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The Awkwardness of Advent
Crisis Magazine ^ | 12/6/12 | Rev. George W. Rutler

Posted on 12/06/2012 8:22:59 AM PST by marshmallow

The star that Jean-Paul Sartre once was, doyen of his day’s incompletely educated intellectuals, has not quietly faded the way splashy names often do in the generation after they die. His star has astonishingly imploded. Some echoes remain, for he was not devoid of a way with words, nor was he without rays of light seeping through his melancholy philosophy. Even if his existentialism did not include belief in the existence of Hell, he described its non-existence well as the place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself. That was before a new crop of people appeared, Twittering in solitude surrounded by crowds. It was not before people began making Christmas hellish by trying to celebrate a “joy without a cause.” That phrase from Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse was published in 1911, but two years earlier in All Things Considered he was quite specific: “There is no more dangerous or disgusting habit than that of celebrating Christmas before it comes.”

Not to patronize them, it may be that those who light up Christmas trees in November are sending a frail signal that they do not want to be numbered among the people “who loved the dark rather than the light” (John 3:19). Perhaps even more poignantly, those who are hostile to Christmas and would ban its very mention, by so doing betray an uneasy suspicion that an Incarnation might be of more than moral interest, and could even have cosmic implications if it really happened, puncturing the numbness of their sense of life.

The grammatical construction called “apophasis,” which is saying what will not be said, works nicely here: it is futile to say that we should not trample over Advent in the rush to Christmas. It is even pointless to point out the inappropriateness........

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Religion & Culture; Theology

1 posted on 12/06/2012 8:23:02 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow
Conceived as the light entering the temple (John 10:22 / John 8:12)

I start by reading John 1:14 under the illumination of the Ru'ach HaKodesh.

John 1:14 And the WORD became flesh,
and [fn]dwelt among us,
and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
full of grace and truth.

[fn](1:14) Or, tabernacled; i.e. lived temporarily

σκηνόω Strong's G4637 - skēnoō
1) to fix one's tabernacle,
have one's tabernacle,
abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent),
2) to dwell
The word for Tabernacle, mishkan, is a derivative of the
same root and is used in the sense of dwelling-place in the Bible

The verse also provides illumination as to
Yah'shua being the Shekhinah glory.

Shekhinah means the dwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling
or settling of the divine presence of God, especially in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Here is a very visual source:
Jesus' date of birth

Just based on scripture.

Again the first clue to the birth of Yah'shua is John 1:14 as cited above.

Important events in the life of Yah'shua occurred
on YHvH commanded Feast days as metaphors of the feast.

Conceived as the light entering the temple (John 10:22 / John 8:12)
Born on the Feast of Tabernacles.(John 1:14)
Circumcised on the Feast of Simchat Torah ( Joy of the WORD)
Bread and wine of the Pesach.
Death as the Lamb of G-d on Hag Matzoh.
Rising on the Feast of First Fruits.
Sending the Ru'ach HaKodesh on the Feast of Shavuot(Pentecost).

Who knows if the final trump will occur on the Feast of Trumpets

Seek YHvH in His WORD.

shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

2 posted on 12/06/2012 8:51:07 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: marshmallow

thanks for posting this...

3 posted on 12/06/2012 9:14:43 AM PST by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: marshmallow

Outstanding article—thanks for posting.

4 posted on 12/06/2012 9:36:10 AM PST by Charlemagne on the Fox
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To: UriÂ’el-2012

thanks for posting this...
Shalom aleichem.

5 posted on 12/06/2012 9:45:19 AM PST by veracious
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To: marshmallow
Sartre's apologists and critics seems always to discount his life-long depression. I am not a qualified professional who can diagnose illness. I am a normal guy, but I, too, can not only hear someone--Someone--coming, I anticipate it, love it, wait for it. But depression also, and not only philosophy or thought, can drive a person. Try reading Sartre, then go out to try to lead a happy life. It is difficult. You finally have to back to the Source of all Truth. In that Truth, Christ says, "Come unto me and I will give you rest." In his truth, Sartre says, "Do something every day or you just might decide to put a gun to your head and pull the trigger."

