Search This Blog

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Roll With the Punches

 Louise Penny's A Rule Against Murder explores some deep concepts.  In this mystery, Inspector Gamache and his wife are celebrating their wedding anniversary.  Except for their room, the entire resort has been taken over by the Finney family, for a family reunion.

This family exemplifies showing "a stiff upper lip."  No one admits how they really feel and have made an art of hurting each other with long ago digs at childish follies.  They call one brother "Spot" because he had acne as a teen.  Another is called Magilla because she watched the cartoon, Magilla Gorilla.  The mother has neuralgia, which means that she felt pain when she was touched, so she distanced herself from her children, yet they never knew she had neuralgia.  Worse, she nevers tells them.

To hurt Chief Inspector Gamache, she keeps reminding him that his father was a coward and traitor.  This is explained by Gamache and he admits that it's true.  But it was his father's cross, not his.  Gamache's father was a pacifist and gave speeches to keep Canada out of the war.  Gamache father worked for the Red Cross and served as a medic in WWII.  He was called in to minister to the concentration victims.  When he saw the condition of the inmates, and heard their stories, he changed his mind.  He was sorry that his speeches delayed Canada from going to War sooner.  He saw how evil Hitler's regime was, and had to be stopped.  He was a pacifist, no longer.  He then gave speeches how wrong he was.

Back to the murder, at the unveiling of a statue of Charles Finney, the statue falls on top of Julia Finney Martin.  At first, it looks like a weird accident, but the coroner proves otherwise.  

The Inspector and his team investigate.  Everyone seems a suspect because they have been hurting each other, all their lives and revenge is a motive.  Money and love between the siblings are motives, also.  

The characters have not only been carrying these crosses, all their lives, they've nurtured them.  They've never learned to roll with the punches.  




Want a Saint Friend in 2024?

 Click on the saint generator:  https://saintsnamegenerator.com/    

I got Saint Jane de Chantal.  She was married and had children.  Her spiritual director was Saint Frances de Sales.  Later in life, she founded the Visitation Order.  I had a friend who was in her 50's, widowed, had adult children, and entered the Order.  I was surprised they took someone like her, but their foundress had the same conditions.  


Saturday, December 30, 2023

The Spiritual Experience of God's Love


You don't have to purchase The Book of Privy Counseling.  It's archived in a pdf file: https://ia804602.us.archive.org/17/items/the-book-of-privy-counseling-in-middle-english/The%20Book%20of%20Privy%20Counseling%20in%20Middle%20English.pdf

It comes with the Cloud of Unknowing, but I treated it as a separate book.  I liked the personal direct advice given in the book.  This spiritual director advises his directee to complete immerse oneself in the moment, forgetting everything, including his self.  Only then will the directee find himself with God.  He will be conscious only of the divine.

Thomas Aquinas, when asked by God, what he wanted, answered, "only You."


Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Opportunities at Commonweal Magazine

 

Exciting opportunities available at Commonweal. Please save and share.

Internship available for spring 2024.
Application deadline: January 15.

Commonweal, as it enters its centennial year of publication in 2024, is seeking interns for its spring, summer, and fall terms. Through its work in multiple media and conversation-oriented events, Commonweal fosters rigorous and reflective discussions about faith, public affairs, and the arts, centered on belief in the common good. Independent and lay-led, Commonweal is a bridge between the intellectual and active lives of people of good will and is a community for those who seek meaning and justice, inspiring people in their hopes for a more inclusive future for our church, politics, and culture.

Commonweal aims to bring interns into the life of the magazine and assist in both editorial and publishing functions. Interns are invited to:

  • Work up to 20 hours a week as a paid intern ($15/hr)
  • Choose their own flexible start and end dates
  • Spend time in the Commonweal office
To learn more about our internship program, please click the button to learn more.
 
Learn more!
Ideal candidates would meet the following requirements:
  • An in-progress or completed degree in a humanities-based field
  • A keen interest in working with Commonweal’s 100-year archive
  • A willingness to engage social-media platforms for marketing purposes
  • Excellent communication skills, including copyediting and proofreading
  • An ability to help oversee multiple projects and assignments in collaboration with a variety of coworkers   
  • Familiarity with and interest in issues affecting Catholics and the Catholic Church, and with issues of religion, politics, and culture in general
Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resumé, and at least two samples of original writing to interns@commonwealmagazine.orgThe application deadline for spring 2024 is January 15.

