Wait Till Christmas

Everybody have a happy Thanksgiving? Can’t wait till Christmas?

Christmas is a wonderful day to look forward to. It is a day of enormous spiritual delight. I can’t wait for Christmas, either.

I am sorry to have to tell you this, though. When Christmas Day comes in three and a half weeks, our waiting will not be over. To reach the everlasting Christmas Day, we have to wait until the end of time.

This pilgrim life on earth is above all a matter of waiting.

bustop-waitingDon’t get me wrong—it is good to keep busy in the meantime. Staying busy keeps us out of trouble. But a Christian’s main job in this life is to wait.

What are we doing right now? Isn’t the Holy Mass a matter of waiting, waiting for the final consummation of what Christ has begun?

Listen to this sentence from the Mass. It comes right after the consecration:

“Father, calling to mind the death your Son endured for our salvation, His glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven, and ready to greet Him when He comes again, we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.”
Continue reading “Wait Till Christmas”


The Tennessee Volunteers are Good

07-old-spice-classic-logoI have always thought of Old Spice as classic…My dad used Old Spice aftershave, and he smelled like the blue-blooded gentleman he was.

Plus, he took me to Disney World once. We had a great time. That was back when Epcot Center was brand new.

Cameron Tatum and the Vols ate a couple of Hoya sandwiches for lunch at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex
Cameron Tatum and the Vols ate a couple of Hoya sandwiches for lunch at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex
But regarding basketball, our trip to Disney World is off.

What can you do when your opponent has an unstoppable three-point shooter, swarming defense, and twice as many fans in the arena?

Meanwhile, your big man is in foul trouble. And the frustrations don’t stop: You play tough defense for 33 seconds. Then Tatum sinks yet another three.

“I said, ‘I’m going to Walt Disney World.’ But if this is Walt Disney World, I want to go somewhere else!”

What you can do under these inauspicious circumstances is: Lose the game in a respectable fashion, which is what the Hoyas did.

Tennessee has a great team. They are a force to be reckoned with. If they don’t win this Old Spice Classic tournament, I will retire from sports writing and go back to my day job.

Monroe & Co. bested Wichita State in Round 1
Monroe & Co. bested Wichita State in Round 1
Let’s not get discouraged here. The Hoyas won a good game yesterday and put in a solid effort against a premier team.

This is not the end of the world. The Hoyas will be back.

(Though I must say I was itching for them to win this tournament. But it can hardly be called Classic since it has only existed for three years.)

Invitation to Advent

The Church spends the four weeks before Christmas neither shopping nor clinking champagne glasses.  She waits for God to come.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face
St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face
St. Therese of Lisieux professed her Carmelite vows on September 8, 1890.  She received her veil on September 24.

As it happened, on October 1, her cousin Jeanne married a young doctor.

The new nun Therese must have received an engraved invitation to the wedding in the mail at the convent. Of course she could not attend, since she had now entered the cloister.

Therese recounts in her autobiography how the coincidence–her profession of vows and her cousin’s wedding–moved her to amuse herself by composing her own wedding invitation. (Of course, no one saw this invitation until St. Therese’s autobiography was published after her death.)


Letter of Invitation to the Wedding of Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, and the Most Glorious Virgin Mary, Queen of the Heavenly Court, announce to you the Spiritual Espousals of Their August Son, Jesus, King of kings, and Lord of lords, with little Therese Martin…

Monsieur Louis Martin…and Madame Martin…wish to have you take part in the Marriage of their Daughter Therese…

Being unable to invite you to the Nuptial Blessing which was given on Mount Carmel, September 8, 1890, (the heavenly court alone was admitted), you are nevertheless asked to be present at the Return from the Wedding which will take place Tomorrow, the Day of Eternity, on which day Jesus, Son of God, will come on the Clouds of Heaven in the splendor of His Majesty, to judge the Living and the Dead.

The hour being as yet uncertain, you are invited to hold yourself in readiness and to watch.

