Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Once in Pharaoh's River City

So, church, as the Most Important News of these days comes amid the peace and quiet of Midnight -- or, at the Vatican, 10pm -- just a note that your pages are heading into a low posting zone for the next few, that we might all soak up the beauty and grace of Christmas as it's meant to be experienced: namely, in flesh and blood, with prayer and song... and, of course, Seven Fishes.

Along these lines -- and as the shop keeps digging out from The Storm, all 23.2 inches of it -- time for a couple Yuletide favorites that've become traditional 'round these parts over the years.

First (especially for you locals far from home who've loved it since birth), the classic Light Show at the place forever known as Wanamaker's -- shown here in its (pre-Macy's) "extraordinary form":

...here's Part Two.

From points elsewhere, a cherished carol for the more classically-minded (lyrics)...

...and we'd be remiss to leave out the great Roman classic, to boot (lyrics/translation):

* * *
In a perfect world, this part of the post was supposed to offer up a little meditation on these days -- just a thought on what, in its truest sense, the light of Christmas is... or, rather, should be.

But then, as tends to happen behind the scenes -- and many of you are doubtless familiar with, especially right about now -- the last-minute everything gummed up the works, what came out felt a little scatterbrained... and, ergo, it'll probably end up going the way of the five boxes of cards that were supposed to be written, but still await even one penstroke.

Thank God we've got an Octave. In the meantime, though, let John Chrysostom's sum-up suffice:

"He became what we are, that we might become what He is."

As you'd be hard-pressed to find a simpler, richer reflection, not just at Christmas but always, may that be our shared cause for thanks today, and our challenge and encouragement along the road ahead.

Safe travels to everyone hitting the road and the skies... and to all the troops running the four-day "Mass-a-thon" in the trenches, here's hoping everything goes smoother than smooth, with a nice breather on-deck at its close.

To each and all, here's to every gift and blessing of light, joy, comfort, peace and hope -- and every good thing you seek -- for you and yours, all-around, in the days to come and well beyond.

"Expergiscere, homo: quia pro te Deus factus est homo" -- venite adoremus!

Buon Natale a tutti -- a Blessed and Merry Christmas, gang!