Many of our valued interns have come to us through the recommendations of readers and friends like you. We’re grateful for your help passing along this information to anyone who may be interested. You can forward this email, print this poster, or send the link cwlmag.org/interns.

Finally, a quick reminder that all students and recent graduates are eligible for complimentary subscriptions to the magazine.

If you have any questions about our internships or College Subscription Program, please contact Marketing & Audience Development Director Gabriella Wilke at gwilke@commonwealmagazine.org.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

St. Stephen


 Today is the feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr.  Yes, it is about him.  Here are the lyrics. 

  • Saint Stephen with a rose, in and out of the garden he goes
    Country garden in the wind and the rain
    Wherever he goes the people all complain

    Stephen prospered in his time, well he may and he may decline
    Did it matter, does it now? Stephen would answer if he only knew how
    Wishing well with a golden bell, bucket hanging clear to hell
    Hell halfway twixt now and then
    Stephen fill it up and lower down and lower down again

    Lady finger, dipped in moonlight, writing "What for?" across the morning sky
    Sunlight splatters, dawn with answer, darkness shrugs and bids the day goodbye

    Speeding arrow, sharp and narrow
    What a lot of fleeting matters you have spurned
    Several seasons with their treasons
    Wrap the babe in scarlet colors, call it your own
    Did he doubt or did he try? Answers aplenty in the bye and bye
    Talk about your plenty, talk about your ills
    One man gathers what another man spills

    Saint Stephen will remain, all he's lost he shall regain
    Seashore washed by the suds and foam,
    Been here so long, he's got to calling it home

    Fortune comes a crawlin', calliope woman, spinnin' that curious sense of your own
    Can you answer, yes I can
    But what would be the answer to the answer man?Writer/s: Jerome J. Garcia, Philip Lesh, Robert C. Hunter
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Monday, December 25, 2023

Jesus Wept

 The other day, I heard this sentence, "Jesus wept."  The context was talking about the Israeli/Hamas War.  I thought that Jesus would weep over a war going on in the country of His chosen people.  I wondered what the scriptural reference was.  Much to my surprise, the first google reference for "Jesus wept," was an expletive!  It is used as an expletive!

Then I thought of all the times I've heard the Lord's name used in vain.  I thought of the many times I've heard the use of sacred words used as expletives.  There used to be a cartoon where the expletive "sacre blue" was used, often.  This is a reference to the color the Blessed Mother always wore.  In Louis Penny's Inspector Gamache novels, the expletive "tabernacle," is used.  Why?  How these innocuous words came to be expletives, is beyond me.  It's silly.  I imagine it's the same with "Jesus wept."

Jesus wept only a few times.  One time was John 11: 35.  Here, his friend, Lazarus died.  Jesus took His time getting to the funeral and was too late.  But the reason is, Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.  So why was Jesus weeping at Lazarus' grave?  I posit that everyone's sorrow affected Jesus.  Their weeping, made Him weep.  Being human, Jeus had compassion.  I think this is a deep and poignant point--Jesus' compassion made Him weep.  How can people chose to use this important, meaningful verse as an expletive?  Lord, have mercy on us, we know not what we do.

             James Tissot, “Jesus Wept (Jésus pleura),” 1886-1896.Credit...Brooklyn Museum


Saturday, December 23, 2023

Daily Spiritual Food


 This little 3.5x5 inches, with 563 pages, has taken me almost a year to read.  Why?  I read it a chapter a day.  There are 197 chapters.  I read it as my daily meditation.  It is very good to read it as spiritual direction.

Every chapter is divided into "Jesus," where advice is given.  "Think" is the next section.  Here is food for meditation.  Lastly, is "pray".  This is more resolution to act upon what you've just meditated about.

This is a devotional reading, much like "Cloud of Unknowing,: "Imitation of Christ," "Introduction into the Devotional Life," etc. (more along those lines).

It is written by a priest in the Confraternity of the Precious Blood, Anthony  Paone.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Your Penance is a Rosary

 The Rosary Murders by William Kienzle, is about a murderer, who leaves a rosary as a calling card. The murder victims are exclusively religous.  Priests and nuns are being murdered in Detroit.  Naturally, the priests and nuns are nervous and afraid.  The editor of the Catholic diocesan newspaper, Father Bob Koesler, loves mysteries.  He follows the story both for the story, but also because he loves to read mysteries and here is one right in his neighborhood.

