Monday, December 28, 2009

Origen on Birthdays

Origen coincides remarkably with Jehovah's Witnesses on the subject of birthdays. This lengthy quote comes from his Homilies on Leviticus:

[2] But Scripture also declares that one himself who is born whether male or female is not "clean from filth although his life is of one day." (Job 14:4-5) And that you may know that there is something great in this and such that it has not come from the thought to any of the saints; not one from all the saints is found to have celebrated a festive day or a great feast on the day of his birth. No one is found to have had joy on the birth of his son or daughter. Only sinners rejoice over this kind of birthday. For indeed we find in the Old Testament Pharaoh, king of Egypt, celebrating the day of his birth with a festival, (Gen 40:20) and in the New Testament, Herod (Mark 6:21). However, both of them stained the festival of his birth by shedding human blood. For the Pharaoh killed "the chief baker," (Gen 40:22) Herod, the holy prophet John "in prison." (Mark 6:27) But the saints not only do not celebrate a festival on their birthdays, but, filled with the Holy Spirit, they curse that day. (Origen - Homily on Leviticus VIII Trans. Barkley 1990 CUA Press)

I will stop here in the interests of avoiding breaching copyright, though Origen continues in this vein presenting proofs that the pre-Christian "saints" such as Jeremiah and Job cursed the day on which they were born and did not at all celebrate the day of their birth.

1 comment:

  1. I would have liked to read this ... but, alas, there is nothing between "Homilies on Leviticus" and "I will stop here ..."