Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Child and the Groundhogs

Without overdoing it I must note far more people, it seems, were attentive to the matter of the emergence today of Punxsutawney Phil in the United States and Wiarton Willie in Canada, than of the Presentation in the Temple of the Light of the World!

{It should be noted, as often happens between Canada and the US, there was no agreement between the two rodents as to when spring will arrive!}

I am old enough to remember when churches would be packed early in the morning for this day’s feast.

To see the boxes of candles being blessed for use throughout the year; those brought by families to be blessed and used at home; the procession of lit candles, the great pre-Lenten reminder, in the darkness of winter, that the Child of Light, born on Christmas Day remains with us, indeed draws every closer and that Our Mother Mary places the Child of Light into our hearts and arms, if we but ask her, just as she did for Holy Simeon……THIS is the true import of February 2nd.

It is a great winter exercise in playfulness to have Groundhog Day – but One alone will bring us out of darkness into light, Light Himself.

Something saddened  my heart this year while people gathered round to hear what as rodent had to say, and the media breathlessly reported the event.

Our Muslim brothers and sisters are writhing in anger around the world over a cartoon disrespecting their revered Founder, yet Christians do not rise up in such numbers when the Holy Name of Jesus is blasphemed in music, film, tv, or mocked in some other way.

I am not suggesting here any form of protest akin to what is occurring in the Islamic world in terms of violence for that would be a contradiction of the Holy Gospel and would dishonour Jesus – but I am suggesting the silence of Christians, the hesitancy of Christians to speak up clearly for the holiness of the Name of Jesus, and about other assaults on Christianity, is permitting an ever hardening and encroaching darkness of blatant anti-Christianity, which unlike anti-Semitism or being anti-Muslim, seems to be the one acceptable prejudice.

CBC [the public radio and television system in Canada] has a weekly program called “Wonderland” where the Holy Name of Jesus is abused in every episode I have watched since the series began – now I will not longer watch it.

That’s the appropriate link should you wish to raise your voice.

I will be writing to them myself.

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