Mary and Elizabeth

If you are snowed in, you have time to indulge me, but even if you are scurrying around, I urge to take a few minutes to read Deacon Greg's meaty homily on what we Catholics call "The Visitation," - the moment in the Gospel where Mary, confronted by Gabriel and overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, has gone to visit her elder kinswoman, Elizabeth, who was also with child. Writes Greg:[Elizabeth] knew that she was greeting her Messiah.Pope Benedict has written that the Visitation is more than … [Read more...]

Dec 18 – O Adonai

SourceOnce again, our friends the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist provide a lovely background to today's glorious antiphon:The title "Adonai," was originally used by the Israelites instead of pronouncing the name of God as revealed to Moses at the burning bush. Not only did God tell Moses His name, but He also gave him the Law, which paradoxically sets us free. Although our culture tells us that freedom is for doing whatever we like, our faith tells us that we have been … [Read more...]

Dec 17 – O Sapientia

Finally, we come to the last week of Advent and the gorgeous O Antiphons which precede the Magnificat at Vespers. I like the description here.O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.I love this U2 song, which re-states the Magnificat, and the video with it; the wind (on which rides the Holy Spirit) comes over what is hidden, revealing what appears to be the New Jerusalem, and then flows … [Read more...]

Vespers Podcast for tonight

This is from last year, and I think it includes one of my "little talks."Excuse the singing. I'm only posting this by request. :-) … [Read more...]

Christmas Climate: Lie down and die

SourceThe Christmas season is domestic; and for that reason most people now prepare for it by struggling in tramcars, standing in queues, rushing away in trains, crowding despairingly into teashops, and wondering when or whether they will ever get home. I do not know whether some of them disappear forever in the toy department or simply lie down and die in the tea-rooms; but by the look of them, it is quite likely. Just before the great festival of the home [Christmas], the whole population … [Read more...]

Go Home Congress! – UPDATED

Dear Congress:After watching the absurd kabuki theater going on in Washington, where Harry Reid spends half his time crowing, "we've got the votes!" and the other half bullying people to get the votes, and Nancy Pelosi walks around like a smiling set of brass knuckles, offering anything, hourly, to anyone who will help her pass their healthcare plan "by Christmas," I have a message for all of you in both houses of the US Congress:GO HOME. Drop what you are doing, right now, and go home. Put … [Read more...]

Advent pause for weary minds

...and for heavy hearts and broken spirits, too.My Inner Eeyore is out today, and I don't think I should inflict her upon you; rather let us find a balm here, from today's Office of Reading:On this mountain the Lord of hosts will provide for all peoples A feast of rich food and choice wines, juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines. On this mountain he will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the web that is woven over nations; he will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe … [Read more...]

Sr. Mary Magdalene!

On this wonderful solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, our friends the Dominican Nuns of Summit, NJ have clothed a new novice in the habit, and in religion her name will be:Sr. Mary Magdalene of the Immaculate ConceptionThe pictures are lovely (the new sister is glowing and the whole community seems joyfilled), and the comments section is informative.In her first monastic Advent and Christmas season, the former Sr. Carri takes the names of the two women who remained with Christ in his … [Read more...]

Advent Pictures of Christ

Snowflake Photos from SnowCrystals.comI know I need to be careful how I say this.Yes, they're snowflakes.But when I first saw these pictures, all I could think of was: Look! Pictures of Christ!Pictures of perfection, they remind us of the joyful Antiphon for a Monday's vespers: "yours is more than mortal beauty; every word you speak is full of grace."They are -in a sense- pictures of Christ in Glory.He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all … [Read more...]

Penance Palate Cleanser

You see, I am a harsh but fair mistress. After pummeling you with this, I ease off on the penance, with this:If you can't get enough of this song, and I think I'm at saturation point, myself, Kim Priestap serves up a variety of O Holy Night vids. … [Read more...]