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Archive for December, 2014

Frozen_(2013_film)_poster

Working on the fourth and final installment of my commentary on Disney’s “Frozen.”  I hadn’t intended for it to take this long, of course — but what with the holidays, the more time-sensitive “Advent, Waiting, and Preparation” posts, and the details of professional and personal life, I have had to stretch the series out a bit.

Like I said, I’m working on it — just want to make sure I do it right.

In the meantime, I thought to myself: “Self, why not do a quickie on an aspect of the film that stood out in your mind, but would not have fit very comfortably into the overall analysis?”

Frozen_Olaf

The “aspect” in question is actually Olaf the Snowman (voiced by Josh Gad).  Fans of the movie will undoubtedly recall the endearing dance number that summarizes this quite literally “cool” little guy’s dream of seeing summer.

Olaf’s desire is actually not that different from the deepest desire of the human heart: The desire for God.

We are made for eternal friendship with God — indeed, for nothing less than the very vision of God as He is.  We may not all realize this explicitly, but we know that we desire perfection and unlimited goodness and beauty, whatever that may mean.

But this is something well beyond our natural capacity as creatures, and all the more unattainable by our own powers on account of our fallen nature.  If any one of us were to attempt to approach this destiny in its fullness in our current state, it would destroy us (just as it would destroy us if we were to walk right up to the sun, were such a thing possible).

Sound vaguely familiar with regard to “Frozen”?  Olaf’s desire for summer is laudable, but tragically incompatible with his physical make-up.

Elsa_Olaf

Yet by way of a gift from Elsa at the end of the film, he is made able to partake of summer without melting.  In a similar way, God wills to bestow upon all of us, in His Son Jesus Christ, the grace to be fit for and to partake in His joy, His life.

How’s that for a “warm hug?”  Thanks for reading 🙂

Movie poster from Wikipedia; remaining images obtained through a Google image search

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Clark GriswoldTexted to me by a trusty acquaintance 🙂

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A t-shirt I got for Christmas, from a fellow “Parks and Recreation” fan:

Ron Swanson

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Twelve_pins

Deep peace of the running waves to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.Deep peace of the smiling stars to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

Image from Wikipedia

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This is Dr. Taylor Marshall (of the New Saint Thomas Institute) and his family wishing folks a Merry Christmas.  Enjoy!

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Thorin Oakenshield

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Please click here for parts one through four.

10. The Virgin Mary

Virgin's_first_seven_steps

(Mosaic, “The Virgin’s first seven steps”)

Less than two decades (perhaps even less than one) after the Holy Land becomes Roman territory, Israel’s most precious jewel yet is born: The Blesséd Virgin Mary.  By a special grace from God, Mary is conceived in her mother’s womb without Original Sin and perfectly preserved from all personal sin throughout her life (see post on the Immaculate Conception).  She is totally dedicated to God in all her being — heart, soul, and body.

She lives a simple, hidden life, and yet we cannot grasp just how much of a novelty is her presence in the world.  She is the first sinless human being to exist since Adam and Eve before the Fall.  Once again, remember the proto-evangelion, the prophecy of the woman and her offspring?

Well, this is the woman.

11. The Star of the Magi

Star of BethlehemWe all know the story — a group of wise men who study the heavens are led, from the east, by the light of a new star to the humble birthplace of Jesus Christ.

In the magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions [at least one of whom probably inherited the spiritual tradition of Zoroaster, whom we referenced in step #7], the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. (. . .) [T]hey seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations.

(CCC 528 – bracketed comment mine)

Remember, the coming of Christ is the fulfillment of the Noahic Covenant with all the nations (cf. #3) as well as the Old Covenant.  But the magi do not find this fulfillment in a vacuum.  Rather, they find their King only among His People, the Jews.  Not only that, they find Him under the custodianship of Joseph, a descendant of King David (lineages in ancient Israel were always traced through the father, even if the child was adopted).  And to narrow it down even further, they find Him in the arms of the Immaculate Virgin Mary.

And finally…

12. John the Baptist

San_Juan_Bautista_por_Joan_de_JoanesTrue, St. John the Baptist comes onto the scene well after the birth of Christ.  But at this point, Christ has not yet publicly revealed Himself.  It was for Jesus’ public ministry that John paved the way, and for that reason he is one of the Church’s favorite figures during the Advent season.

John, the son of a Levite High Priest, comes to Israel after undertaking a long period of fasting, penance, prayer, and mortification in the dessert, preaching the urgent need for repentance and the immanence of the Kingdom of God.  He is the last and greatest prophet of the Old Testament tradition and the forerunner of the Messiah.  He preaches and administers a baptism of repentance and exhorts the people to be ready to meet their Savior…

Baptism of Christ…until at last he comes face-to-face with Him in the Jordan.

Thank you for taking this Advent journey with me.  Happy waiting!

Images from Wikipedia

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