Merry Christmas

Stop writing and uploading for a day, I was told by my advisers before I ever started, and you have lost half your audience. Do it for two days and you have lost another half. As I now intend to disappear through four days, from this electronic aether, it follows that I must bid adieu to fifteen-sixteenths of my gentle readers, aheu!

The experts also told me that pictures are not optional; that nothing can sell without “sex appeal”; that links must be plentiful, to get links back; that the typography absolutely must be garish; and that fundraising appeals should be conducted in as serious and unsubtle a manner as a tinsmith repeating his mallet blows. (“Never make a joke near the cashpoint,” is an old axiom of the marketing men.)

Moreover, upon suppressing Comments, as I did in the middle of last year, I was told, Male ulciscitur dedecus sibi illatum, qui amputat nasum suum.

Or as the more sanguinary trouvères put it: Qui son nez cope deshonore son vis.

And I was told to avoid Latin and, probably, mediaeval French as well.

Indeed, it has occurred to at least one gentle reader — and he not even a Christian — that I might be entirely dispensable.

Notwithstanding certain Catholic proclivities, these Idleposts are not meant to substitute for attendance at the Mass. Always go there, by preference. Often I allude to the cycle of Feasts and Fasts, but do not do that in a systematic way. Your missal will provide, I hope, the missing details; and your Rosary, the missing thoughts. And while it is true I tend to moralize, lay-sermonize, preach and whistle, I am a very distant cousin to the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. I wear no clerical collar. Never trust me on doctrine, or anything else on which your life might depend. I have, after all, barely a tenth-grade education, and that not from a very impressive school.

I am, superadditionally, highly suspicious of the medium in which I am operating. While I cannot say it is all bad, I think well over 99 percent of it needs editing to the point of eradication. (Up from 98 percent, in print.) Who will trust the untrusting?

All I know is that if you aren’t right with Jesus, you aren’t right at all. … (So if you aren’t planning to spend perpetuity burning in Hell, best to go queue at the Confessional.)

And all this by way of wishing any remaining gentle readers a very Merry Christmas, with families gathered round; and the smile of the Christ Child upon each of you and yours; and on me as I desist from blathering until some time on Monday (should God will).