What It Means To Be Human: The Story of Conner and Cayden Long

I saw this today, thanks to the president of my school. The video is about a child athlete named Connor who always includes his brother Cayden, who has cerebral palsy, in his activities. Connor insists on including Cayden in all ways. He brings him along in a raft while he swims, and a stroller-like device while he runs and bikes. It is an amazing, heart-warming story that reminds us what human dignity is all about. I had trouble embedding the video, since it is from ESPN and not Youtube, so you will have to click on this link: ‘What It Means To Be Human, The Story of Connor and Cayden.

Not Celebrating Holidays = A Sad Life

Christmas Tree in RoomWhen I was growing up, I remember being surprised that the Jehovah’s Witnesses in my classes didn’t observe Christmas or Halloween. I remember there being a mini-debate among the JWs in the class about whether “Teddy Bear Week” constituted a holiday or not, which I found amusing even in first grade.

I support the right of any person to celebrate whatever they want (or don’t want) so long as nobody is harmed, but nonetheless, I think living a life without a lot of holidays is a sad life indeed. Holidays give us meaning. They help us orient in our live in time and space. They provide us with rituals to adjust to changing seasons. In other words, celebrating holidays is deeply human. Animals don’t celebrate them, so I dare say celebrating holidays are part of being created in God’s image! Fortunately, as a Catholic, my calendar is loaded with celebrations, feasts, and fasts!

I can make Scriptural arguments about why celebrating Christian holidays is good. I can make good historical arguments for why Christmas, Easter, and other holidays are pretty darn ancient, and in the case of Easter, apostolic. I can make a philosophical case for why a holiday can’t be “pagan” anyway, because God created every day, and isn’t going to let a pagan “own” a day.

Yet, that is not what I am saying here. What I am saying here is that denying yourself the chance to feast, fast, switch seasons, and meaningfully orient yourself within time is tantamount to denying your basic humanity. I don’t want to get into a big debate, because I won’t do that here (I have better things to do), but I will say that I hope any reader that comes here that hates Christian holidays will at the very least ponder how something that brings such joy and meaning can be “evil.” I am not sure if I could imagine a god that would create people with a deep need for holidays and then send you to hell (or annihilation – pick your poison) for celebrating them.

Welcome to the ChurchYear.Net Blog!

Well, we have a blog! This blog will provide you a place to learn about various aspects of the Church year, as well as discuss your own customs and traditions associated with each. Be sure to stop by often and check us out.
We will try to update the blog regularly, even if it is to highlight some news article related to a component of the Church Year. Stop by, share some insights, and have some fun!

Let me tell you a little bit about who we are. We have provided accurate and understandable information about the Church Year since 2004. In fact, we get over a million visitors a year from all over the world, primarily the United States, but we also draw visitors from countries like Kuwait and Nigeria. The holidays we write about are universally celebrated.

Since this is the first post, I want to set the tone here. This is not a place for harsh debate. Cordial and charitable disagreements are likely to happen, but this blog is not a place to attack a person of any Christian denomination. Even though this site is run by Catholics, all people are welcome. We also won’t tolerate “anti-holiday” trolls. If you want to express why you don’t like Christmas, that is fine, but no “Christmas is pagan” trolling will be permitted. Yes, there are aspects of Christmas we share with pagans, but I know of no committed Christian that is a pagan, so we won’t go there either!