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Showing posts from October, 2009

Friday Five: Our Favorite Music

The Friday Five come from here . Martin Luther said: "I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor." On this Friday before Reformation Sunday, let's talk about music. Share with us five pieces of music that draw you closer to the Divine, that elevate your mood or take you to your happy place. They might be sung or instrumental, ancient or modern, sacred or popular...whatever touches you. 1. My favorite hymn is "My Life Flows On". See my sermon about it here and another post here . I love this hymn and it brings me great comfort to hear it or to sing it. 2. Bach's "Sheep May Safely Graze" is one of the pieces of music that relaxes my mind and body. I think I listened to it, looped, for a couple hours once when I was very

Reliquary relinquished

I recently read this article about the return of relics to the Roman Catholic Church (or to some RC churches). Within the piece, the author has this to say: After all, these spiritual accoutrements were a large part of the Catholic experience for well over a millennium. But a quiet groundswell of Catholics won't give up this time-honored tradition of praying to a saint's bodily remain. Pope Benedict XVI reinstated the Latin Mass. So why not bring back an emphasis on relic veneration as well? A French priest is currently touring the United States with the supposed bones of Mary Magdalene, and the faithful are flocking to pray in front of them. In September and October, the relics of a 19th-century nun, St. Therese of Lisieux, went on a 28-stop tour around Great Britain. If the thousands of devotees who came to witness these lovely bones are any indication, the faithful are hungering for a less sterile form of religion. While there's no scholarly consensus on when relic ve

Serving the Children (10/18/09)

Isaiah 53:4-12; Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c; Hebrews 5:1-10; Mark 10:35-45 “Hey, I want you to do me a favor.” When I say that to you, how do you respond? Are you inclined at all to say, “Sure” without hearing what the favor is? That’s essentially what James and John asked of Jesus. “Hey, Jesus. We want you to do us a favor.” Despite all that Jesus has revealed to them about the coming of the kingdom of God and the miracles they have witnessed, James and John are most concerned with their reward. They are essentially asking Jesus to tell them that they are the greatest among the disciples (and you better believe they’ll make sure the others hear about it). James and John have heard Jesus’ message, but they haven’t listened to it. When Jesus asks if they are up for the sacrifices they will have to make to have such a reward, the brothers eagerly assure Him that they are. However, Jesus says, “You may be able to make those sacrifices and you will. But the seats at my right and my left a

Miss Havisham, I presume

My computer has been telling me, "You have not backed up your information in 50 days..." 51 days, 52 days, 53 days... My kitchen calendar was still on August and, I discovered this week, so was my office calendar. This past Wednesday I finally finished reading a book, my first since 17 August. I think I get bonus points because said book was neither about child development nor breastfeeding. I'm eating cold leftover steak out of a baggie and typing quickly, listening to the new sounds around which my life rotates... the grunts, squeaks, and sighs that mean I have only so many minutes before Daniel, my baby, wants something. All the familiar markers of my life are completely disordered and, at this time, unhelpful. When each day is a blur of feeding, sleeping, changing, playing, trying to go to sleep, changing, feeding, and paperwork... I don't really need a calendar or even to back up the things that used to seem so important. In a week or so, I will be going bac