I think that we’re going to have an exceptionally good Christmas. . .

•December 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Bonhoeffer wrote this to his fiancée from prison: “Dear Maria—I think that we’re going to have an exceptionally good Christmas. . . I used to be very fond of thinking up and giving presents, but now that we have nothing to give, the gift God gave us in the birth of Christ will seem all the more glorious: the emptier our hands, the better we understand. . . The poorer our quarters, the more clearly we perceive that our hearts should be Christ’s home on earth.” –Love Letters from Cell 92.

HT: Leonard Sweet

Come, Lord Jesus

•December 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Posted by Chris Yokel

Sometimes, this is what Advent is about:

Today I am discontent. 

I am discontent with duplicitous politicians pandering promises,
with media absorbing zombie-walking citizens,
with my own less than stalwart heart.
I am sick of hearing of the vaulted lives of wrecked celebrities,
of the disappointments of nearly perfect sports records,
and of my own foolish grasps for fame.
I am sick of sickness and death in the third world,
of images that spoil my lunch,
and of my own lack of doing anything about it.

I am discontent with Babel builders, intoleristas,
Muslim murderers, Christian hypocrites, and secular self-importants.
I stand in the shatters of broken economic systems
broken down bodies,
broken hearts,
and broken promises.
I do not believe in politicians, capitalists, international peace keepers, TV talking heads, salesmen, Oscar nominated films or platinum records.

I think democracy has failed.
I much prefer monarchy–or dictatorship
Provided there is one Leader
one Savior,
one Healer,
one Promise,
one Song,
one King,
Jesus.
May He come and rule
–please, soon
May He come and rule.
Kyrie eleison.

 

St. Nicholas of Myra

•December 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

On this St. Nicholas’ Day here’s a trailer to a new movie that I hope I get to see…

Mystery of the Ages

•December 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Posted by Chris Yokel

Advent is here again, which for myself is the call to once again attempt to wrap my head around the mystery of the Incarnation. It seems that every year, that is the increasing focus of my spiritual energies during this season, to press deeper into the heart of the Magnum Mysterium. I can’t say my progress has been very great, but allure of the journey is always and ever there.

My deepest struggles with such things are usually best expressed in poetry. The following is some verse that I wrote several years ago already, but I find it rings as true as ever. I put it to music sometime later, so here is the text and then the song:

Flesh of her flesh

Bone of her bone

Yet wholly other

The supernatural

In earthly thread spun

Galaxy strider

Now warmly imprisoned

Within the womb of Eve

He who cast the sun about Him

Royal splendor

Now the prince of paupers

In the beginning was the Word

Into the darkness light tumbles down

Now the Word cries with child’s voice

Now the Light tumbles into darkness

Underneath the stars that He birthed

He Himself is born

 

The strong, invisible hand

Whose might upholds this earth of rock and stone

Now small, enclosed within His mother’s grasp

Those fingers, which in creation past

Traced out all man’s noble lines

Will one day reach to touch his putrid flesh

Sin-cursed

And set His work aright

Will one day reach out

Sin-cursed

His noble flesh torn

To set His work aright

 

For unto us a child is come

Unto us a son is descended

From Abraham and heaven both

That heaven and earth may both be joined in one

Through One in whom both heaven and earth are joined

That all may be

From Him, through Him, to Him

Forever and amen

Mystery of the ages

Immanuel

 

Show Me the Place Where the Word Became A Man

•December 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Lots of Advent themes in this new Leonard Cohen song (LISTEN)

 

 

 

show me the place, where you want your slave to go
show me the place, i’ve forgotten i don’t know
show me the place where my head is bend and low
show me the place, where you want your slave to go

 

show me the place, help me roll away the stone
show me the place, i can’t move this thing alone
show me the place where the word became a man
show me the place where the suffering began

 

the troubles came i saved what i could save
a shred of light, a particle away
but there were chains so i hastened to the hay
there were chains, a lot of chains
like a spade

 

show me the place, where you want your slave to go
show me the place, i’ve forgotten i don’t know
show me the place, where you want your slave to go

 

the troubles came i saved what i could save
a shred of light, a particle away
but there were chains so i hastened to the hay
there were chains so i loved you like a slave

 

show me the place
show me the place
show me the place

 

show me the place, help me roll away the stone
show me the place, i can’t move this thing alone
show me the place where the word became a man
show me the place where the suffering began

My Favorite Collect

•December 3, 2011 • 1 Comment

Thomas McKenzie (of One-Minute Review fame) writes about his favorite BCP collect: The Collect for Advent

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

Fr. McKenzie writes:

The prayer weaves together the reading, as well as the meaning of the season.  More importantly, it asks God for a two fold grace.  We pray to put away the works of darkness.  Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we have no hope of leaving our bad behavior behind.  We are naturally inclined toward darkness, toward hiding, toward dishonesty.  Advent is a time of repentance, of turning aside from darkness.

We pray to put on the armor of light.  Leaving aside darkness is crucial, but so is battling against evil.  Christ calls us to join the struggle against the powers of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12)  This requires the whole armor of God.

Read the rest

Dietrich Bonhoeffer on Advent

•November 28, 2011 • 7 Comments

This is wonderful…

“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes, does various unessential things, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) [repost]