Medieval English Songs for St Nicholas

St Nicholas was a very popular saint in the Middle Ages, and with all the colourful stories about him, it's not difficult to see why. There are several vernacular carols and poems in his honour from medieval England, and in fact one of the very earliest surviving English songs is a prayer to St Nicholas (one of the songs of Godric of Finchale, who died in 1170)... more (via Amy Welborn)--and you can listen to that song on YouTube: … [Read more...]

It’s My Feast Day!

And I am not making a "Christmas Eve! Get it? Get it???" pun here. Today is the Feast of Sts Adam and Eve. So there's hope for us all. … [Read more...]

Advent post: Today’s readings

You don't have to rely on your own strength. You're relying on God's strength. Trust in His righteousness, sacrifice, love, and power, not your own. I feel like this relates to my other Advent post from today.Also this, from Isaiah: Trust in the LORD forever! For the LORD is an eternal Rock. He humbles those in high places, and the lofty city he brings down; He tumbles it to the ground, levels it with the dust. It is trampled underfoot by the needy, by the footsteps of the … [Read more...]

Advent post: Be prepared to say yes

Let's say that you want to be more generous during this Advent. So you walk outside your door, feeling all resolution-y and tinsel-trimmed, and somebody asks you for money and you say, "Of course!" and then... look in your wallet and all you have is your debit card.This is basically how I live, in more ways than dealing with beggars. It's obviously related to the overpromising thing I already talked about, but the problem here is a little different, and has two aspects. The first is that I … [Read more...]

“Saint Nicholas of Myra Saves Three Innocents from Death”

Ho, ho, ho! (Link via TKB.) … [Read more...]

Advent post: Stop blowing those charity bubbles!

This post, unlike the first two, is about something I consistently do wrong when trying to help others. It'll be short because I think the problem is really easy to describe once I've been able to notice it: I overpromise and underdeliver. I say that there's probably a way I can help and then either I was much too optimistic about what is actually available or I get overwhelmed and do a perfunctory job.There are two points to make here. One is that Advent is a good time to ask yourself about … [Read more...]

Advent post: Alongside amends

A season of preparation and penance can bring us to the thought of apologies and amends. We may want to try to apologize to those we've hurt in the past and ask their forgiveness.This isn't always the best idea for a number of reasons: You may just be reopening old wounds, or you may be at a point in your relationship with the person you've offended where they simply can't believe anything you say. ("Every word I say is a lie. But I really like you.") I've seen many people argue that asking … [Read more...]