I know which appeals to me.
6 posted on 12/06/2012 9:54:15 AM PST by righttackle44 (Take scalps. Leave the bodies as a warning.)
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To: veracious
baruch HaShem


shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach

7 posted on 12/06/2012 10:23:18 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your teaching is my delight.)
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To: marshmallow

The grammatical construction called “apophasis,” which is saying what will not be said, works nicely here: it is futile to say that we should not trample over Advent in the rush to Christmas. It is even pointless to point out the inappropriateness of poinsettias around cathedral altars starting after Thanksgiving (“because the tourists expect that”) and avuncular clergymen hosting children’s Christmas parties before Gaudete Sunday.  Advent is awkward because its mysteries of Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell are not the sort of things counter-tenors dressed as elves sing about. As St. Paul wrote in his Epistle to the New Yorkers:  “Fuhgeddaboudit.”

In the four weeks of Advent, the Church stops us from skimming on the surface of reality: eating, working, shopping, sleeping, waking up and doing it all over again. These are part of the dance of life, but they are not its sum.  “Angst” is a neurosis stemming from an unwillingness to face the Choreographer behind the choreography. Those  threadbare philosophers who made existence an “ism” were very anxious indeed, smoking their cigarettes in cafes across the street from vacant churches.

A culture trapped in its own existence becomes no greater than itself. That old maxim perdures: no matter how many times it is repeated: “A man wrapped up in himself becomes a very small package.”  More important than wrapping gifts in Advent, is the obligation to unwrap the self: to confess to Christ the sins that belittle his image in man, and to live life as he wants it, so that we might rejoice with him forever and never be separated from him.

Our culture is enduring a severe test of itself. If Christ does not govern minds and hearts, mere humans will volunteer to do it, and they will do it badly.  When the Judges of  Israel could think only about their own existence with reference to how other people existed apart from divine regiment, they wanted a human king. Samuel warned them: “He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves and give them to his officials…. He will tithe  your flocks, and you yourselves will become slaves” (1 Samuel  8:14, 17). These days, he will take a lot more than ten per cent.

Our Lord promises that the truth will set us free: not truths but truth, and that truth is himself. In him is the explanation of Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.  All facts physical and moral issue from him “who is before all things, and by him all things are held together” (Colossians 1:17).  The “holy grail” of physics, a Unified Theory of the Universe, may not be attainable; but Einstein’s close friend, John Wheeler, of Johns Hopkins and Princeton,  predicted shortly before he died in 2008  that if it is found,  the biggest surprise about it will be its simplicity.  Jesus could not have expressed himself more simply when he told Pontius Pilate: “Every one who is of the truth hears my voice” (John 18:37).  Pilate’s life in a backwater of the empire was a dreary routine mired in cynicism. But even Pilate was amazed that Christ’s own people had “handed him over” to the government.  By their own declaration when Pilate took a poll of them, they wanted “no king but Caesar.”  Each generation is tempted to hand Christ over to cynics. We do it when we barter our conscience for comfort and our freedom for frivolity.

If Catholics behaved as Catholics, living as Catholics in their homes and voting as Catholics in the public forum, our culture would not be satisfied with getting little things from elected officials in exchange for moral dignity. If we only want things, we shall only be things.  Amid the passing fashions of mindless men, Christ says, “…you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be a time for you to bear testimony” ( Luke 21: 12-13).

Advent is a time for such testimony.  However many Advents we may be allowed to have, the last one will be the one for which all other Advents prepared.  Even Jean-Paul Sartre seems to have glimpsed that, for as death approached he began to speak of some sort of Messianic Judaism.  Later his mistress, Simone de Beauvoir, acidly called it “this senile act of a turncoat.”  In a testimony recorded by his friend and former Marxist, Pierre Victor,  Sartre said: “I do not feel that I am the product of chance, a speck of dust in the universe, but someone who was expected, prepared, prefigured.  In short, a being whom only a Creator could put here; and this idea of a creating hand refers to God.”

