jump to navigation

Now On To Really Important Topics: When Should Christmas Lights Come Down? November 28, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Christendom, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Liturgical Year, paganism, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society.
comments closed

Our house is one of “those” houses.  The one with the Christmas lights up until February 2nd.  Because that’s when the season ends, people!  We also don’t put them out on Thanksgiving, but generally just a few days before Christmas itself.  It varies, depending on the amount of time we have, because we put up quite a bit, usually, though the kids have thankfully taken over much of the task in recent years.  We certainly don’t put them up the day after Thanksgiving and rip ’em down the day after Christmas, or even New Years.

Apparently this topic was worthy of a news story, and, interestingly, not only do most people believe Christmas lights should come down very quickly, a growing number of municipalities are instituting laws to that effect:

When we see the first twinkle of the lights in early December, it is amazing, even magical. But eighteen days after the holiday? So, when is the right time to take down Christmas decorations?…….

………“Today while I shoveled, somebody honked at me, I waved. He slowed down and said ‘Christmas is over’ and with an expletive,” he said.

It’s not like with political campaign signs. It’s Minnesota law those have to be down 10 days after the election. But in San Diego, California, you can get a $250 fine if your lights are still up after Feb. 2. [Well at least it’s till the 2nd.  But a fine?  C’mon.]

The Urban Dictionary even has a term for these people: Nerkles. It’s a combination of nerd and sparkle.

In Minneapolis, Brad Sutton admitted his giant wreath probably should be unplugged.

“I’ll be honest, we’re past that point. A week past the New Years, that’s enough,” said Sutton, as he sheepishly walked to the second story of his house and pulled the power cord.

Lisa Scherber said the end of January is her drop-dead point for leaving the lights on.

“It starts to look a little pathetic when the snow is melting, so we do turn them off,” she said.

Todd Zimmerman proposed a staggered system of light deadlines: “Christmas Lights stay on until the day after Christmas then they are off period. I actually don’t take down the outside Christmas lights until is is warm enough (like March, April, June, whatever) and the snow is off the roof. Inside Christmas lights and decorations come day New Years Day.”

But as Nancy Aleshire wrote on my blog, “Keeping lights up is a matter of personal preference. There are no laws against it. If people don’t like it they should get a life.”

This is a small thing, in the grand scheme, but indicative of a culture that has completely lost the meaning and spirit of Christmas.  Christmas isn’t a day, a build up to a much longed for greed fest that ends the day hours after the presents start getting unwrapped, it’s a season that STARTS on the 25th, extends through a glorious Octave, and continues on until Candlemas on February 2nd.  We see the continuing commercialization and diminution of all the great holidays, both secular and religious.  I was disgusted to see “Black Friday” commercials advertising stores opening at 6pm, 3pm, even noon on Thanksgiving day.  And we’ll be inundated with “after Christmas sales” and all the rest – starting almost certainly on the holy day itself.  I remember when the whole world was pretty much shut down on Christmas day.  It was a big thing when a few convenience stores started staying open on Christmas in the mid-80s.  Now it’s just another freaking day to shop. The religious nature of the holiday has been almost completely turned upside down, with the commercialization subsuming the sacred character of the season, as it has virtually everything else.  ‘

But it’s happened, because people have wanted it to happen. If stores and businesses received a very cold shoulder, and, more importantly, absolutely no customers, then they wouldn’t be opening on these holy days.  They do it because people want it, they want to exchange their not quite perfect gift for a more perfect one, which will be old and forgotten hours – days at best – after being bought.

I have tried in the past few years to be off work the entire 12 days of Christmas, from the 25th to the 6th.  That probably won’t work this  year because of my new job but I hope to return to the practice next year (inability to transfer vacation from one year to the next can be frustrating).  Something else my wife and I try to do is to only allow the kids to open some presents on Christmas day and keep some for following days, allowing them to open one each day for a while. We usually haven’t enough for the full twelve days, and to be honest our attempts at spreading the joy haven’t always completely worked out.  We’ll try again this year, and as the kids get older, it tends to get a bit easier.

But the lights are staying up until the 2nd, period.  I really miss it when they come down.  It’s very sad and contributes – as it should – to the sense of termination of a festive season and the start (nominally) of Septuagint, which often follows closely on Candlemas when it does not preempt it.

Would You Consider Helping a Good and Holy FFI Seeking to Become a Hermit? November 28, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Holy suffering, Interior Life, Latin Mass, manhood, Novenas, persecution, priests, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

I met Father Maximilian Mary, FFI, at Clear Creek monastery about two or three years ago.  At that time, I believe he was headed to be near the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles (order their new CD!) and possibly serve some kind of chaplaincy with those traditional nuns.  He is now trying to live as a hermit in the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA, and Deo Gratias to Bishop Ronald Gainer for being open to Father’s apostolate.  However, he needs financial support to do so, and is making the following appeal:

Grace, peace and joy to you in the Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

I have been a longstanding member of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and, in 2013, I obtained permission from our Apostolic Commissioner to discern my contemplative vocation outside the walls of the Order. Thanks be to God I have recently been welcomed by a benevolent Bishop to be a hermit in his Diocese.

One of the conditions for being received into his Diocese is that I be “self-sustaining.”

