Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival (1st Sunday of Advent 2014)

     Welcome to a new Liturgical Year, and welcome also to Sunday Snippets, A Catholic Carnival.  Sunday Snippets is a weekly gathering of Catholic bloggers who share their posts from the week past here, at This That and the Other Thing under the benevolent gaze of our leader in snippetude, RAnn.

The view from Principium et Finis World Headquarters Wednesday, 26 Nov.
     Today is also the First Sunday in Advent, the beginning of a special penitential season set apart to prepare ourselves, as I say in yesterday’s post, “for the coming of Jesus, not only at Christmas, but at his second coming, and also his coming for each one of us individually.”
     Now, you might be afraid that I’m one of those people who is prone to ranting about keeping Advent and Christmas in their own appropriate seasons and not celebrating Christmas too early; and you’d be right, but I’m not going to do it  today: there will be plenty more opportunities for that over the next four weeks.  I’m thinking more about the meeting each one of us will have with Christ at the end of our own lives – or maybe more accurately, the meeting that I will have with Him at the end of my life.  It may seem that the Creator of so immensely vast a universe would have little time for me or you.  Jesus tells us otherwise:  

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  (Matthew 10:29-31)

The details matter, the particulars matter.  God chose a particular people to preserve his Word and to nurture the Word made Flesh, who came forth as a real individual person, as a tiny baby, in a specific town, at a definite time, not in some indefinite mythological past; for which reason the Evangelist Luke  made sure that we knew that Augustus was the emperor and Quirinus the governor.  The Nicene Creed similarly named  Pontius Pilate as the Roman procurator under whom Jesus was crucified.  And because people matter, not just collectively but as individuals, we relate to the Church through the lives of individual Christian men and women, the Saints, and we call upon them by name so that they might speak for us before the throne of God. 
     The Season of Advent, then, is a reminder to us that the infinite God has enough time and attention for each and every one of us.  Christ is coming, and we will meet him, face to face.  There will be no hiding in the crowd, no slipping past unnoticed.  We are given a reminder, and the opportunity to prepare ourselves: let’s not pass it up.

     Now, moving from the sublime to the . . . well . . . less than sublime, let us say (although I do my best), let’s look at the past week at Principium et Finis.  This was actually our busiest week in quite a while:

Monday – It’s ironic that perhaps the only reason Antonio Salieri’s music is played today at all is that he was turned into a monstrous caricature in a very successful play and film; he wasn’t a murderer, of course, and he was a gifted composer: “ Salieri: Requiem in C minor – Sanctus & Benedictus” [here]

Tuesday – Unlike Salieri, St. Catherine of Alexandria has not seen her reputation blackened (aside from the accusation that she is only a fabrication), but she certainly merits more attention than she receives today: “St. Catherine of Alexandria, Patroness of Modern Women” [here]

Wednesday – The old “clump of cells” canard: “Abortion Myth #10” [here]

Thursday – For what should we be more thankful than God’s love?  And what better time to bring back my favorite photo of my bare feet in the surf than a Thanksgiving Day blessed with 10 inches of snow? “What Is Man That Thou Art Mindful Of Him? (Thanksgiving Throwback)”  [here]

Saturday – The discovery of a long-unnoticed flaw in my trusty rosary is the occasion for reflection on God’s perfection, my own lack thereof, and the coming of the Christ:  “Be Vigilant At All Times” [here]