even if, most likely, we will “fail” to do it well.

I”m going to apply GKC‘s advice to our hoped-for family agrarian/distributist adventure (which he bears some responsbility for encouraging me to do). Self-sufficiency, good food, independance — all good ideas, but the how of how to make this all work is rather overwhelming and discouraging sometimes. I flip-flop between wanting to just pitch everything and start right now and wondering if I will ever do anything different from today before being forced by circumstances.

But. If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. If the agrarian way is worth it, it is worth doing even if it is bungled. So what if I fail? I probably will. On my way to “failure”, will I learn more, eat better, be closer to nature and to God, and give my children a better inheritance in the things that matter than if I hadn’t? It seems most likely. How, then, can I really fail? What am I afraid of?

Not that I know what this means yet. Other than “Courage!”

We are not choosing between model villages as part of a serene system of town-planning. We are making a sortie from a besieged city, sword in hand; a sortie from the ruin of Carthage. “Safe! Of course it’s not safe!”
— G. K. Chesterton, The Outline of Sanity

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