In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed the adoption of a calendar that would move New Year's Day from the end of March to January 1. This was in response to an authorization from the fathers of the Council of Trent, who were trying to bring the celebration of Easter closer to the date when it had been celebrated in the early church, early spring, and to get everyone to celebrate it at the same time. Among other things, this meant moving New Year's. Those who didn't get the message about the new calendar or who chose to ignore it continued to celebrate New Year's Day through April 1. They were considered to be April fools and were ridiculed
Other explanations include the notion that St. Paul had inspired it in 1 Corinthians 4:10:"We are fools on Christ's account, but you are wise in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are held in honor, but we in disrepute." Whatever the origins, April 1 evolved into a day for playing pranks, among which I have a favorite
In the early days of television, the BBC had an announcer named Richard Dimbleby. He was best known for his narration of royal occasions: weddings, state funerals, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and other events requiring pomp and circumstance. If Dimbleday pronounced something in his authoritative tones, everyone believed it.
On April 1, 1957, a BBC show, Panorama, ran a feature on the annual spaghetti harvest in Ticino, Switzerland, narrated by Mr. Dimbleby. It showed farmers and their families running about, cutting spaghetti from the trees where it had grown and then celebrating with a big feast. Countless numbers of people fell for this hoax. Why? Because Richard Dimbleby had reported it
How often we are taken in by exterior voices that are the most insistent, authoritative or loudest. Or simply because they say, "Believe me." Yet, we frequently miss the voice that is in the hearts of all of us. Augustine of Hippo, who certainly behaved like a fool before his conversion, wrote this in his Confessions, which is really one great prayer . It's so beautiful that I want to share it
Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.