Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"I came to cast fire upon this earth."

I borrowed this from my other blog. I figured that a Christmas message was probably needed on this blog. . . .
When we consider the mystery of Christmas presented to us by Holy Mother Church at this time of year, these words of Scripture jump out at me: "I came to cast fire upon this earth, and would that it were already kindled!" These words remind me of two particular things in relation to the coming of the Messiah.
In the words following the rest of this quote from Luke (12:49), Christ tells us that division and difficulty will be effects of His Evangelion, of His "Good News." The Son of God most certainly retains the title "Prince of Peace," but He did not come to give peace to men, but "pax hominibus bonae voluntatis," peace to men of good will. Christ's coming brings peace to men of good will, but not to all men. Hence the subsequent verses from Luke, describing strife and division. Those not properly disposed, who have not made the rough ways of their souls smooth; these will hate and revile true followers of the Newborn Babe. Even within our own being, we will war with ourself, for the rough ways of our fallen nature are not easily subdued and made welcoming to Our Redeemer.
If we can but overcome the struggle within ourselves, and reject the clamor and strife that assails us from without, then suddenly our hearts may be opened up as a fire of charity, burning with a renewed love of the Saviour of mankind. This is why Christ says, "And would that it were already kindled!" He came to encourage us to give us the burning heart that ever strains to be united with Him Who made all things. Ultimately, Christ as the Word of God and Creator of the World has made all things to rest in Himself, the "Burning Furnace of Charity," and this is why He came into the world. May we feel the heat of His everlasting love, and responding, be as sparks igniting this world with the love of the Most Sublime Trinity.

Christus natus est pro nobis! Glorificate Eum!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not Taco Bell

How to create the perfect vegetarian taco lunch:

1. Whole grain Alvarado St Bakery tortillas
2. Cooked rice, including sauteed onions
3. Organic cheddar cheese from Horizon
4. Lettuce, also organic
5. Taco Bell sauce

Microwave first three together in taco form. Add next two. Eat with delight.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Irish Isle, anybody?

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7:30 p.m. I'm going to the Irish Isle pub in Middletown to hear my coworker Danny play and to soak up the general Irishness. You are all welcome to come too! :-)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Tota Pulchra Es, Maria

et macula originalis non est in te.

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Lambie Goes to a Concert

Lambie is at home right now, because he is a slacker, but he wants me to tell you about his adventure a few weeks ago: he went to a concert of sacred polyphony. It wasn't just any concert of sacred polyphony--it was Collegium Cantorum's concert of music by Pierre de la Rue. Lambie doesn't know much about music, but I was there too and I can tell you it was awesome. It kept Nicole, who also came, and myself rapt throughout!

Here is what Lambie did. First, and don't be weirded out by this, but Lambie wanted to check out the girls' bathroom with Nicole and me. I offered to leave him outside, but he declined, so we took a picture of him in the mirror as proof of his obstinacy:

Then, as is customary, Lambie, Nicole and I took our seats for the performance. It was held in a rather modern-looking episcopal church in Bethesda. Lambie didn't find it that annoying, though, because we got to sit near the front (there weren't that many attendees, which is a shame). Lambie insisted on posing on the back of the pew in front of us:

We were just fascinated by the performance, I especially because Anthony was kind enough to lend me his sheet music to follow along. However, Lambie kept interrupting me to take pictures, but just when I was about to take an excellent picture he would nudge my hand and make it blurry! Lambie is annoying like that sometimes. So here are a couple pictures I took of the performers:

It was just a riotously good show all around. Like I said, Lambie couldn't really appreciate that sort of thing, being conditioned to appreciate bleating more than any other sound. The sounds elicited from the choir members were on the other end of the spectrum, for sure. One of my favorite facets of the performance was that the music was in a low key: no soaring sopranos here! Rather, the extra low bass part and the other tonally subdued parts gave it a dark, mysterious quality especially suited to the texts. Unfortunately for Anthony, it meant that he couldn't sing low enough for the bottom part and was stuck with the quasi-manly first bass part--just kidding, Anthony!!

Speaking of Anthony, after the concert, Lambie, Nicole, and I met up with him, and he was kind enough to pose for a few pictures:

{Note the real bow tie, perfectly tied}

Lambie somehow wormed his way into Nicole's heart, for she allowed him to be part of her picture with our bass celebrity:

I suspected Lambie of only going to the concert for the photographs and the chance of food. Therefore, when Anthony took Nicole and me out for dinner after the singing, I mercilessly excluded both lamb and camera from the table. We did have a very fun time eating and chatting at Chili's while Lambie fumed in the car. On the way back, his attempts at learning French from the Pimsleur learning CD I got out of the library were ludicrous and laughable; Nicole and I did much better.

After all that excitement, Lambie got tired and went to sleep (lucky sheep, wish I could):