It’s now Advent, the time when Catholics and some Protestant denominations prepare themselves for the coming of Christ. This isn’t merely a time of preparation for the feast of Christmas. It also reminds us that Christ will come again in glory, and so it’s a reminder that we need to prepare ourselves for His coming so that we may be worthy to be in His presence. So, in this time Catholic Churches will not (or probably more accurately, should not) be singing Christmas hymns, but rather Advent hymns. The most famous Advent hymn is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” which is commonly played as a Christmas song, but given its obvious anticipation of Christ’s coming is properly understood as an Advent hymn.
So take some time in the next three and a half weeks, examine yourself, make sure you’re ready for the coming of Christ. Because we don’t know when He will come, only that it will be unexpectedly.
More information: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Advent
Why I Parted Ways With Chavez – New York Times
ON Dec. 17, 1982, three of my fellow officers in the Venezuelan Army and I swore our allegiance to the Bolivarian Revolutionary Army 2000. We considered ourselves to be at the birth of a movement that would turn a critical eye on Venezuela’s troubled social and political system — and formulate proposals to improve it. One of the officers with me was Hugo Chávez, the current president of Venezuela, whom I have known since I entered the military academy 35 years ago.
Hugo Chávez and I worked together for many years. I supported him through thick and thin, serving as his defense minister. But now, having recently retired, I find myself with the moral and ethical obligation as a citizen to express my opposition to the changes to the Constitution that President Chávez and the National Assembly have presented for approval by the voters tomorrow.
The proposal, which would abolish presidential term limits and expand presidential powers, is nothing less than an attempt to establish a socialist state in Venezuela. As our Catholic bishops have already made clear, a socialist state is contrary to the beliefs of Simón Bolívar, the South American liberation hero, and it is also contrary to human nature and the Christian view of society, because it grants the state absolute control over the people it governs.
How is it that we, the people of Venezuela, have reached such a bizarre crossroads that we now ask ourselves if it is democratic to establish the indefinite re-election of the president, to declare that we are a socialist nation and to thwart civic participation?
The answer is that all Venezuelans, from every social stratum, are responsible for the institutional decay that we are witnessing. The elite never understood — and still fail to understand — the need to include, in every sense, the millions who have been kept at the margins of the decision-making process because of their poverty. At the same time, President Chávez led the poor to believe that they are finally being included in a governmental model that will reduce poverty and inequality. In reality, the very opposite is true.
In recent years, the country’s traditional political parties have come to see the Venezuelan people as clients who can be bought off.
If Bush were asking for a Constitutional Amendment to be allowed to run for President again, liberals would be rioting in the streets. But because it’s a Bush-hater trying to instill a dictatorship. Liberal principles go out the window in favor opposing Bush.
Hat Tip: memeorandum