Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day, 2012: Flannel Tongue Optional

It's the first day of a new year: when Catholics celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

This post isn't about Mary. Partly because I've
  • Written about Mary before
  • Got the teaching authority of some guy with a blog
  • Decided to write about something else
Besides, there's a pretty good discussion of today's solemnity online:
Celebrating a solemnity sounds like a contradiction in terms, and that's another topic.

New Year's Eve: Watching Television

I'm writing this post Saturday night, since I plan to celebrate New Year's Eve, and may sleep a bit later than usual tomorrow morning. My plans include watching that big Waterford crystal ball over New York City's Times Square go down, via television.

If you think that sounds tame, I agree.

If you're expecting a rant about the evils of things I don't enjoy doing: you'll have a long, long, wait. I try to avoid emulating Carrie Nation and other hyperactive do-gooders.

It's interesting, how calling someone a philanthropist is a compliment, but being called a do-gooder: is not so much. And that's yet another topic.

I wrote about New Year's Eve celebrations, how to avoid hangovers, and my far-from-wild plans, in another blog, as 'the Lemming:'

Having a Good Time: And Remembering It

About the closest I'm likely to come to ranting about the 'evils of Demon Rum' is saying that I think having a good time is okay. And that I like to remember the good time I had, the next day. I know that alcohol and drug abuse are real problems: but I don't think having a conniption will help.

I don't think alcohol, Bingo, or television, are satanic. The trick seems to be partly a matter of moderation.

As usual, here are a few links:
  • Avoiding excess is a good idea
    • Don't abuse
      • Food
      • Alcohol
      • Tobacco
      • Medicine
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2290)
  • Games of chance
    • Aren't contrary to justice by themselves
    • Moral problems start when
      • "They deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others"
      • Someone cheats
    (Catechism, 2413)
  • Idolatry is a really bad idea
    • It's not just about physical idols
    (Catechism, 2112-2114)

Champagne, Dinner, and a Flannel Tongue

Those are some of the reasons that I don't celebrate New Year's Eve with champagne, taxis, designated drivers, more champagne, wine, still more champagne, bars, dinner, hors d'oeuvres, and waking up with a flannel tongue.

But I don't cackle in glee, either, imagining eternal torment in the flames of Hell for folks who aren't just like me. Like I've said before, "having good judgment isn't being judgmental." Then there's Matthew 7:1-5; Luke 6:37-38, 41-42; and Romans 2:1-11.

It Boils Down to Love

Matthew 22:36-40, Mark 12:28-31 say that there are two really important rules: love God; love my neighbor.

I don't think gloating over the suffering of my fellow-sinners is particularly 'loving.' But, like I've said before, "love" doesn't mean "approval." Which is why I sometimes suggest alternatives to culturally-normative, but destructive, activities.

Not that I think everybody should stay home and watch television on New Year's Eve. There wouldn't be much to see, if some folks weren't screaming their lungs out in Times Square and other locales.

One more thing: Happy New Year!

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.