Alexandria, Honor, and Giddiness on the Airwaves

Ruins in Alexandria, Egypt
Ruins in Alexandria, Egypt

A fairly massive Tuesday-night wrap-up here, what with all the interesting developments…

alexandriaToday the Church keeps the Memorial of St. Catharine of Alexandria. She was not from Alexandria, Virginia.

We do not know much about St. Catharine, other than that she was a virgin and a martyr. But we do know this: Most of the city she lived in is under the Mediterranean Sea.

Once, Alexandria was one of the great cities of Christendom, the site of the world’s largest library. Not any more.

This week is the last week of the Church year. It is the time for us to meditate on the end of things. We do not not know when, but it is inevitable. Everything under the sun will end.

Kingdoms rise and fall. Great cities slip into the sea. Our days on earth are numbered.

Sir John Falstaff
Sir John Falstaff
At the end of Act V, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part One, Falstaff gives his “catechism.” (You can skip to Prince Henry’s speech halfway through the scene if you don’t feel like wading through a lot of Scotch-English history.)

The Knight of Sack and Bawdyhouses declares that “honor is a mere scutcheon.” It is “air.” It will not outlive death.

Falstaff is a lovably honest character. Two scenes earlier, he admitted to the audience that he had shamelessly abused his commission as an officer of the King’s army and profited by drafting unworthy soldiers.

Falstaff’s speech against honor is disturbingly cogent. And it is especially ironic, considering that, earlier in the scene, Falstaff’s drinking buddy–the Prince–has just made an enormously honorable offer to risk his life for the sake of his army.

Is Falstaff correct? What is honor? Is it worth dying for?

Certainly we all want to have a good reputation. But is that all honor is?

Discuss, and get back to me.

dave-johnsonglenn-consorFinally: Dave Johnson and Glenn Consor were so giddy during the third quarter of tonight’s Wizards blowout of the Golden State Warriors that they started joking about teaching Yiddish and Latin to each other. (Glenn Consor sounds a great deal like Ray Romano of “Everybody Loves Raymond.”)

124-100!!! Blatche rocks.


Pilgrims Slideshow

The computer gremlins have been conquered (for the time being). Here are a few snapshots from our trip…

In front of the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi (Fr. White mommy on the far left)
In front of the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi (Fr. White mommy on the far left)
With Archbishop Burke
With Archbishop Burke
In front of St. Peter's Basilica
In front of St. Peter's Basilica
In St. Peter's Basilica
In St. Peter's
On the roof of St. Peter's
On the roof of St. Peter's
Piazza Navona in Rome
Piazza Navona in Rome
At the Trevi Fountain
At the Trevi Fountain
The Intrepid Photographer
The Intrepid Photographer

Sweet Revenge

January 5
January 5
With all the fanfare surrounding Coach Zorn’s “home-coming” to Seattle, an important fact about today’s Seahawk’s game was ignored.

This was the Redskins second game at Qwest Field this year.

The first one did not turn out well. It brought a good run in the second part of last year’s season to a premature end.

Greg Monroe dunk at Verizon Center yesterday
Greg Monroe dunk at Verizon Center yesterday
On the other hand, today’s W has brought this season’s tough losing streak to an end. We will take it!

Bring on the mighty Giants! Let’s keep the revenge thing going.

Speaking of things we will take…We will definitely take a 2-0 Hoyas’ season start, with Greg Monroe reaching domination-level right out of the gate.

Next up for the Hoyas: Old Spice Classic on Thursday. Witchita State at 2:00 p.m. on ESPN 2.

The Hoyas lost on the last big holiday for family dinners (Easter). May that not happen again. Just like one loss to the Seahawks per year is enough, and one loss to the Giants per year is enough: One holiday-afternoon Hoyas disappointment per year is enough.

If we have to play Davidson again this year, let’s make sure it’s on a weekday. No Stephen Curry on holidays. No more crying in Washington over our turkeys and hams.