Monday, December 22, 2008

My Semester Wrapped up in a few minutes

Enjoy, Peeps! 


(at the beginning of "See the Conquering Hero Comes" there are 15 (out of 80 [well, maybe like 50, sine it is girl parts] and I am one... shameless bragging. lol)  

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Strange Happenings

guy at work: *whistle* "Hey baby. Honey, why don't you look at me?"

me: "cuz I'm not a dog, so don't whistle at me"

guy behind me: "oh so I guess you're the type of girl who gets pissed when a guy opens the door for you"

Since when is opening a door like whistling? Since when does politeness (I don't even want to call it chilvalry since I don't really think that *most* men know what chilvalry actually is) equall "I'm holding this open cuz you're hot and I like to look as you walk by"? SERIOUSLY? Are you for real? I hold doors open for guys occasionally. Just cuz guess what, they're humans.

Since when is opening a door like whistling?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Schubert's Credo Mass in G



I'm putting more what dynamzics we did (which are written), because the recording doesn't really follow them, though it's the 'best' one I could find.

Also, the dynamics only makes sense if you really beleive/understand the text. Which I think is pretty freakin' awesome. Otherwise, it's kind of odd. I think this piece is a peice of genius. And.. I <3 it. LOL

Also... forgive them, they not how to pronounce ecclesial Latin. lol.


Credo in unum deo - begins piano and intense like something important is about to happen it kind of should sound like the entire choir is trembling.

Patrem onmipotentem- creschendo begins crucial point is 'omnipotentem'

Factorem caeli et terra - now we are strong, confident but not quite Forte

Visibilium omnium- we became forte then - on 'omnium'. EVERYTHING

Et invisibilium - dramatic drop to piano because of the word "invisibilium"


IN UNUM DOMINUM- "stoic trumpets" we got louder than they did. I love it! What do we believe? IN UNUM DOMINUM

JESUM CHRISTUM

FILIUM DEI

UNI GENITUM

ET EX PATRE NATUM

ANTE OMNIA SAECULA -

DEum de DEo, culmination of the "trumpets" into full orchestra

LUmen de lUmine, piano, but intense almost in a trembling kind of way

DEum VErum de DEo VEro- LOUD again.

The next part, he layers and it's absouletly brilliant the women sing

Genitum non factum

and the men sing

consubstantialem Patri


so... "begotten, not made, one in being with the Father" -- it's BRILLIANT amazing. I love it. LOL something you can only do with the voice and in parts. Ah... amazing.

per quem omnia facta sunt - together again, then...

Qui propter nos homines, et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis- dramatic piano, we got even quiter than they did. it becomes more lyrical than the "trumpet" part.


Et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto I love the treble (female) voice on this part.

ex Maria Virgine: - we DRUMMED that...

Et homo factus est.


Crucifixus etiam pronobis- ok... this. TONUS DIABLOS! Yes! Augmented Fourth in two octaves. AHH! and he used it THERE! It's AMAZING!

sub Pontio Pilato - grows more intense

passus, et sepultus est - we got quiter here


Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas- RESURREXIT!

Et ascendit in caelum: sedet ad dexteram Patris - lyrical trumpets, I think describe this

Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, judicare vivos et mortuos: FORTE - He is coming to judge!


cuius regni non erit finis.
FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINIS!

NEVER ENDS! BRILLIANT AGAIN!



Credo, Credo (funny storry, Dr. McD-- STOP STOP... I believe you eat, too, but don't sing it! It's CRedo CCRRRedo, not Credo edo )

in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum, et vivificantem- again, like at the beginning- expectant.

qui ex Patre Filioque procedit.

QUI CUM PATRE ET FILIO - more trumpets. :D I love how it's the Trinitarian stuff that gets it :)

SIMUL ADORATOR

QUI CUM PATRE ET FILIO

ET CONGLORIFACTUR

QUI LOCUTUS EST

PER PROPHETAS


Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum mortuorum. - we just believe that.

Et vitam venturi saeculi. Amen AMEN- Just... So it is. I believe it. Nothing horribly fancy. just Amen.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Swiping Cards... Random Reflections from a Bored and Slightly Disturbed Mind

For those of you who do not know, I work in the cafeteria. I swipe cards, mostly, but I also sort silverware *heh hmm* flatware, sweep floors, mop floors, stack dishes, slop food onto plates, clean up after people, make sure everything is stocked, ect.

I probably am handed 400-500 cards a day. (Soooo many, I know... lol) I try not to think of about it too much, and usually, me being me, I succeed. Mostly, because I have more important things going on in my brain and just don't think about the cards.

Today, however, an incident occurred that make only be able to think about the cards. As one guy was getting a tray and "flatware" lol, he put his card in his mouth. Yes, his mouth. Then he took it from his mouth and handed it to me. I couldn't refuse the guys card. I *had* to take it. I am paid to take it. I will be fired if I don't. So, cringing on the inside, I carefully placed my fingers on the edge of his card, trying to miss the syliva spots and quickly swiped his card, and handed it back to him.

This disturbed me greatly. I was severely grossed out for the rest of the night. I was almost paranoid to take another card. Ew. Where have they been? What have they touched? Is this why I am getting sick? WHERE IS MY HAND SANITIZER WHEN I NEED IT????!!!???!!!???!!

It was bad. For the rest of the night, all I could think was "That was so gross, that was so gross" and I thought of all the possible places the cards have been. Of the germs they have collected. How much disease on college campuses is spread in the cafeteria? Just by swiping a card?

*Le sigh.

Lesson learned: always bring hand sanitizer to work. You never know who eats his card.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

shamelessness

http://www.redbubble.com/people/CatherineE

There's a link on the side.

Philosphy, music, and a camera... what more does one need?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not a Video

I know... I went a little crazy with that.

Anywho... eventually there will be a post with actual text (other than this one telling that there will be.) I've been working on something off an on for a while but haven't got it together yet. But I will... I just don't know when. haha.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh.. JibJab

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Rock on Fathers!



OOOooh yeah.

Saturday, August 30, 2008



This particular piece - for a while- there was only one copy of the manuscript. It was locked away in the Vatican while it wasn't in use (duing Holy Week- and to practice, of course). Anyway, the only people allowed to perform it for years and years were the ones in Vatican choir and anyone else who did was punished with excommunication. I suppose this seems harsh. But the point was to keep it alive and mysterious, as something completely unearthly and not an overplayed pop song. I don't *think* anyone tried to reproduce it, so I don't think the punishment was ever actually needed.

And then one year, a family from Austria came to Rome for Easter. One of the members was a fourteen year old kid named Wolfgang. He listened to it twice and transcribed it (completely accurately) from memory. The Pope was so surprised and impressed that he dropped the punishment of excommunication.

So.. thanks to Mozart, it is now on YouTube...




(not all of the Psalm)
As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
2My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
3My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me continually,
‘Where is your God?’



4These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
5Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help 6and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
7Deep calls to deep
at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
have gone over me.
8By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.


9I say to God, my rock,
‘Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
because the enemy oppresses me?’
10As with a deadly wound in my body,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
‘Where is your God?’


11Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

May She Rest In Peace

Catharine Bluhm
September 27 1940 - June 28 2002


I love you, Grandmom.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Randomnity-

I feel much more like myself than I have all year. This is an incredibly random post.

So one day, I was talking to God and I was like, "Hey, why couldn't you have given us an off switch on our brains?" (It had been a bad day and I was thinking about things that were confusing and hard) Anywho, He said "Well, Catherine, you know... the way that you find me is through those thoughts. If I gave you an off switch and you could turn them off, you would be less likely to find me. You'd be able to turn me off." And I said, "oh, well... that makes sense" and He said "Did you expect me to do something that didn't make sense?" and I siad "well, no. I just don't expect to be able to make sense about what makes sense to you." and He said "Well... don't get used to it."

