Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Santa Question

As Christmas approaches James and I have discussed at length the question of whether or not to tell Cecilia there is a Santa Claus, North Pole, flying Reindeer, elves, etc.

The brief answer is no, we are not going to pretend there is a Santa, for Cecilia or any of our children.

Here are our reasons why...

Saint Nicholas was a 4th century bishop who was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so they could marry. His feast day is December 6th. St. Nicholas became the origin for the myth that flourished in the form of a jolly and generous red-suited and white-bearded man who gave gifts in celebration of the Incarnation, that is, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. I must say, not a bad foundation for such a myth. Basically though, Santa became a symbol for the charitable joy we all should demonstrate at the birth of our Savior. It is for this reason, that we have nothing whatsoever against the myth of Santa in and of itself.


We cannot ignore the violent assault waged against Christ and his birth at Christmas by the ACLU, retailers and many politicians who want to makes millions of dollars in Christmas sales and have "holiday" parties but make it illegal to have a nativity within public view. Meanwhile, it has become socially acceptable to replace the nativity with a Santa Claus as a Christian symbol of Christmas making Santa not a heart-warming symbol of the spirit of Christmas but rather a replacement for the whole reason for Christmas - Jesus Christ.

Hence, while we both enjoy Bing Crosby's Santa Claus is Coming to Town and I enjoy wearing a Santa hat, since outside our home there is little we can do to stop the deletion of Christ from Christmas and the obsession with Santa as a replacement for Jesus, we intend to keep our home Christ-centered throughout Advent and the Christmas season and this means Cecilia and any brothers or sisters she may have will grow up knowing Santa Claus as no more than a warm-hearted symbol for the generous giving of God in his gift of his only Son on Christmas Day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tepeyac Center Award

You may recall Cecilia was delivered by the doctors of the Tepeyac Center. There recently was an article in the Arlington Catholic Herald about them and their fundraising Gala. You can read the whole thing here:


Here is one exceptionally nice snippit (recall Susan Torres was the young woman who entered a coma but her family and doctors kept her alive to try to save her unborn daughter. James and I also worked with her and her husband at UD):

The emotional highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Susan M. Torres Award. This award is given to a TFC patient “who has lived out the Gospel of Life and mystery of suffering in her own medical experience.” The award is named in honor of Susan M. Torres, a young mother who died while comatose in 2005 as she attempted to bring her child to viability.
Anderson presented this year’s award to Kirstin and Matt Page of Olney, Md.
“The medical staff of TFC unanimously chose Kirstin for this award because of her courageous fight for the life of her child against insurmountable odds,” Anderson said.
“At 13 weeks of pregnancy, Kirstin prematurely ruptured her membranes and lost her amniotic fluid. She failed to reseal and continued to leak throughout the rest of her pregnancy.
“Since very few babies survive this grave medical condition, several doctors recommended abortion,” Anderson said. “One even wrote in her medical record that her child had a ‘zero percent chance of viability.’”
But the Pages never gave up hope. Instead, they came to TFC where the staff carefully watched Kirstin for signs of infection and hospitalized her for the last five weeks of her pregnancy.
The birth of Joseph Page on Oct. 2 was truly a “one in a million medical phenomenon,” Anderson said. “He took a breath of air into lungs that were not expected to develop and let out his first cry.” Joseph is almost six weeks old now and is expected to go home from the hospital next week.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

By the Light of the Moon

Well, I finished Koontz's By the Light of the Moon. I must say overall I did not like it and do not recommend it. It had some good themes and points but overall was just too bazaar and seemed random at parts. Here was my favorite part though:

"I love the natural world, it's what I paint. You see perfection everywhere in nature. The perfect efficiency of bees in the hive. The perfect organization of an anthill, a termite colony. But what makes humanity beautiful is our free will, our infividuality, our endless striving in spite of our imperfection."
"Beautiful...and terrifying," she suggested.
"Oh, it's a tragic beauty, all right, but that's what makes it so different from the beauty of nature, and in its own way precious. There's no tragedy in nature, only process--and therefore no triumph, either."

There are a few moments like this in the book, this being my favorite, but I just think the plot is too chaotic and wierd such that, in the end, I only really cared about one of the characters - Shepherd, the autistic one.

Anyway, I'm moving on to St. Catherine of Siena's Dialogue, which I must say so far is wonderful and fascinating. It is written as a dialogue between "she" (St. Catherine refers to herself in 3rd person) and God the Father.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Well, a couple of weeks ago I saw a Biography on Linda Blair, which made me curious about the book The Exorcist. So I read it. Then I rewatched the film. The film is pleasantly very close to the book. Having read a few books on exorcism, I'm not sure how accurate the work of fiction would be of an actual exorcism, but it has other points to make. Not the least of these points seems to be how for many modern people, it is easier to believe that a person could have a form of schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder (about which the book claims doctors know almost nothing about) along with hysteria exhibiting evidence of guilt-driven self-punishment, hallucinations, ESP, telekensis (moving things with only the mind) and super human strength all rolled into one individual rather than the possibility that a demon could possess a person. I don't know why the first option with its many questions, would be easier to believe, but I don't doubt for many it would.

I am on to new books. I'm speedily working through a Dean Koontz book titled By the Light of the Moon. So far it is okay. I enjoyed my only previous reading of his work, The Face, much more I think, but I'll hold final opinions until I finish the book, which I expect to be within the next week as I am already half way through it. Upon completion I will then dive into St. Catherine's Dialogue for something a bit brighter.