Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Heaven and Nature sing!!: My Christmas Quotes and Links Entry

This is my written Christmas Greeting to my very rare readers.  All the best to you and your families.

Quote from the article linked above:   Christmas is one of those moments when the language has been let alone to do what it really wants to do.
Pope Benedict XVI on the meaning of Christmas 
Why do we really celebrate Christmas despite the wretchedness, turmoil, and isolation that are still man's lot and are if anything intensifying, rather than lessening? What is the real point of Christmas? . . . Is it not consoling to see how, despite all the misunderstands, the message of Jesus of Nazareth is heard? It is not only conflict that the message has produced but also and even more the miracle of understanding, so that across ages and cultures, and even across the boundaries between religions, human beings find one another in his name. Distance vanishes and people are drawn together when this name is spoken . . . for Christmas says to us, amid all our doubts and bewilderment: God exists. Not as an infinitely distant power that can at best terrify us; not as being's ultimate ground that is not conscious of itself. Rather, he exists as One who can be concerned about us; he is such that everything we are and do lies open to his gave. But that gaze is the gaze of Love. For anyone who accepts this in faith and knows it by faith, there is no longer any ultimate isolation. He is here. The light that one man became in history and for history is not an accident or something powerless, but Light from Light. The hope and encouragement that emanate from this light thus acquire a wholly new depth. But precisely because it is an entirely divine hope, we can and should accept it as also an entirely human hope and pass it on to others.
— Dogma and Preaching
(*That is the point of Christmas.  Any other reason to celebrate it isn't worth the trouble.*)
Averting Depression and Suicide
From this blog entry about the benefit of having dogs as companions.  I came across this quote:

Dogs also avert depression by providing a constant distraction, and I believe they help prevent suicide. They certainly did in my case, as even when I wanted to end it all, I just wasn't selfish enough to do something like that to animals that I loved who depended on me. I would have had to get rid of them first -- a thought more awful than getting rid of myself. I don't mean to be maudlin, but I do not exaggerate when I say that one of the reasons I am alive today is because of my dogs.
The thought came to me that I would say the same about getting married to Jenny and having Tony.  You have to have a reason bigger than yourself for living and it is a sin not to have one.
Dwight Eisenhower
In President Eisenhower's famous "Beware the Military-Industrial Complex" speech, the Liberal Icon and Pacifist Saint  Eisenhower also had this to say:

"…the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite."

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