But... I still sometimes wish I could have one. Although, I suppose that it would just provoke the whole "run" thing that I have going.

So tonight and last night, since my mother and father are not here, I have been the one expected to take of meals. I LOVE IT! Like, seriously, not just meals, but since RC works like my dad and is hardly ever home anymore but is home this week, Christina has been... well... a little preoccupied. Plus today, they had to go to Montgomery to talk with Father and do all that stuff. SO... I have had to you know, do everything. Keep the brothers happy; make sure they don't do something dangerous, make sure they don't kill each other, keep them busy because otherwise they get sad because they miss Dad and now mom, too and mom gets to see Dad but they can't, feed them and make sure they eat well, and make sure they do their chores and all that kind of stuff. Part of it I don't like. The part that has to say "no you can't do that" or "no you cannot eat chocolate for lunch" (because seriously, who [unless you are like me and don't actually like chocolate] doesn't want that for lunch - especially when you are five and miss your parents). But... there's nothing better than to hear than "Thank you! You made it for me??! I've been wanting to eat that for like, a month!" (Now, I have no idea if the time frame is accurate, but that's completely irrelevant.) I mean, the gratitude of a hungry eleven year old boy when you fix his favorite food... you really can't get much more gratitude than that. (Not that I do it for the gratitude, I do it cuz well... let's be honest... I have to but also a little because it's fun to see them so happy. But I don't know, there's something about planning well balanced meals and making sure that they eat well balanced meals (whether it is... you know, exactly what you had in mind or not) and such that makes me not be able to wait until maybe one day I have a family of my own to do that for. My favorite book:
Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House . Eh, I'm a weirdo. But I can cook and clean! And my boys love me! And really who cares about anything else.

Pringles has this flavor of chip called Baked potatoe. I am not sure what I think of this. it really does taste like a baked potato. It an odd sensation for one's taste buds. Kind of like cheeseburger pizza (have you ever had that? strange strange stuff, it is). It makes me wonder what is in them. I mean, they are good. But are they toxic? Cuz, seriously, how can they not be?

OH! OH! So... which one's worse: Being 18 (last January) and getting bifocals OR being 19 and correcting most vision problems with contacts BUT having to buy the (lowest strength) generic type of reading glasses? BIFOCALS. They are awful. Yeah, I can see. But my world is split in half! NOW... I can watch a movie! LOL. It was difficult with bifocals, but, I am so freakin' near sighted that I can't see the screen if I take my glasses off. Now... I am free!! I never ever thought I'd wear the things that you have to poke into your eye. But they are great. I wish I'd had them sooner. It's still a little strange taking them out. Putting them I'm ok. But taking them out kinda creeps me out. BUT I CANN SEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My sister (who is even more nearsighted than I - though she doesn't have focusing problems like I do yet)has a theory. Monet- great impressionist? No- just a blind dude painting what he saw. LOL.

Um... I think I should I go... I hear my boys singing the song about the ten in the bed and the little one said "roll over"... I should probably go SEND THEM TO SLEEP!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Psalm 121

Some soul comfort



Psalm 121
1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2My help cometh even from the LORD, who hath made heaven and earth.

3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.

4Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5The LORD Himself is thy keeper: the LORD is thy defense upon thy right hand.

6So that the sun shall not burn thee by day, neither the moon by night.

7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: yea it is even He that shall keep thy soul.

8The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth for evermore.

Monday, May 05, 2008

In Defense of the Sacred (at a Catholic School)

(How to not write a philosphy paper on love and the personalistic norm day 8 because you suck at it [the norm, that is])

The choir has officially been told that it is no longer allowed to sing sacred music. If this is the case, I'm almost certain that will be no real choir to speak of next semester. I know of two people who will not sing and could bank on a third. And of course, they are most musically trained persons we have in the choir. If one of them leaves, then I can almost say with certainty that another person would leave, depleting the choir of an entire voice section. (subtlety, eh?).

For a Catholic school, this seems really dumb. I don't know the reasoning behind it and I'm not even going to try and guess. But really? Banned from singing Sacred Music? Stuck singing "keep your Lamps" and "Didn't me Lord Deliver Daniel"? Please God, no. Is that supposed to be a compromise?


I noticed that on the website, the mission statement (I hate those things) for the choir has been changed. :( Sad.


This is a Catholic college. Our Catholic idenity should not be something that is banned. And Catholic music is not just a treasure of the Church, it's a treasure of the world. Without Palestrina's compositions, there would have been no polyphony. No Bach Cantatas. No Moazart Requiem. Our job not only as Catholics, but as musicians too, is to keep this music alive and to introduce it to and share it with others. But ESPECIALLY as Catholic musicians, our job is to perpetuate this music in the Church.

A genera of music cannot be forced on a group of singers. If they hate the music, they really will not care to make it beautiful. It will be sufficient. But it won't be beautiful. Sacred music is actually easier to learn for inexperienced singers than gospel spirituals. It's all about the math. Spirituals are highly syncopated with weird rhythms. Old polophony is 100 times simpler because the composers were after mathematical granduer in their compositions. They are complex and challenging, but they are simpler than weird rhythms.

Secular choirs sing sacred music ALL THE TIME!

Why can't we?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

hehehe


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Something I Wrote a While Ago and had a Discussion About Today

Disclaimer:
1.- This was my first "real" paper that I ever wrote. I never had to write anything in highschool (shh), so be merciful please!
2.- I don't think that all rock music nessecarily harms the soul. Yes, there are Christian rock groups that bring many people closer (or even just) to Christ. BUT this is taking the original intent of rock music out of it. It's adding stuff to it that wasn't there. I don't really think anyone can argue that the point of rock music was to train the soul to leash its passions; in fact, I think you have to argue the quite the opposite is true: its original intent was to convince people that they needed to unleash those passions. Putting a Christian message to rock music does- as the person I was talking to (I think) said, though talking about something else- take those passions and show that they need to be ordered and that they are there. But that was not the original intent of rock music and I don't really know if it's 100% true rock at that point.
3.-Even though it was a kind of debate format, I'm really not interested in a debate. I'll read something from the other side, but I'm not putting this out here to start a debate, because I seriously doubt that I could handle that. I've got way too much other stuff to deal with right now.
Like class work which I should be doing doing right now.

I noticed the other day whileI was reading Orthodoxy that I write a lot like Chesterton (and by that, I only mean that I use a lot of parentheticals...) :P


That said, enjoy. Here ya go.

In the chapter of The Closing of the American Mind entitled “Music,” Allan Bloom describes the relationship between music (especially rock music) and the human soul. Bloom suggests that music is what cultivates the soul and either allows it to grow or hampers its growth. Music and the lyrics that accompany it affect a person more than just temporarily and outwardly; its affects can be lasting and deeply imprinted on a soul. Rock music does not allow the soul to grow like it is supposed to; rock music ‘stunts’ the soul’s growth or deforms it.

Music is more than just sound that makes a person feel better; “[m]usic is the medium of the human soul” (Bloom 71). When Thomas Jefferson could not come up with the right words for parts of the Declaration of Independence, he played his violin and was able to express his thoughts (O’Donnell, musicpower.com). Music even affects non-humans. Plants have been shown to respond to music. The same types of seeds were grown in identical environments but in one, classical music was played and in the other, rock music was played. The plants that were exposed to classical music grew and flourished but the ones exposed to rock music withered and died. This reaction can be compared to what happens when a person constantly listens to rock music.

