Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

"Very fun." -- J. Bottum, Editor, FIRST THINGS

"Too modest" -- Elinor Dashwood

"Perhaps the wisest man on the Web" -- Henry Dieterich

"Hat tip: me (but really Cacciaguida)" -- Diana Feygin, Editor, THE YALE FREE PRESS

"You are my sire. You give me confidence to speak. You raise my heart so high that I am no more I." -- Dante

"Fabulous!"-- Warlock D.J. Prod of Didsbury

Who was Cacciaguida? See Dante's PARADISO, Cantos XV, XVI, & XVII.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Now burn, new born to the world,
Double-naturèd name,
The heaven-flung, heart-fleshed, maiden-furled
Mid-numberèd He in three of the thunder-throne!


Saturday, December 24, 2011
St. Francis and Saint Benedight
Bless this house from wicked wight;
From the night-mare and the goblin,
That is hight good fellow Robin;
Keep it from all evil spirits,
Fairies, weazles, rats, and ferrets:
From curfew time
To the next prime.


Christmas Anguish

The dad of a close friend of mine died about a week ago. (Permit me for a moment to write as myself and not as a 12th century warrior.)

I've been developing a theory since my own father died on Dec. 18, 2007 (25th anniv of my reception into the Church, & don't think that didn't hurt) that Christmas - if it isn't actually about grief - at least has a lot of grief built into it. St. Joseph must have been anticipating how he would welcome the Child, & he must have been sick, sick, that when it came to it he couldn't protect his family from being jostled by the authorities, and could find no better spot for the birth than a cave or stable. He didn't have any concept of posing for Christmas cards, though of course we do when we think of him. 

The legitimate role of decorating homes and buying presents is to console the Holy Family for the deprivation that hung about the first Christmas. And sometimes, on particular Christmases, we get called not to mitigate that deprivation but to share it.