When he was about 10 years old (around 306 A.D.), Athanasius was playing with a group of his friends on the beach, pretending to baptize one another, taking turns playing the part of the minister. When Athanasius took his turn, he so accurately recited sections of the baptismal service, bishop Alexander - who was walking along the beach at the time - approached Athanasius to talk about his faith.
It is believed that the tradition of the New Year's Resolutions may go back as far as 153 B.C. Janus, a mythical king of Rome was placed at the head of the calendar, his two faces directed to the left and right – one looking back on past events, the other gazing forward to the future. King Janus eventually became the symbol for resolutions. Some Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies, exchanged gifts, and made commitments to better themselves as the New Year began.
St. Athanasius: From where have you come, Matthew?
Matthew: I was at home, reading Plato’s Republic. It’s one of my favorite books, and I am hoping to teach it again soon.
St. Athanasius: Plato’s Republic? That is a good one. What do you like about it?
Matthew: I think Socrates really wrestles through some important questions and has some very revealing insights about human nature.
December 6th is the feast of St. Nicholas!
Santa Claus stands as a centerpiece of the Christmas season and though the feast of Saint Nicholas lasts but one day (December 6th), the Santa frenzy will continue through the holidays. Children around the world will find it hard to sleep, anxiously waiting for him to swoop down the chimney, leaving presents under the tree. But, where did the idea of gifts from jolly ole Saint Nick come from? The tradition stems from an event that vividly displays the “gentler side” of Saint Nicholas.
God commanded a day of leisure to the ancient Hebrews, and on that day they were compelled to rest from all their labors and to actively remember that on the seventh day God Himself rested from all His labors.
This seems significant to me.
There is a sweet disposition that wants justice to arise from good intentions and to be executed in a world full of sweetness and harmony. The yearning is for a justice that is never opposed.
Once upon a time, my youth group was riding on a gigantic ferry from the western Wisconsin shores of Lake Michigan to the eastern Michigan shores. The moon brooded upon the face of the waters while a few of us sat around a table playing Othello. One of us would turn the tokens white and the other black, each striving to drive the other from the game. It was a totalizing contest, day or night winning, and no compromise possible.
On the box, the makers of the game proclaimed their surely well researched motto: a minute to learn; a lifetime to master.
As you know, America is a deeply divided country because there are educated, progressive people (EPP) and there are hicks and rubes (HAR). Now we get to wait out the election results to see how much better the EPP are than the HAR.
I would like to consider for a moment the difficult question of why it is so hard to process political ideas in this day and age and to do so I need to make myself a little more "vulnerable" as the EPP has taught us all to say.
There is a passage in Homer's Iliad 5 where he describes Athene arming herself with the aegis of Zeus, which is a shield or some similar device. He says,
"It would be a considerable fraud to do a book on American government which talked as if the constitution were still being substantially observed, that pretended that when Presidents took the oath of office they intended to observe the bounds set by the Constitution, that Congressmen recited their pledges with the same intent, and that Federal judges were still construing the Consitution as it was written." - Clarence Carson: Basic American Government, 1993