Music does not need lyrics to make an impression upon a person. The rhythm of the music is enough for the meaning to be conveyed. The lyrics of songs are influenced by the beat and rhythm of the music. “Even when articulate speech is added, it is utterly subordinate to and determined by the music and passions it expresses” (Bloom 71). If someone hears a sad song, he can tell it is a sad song without having heard the lyrics.

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius, a Roman statesman in the fifth century said “Music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired.” This statement is especially true today but with an entirely new significance. Anywhere at anytime music is accessible: in houses, in cars, airplanes, and on the street (Bloom 68). One can access any music that he wants to hear from a computer and even a mobile telephone. This is why Allan Bloom says: “[t]his is the age of music and the states of soul that accompany it” (68).

Since music is linked so closely to the soul, it is one of the things that most affect a person’s education. Education is defined as “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life” (dictionary.com). Bloom says: “Civilization or, to say the same thing, education is the taming or domestication of the soul’s raw passions- not suppressing or excising them, which would deprive the soul of its energy- but forming and informing them as an art” (71). No other music has formed the souls of so many young people as rock music has. Children naturally imitate what they are told is good. If children listen to rock music, it is only natural that they would imitate what the lyrics praise as good: sex, drugs, rebellion, selfishness, and violence. One would not give an elementary school child a college level test. Why would anyone present to children something that they are not mature enough to understand? Rock music does exactly that:


It acknowledges the first emanations of children’s emerging
sensuality and addresses them seriously, eliciting them and
legitimating them, not as little sprouts that must be carefully
tended in order to grow into gorgeous flowers, but as the real
thing. Rock gives children, on a silver platter, with all the
public authority of the entertainment industry, everything
that their parents always used to tell them they had to wait
for until they grew up and would understand later. (Bloom 73)

Just as a baby will get sick if it is fed solid food too soon, the soul will be perverted if it is fed the “solid food” that rock music is. A ten year old is not mature enough to constantly listen to songs like Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps” or Green Day’s “86” without being affected by the messages of sex and violence. “This is the significance of rock music….it has risen to its current heights in the education of the young on the ashes of classical music, and in an atmosphere in which there is no intellectual resistance to attempts to tap the rawest passions” (Bloom 73). Lots of young people think that what was considered moral and right fifty years ago (no pre-marital sex, non-violence, man and woman marriages) is now old just fashioned and backward because no one has taught them otherwise.

Bloom says “The first sensuous experiences are decisive in determining the taste for the whole of life” (79). Rock music deprives the young of naturally discovering the world and all its beauty. It shows it to them in an almost mutilated fashion and tells them that it is the best, most beautiful, and most fulfilling thing before they are ready to know completely. If an athlete is not physically ready for an activity and tries to accomplish it too early, his energy is going to be spent and he could possibly hurt himself. The same thing happens to the soul. If a person is too premature for something and is exposed to or experiences it anyway, his energy will be spent and he will very possibly be emotionally hurt, sometimes without ever knowing that he is hurt or at least not knowing why he is hurting. Because it exposes the soul too early to things that should withheld from it, rock exhausts the energy of young people and does not allow the soul to grow; rock corrupts the soul. (80)

The mass perversion of a society by music can be seen even more clearly today than when Allan Bloom wrote The Closing of the American Mind. The generation that Bloom talks about are now adults. Bloom said that “the Michael Jackson costume will slip off to reveal a Brooks Brothers suit beneath.…But this life is as empty and as false as the one they left behind,” (Bloom 81). This is evident in the increase of divorces, sexual chaos, and general decline of society since rock music became the music of the people, especially young people.

Children are now being indoctrinated by rock music instead of being educated by parents and teachers and now they do not know how to think. Rock singers tell children and teenagers things about the world that aren’t necessarily true or they portray one way of looking at something as the only way to look at it and teenagers and children accept this without ever even questioning why they should believe such ideas are true. Young people no longer want to search to find the right answers; they have the answers handed to them through their music.

Plato argues that if you listen to decent music, then your soul will train your body to do decent things. It would seem that the opposite is also true. If you only listen to music that is not decent, then your soul will not, indeed, cannot train your body to do decent things. Most rock music does not exemplify decent things. It is no surprise, then that younger people, who are almost constantly immersed in rock music (and other genres like it) do not know decent things. Rock music does not supply the soul with the means to know decency; it denies decency and things that are good and replaces them with sex, drugs, and violence. Children need to be taught by someone who can explain without harming, express without violence, and love without selfishness. Rock music is not this teacher.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Brothers

:D.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

About a Pervert, A Judicial System, and Whoever wrote this

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Friday, April 18th 2008, 8:55 AM
A wedding disc jockey has been accused of sharing an instructional video showing how to sexually abuse children.

The case was referred to the Queens district attorney's office by police in Wheaton, Ill., who said they found two child porn videos in an Internet file-sharing program
the DJ was using in February. One video shows a 4-year-old girl performing a
sex act on a man; the other gives advice and examples on how to sexually
abuse minors, authorities said.

Dominick Guerra, 29, of Ozone Park, Queens, is charged in a criminal complaint with possessing and promoting child pornography. He was arraigned Thursday and held on $100,000 bail, according to the district attorney's office.

The DJ would face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

The name of Guerra's attorney could not immediately be determined.

The criminal complaint says the defendant admitted in a written
statement that he downloaded and viewed numerous child pornography videos from
the Limewire online file-sharing program.

"The charges are very disturbing," Queens District Attorney Richard
A. Brown
said in a statement. "There is a national connection to this
case which frighteningly shows the far reach of the Internet in dispensing
child pornography," said Brown. "It is imperative that we vigorously
prosecute this case so that our children remain safe from predators who
share information to carry out their depraved acts."

Aside from the overall digustingness of reading this, there are two things that really stick out in this article. Number one: "One video shows a 4-year-old girl performing a sex act on a man; the other gives advice and examples on how to sexually abuse minors, authorities said. " She's four! How incredibly sad. She's four and no longer a child. She's four and never will be able to have a normal childhood. She's four and will spend the rest of her life plagued by that. She didn't "perform" anything. The way that's written makes it sound like her fault. It's no where near that. Perhaps, technically that's true but she didn't perform anything, she was forced to do something. She was forced to do that by some sick creep.

Number two: " The DJ would face up to seven years in prison if convicted.". WHAT? Seven years? That's it? UP to seven years? How is that even possible? However it's possible, it's certainly not right. At least one little girl has to live with what this man did for the rest of her life and he gets "up to seven years" in jail? It makes absolutely no sense. This is pretty heinous thing. It's probably not going stop him from doing similar things when he gets out. The average lifespan is 77 or something, he's 29, - He'll be 36 which gives him about 40 years. But thinking about it is mind boggling. His victims will live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. If, 35 years from now, he's sixty-five and molests some kid who's 4, then that kid lives to be 80 so, that's over a hundred years that the effects of his actions linger immediately. Not even those affected by those affected by his actions. I mean, he made an "instructional video" for crying out loud! There are oing to be hundreds of people affected by that. (Statistacally speaking an average serial molester's victim count is about 360-surveys conducted in jails, so take it with a grain of salt. but still... there are a lot of us-, so I'm not exaggerating). And he gets seven years in jail? Something seems very wrong there.

Something is very screwed up when, in the same state, a man can go to jail for up to five years for animal cruelty and for up to seven for screwing up (though I'd like to use stronger language) multiple people's lives.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Library Chronicles??????

Just a reminder of the fact that time changes things by much. It's 11:18 am and I'm in the library. But that's about the only thing that remains the same or anywhere near the same as last year.

Some changes are good, I gues. Most I don't like. lol. The people around whom this blog centered when it started are pretty much gone from my life... or at least in it in very different ways. Now it centers around me. Go figure. At least it used to be me doing random things to entertain some of them.

