Belief Beat

Just a bit of sillinesss to balance out the Middle East today: It’s Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, which means he has predicted an early spring. (Sure, if you live in Seattle, where it’s been mild and sunny all week. Chutzpah, indeed. But if he’s right… perhaps it’ll turn all the “snowmageddon” and “snowpocalypse” survivors into true believers.)

National Catholic Reporter and Episcopal Cafe note that today is also Candlemas, a Celtic and Christian festival. From Episcopal Cafe’s forum:

As Ann Davis Garmin writes: Candlemas is, for Christians, the Presentation of Jesus. Candlemas is a pagan holiday as well — Feb 1 is halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox. You can tell the days are getting longer right about now! This halfway-there date is a marker that Easter and spring are coming.

Updated to add: It’s also Imbolc, St. Brigid’s Day, and Marmot Day!.

And here are some faith-related quotes from Bill Murray’s excellent 1993 “Groundhog Day” film, which some folks consider quite a spiritual movie:

Phil: I’m a god.

Rita: You’re God?

Phil: I’m a god. I’m not *the* God… I don’t think.

Phil: Well maybe the *real* God uses tricks, you know? Maybe he’s not omnipotent. He’s just been around so long he knows everything.

Phil Connors: This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype. Groundhog Day used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it. You’re hypocrites, all of you!

Rita: What should we drink to?

Phil: I’d like to say a prayer and drink to world peace.

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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