It would be difficult to think of anyone more unlike Sartre than his contemporary political philosopher Charles Maurras who recovered his Catholic faith only late in life.   In Sartre’s better moments, in the Second World War, he resisted the barbarism with which Maurras cooperated.  But each had his last Advent.  Sartre’s last words were, “I have failed.”  As for Maurras, who had become deaf as a teenager, he said to the doctor at his bedside:  “At last I can hear someone coming.”

8 posted on 12/06/2012 3:54:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The Awkwardness of Advent
Cloistered Benedictines top charts with Advent album
Advent: Jesus is Coming!
Why Do Catholics Celebrate Advent? The Call to Begin Again (Ecumenical Caucus)
Resources for Liturgy and Prayer for the Seasons of Advent and Christmas [Catholic Caucus]
New prayers for Advent season [Catholic Caucus[ (Read and Rejoice!)
Father Cantalamessa's 3rd Advent Homily, "The Christian Response to Rationalism"

Father Cantalamessa's 2nd Advent Sermon, "The Christian Response to Secularism"
Evangelization Needs Belief in Eternity, Says Preacher, Father Cantalamessa Gives Advent Sermon to Pope and Curia
Father Corapi: How Do We Prepare Well for the Coming of the Lord
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon: "The Christian Answer to Atheist Scientism"
A Simple Way to Pray around the Advent Wreath: Prayers for Every Day During Advent
Advent 2010 -- Day by Day
History, Customs and Folklore of Advent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ready or Not: Here Advent Comes
The Journey To Bethlehem is Not Comfortable! (Last week of Advent)
Humble Praise and Joyful Anticipation: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Celebrating Advent in a Culture of Fear
Grave of the Craving (Do We Embrace our Dependence on God during Advent?)
Advent -- A Season of Hope
A New Holiday Tradition -- Construct a Jesse Tree with your family during Advent
Pope on Advent: With Jesus, there is no life without meaning
Advent: Awaiting God's Justice -- Pope Benedict XVI
St. Andrew: Lighting the way for Advent
Advent Reflections for 2008
Bringing our fallen-away relations back to Church during Advent
History and Symbolism of the Advent Wreath

Rediscovering Advent in the (St.) Nick of Time
Catholic Traditions for Advent and Christmas
Mary's Gift of Self Points the Way, "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 1 of 4
The Perfect Faith of the Blessed Virgin "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 2 of 4
Theotokos sums up all that Mary is: "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 3 of 4
Reclaiming the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of Advent
Renewing the Mystery of Advent, Part Two: The Witness of John the Baptist
Why “Gaudete?”, Part Three (Third Sunday of Advent)
Sunday before Nativity
Holy Mary and the Death of Sin - "The Blessed Mother and Advent", Part 4 of 4

Catholic Liturgy - Rose-Colored Vestments on Gaudete Sunday
Advent through Christmas -- 2007
Immaculate Conception Novena -- starts November 30th [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Advent 2007 -- Day by Day
Making Advent a Reality (the seasons are out of whack)
The Advent Workshop -- lots of information and activities
Jesse Trees (genealogy of Jesus activity for families)
Advent Wreath & Candles (Prayers for the Family)
Advent Overview
Reclaiming the Mystery of Advent, Part One: The Meaning of Advent

Celebrating Christ’s Advent [Archbishop Raymond Burke]
Praying through Advent -- 2006
The Paradox of Advent
Experience the Joy of Advent
Advent: the Reason for the Season
The Advent Wreath
Advent Activity - The Jesse Tree
That incredible shrinking Advent-Christmas season (Christmas should start, not end, Dec. 25)
Advent Thoughts: Some of the Church Fathers on the Divinity of Christ
The Relationship Between Advent and the Change in the Seasons (Dom Guéranger)

9 posted on 12/06/2012 5:03:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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