The library itself is different. I actually work. lol. (Today, Mrs. Exley isn't here and the weekend staff finished everything up, so I've got nothing to do.) I don't feel like I'm going to explode in here anymore. Although, Dan could never get away with bringing his guitar in here anymore. I could never just kind of lounge around on the desk. Jill would never be able to watch prison break. Nick, Brian, and Kevin could never get away with the things they did. What were they... chair races, locking us in and refusing to leave at closing (and since they can pretty much throw us around, we couldn't do anything about it.. hmph.) The AC temps. haha. And I will never forget the period lecture Laura gave them. LOL That was the best thing ever (and totally planned, btw...). I hope they never forget it, either. It would do them well to remember that stuff. hehe.

But now, I have nothing to write about in the library except memories.

Everyday at about 9:30 Joe comes in and asks for the philosophy of the day. That's about it. It's sometimes entertaining. Mostly not.

I'm all dramatic now... lol.

No, really, I can't take these thoughts. They are way too much for me.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Another Collection of Funny Things that come from the Mouths of Babes

"In half a year, I will be six, and I will be old enough to be married; and if I'm going to get married, I'm going to need to know how to make a grilled cheese sandwhich."


"I don't know why they call them buffalo wings. Buffalo don't have wings! They just have thighs things."


Dom: - Who IS the Easter bunny, really?
Dan:- I am.
Dom: You mean that every year you turn into a rabbit?"
Dan: - No, I mean I hide the eggs and SAY it was the Easter Bunny.
Dom:- You mean, all these years, you've been PRETENDING????
Dan: - No just this joke. I'm not the Easter bunny.


At a rest stop in Louisanna, Dominic was the only one awake, until he woke everyone else up by his jabbering. Something about us being in Louisanna and so Arkansas was next. He was just jabbering away like there was someone there. Maybe it was the people in his brain.


Cat, CAT, don't breathe in Mississippi. It SMELLS.

"I see the Man in the Moon
"It's Jesus!"
"No, Dom, Jesus is not the man in the moon."
"But it says that Jesus rose from the dead and went to heaven and that's where the moon is"

Oh, there were more, but I waited too long and forgot them. lol.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Behold, I Tell You a Mystery"

Having just celebrated Easter, it's slightly odd that today is the day of the Annunciation, the day that we celebrate the actual incarnation. Without this day, there would have been no great joyous Easter. Without this day, we'd still be wallowing in sin. Without this day, there would be no hope.

But there is hope- hope of an amazing sort; a kind of hope that no words can contain (for yes, words contain and there is no way to contain something this great, this amazing, this mind boggling in them). There is a hymn that is sung during in Christmas and in it, it says "marvel now, O Heaven and Earth, That our Lord chose such a birth". Marvel indeed. The Divine humbles Himself to come to us in our form- as a human- so that we may come to know, love, and serve God in this life and be with Him in the next. He gave Himself a name, a name that allows us to contain as much of Him as humanly possible; He gave Himself a face, a face that looks upon us with tenderness, mercy and love and that we can look upon with adoration; He made Himself tangible to us. He became helpless that we might have Hope.

Jesus, a tiny baby in a manger, on straw and wrapped in swaddling clothes. It conjures up images of cuteness and warm fuzzies and wise men adoring, angels singing, little lambs lying beside Him. But that baby was not like other babies. That baby was not given to His parents in the same way that other babies are. That baby freely chose to become a baby. That baby caused the world to be. That baby knew that His life would end in pain and misery. He did it anyway. He did it for us. And He knew that some of us would reject His sacrifice, His love, His mercy. But He came anyway. He could have chosen not to. And yet, He did. He came to earth, more helpless than an animal.

This mystery, the mystery of the Incarnation, is the center of our faith. By making Himself man, He chose to feel the pain, the lonliness, the despair of life. He chose to feel it, so that we would not have to feel that without the hope of something more. He died a miserable death, one more painful than anything that we could imagine. He cried out to God "why have you abandoned me?" He knows all that we feel. He knows rejection and despair, and He knows it more than any of us could. Chesterton wrote "And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist".

But He also smiled. He knew friendship and He knew love. He knew laughter. He knew joy, He knew it more than we can. And this joy is the hope of the Christian. It is this joy that cannot be contained or explained.

Negativity is something at which I excell. But it is the perversion of joy. It is the chosing not to see that joy. In that same book (Orthodoxy), Chesterton wrote (and it is a long quote, but why reinvent the wheel? [emphasis mine])
"The mass of men have been forced to be gay about the little things, but sad about the big ones. Nevertheless (I offer my last dogma defiantly) it is not native to man to be so. Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labour by which all things live. Yet, according to the apparent estate of man as seen by the pagan or the agnostic, this primary need of human nature can never be fulfilled. Joy ought to be expansive; but for the agnostic it must be contracted, it must cling to one comer of the world. Grief ought to be a concentration; but for the agnostic its desolation is spread through an unthinkable eternity. This is what I call being born upside down. The sceptic may truly be said to be topsy-turvy; for his feet are dancing upwards in idle ecstacies, while his brain is in the abyss. To the modern man the heavens are actually below the earth. The explanation is simple; he is standing on his head; which is a very weak pedestal to stand on. But when he has found his feet again he knows it. Christianity satisfies suddenly and perfectly man’s ancestral instinct for being the right way up; satisfies it supremely in this; that by its creed joy becomes something gigantic and sadness something special and small. The vault above us is not deaf because the universe is an idiot; the silence is not the heartless silence of an endless and aimless world. Rather the silence around us is a small and pitiful stillness like the prompt stillness in a sick-room. We are perhaps permitted tragedy as a sort of merciful comedy: because the frantic energy of divine things would knock us down like a drunken farce. We can take our own tears more lightly than we could take the tremendous levities of the angels. So we sit perhaps in a starry chamber of silence, while the laughter of the heavens is too loud for us to hear.
Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something. Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.

And a share in that Mirth, that joy is given to us through the Mystery of the Incarnation which leads to the Paschal Mystery.


At the Name of Jesus, every knee shall bow,Every tongue confess Him King of glory now;’Tis the Father’s pleasure we should call Him Lord,Who from the beginning was the mighty Word.

Mighty and mysterious in the highest height,God from everlasting, very light of light:In the Father’s bosom with the spirit blest,Love, in love eternal, rest, in perfect rest.

At His voice creation sprang at once to sight,All the angel faces, all the hosts of light,Thrones and dominations, stars upon their way,All the heavenly orders, in their great array.

Humbled for a season, to receive a nameFrom the lips of sinners unto whom He came,Faithfully He bore it, spotless to the last,Brought it back victorious when from death He passed.

Bore it up triumphant with its human light,Through all ranks of creatures, to the central height,To the throne of Godhead, to the Father’s breast; Filled it with the glory of that perfect rest.

Name Him, brothers, name Him, with love strong as death But with awe and wonder, and with bated breath!He is God the Savior, He is Christ the Lord,Ever to be worshipped, trusted and adored.

In your hearts enthrone Him; there let Him subdue All that is not holy, all that is not true;Crown Him as your Captain in temptation’s hour;Let His will enfold you in its light and power.

Brothers, this Lord Jesus shall return again,With His Father’s glory, with His angel train;For all wreaths of empire meet upon His brow, And our hearts confess Him King of glory now.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Holy Week Hymnody

Music has been special to Catholics since the beginning of Catholicism. We often read of the early Christians gathering to celebrate the Eucharist and sing hymns. The Triduum has its own special hymns, full of beauty and symbolism. (Plus, I already posted my Holy Saturday thing.) I'll give translations if they aren't in English...

Great for meditations without the music.

