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R.R. Reno on the Incarnation at First Things:

It’s easy to step back and denounce the excesses of the Christmas season: the orgy of spending, too much food, too much drink, too many parties, and expensive ski vacations that bring aching credit card hangovers. Easy, but mistaken.

I’m not in favor of spending a lot to finance fantasies of Christmas perfection, nor do I endorse the sort of gluttony and the psychological overload of “special moments” that makes us feel as though Christmas is a celebratory marathon to recover from rather than savor. Yet, the basic impulse toward excess is not wrongheaded. In fact, given the theological meaning of Christmas, it’s altogether fitting in its way.

Think about it. The incarnate Son of God is light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, and of one substance with the Father. God himself comes to us in the newly born child. Mary’s womb, a human vessel of life, has been made full, and not just with a new life, but with the very source of light and life (John 1:4). This, surely, is an excess beyond all excesses. God goes on a redemptive bender, as it were.

As the next paragraph makes clear, Reno is talking about an intramural debate among Christians over the proper attitude toward Christmas, not condoning holiday binging that has no spiritual basis.  (I would still argue that the secular, consumerist-driven gluttony that so pervades the season these days is a bad thing.)

Go read the rest.  I think his “this-even-more” explanation of divine love is particularly good: I have found that when I meditate on the subject at any length, I often feel that I can literally sense the Universe lurch with the wonder of it.

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Over the past day or two, ol’ Robbo has been cringing in anticipation at the beginning of each new bit played on the local classickal station, wondering in the manner of someone about to pull the trigger in a game of Russian roulette which tune was going to emerge from the shlocky opening fanfare.

The really disturbing part is that I’m almost beginning to enjoy this little game.

As I was about to leave the port-swiller residence this morning, my eye was caught by water on the floor under the doorway between the breakfast room and the library.  A quick examination revealed that a further quantity of the stuff was puddled up in the ceiling, waiting for the opportunity to break through.

I simply sighed wearily and left.

As Capistrano has its returning swallows and Old Faithful its clockwork eruptions, so does the port-swiller residence have its regular plumbing problems.  Or problem, I should say, because it’s always the same thing: the pipes running from the salle de bain of Robbo and Mrs. Robbo are always oxidizing themselves and springing leaks.   This has happened a good half dozen times since we moved in ten years ago.  No plumber has been able to explain why these pipes in particular suffer, while none of the others in the house do.

So once again I must fret about whether it’s better to do another patch job or to take the hit and have the whole thing replaced.

Double sigh.

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