Distinctly Catholic

Christmas Commerce

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I mentioned that this was a bizarre Christmas for me. At one point, I toyed with the idea of having what my Jewish friends call "Jewish Christmas - Chinese food and a movie." I actually liked the idea of the Chinese food, but there was one tradition I could not bring myself to overcome, the tradition of not engaging in commerce on Christmas Day. Actually, it is better to say, engaging only in the commerce that matters, the commerce between Heaven and Earth. That is commerce enough for the day and, in the end, the only commerce that ultimately matters on any day.

A Strange & Splendid Christmas

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I had anticipated a typical Christmas this year. Make my Christmas cards and get them sent. Drive to Connecticut with my niece, a friend, and the three dogs. Get the tree and decorate it on Christmas Eve. Midnight Mass. Dinner with friends and family. Restful (apart from the drive), focused on the liturgy not the gift giving, days filled with traditions, and the mental associations they recall.

 

The Aesthetic of Christmas

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I once asked a learned theologian to explain to me the essential difference between the theology of Karl Rahner and the theology we associate with the Communio school. My learned friend replied, “It takes on many different expressions, but fundamentally, Rahner considers the Incarnation as a theological category and the Communio school considers the Incarnation as an event.” I still try to get my unlearned theological mind around that sentence, but, at Christmas it begins to make sense to me and I discern why I like the Communio school so much.

 

A Battle Worth Having

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Everybody likes to talk about their political challenges in martial terms: a war on women, a war on religion, a war on drugs, etc. This report by Alessandro Speciale at RNS describes one battle worth having, the effort by the Italian bishops, trade unions and associations of small businesses to keep Sunday as a day of rest. This touches the deepest struggle in our culture, the struggle to resist the encroachments of the ideology of the market into all of life.

Note to Readers

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I apologize for no postings yesterday. My border collie, Clementine, was having trouble standing up yesterday and had to go to the animal hospital. When I spoke to the doctor late yesterday afternoon, they were waiting for the surgeon to have a look as they try to determine whether the problem is muscular-skeletal or neurologic. As my friends can attest, I am ridiculously devoted to my dogs and, perhaps especially to Clementine.

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In This Issue

January 13-26, 2017

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