In Babbo Natale, Italy has its own Father Christmas. But it's La Befana, the ugly, broom-flying and present-wielding witch who keeps children on their toes in many parts of the country. Like St. Nick, Befana knows who's been naughty and nice.
Like many Christian traditions, Befana has pagan roots, as a good witch who played the role of Mother Nature and was celebrated in December for providing life throughout the year.
The most common telling of the Befana story has the three wise men stopping to ask an old woman for directions on their way to Bethlehem. They invite her to join the party, but she refuses because she has too much sweeping to do. After realizing her mistake, she tries and fails to catch up with the wise men with a bag of treats. On the eve of their arrival she throws herself beneath a tree in despair. One of the branches turns into a magic broom, which she is to ride for eternity in her never-ending search for the baby Jesus.
13 December 2008
12 December 2008
Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat'ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud!--Death eddies near--
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time,
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.
10 December 2008
Image via Wikipedia
Logic really has no place in faith. By faith, I am referring to belief in something without needing to have concrete evidence to back it up. Belief in God or a Supreme Divine being requires this type of faith.
When you start to look for logical proof for the existence of God, you wind up running headlong into a brick wall. Most of these walls are built by other people who don’t want their world rocked. Logic requires concrete evidence, but if someone doesn’t accept the body of evidence given, you are back to square one. Therefore, I see no reason to argue with someone of the existence of God in any logic based debate.
"When we try to reach the infinite and the Divine by means of mere abstract terms or images, are we not even better than children trying to place a ladder against the sky?"
It is hard enough for us to grasp infinity, let alone define God, attempting to do so is even harder when we attempt to use logic. Logic has it’s place, but theology doesn’t lend itself well to the use.
Usually when someone wants you to provide logical evidence of God’s existence, you are dealing with someone who is out for an argument. No matter what you say, even if well thought out, the other party will have a rebutle in the wings waiting to crush what you say. Most those who are trying to get you into these discussions are out to show that your faith is groundless and for not. You will never change their mind, so why even bother. The best way for you to express your faith is to live it. Through your expression, you show the only logical proof that I am aware of for your beliefs.
Now to totally eclipse what I’ve said, I will give you one example of a logical argument for the existence of the Divine. The following enigma is what I have found that answers that question for me.
There is no God but what cannot be comprehended
There is noting that cannot be comprehended, but what is not conceivable
There is nothing not conceivable but what is immeasurable
There is nothing immeasurable but God
There is no God but what is not conceivable*
In this circular logic is the only answer that I have found that speaks volumes to me.
For more solid arguments, I will let others who have pondered longer and with more insight give their arguments to the world. Check out this link: http://www.apologeticsinfo.org/outlines/godandlogic.html. More links will be made available on my website when the final version of this article is publshed.
*The 21 Lessons of Merlyn by Douglas Monroe, pg 289.