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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Childermas 2

Brueghel's Slaughter of the Innocents

In the post The Feasts of All Children  (or Childermas 1 above),

I spoke of how this season may have developed, beginning with the miracles of St. Nicholas of Myra, who discovered the crime of the young students being murdered for their wealth, urged the criminal responsible to confess his crime, and then restored the students to life.
All in all, a fine inspiration for a Saint of innocent children.

With St. Nicholas on December 6 we have a narrative about Children being abused, Children being innocent victims, and Good triumphing over Evil.

Then with the Christ Child on December 25 we have a narrative of Good triumphing over evil and a Child of unsurpassed innocence and purity. This Child, however, has his own history inextricably linked with liturgies and holidays soon to come of Abuse and Violence, as this Christ Child will grow into an adult who will be violently killed - not by marauders and thieves - but in a social setting and by socially approved ways of justice.

Lastly we had The Holy Innocents, or Childermas, on December 28, and we have the narrative of those children killed by King Herod's order to slaughter new  borns, lest they be the King born to supplant his rule. Here again we have Innocence, Abuse and killing, and the fact that these children are martyrs or witnesses to the faith: Good triumphs over Evil.

What we have construed as some mad dash to the mall, it seems that our ancestors wove together with statements, hints, nuances, suggestions, story and fable to create a quilt-like story of the cycle of the miracle of renewed life as children are born into the world, the harsh environment into which they are born, and the moral responsibilities of all society to ensure one thing above all other things! Above ideologies, above politics, above retail shopping, above fiscal cliffs and other self-created stumbling blocks!!!...........
One thing the hearers and viewers of the stories are supposed to do is to ensure that Good triumphs over Evil.

We have turned away from the story of the Feasts of Children and created a diorama of our diseased souls.
The trampling of shoppers at the mall and the fights and shooting over toys reflects our endless wars and threats of wars.

So we add to the season of Children, not by a triumph of Good over Evil, not by actions which our progeny will remember for centuries as great feats portrayed in icons, but by a new Childermas, a new slaughter of the Innocents:  December 14.


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