Providentially, a group of the lay faithful who used to assist the missionaries and contemplatives of the Franciscans of the Immaculate through a Latin Mass Novena website have recently offered the use of this website to me. Besides my normal expenses (food, utilities, healthcare, etc.), there are the initial costs of getting set up as a hermit, so I was wondering if Rorate Caeli might be in a position to let people know about my upcoming Christmas Latin Mass Novena which, besides enrollment in 9 Tridentine Masses, includes a beautiful Christmas enrollment card and a CD (anthology of sacred and classical music I have recorded as a seminarian and friar over the past 26 years). All of the information can be found HERE.

Thank you and God bless you.

In Corde Matris,

Fr. Maximilian Mary

CLICK HERE NOW TO ENROLL OR READ MORE

Here is more from his website:

A Christmas Novena of Traditional Latin Masses according to the 1962 Roman Missal (extraordinary form) will be offered for THE SANCTIFICATION OF ALL FAMILIES (or persons) enrolled in the Novena. The nine Masses will begin with the Christmas Midnight Mass and will conclude on Jan. 1st, Solemnity of Our Lord’s Circumcision. The suggested donation is $20 for each enrollment which includes an enrollment card and the CD MemorareThese will be sent to each family (or person) enrolled. The Masses for this year’s Christmas Novena will be offered by Fr. Maximilian Mary of Jesus Crucified in his hermitage and/or on the high altar of the Carmelite Monastery of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Elysburg, PA.

You can enroll in the Novena of Masses and make a donation for Father here.  As I said, I had the pleasure to meet Father Maximilian Mary some time back, and was very impressed with his candor, piety, and devotion.  He was able to avoid some of the unpleasantness surrounding the Franciscans of the Immaculate, at least directly.  I fully support his effort to become a hermit and pray he finds generous support in this season of Advent and beyond. I am very pleased to have enrolled my family in this Novena of Masses, which is such a powerful source of Grace.  I pray the abundant fruit of these Masses will result in great spiritual fruit for my family and our friends during this upcoming Christmas season!

Thanks to Father Maximilian Mary for making this kind exchange possible.

Two Great Saints on Prayer November 28, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
comments closed

From the first Chapter of St. Peter of Alcantara’s Treatise on Prayer and Meditation, two meditations on the absolutely vital role of our prayer lives in the working out of our salvation through God’s Grace.  The first is ostensibly from St. Bonaventure, but may in fact come from another Franciscan called Joannes a Caulibus.  The second most definitely comes from St. Lawrence Justinian.  Both clearly relate the importance – the absolutely vital role – a deeply committed prayer life must play in our development of virtue and growth in the interior life.  Just some spiritual fruit for you as we launch into a new liturgical year and a season that should be deeply immersed in prayer and penance, Advent.  I pray you find this excerpt edifying:

“If you would endure with patience the adversities and miseries of this life, be a man of prayer.  If you would acquire strength and courage to download-13vanquish the temptations of the enemy, be a man of prayer.  If you would crush your self-will, with all its inclinations and desires, be a man of prayer.  If you would know the wiles of satan and defend yourself against his snares, be a man of prayer.  If you would live with a joyous heart and pass lightly along the road of penance and sacrifice, be a man of prayer.  If you would drive away vain thoughts and cares which worry the soul like flies, be a man of prayer.  If you would nourish the soul with the sap of devotion and have it always filled with good thoughts, be a man of prayer.  If you would strengthen and establish your heart in the ways of God, be a man of prayer.  Finally, if you would uproot from your soul all vices and plant virtues in their place, be a man of prayer. For herein does a man receive the unction and grace of the Holy Ghost, who teaches all things.  Nay more, would you mount to the summit of contemplation and enjoy the sweet embraces of the Spouse, exercise yourself in prayer, for it is the road that leads to contemplation and to the taste of what is heavenly.  Do you see now how great is the strength and power of prayer?  In proof of all that has been said – apart from the witness of the divine Scriptures – let that suffice for the moment as proof sufficient what we have heard and seen, what we see every day, viz., many simple persons who have achieved all we have enumerated above, and even greater, by the exercise of prayer.

Such are the words of St. Bonaventure.  What treasure could one find richer or fuller than that?  Listen again to what another very religious and holy doctor says on this subject, speaking of the same virtue (St. Lawrence Justinian):st-lawrence-justinian-01

In prayer the soul cleanses itself from sin, charity is nourished, faith is strengthened, hope is made secure, the spirit rejoices, the soul grows tender, and the heart is purified; truth discovers itself, temptation is overcome, sadness takes to flight, the senses are renewed, failing virtue is made good, tepidity disappears, the rust of sin is rubbed away.  In it are brought forth lively flashes of heavenly desires, and in these fires rises the flame of divine love.  Great are the excellences of prayer, great its privileges.  The heavens open before it and unveil therein their secrets, and to it are the ears of God ever attentive.”

———-End Quote———-

I don’t know about you, but I found both exhortations to prayer moving and beautiful.  May God be praised for sharing His Divine wisdom with such Saints, who in turn share it with us, prayerfully groping along the hard and rocky path to salvation, while we watch others laughing at us and mocking us as they speed by on the wide road to perdition.

Spare some prayers for them, too.  And may God keep us on the narrow way to salvation, rather than the superhighway to destruction.  Pray for the grace of always making good, thorough confessions!  Many souls are lost because they are too embarrassed to share some sin they keep hidden away in the recesses of their soul.  The priests have heard everything!  Don’t let embarrassment and shame – tricks of the devil – keep you from making a good, full, detailed confession, and implore God the grace also to have true contrition for your sins and the firmest purpose of amendment.