The Anglicans know how to do this…

Evensong and Lessons and one does them quite like the Anglicans.This is one of my very favorite hymns, and a surprisingly difficult one to sing with control; we Catholics - assuming the male pronouns were allowed in by the music ministers - would still very likely have minor breakdowns in confidence and tonality trying to do justice to this lovely, hushed and reverent piece.But the English, God love 'em, they are uncowed and unintimidated. They take on Christina Rosetti's vivid … [Read more...]

O Oriens!

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.O Radient Dawn, splendor of eternal light, and sun of justice, come, and shine on those , seated in darkness, and in the shadow of death. … [Read more...]

O Clavis David!

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israël, qui aperis, et nemo claudit, claudis, et nemo aperuit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.O Key of David, and scepter of the house of Israel, you open, and no one shuts, you shut, and no one opens: come, and lead the prisoner from jail. seated in darkness and in the shadow of death.Dec 17 - O Sapientia! Dec 18 - O Adonai! Dec 19 - O Clavis David! … [Read more...]

"Nothing is Impossible with God…"

Deacon Greg has posted his homily for tomorrow, and as usual, it's a home-run, with real meaning and application to our lives....The Annunciation. Artists have painted it, sculpted it, and imagined it more than any other. It towers over the popular imagination.You can speculate on the reasons why. It’s certainly dramatic: this is the true beginning of the life of Christ, the very moment when our salvation began. And it is a perfect marriage of heaven and earth, the human and the divine.But … [Read more...]

Penn Jillette; slouching toward Bethlehem

With some understandable reservation, I have always liked Penn Jillette. Intelligence sizzles off of him the way I imagine it did with John Quincy Adams. He is articulate, urbane, insightful, mischievous and acerbically funny, and he manages to be all of those things without going into the condescension, dismissiveness and arrogance that some (think: Bill Maher) latch onto in college and extend into a sort of perpetually adolescent sneer-and-kneejerk.He is also, clearly, a guy who thinks - … [Read more...]

Advent Vespers w/talk & prayer

Vespers with the beautiful O Antiphon for the night are podcasted here. My talk afterwards is disjointed and the prayer pretty simple. Please pray for the people I mention - they all need our prayers. I do too.When we pray for others while we're in the midsts of uncertainty and anxiety, ourselves, it helps everyone. The prayee and the pray-or. … [Read more...]

O Radix Jesse!

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at whom kings shall shut their mouths; to whom the Gentiles shall seek: Come and deliver us, and tarry not.The Benedictine offers thoughts on the root of Jesse.I am curious to know...are you liking these O Antiphons? Do you find them to be as beautiful as I do?And I am … [Read more...]

Advent Vespers (Shortened) with Poem

The schedule is a bit mad today and the house a bit full. Here is a "shorter" version of Evening Prayer for which I used today's entry from Magnificat Magazine, which I highly recommend to you, particularly if - like many - the full-length Liturgy of the Hours is just more than your daily schedule can handle.After the prayer, which is substantially shorter than normal Vespers, I read an except from Longfellow's "Introitus" of "The Divine Tragedy" just because I liked it so much. I hope you … [Read more...]

"They Do Not Love Jesus"

The child you are looking at is Namrata Nayak. Her face was disfigured when when Hindu extremists bombed her home last August, looking to kill Christians.I am struck by her power and beauty, which is transmitted through her eyes. One does not see the scars for the steadiness and fullness of Namrata Nayak's eyes.Her eyes are fearless. She is unintimidated. She looks directly at you, with a collectedness and assurance that only comes from deep interior knowledge. Namrata Nayak knows who … [Read more...]

O Sapientia!

Today with Vespers we begin the beautiful "O Antiphons" of the last 7 nights of AdventO Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ"O'Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!"More on the antiphons: here and here … [Read more...]