Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Random thoughts before I head to the mall

Every now and then, First Things lets something great slip by the editors. This  essay describes a typical suburban parish. I've been to plenty of St. Dismas's and the religion taught there isn't strong enough to sustain a soul in good times or bad.

One of the biggest blocks to vocations is parents, mother's mainly, throwing a fit when their son (particularly an only son) says he wants to be a priest. This is wrong. You can not sit in the pew and consider yourself good if you deliberately interfere in the will of God. He gave you His only Son. Who are you to deny Him yours?

Fritz von Uhde Heilge was fond of painting scenes from the bible using modern dress. He portrays Joseph and Mary as Dutch peasants walking the road to Bethlehem and several years later shows the Nativity. It looks like St. Joseph is making cocoa or maybe oatmeal.
The Road to Bethlehem (1890)

Holy Night (1911)


Ahem, I guess Dutch kids behaved themselves back in old days. Folk lore said that St. Nicholas would settle all family business for parents before Christmas.  The folks in this lithograph must have had a real little stinker because they both look delighted.  The father is looking like he doesn't even know who this kid is.