Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas And "The Redemption Of Time"

Charles Moore on the lessons of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens:

When Scrooge is shown his own name, unmourned, on his tombstone by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, he repents and exclaims, "I shall honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year". And when he awakes on Christmas morning in a state of joyful commotion, he realises that "Best and happiest of all, the time before him was his own, to make amends in!"

It is a great psychological insight that after you have done something terribly wrong, and acknowledged it, you feel that you can regain your ownership of time. You feel free. In a recent newspaper interview with a nun who had emerged after 50 years in an enclosed convent to do a course as an art student, her strongest impression was that "People in London are rushing, always rushing – as if time were a tyrant rather than a gift." This Christmas would be a particularly good moment to throw off the tyranny and accept the gift. The doctrine of Christmas is that it is the redemption of time.

Hat tip to Larry Seigel

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