“People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being,” he said. “They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves.” Pope Benedict XVI
We had a very nice Mass this morning. Babies and toddlers were sporting their Christmas togs and jabbering all through the service, which to my old hairy ears is what going to Mass is all about. They do not, as some of my more devout friends and neighbors hold, distract from the sanctity of the Mass, but adorn it.
I am a baby sap from a very long line of Hickey males, who delight in the innocent and encourage the cacophony. My Grandfather, father and many uncles were like minded "children of men." Little guys of three were tapped on the shoulders by an Uncle Bud, Mike, Pat, Jack Bart, Sy, or Donnie during Mass with nod to celebrant in all of his liturgical splendor and asked, ' Hey, Pad'jeen. . . How about that guy's dress up there? What gives with that? Thinks he's Milton Berle?'
There followed a flow of questions from the targeted cherub concerning the guy up on the altar getting all the attention -" Fa'r Garrady got a dress on, Mom! Why he got dress, Mom? Mom, He wear'nah dress!" There followed good-womanly remonstrances to 'Hush, Clam up, Let it Alone, Pay Attention!'
It is good to go to Mass. Kids fiddle with Golden books, grab toys from siblings, reach for whatever the hell they see and want but have yet to verbally identify, punch, shove, hug, nap and eat dry Cheerios like they were truffles. These babies will soon conform into devout little ladies and gents of the pew -midget Moms and Dads and will also Hush, Knock It Off and quiet the human voice and heart at its best.
Suffer the older Squares and and Biddies, but revel in the reason for God's Being -babies. God's Will, as understood in Paradise Lost is the promise of Life and that is tied to love between a guy and girl that allows babies to join us in adoring Him.
After Mass, I read the papers. No joy there. One goof in the Tribune decided to mock Pope Benedict's Christmas message. That is because the Pope refuses to roll over on what constitutes a marriage - a man marries a woman and go half's on babies. The goof in the Tribune is as doctrinaire as we Catholics, but his faith is grounded not on rock but on paper - Dewey's thoughts, Windy City Times, Boss Cosgrove's e-mails and Eychaner's currency.
Today's gospel which I had absolutely no trouble hearing above the jabber of many babies and toddlers, is very clear in its language - Mary is expecting a child. A Babe is leaping in Mary's womb, just like all three of my babies, aged 17-26 in 2012, battered and bumped and treated my wife Mary's innards like an inflatable play zone for the better part of her 'confinement.'
Christmas would not be much with this Immaculate Conception.