Holy Thursday:
The two that are specially set aside for this day (though, sadly they aren't always used and some people even go their whole life without knowing them at all) are "Ubi Caritas" and "Pange Lingua". Ubi Caritas is sung at the washing of the feet.

Ubi caritas et amor,
Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
Temeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus.
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum:
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.

And the English Translation:

Where charity and love are, there God is.
The love of Christ has gathered us into one flock.
Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.
Let us fear and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).
Where charity and love are, there God is.
Therefore, whensoever we are gathered as one:
Lest we in mind be divided, let us beware.
Let cease malicious quarrels, let strife give way.
And in the midst of us be Christ our God.
Where charity and love are, there God is.
Together also with the blessed may we see,Gloriously,
Thy countenance, O Christ our God:
A joy which is immense, and also approved:
Through infinite ages of ages.Amen.

The Pange Lingua was, I think, written by Thomas Aquinas. It's simply beautiful poetry. A preist named Gerard Manley Hopkins translated them (Aquinas' poems/hymns) spectacularly into English. This is sung as the consecrated Hosts are taken to the Altar of Repose.

1. Pange lingua gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
Quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi,
Rex effudit gentium.

2. Nobis datus, nobis natus
Ex intacta Virgine
Et in mundo conversatus,
Sparso verbi semine,
Sui moras incolatus
Miro clausit ordine.

3. In supremae nocte coenae
Recumbens cum fratribus,
Observata lege plene
Cibis in legalibus,
Cibum turbae duodenae
Se dat suis manibus

4. Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem efficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus deficit,
Ad firmandum cor sincerum
Sola fides sufficit.

5. Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

6. Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.
Amen.

And in English:

Of the glorious Body telling,
O my tongue, its mysteries sing,
And the Blood, all price excelling,
Which the world's eternal King,
In a noble womb once dwelling
Shed for the world's ransoming.

Given for us, descending,
Of a Virgin to proceed,
Man with man in converse blending,
Scattered he the Gospel seed,
Till his sojourn drew to ending,
Which he closed in wondrous deed.

At the last great Supper lying
Circled by his brethren's band,
Meekly with the law complying,
First he finished its command
Then, immortal Food supplying,
Gave himself with his own hand.

Word made Flesh, by word he maketh
Very bread his Flesh to be;
Man in wine Christ's Blood partaketh:
And if senses fail to see,
Faith alone the true heart waketh
To behold the mystery.

Therefore we, before him bending,
This great Sacrament revere;
Types and shadows have their ending,
For the newer rite is here;
Faith, our outward sense befriending,
Makes the inward vision clear.

Glory let us give, and blessing
To the Father and the Son;
Honour, might, and praise addressing,
While eternal ages run;
Ever too his love confessing,
Who, from both, with both is one. Amen.

And also, this one is simply beautiful poetry that kind of belongs here, as well.

1. Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows,
shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.

2. Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true

.3. On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.

4. I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.

5. O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.

6. Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran---
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.

7. Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory's sight. Amen.

With the melody, it's quite haunting. Amazing.


GOOD FRIDAY:

Stabat mater delorosa

1. Stabat Mater dolorosa
Iuxta crucem lacrimosa
Dum pendebat Filius

2. Cuius animam gementem
Contristatam et dolentem
Pertransivit gladius

3. O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater unigeniti!

4. Quae moerebat et dolebat,
Pia Mater, dum videbat
Nati poenas incliti

5. Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
In tanto supplicio?

6. Quis non posset contristari,
Christi Matrem contemplari
Dolentem cum Filio?

7. Pro peccatis suae gentis
Vidit Iesum in tormentis,
Et flagellis subditum.

8. Vidit suum dulcem natum
Moriendo desolatum
Dum emisit spiritum

9. Eia Mater, fons amoris
Me sentire vim
, ut tecum lugeam1

0. Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
In amando Christum Deum
Ut sibi complaceam

11. Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas
Cordi meo valide.

12. Tui nati vulnerati,
Tam dignati pro me pati,
Poenas mecum divide.

13. Fac me tecum, pie, flere,
Crucifixo condolere,Donec ego vixero.

14. Iuxta crucem tecum stare,
Et me tibi sociare
In planctu desidero

15. Virgo virginum praeclara,
Mihi iam non sis amara
Fac me tecum plangere

16. Fac, ut portem Christi mortem
Passionis fac consortem,
Et plagas recolere.

17. Fac me plagis vulnerari,
Fac me cruce inebriari,
Et cruore Filii

18. Flammis ne urar succensus
Per Te, Virgo, sim defensus
In die iudicii

19. Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
Da per Matrem me venire
Ad palmam victoriae

20. Quando corpus morietur,
Fac, ut animae donetur
Paradisi gloria. Amen

And I chose the literal over the poetical translation:

1. The grieving Mother stood weeping beside the cross where her Son was hanging

2. Through her weeping soul, compassionate and grieving, a sword passed.

3. O how sad and afflicted was that blessed Mother of the Only-begotten!

4. Who mourned and grieved, the pious Mother, looking at the torment of her glorious Child

5. Who is the person who would not weep seeing the Mother of Christ in such agony?

6. Who would not be able to feel compassion on beholding Christ's Mother suffering with her Son?

7. For the sins of his people she saw Jesus in torment and subjected to the scourge.

8. She saw her sweet offspring dying, forsaken, while He gave up his spirit

9. O Mother, fountain of love, make me feel the power of sorrow, that I may grieve with you

10. Grant that my heart may burn in the love of Christ my Lord, that I may greatly please Him

11. Holy Mother, grant that the wounds of the Crucified drive deep into my heart.

12. That of your wounded Son, who so deigned to suffer for me, I may share the pain

13. Let me sincerely weep with you, bemoan the Crucified, for as long as I live

14. To stand beside the cross with you, and to join you in your weeping, this I desire

15. Chosen Virgin of virgins, be not bitter with me, let me weep with thee

16. Grant that I may bear the death of Christ, share his Passion, and commemorate His wounds

17. Let me be wounded with his wounds, let me be inebriated by the cross and your Son's blood

18. Lest I be set afire by flames of death, Virgin, may I be defended by you, on the day of judgement

19. Christ, when it is time to pass away, grant that through your Mother I may come to the palm of victory


Sing My Tongue the Glorious Battle:

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
sing the last, the dread affray;
o'er the cross, the victor's trophy,
sound the high triumphal lay,
how, the pains of death enduring,
earth's Redeemer won the day.

When at length the appointed fulness
of the sacred time was come,
he was sent, the world's Creator,
from the Father's heavenly home,
and was found in human fashion,
offspring of the virgin's womb.

Now the thirty years are ended
which on earth he willed to see,
willingly he meets his passion,
born to set his people free;
on the cross the Lamb is lifted,
there the sacrifice to be.

There the nails and spear He suffers,
vinegar and gall and reed;
from His sacred body piercèd
blood and water both proceed:
precious flood, which all creation
from the stain of sin hath freed.

Faithful Cross, above all other,
one and only noble Tree,
none in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peer may be;
sweet the wood, and sweet the iron,
and thy load, most sweet is he.

Bend, O lofty Tree, thy branches,
thy too rigid sinews bend;
and awhile the stubborn hardness,
which thy birth bestowed, suspend;
and the limbs of heaven's high Monarch
gently on thine arms extend.

Thou alone wast counted worthy
this world's Ransom to sustain,
that a shipwrecked race for ever
might a port of refuge gain,
with the sacred Blood anointed
of the Lamb for sinners slain.


O Sacred Head Surrounded (the original one by Bernard of Clairvoux)

O sacred Head, now wounded,
with grief and shame weighed down,
now scornfully surrounded
with thorns, thine only crown:
how pale thou art with anguish,
with sore abuse and scorn!
How does that visage languish
which once was bright as morn!

