Joyous Surrender: A Rhapsody in Red (and Green)

"A follower once asked St. Francis—oh, so prissily—whether it was licit to eat meat on the Feast of Christmas, and he shouted in reply, “On a day like this, even the walls eat meat. And if they cannot, then let them be spread with meat.” Now there’s a picture that won’t make House Beautiful any time soon: the walls of the dining room dripping with smeared meat. Such an image will not be subsumed by any attempt to tidy up the holiday and make Christmas manageable. St. Francis points toward something about the wonder and the mess of the Incarnation: the shattering of ordinary life that the Nativity declares. The smash of predictability, the breaking of attempts at elegant organization. This world is out of our control—not just in the bad sense of sin and fallen nature, but also in the impossibly good sense that God, in his providence, has taken it in hand."