Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Flesh of Our Flesh … A Babe Is Born …

We are always asking useless questions about and blathering on about what lies entirely beyond our abilities and senses. In a vain attempt to reach some level of “knowledge” we watch and listen to an endless stream of “media” reports, programming, talking heads pontificating about that which they themselves know little or nothing about. All, all of them,  just  spouting scripts and telepromptings written by writers who know even less and who are  even more tightly controlled by their media masters like the slave scribes of ancient civilizations.

And this vast army of slaves are all dancing to direct the attitudes and meanderings of the audience, the proles and serfs who make up the vast “masses”  to accept the narrative and follow the direction of these same invisible  masters. To our modern secular minds, admitting that something is not understood is simply unacceptable. We MUST at least be able to plausibly claim some understanding of everything or at least the appearance of understanding, of being “current”, even to the extent that we willfully believe and expound thing, ideas, and points of view which are demonstrably false, erroneous or downright fraudulent. We distrust and fear what we cannot understand and we fear even more the appearance of ignorance, of being “uncool”, of not being in sync with the current cultural narrative .

When we ask ourselves ‘Does this give me peace?” What kind of answer do we get?  What things and items, what events and occurrences, what actions in our daily lives give us peace? Is it the news? Is it having the juiciest bit of gossip at break time? Is it the feeling of superiority found when explaining what is REALLY going on to others? Does it give us peace?

1035x1055-chieftains-1800-1386363386As we contemplate the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas what gives us peace? How many shopping days until Christmas?  Are we ready for Christmas, ready for the visits, the camaraderie, I confess I am thinking about my copy of the 1991  Chieftains album “The Bells of Dublin“a track to remember and a message for eternity … “Don Oiche Ud I mBeithil

and  Elvis Costello’s “St. Stephan’s Day Murders”.

I knew of two sisters whose name it was Christmas
And one was named Dawn of course, the other one was named Eve
I wonder if they grew up hating the season
That good will that lasts ’till the Feast of St. Stephen

And that is the time to eat, drink and be merry
Till the beer is all spilled and the whiskey has flowed
And the whole family tree you neglected to bury
Are feeding their faces until they explode

220px-Elvis_Costello_2012There’ll be laughter and tears over Tia Maria’s
Mixed up with that drink made from girders
Cause it’s all we’ve got left as they draw their last breath
Ah, it’s nice for the kids, as you finally get rid of them
In the St Stephen’s Day Murders

Uncle is garglin’ a heart breaking air
While that babe in his arms pulls out all that remains of his hair
And we’re not drunk enough yet to dare criticize
The great big kipper tie he’s about to baptize

With his gin flavored whiskers and kisses of sherry
His best Chrimbo shirt slung out over the shop
While the lights from the Christmas tree blow up the telly
His face closes in like an old cold pork chop

And the carcass of the beast left over from the feast
May still be found haunting the kitchen
And there’s life in it yet, we may live to regret
When the ones that we poisoned stop twitchin’

There’ll be laughter and tears over Tia Maria’s
Mixed up with that drink made from girders
Cause it’s all we’ve got left as they draw their last breath
Ah, it’s nice for the kids, as you finally get rid of them, rid of them
In the St Stephen’s Day Murders

or Jackson Browne singing “The Rebel Jesus”.

Jackson_Browne_2008The streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants’ windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for all God’s graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

They call him by the “Prince of Peace”
And they call him by “The Saviour”
And they pray to him upon the sea
And in every bold endeavor
As they fill his churches with their pride and gold
And their faith in him increases
But they’ve turned the nature that I worshipped in
From a temple to a robber’s den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

But pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I’ve no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In this life of hardship and of earthly toil
We have need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus.

Or alternatively (from David Warren) our preparation might consist of cleaning house and home — of making our souls ready for the arrival of the Christ Child.

I picture it in the latter way — the way of the Crèche — as parents do, and beautifully sometimes, their own blesséd children, knowing that “the baby” will soon arrive. Everything made new, the house washed down, the crib kitted out, and the Love made ready in our souls. There is no analogy too child-like and naïve for the exposition of this Nativity: when God, to the perpetual surprise of our human family, came to us dressed in our own flesh, so infinitely less sophisticated than we are.

The Child of Our Lady, our light and guide through this and all ages.

So in the end it comes down to deciding which side we are on in this battle. And make no mistake about it … this is the most important battle in all of history. And the prize is eternity.



May God grant you always…
A sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you. Faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.