2. What thou, my Lord, has suffered
was all for sinners' gain;
mine, mine was the transgression,
but thine the deadly pain.
Lo, here I fall, my Savior!
'Tis I deserve thy place;
look on me with thy favor,
vouchsafe to me thy grace.

3. What language shall I borrow
to thank thee, dearest friend,
for this thy dying sorrow,
thy pity without end?
O make me thine forever;
and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never
outlive my love for thee.

Ave Verum Corpus:

Ave, verum corpus
natum de Maria Virgine,
Vere passum immolatumin
Cruce pro homine,
Cujus latus perforatum
unda fluxit et sanguine,
Esto nobis praegustatum
in mortis examine
in mortis examine.

Hail,true body
born of the Virgin Mary,
Who truly suffered, sacrificed
on the Cross for man,
Whose pierced side overflowed
with water and blood,
Be for us a foretaste
In the test of death.


EASTER VIGIL:

The EXULTET! (my favorite). I'm posting something that I found on a site that had the text on it. Granted, it was a site for cantors...

"In the history of music for Mass, no song was more important, no chant more beautifully crafted, no moment so significant as the exultet on the Easter Vigil. Today we may execute it in different ways, but the exultet remains one of the trickiest moments of the entire Paschal Triduum. ... The text is too important, the event too special. The exultet deserves to be sung, and sung well.A proclamation of joy and salvation
The exultet has roots in the first centuries of Christianity. In form, it is a "thanksgiving," a cousin to the eucharistic prayer. It recalls the greatness of God, includes a dialogue with the assembly like the introduction to a preface, and concludes with an offering--an offering of the candle to God.
The text expresses the meaning of Easter. It invites heaven, earth, and the church to rejoice ("exultet") in this feast. It recalls Israel's exodus, then it proclaims a new "exodus". New Christians cross through water from slavery to freedom, and all the church shares in the rising of Christ. Easter is the most blessed of nights, the night of Passover, baptism, resurrection, and redemption. In joy we offer God our Easter candle, a pillar of fire, mingling with the lights of heaven, a candle which will meet Christ, the Morning Star, whose resurrection forever dispels darkness.
The exultet is a whopper of a proclamation, and the early church wrapped it in a cloak of melodious chant" Ok, so,it may be a bit funky, but.. they're musicians... they're bound to be a little cooky... BUT they have a point.

The exultet is amazing, and more amazing when it is sung. I'm only going to put the English, because the Latin and the English are long. lol

Rejoice, heavenly powers!
Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around
God's throne!Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered!
Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church!
Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,echoing the mighty song of all God's people!
My dearest friends,standing with me in this holy light,
join me in asking God for mercy,that he may give his unworthy minister
grace to sing his Easter praises.

Deacon: The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you.
Deacon: Lift up your hearts.
People: We lift them up to the Lord.
Deacon: Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People: It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God, the all-powerful Father,and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,and paid for us the price of Adam's sin to our eternal Father!
This is our passover feast,when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.
This is the night when first you saved our fathers:
you freed the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.
This is the night when the pillar of fire destroyed the darkness of sin!
This is the night when Christians everywhere,washed clean of sin and freed from all defilement,are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.
This is the nightwhen Jesus Christ broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.
What good would life have been to us,had Christ not come as our Redeemer?
Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave you gave away your Son.
O happy fault,O necessary sin of Adam,which gained for us so great a Redeemer!
Most blessed of all nights,chosen by God to see Christ rising from the dead!
Of this night scripture says:"The night will be as clear as day:it will become my light, my joy."
The power of this holy night dispels all evil,washes guilt away, restores lost innocence,brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,and humbles earthly pride.
Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earthand man is reconciled with God!
Therefore, heavenly Father,in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church's solemn offering.
Accept this Easter candle,a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.
(For it is fed by the melting wax,which the mother bee brought forthto make this precious candle.)
Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night!
May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star,
who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on all mankind,
your Son, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.Amen.

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, jigity jig

NEVER did I EVER think I'd say it, but... Lynyrd Skynyrd was sooo right. The Georgia sky can be pretty but it's got nothing on Alabama's. I can only imagine that Ohio's isn't all that great. Especially, since Steubenville is only about 45 miles from Pittsburg (which means it's only about 6 hours to my aunt's house). Anywho, yeah, Alabama. I hate it, would never choose to live here if there was any way out of it, but man is it nice to visit. I suppose that might have something to do with the fact that there are these three boys who mean the world to me here. And there are also these people I call parents (well, one anyway) who happen to reside here with these other people who are called sisters. They are pretty much awesome.

I do hope I get into Franciscan. Boredom plays with my mind tooo much and encourages sloth. I've never had to study except for math. I'd like to try and change that. It makes me mad that I can make a's and not study. Other people work so hard and I sit here and do nothing and get better grades. I apparently have fooled even Hartmann, though, so I see no point in bothering. Why do extra work to get the same grade? I KNOW... I KNOW, for my own edification and betterment and because I love to learn and all that. Plus, I don't know if I'd take the fellowship again. Seriously, I don't even know if I think it's worth it.

Anywho, once again, Alabama. More specifically, the little boys who run my life in Alabama.
1st - they are not little. Not at all.
2nd- you better not rat me out for stowing them away and taking them to school with me.
3rd- They aren't little anymore.
4th- I can still pick them all up at the same time and walk around with them. They had to find that one out. They thought I wouldn't be able to. Cat, it's been months, we've grown! Haha, you impertinent young men! I'm still stronger than I think I am. And than you think I am. How much do you weigh? More than I do.
5th- "Shall I escort you?" Ok, Daniel's my date to the formal. Yeah, that's right. All you girls can be jealous. I've got the best date a girl could have. A little short, but considerate, caring, and cute.
6th-They aren't little anymore. (can you tell yet that this deeply saddens me? There are no babies in a house that I'm use to there being babies in. Something is missing.)
7th- 100 bottles of beer on the wall can be sung in approximately 7.3 miles. Too bad there were 180 of them.
8th- Shni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnap
9th- What is it with boys and oblivion to everything around them?
10th-One day, I'm going to be Jo March Bhaer.

Have a great break. I'll be basking in the glorious Alabama sun with three amazing brothers.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Oh, to be Four Again

It's THE perfect age: you can blow your own nose, tie your own shoes, write your own name and STILL sit on your mother's lap. I mean, come on, how much better could life get? Some kids can even read at four. I really cannot think of much more bliss than that. No choices to make, no kindergarten or other grades, no life defining desisions, no weird things called hormones, no feeling of lost (you know exactly where you belong- on your mother's lap), no loneliness, no heartache, no confusion, no real temptations: just absolute contentment. AND you can still sit on your mother's lap.

I don't know what age that normally ends. I guess it depends on the kid. I know that it shouldn't be at the age of 7 or 8, though.

Maybe, I'm just very hug- starved right now. It's funny how stuff like that works. I was scared to get hugs, now people are scared to give me hugs. Maybe I'm ready to go home. Maybe the world is too confusing for me right now. Maybe my brain needs a break. Maybe I'm sick of insanity. Maybe I'm sick of assinine behaviour from assinine stalkers. Maybe I'm sick of myself and my inability to ... cope?? Maybe I'm sick of knowing that I can and yet, somehow I can't make myself think I can or won't. Maybe it's because I know I can get away with not; I have fairly decent GPA and barely touch my books- not that I really know what I do with my time- I sit there with my books but I don't really look at them, I get lost in my brain. Maybe I should stop speculating and just go to confession. Again.

My, my, my. I love how I start out with a great thought about how wonderful something is and then lose it to the negative.

Arg.

ONE MORE SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Exile of Christ

A SHORT REFLECTION ON HOLY SATURDAY

For forty days we fast and we pray and we sacrifice in preparation for the holiest time of the year and in commemoration of Christ's time in the dessert. The Triduum is my absolute favorite liturgical celebration; the symbols and ceremonies are so overwhelming that one can't help but to feel something. From Palm Sunday to the Vigil of Easter there is a feeling of tragedy and hope so intertwined that one cannot feel one without feeling the other. I sometimes think, though, that in the drama of the Last Supper on Holy Thursday and the Passion of Christ on Good Friday and the beauty of the Easter Vigil, the solemnity, somberness, and sorrow of Saturday are overlooked.

I think that Holy Saturday is the saddest day of the year. Yes, Good Friday is when we cause Christ's death. But it is on Saturday that we see the consequence of what we have done: we have banished Him from the earth. If you've never been in a chapel or a Church during the day on Holy Saturday, I encourage you to go this time. Walk in and you will see a bare altar, no sanctuary lamp, and an open and empty tabernacle. Christ is nowhere in there. The Church is barren. Then you realize- "this is my doing". The world is missing Jesus because I asked him to leave; He got on the Cross and he left the Earth because I rejected His love. It's a very lonely and grave feeling. The one place that is a sure comfort is now as miserable as the rest of the world because we made it be. We kicked Christ out. And sitting in that chapel looking at the empty tabernacle, you know something of what the apostles must have felt, and especially something like what Judas must have felt.

And yet, Holy Saturday is the most hopeful and happiest day of the year, too. If you stay long enough (or go late enough, whatever the case may be), you will inevitably see ladies bringing in tons of elaborate flower arrangements and replacing the cloths on the altar. This has always reminded me of the women going to the tomb with perfumes, only to find it empty. Watching this, you know that He didn't leave forever; you that He's coming back and that no matter how many times you reject His love- it will still be offered to you. You know that He's never going to leave you alone, that He'll always be ready for you when you decide that you are ready for Him. It is the day that those who are willing to accept His love are brought into His light. It is the day that ALLELUIA returns! All of the bells around are rung in joy for solid minutes as the Gloria makes its return. I once went to the cathedral in Birmingham for the Easter Vigil (where about 50 people were brought into the Church) and before the Gospel, an acolyte ran into the church and down the center aisle and brought the bishop a scroll and unrolled it, saying breathlessly "I bring you a joyful message" (I don't remember exactly what it is that is said before). And the bishop read an elaborate (musically) Alleluia out to his flock. And this should should be our joy. This is nothing less than the Holiest day of the year.

In all of our sorrow (and we should be sorrowful), in all of our loneliness, in all of our faults, even in the emptiness of the churches- when all is seemingly hopeless- that is when we have the most hope. That is when we physically and truly, truly realize the extent and consequence of our sins. And that is when we realize the extent and magnitude of Christ's love for us.

"O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam that gained for us so great a Redeemer!"

"Do not give in to despair! We are an Easter people and Hallelujah is our song"

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

A Photo Essay

They say that a picture's worth 1000 words. I feel like there are hundreds of thousands of words that want to come out, but they can't. And I don't want them to, oddly enough. But concentrating is a little difficult when words refuse to do what you tell them to. So... here's this:









Aren't they cute?


How does a butterfly fly with only a partial wing?




What the heck was my brain doing?









I called it broken soul.
















Sunday, March 02, 2008

I Think That if I ever have a Son, I will Have to Name him Jeremiah

For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.


God loves me. He's been soooooooooooo good to me. And I'm am just amazed at things He's done.

God Bless you all- may you each feel His presence as much as I have and more.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Idealynicism Round Two

(Senator Kemple= italics)

“Hopefully you recall what. Hartmann said yesterday about Israeli politics: that they do not hold themselves responsible for the deaths of Israeli prisoners because they do not negotiate. Really, what does it mean to act practically? It means to act for the sake of usefulness, i.e., at achieving some end. Negotiating an exchange of prisoners, or with terrorists, would be practical in saving lives; it is not practical in dissuading terrorists (which can be told from practical experience); but it is extremely practical within the framework of an ideal, namely that no nation or people should be subject to terrorism (or more specifically in the case of Israel, no Israeli... but it applies in a broader sense, as well).”


If the end is the Good, if it’s God’s will, then what is wrong with acting practically? What other end would I be talking about? You seem to think that I by charity, I mean that no one feels bad or is unhappy or has no discomfort or ill-feelings toward each other or that there's no pain or something. That is definitely not what I mean. I don’t think an ideal world has much room for that kind of charity (if it can be even called charity). Yes, there are different forms of executing charity: I’ll bet that St. John Vianney didn’t hit every single drunkard without discretion. There are some people you have to be forceful with; there are some that it’s better to be gentle with. Like Hartmann said today, you may know the universal, but you need to act with practical knowledge in the particular because the universal may not be appropriate to the particular. Every action has a practical implication and in order to strive for an ideal world, those have to considered. You can’t strive an ideal without considering what is or what will be after another part of the equation is added (the action). In the case of the prisoners, if we know that negotiating with terrorist is not going to lead the right end (an end of hostilities, death, war, religious persecution), then it would not be practical to negotiate as it would lead to exactly the opposite of the end.

When practicality supersedes idealism, then you are not acting for the will of God, the good, but rather for your own will, the apparent good (hey, Aristotle!). God's will, simply put, cannot be achieved by man, and acting as though it can is a hideous example of pride. You cannot bring about peace and harmony, or even justice and right. That's not up to you; that's the attempted imposition of your own will on others, who can choose to act in accord with justice and righteousness or to act in the service of discord and injustice: hence that societal depravity which you do not seem to be properly acknowledging.

When idealism disregards practicality and prudence (which is exercising practical knowledge and judgment for the sake of the good), then that is an even greater example of pride. Where is this coming from? When did I say any of that? What is your point here? How would acting in accordance with charity (which is what I've said) and what I know to be the way most advantageous (for the end, which is the Good, God's will) imposing my will on someone? I'm not sure how I am not "propperly acknowledging" the depravity of society, and how does that change anything? Society is depraved. Very depraved. I know this very well, too well. How else am I going to acknowledge that than by acting in a way that isn't?

No amount of practicality is going to move the world to a better state; I can act as practical as possible and make absolutely no positive impact on those around me, because you know what? Isn't up to me, it's up to them. So I don't go out of my way to make a nuisance to people. I don't go around telling people what I think of them; I don't step on people's toes for the sake of it (which is what you implied by calling it a pettiness). But when they act in a way that is blatantly wrong, I have no problem getting right in their face - and sometimes that means close enough to step on their toes. When you post something on your blog that I think is wrong, I tell you so, because we're friends and honestly I thought you could handle it.

I don't have anything against practicality; I just have something against having your ideals subject to your practicality. I am all for acting practically second to acting idealistically.

Idealism without practical action is useless. Practical action without ideals is useless. You really can't have one without the other. That was the whole point of the blog post. Idealists tend to forget that practical actions are needed (or completely disagree that they are...) and cynics forget that the ideals can be strived for. How is stopping a circular argument not being able to handle it? We're saying the same things over and over. Do you not see that? No, I'm not giving up beause I don't think you're right. Circular arguments have no point. And in the words of the ever beloved Chesterton: "to me, all good things come to a point, swords for instance". You're not "listenting" to what I'm saying at all and I think you're wrong. No point in conitinuing. (Because, you know, no matter what I do, you can still choose to misinterpret me - which is obviously what you are doing as you told me that I was not saying what I am saying.)

Charity, caritas, agape, acting from and for the love of God leaves no room for error or deficiency, principle of non-contradiction, God cannot be where there is a privation, i.e., that which inheres a privation must be moved from without, per accidens, i.e., with violence (not necessarily what we call a violent act, but that which exercises its power upon something else). It's reason, logos, not an excuse, and nothing "excuses" bad behavior, or it wouldn't be bad.

Your last two comments were, frankly, pathetic. I like to argue, Catherine, but I don't argue for the sake of arguing. Your use of a catchphrase and evasion is very, very disappointing. If you want to talk about pettiness, which is a meanness, narrowness, and smallness, then you should probably look to those comments; I see no evidence of magnanimity or charity or even of reason of any kind. If you're going to insult me or the things I say, at least give me some reasons as to why they/I merit such. I'm idealistic, sure, and I'm blunt, but the two are not synonyms.

What if someone holds charity as an ideal...? Unremitting forgiveness is also an ideal.

Please tell me how I insulted you. When did you personally become the subject of this? I never said you were being petty and I didn't say you were blunt and I didn't use that as an example before you did. I know they aren't synomous and never said they were. Really, I don't get this paragraph at all. And how is it that you can tell me that what (you take it that) I'm saying displays a "sure sign of stupidity" (and is something that I absolutely abhor) and is an "admonishment of those who are not lukewarm" among other things, but I'm the one who lacks charity?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Idealynicism

Idealism: The tendency to represent things in an ideal form, or as they might or should be rather than as they are, with emphasis on values.

Cynicism: An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others.

I sometimes wonder if idealists even have the ability to see the world as it is. But then again, I am a semi-professional cynic. It's not that I have a jaded negativity about everything or that I wish to distrust the integrity or motives of others, but it's a bad habbit that formed from a bad experience, or rather, a series of bad experiences.


The idealists that I know, and I do know several, tend not only to present the world in an ideal fashion, but to act in the world in the way that they think the world would ideally act. That sentence confuses me, so let me explain: they act not necessarily in the way that would be best in a particular situation, but in the way that they think they would act if we lived in an ideal world. Since we don't live in an ideal world, though, this tendency can lead to much less than ideal consequences. They tend to disregard tact and sometimes charity which causes confusion at the very least and hatred at worst. I can see why they would want to act to act ideally. I've seen situations where acting ideally is perfectly fine. But something that always amazes me and confuses me is this: they seem to think that by acting "ideally" the world will somehow become more ideal as a whole. I see evidence to the contrary. By acting "ideally" they cause discord and ill-will which takes the world further from being an ideal world, not closer to it when, had they acted in what I'm going to call a practical manner- that is, in a way best suited to a particular situation- their actions would bring harmony and peace, or at least justice and right, which actually moves us closer to something resembling an ideal world. Yet, idealism has its redeeming qualities. There are those idealists who encourage others, who never give up fighting for an ideal world, and who, despite it all, actually do love the world, as much as it isn't so ideal.

Cynicism, on the other hand, hasn't really any redeeming qualities at all, at least, none that I can see. We tend to be more likely to give up because it's just no use; we tend to be hyper-critical of people (including ourselves) and we tend to "hate life". I think sometimes we even tend to act not in accordance with what is best, or "ideally", but apathetically. We can see what the world should be and we see how it is. And it's so far from ideal that there's really no point in even bothering. After all, what difference does it make, people aren't going to change, and nothing we do is ever going to be of any help. - It's a very bleak way to think.

Enter reality. The world is not ideal. But the world is not the most dismal thing possible. People act horridly sometimes. But they can be taught or persuaded (by reason...) to act otherwise. And on the flip side: even if I would act this way in an ideal world, we are not in an ideal world and therefore, perhaps, it's better to act practically. I think sometimes that the idealists get so lost in the ideals that they really cannot see how ideals impropperly applied are actually (and sometimes extremely) detrimental. And the cynics get so lost in the filth that they forget that they have the ability to clean. In order to get to the ideal, we must get through the muck- without adding to it.

The cynics add to the muck by refusing to see that it can be cleaned. The idealists add to the muck by refusing to clean in order. They vacuum before they dust. And then they wind up having to vacuum again and more. The cynics refuse to see that we can be lifted into the ideal. The idealists refuse to see that we do indeed need to be lifted; they bring it down to us before we are ready.

Cynics wallow in the muck. They see the clouds as unattainable and fanciful.

Idealists are in the clouds. But the clouds are much higher than the earth. It's not ideal to bring them to earth. We get fog. We have to bring earth to the clouds.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Some Favorite Quotes

I'm a little bored. And a litle frustrated. And a little hopeful. And a little pensive, a little scared, a little bold, a little angry, a little sad, and a lot amazed and happy at the people God has put in my life (and oddly enough, this particular instance, I'm not even really talking about people that I've met, though I do love you, too). I don't know what all that has to do with the post, though, except that what I want to write about, I can't.

Anywhoo, here ya go:

"...who is it that will be able to take you out of my hands? Even if you were in the vestibule of Hell, and if there remained outside but a single hair of your head, that would be sufficient enough for me to drag you from the claws of the devil and transport you to Heaven" ~ Saint Joseph Cafasso

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and Halleluia is our song." ~John Paul II

"horribly beautiful" ~ Nick

"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love." ~Mother Teresa

"Brothers and sisters: I, a prisoner for the Lord,urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received,with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. " ~Ephesians 4:1-6.

"How far we are from the true spirit of Sacred Music. How can we stand it that such a wave of inconsistent, arrogant, and ridiculous profanities have gained a stamp of approval in our celebrations?" ~ Msgr. Grau.


"Whether it is Bach or Mozart that we hear in church, we have a sense in either case of what Gloria Dei, the glory of God, means. The mystery of infinite beauty is there and enables us to ex­perience the presence of God more truly and vividly than in many sermons. But there are already signs of danger to come. Subjective experience and passion are still held in check by the order of the musical universe, reflecting as it does the order of the divine creation itself. But there is already the threat of invasion by the virtuoso mentality, the vanity of technique, which is no longer the servant of the whole but wants to push itself to the fore." ~ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, NOW POPE BENEDICT XVI!!!! (I'm making fun of Ignatius Press, I just don't have a little gold sticker...)

"All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today" ~ Pope Paul VI

"Musical people always want one to be perfectly dumb at the very moment one is longing to be perfectly deaf" ~ Oscar Wilde.


"Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling." ~G.K. Chesterton

"Love—caritas—will always prove necessary, even in the most just society. There is no ordering of the State so just that it can eliminate the need for a service of love. Whoever wants to eliminate love is preparing to eliminate man as such. There will always be suffering which cries out for consolation and help. There will always be loneliness. There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love of neighbour is indispensable" PBXVI

"Their infernal parallels seem to expand with distance but for me all good things come to a point, swords for instance"- Chesterton

Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." ~...Chesterton...

"I have never killed a man, but I've read many an obituary with great pleasure." ~ Clarence Darrow

"Bongiorno principessa!!!!"

"And now let the revolutionists choose a creed from all the creeds and a god from all the gods of the world, carefully weighing all the gods of inevitable recurrence and unalterable power. They will not find another god who has himself been in revolt. Nay (the matter grows too difficult for human speech), but let the atheists themselves choose a god. They will find only one divinity who ever uttered their isolation; only one religion in which God seemed for an instant to be an atheist."
and

"And when it rains on your parade, Look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow."

- G.K.C.

"I've always regretted speaking wrong, but I've never regretted biting my tongue."

"He who covers up a misdeed fosters friendship, but he who gossips about it separates friends." --Proverbs 17:9

"Cursed be gossips and the double-tongued, for they destroy the peace of many." --Sirach 28

These are just a few, and most of them some of you have already somewhere.

Spider webs are gorgeous when they are frozen in the mornings.

Eyelashes are strange in the reflections of glasses from the sun shining in your face.

I'm in such a strange mood.