Other characters include:
    Joe Cox--newspaper reporter
    Police Lieutenant Koznicki
    Various priests and police

Why would someone pick priests and nuns to murder?  The second victim, Sister Ann, managed to write the name, Rob, with her blood, before she died.  That was little help.  No one could figure out what was going on until the murderer went to confession to Father Koesler.  But what could he do?  The Seal of Confession cannot be broken.  It is so sacred that I'm not going to tell, you, the reader!



Tuesday, December 19, 2023

The Power Went Out

We had a storm that blew for a day and a half.  We lost power for a day and night.  I loved it.  The only activity I could do was read.

I was making gingerbread cookies.  I had three cookie sheets ready to go in the oven.  I also had two loads of wash started.  When the power went out, I spent the time fussing over the decorating of the gingerbread boys.  But the power stayed out and I left the cookie sheets out on the kitchen counter.  There was nothing I could do about the laundry.

I could cook because the stove is gas.  So I made tea, sat in my favorite chair with my fleece blanket wrapped around me and read.  I am fortunate to have a little light that attaches to my book, so I had no trouble reading.  In fact, by the time the lights came back on, the next day, I had read two books--with the same name.

I could never afford to buy all the books I read.  I use the library.  I ordered The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny.  What came in was The Cruelest Month by Hazel Holt.  I kept it and re-ordered Louise Penny's.

Both are mysteries.  Both have a constant main sleuth.  Holt has Shiela Mallory and Penny has Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.  Both solve murders.



Holt's setting is England.  Penny's setting is Canada. Holt's time is the turn of the twentieth century, whereas Penny's is the present time.  

Holt's plot involves a woman murdered by a large book shelf falling on her. Investigating the woman's past reveals the murderer.

Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache has two problems.  One is the murder of a resident of his beloved village, Three Pines. The other is his job.  The surete of Canada has some thugs in it.  The bad cops hate Gamache.  The tension between Gamache and the bad cops continues in each novel. I don't know how Gamache can stand it.  He thinks of retiring and it sounds so nice, but he continues to fight the good fight.

All too soon the lights came on.  I kept reading until I finished.  



Saturday, December 16, 2023

Our Salvation is Secure

 LECTIO:

When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
"Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!"
Nathan answered the king,
"Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you."
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
"Go, tell my servant David, 'Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?'

"It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever."

STUDIUM:

Here we see the establishment of the Davidic Dynasty.  David reflects on all that the Lord has done for him and has the desire to pay Him back.  But the Lord doesn't need thanks in any way or form.  "He Who Is" can have whatever He wants.  In fact, He is going to give David even more.

MEDITATIO:

Wow, Lord.  Where do I sign up?  Oh wait, I already have.  I am a child of God, too, just like David.  God has given me many blessings.

ORATIO:

Thank You, Jesus for loving me.  I, like David, can never thank you enough.

CONTEMPLATIO:

I owe everything to God.





Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Vampires

 A Bloody Habit by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson is a vampire story.  If you love that gender and/or if you love stories about Dominicans, you'll love this novel.  It takes place in London around the turn of the twentieth century.  Dracula had just been written and their are connections made between Dracula and the characters in A Bloddy Habit.  In fact, each chapter of the book begins with a quote from Dracula.

The main character is a lawyer, John Kemp.  He becomes involved by being the solicitor for some men who turn out to be vampires. Along the way, he is befriended by a Dominican priest, Father Thomas Edmund Gilroy. The two become involved in murders that are too gruesome to describe.  They are torn apart viciously and inhumanely.  The only sensible answer although crazy, is the fact that there are vampires in London.

If you love vampire stories, this is a good one.  I found it hard to get involved in the beginning.  The characters were too many and I didn't see how they were tied to each other.  But once the action began, I was on board.  I did enjoy it.



Monday, December 11, 2023

Catholic Taliban

 It annoys me when people rain on other people's parades.  There seems to be a push to spoil people's fun in getting ready for Christmas.  I've heard.  Christmas is December 25, this is Advent--a time of waiting for Christ.  Implicit in this criticism is that we shouldn't put up our Christmas trees, or go to Christmas parties.

So I looked it up.  Yes, we should prepare for Jesus' birthday.  We should go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and prepare interiorly.  But we don't live in a holy sanctuary, where happy, clappy, songs shouldn't be sung, we live in the secular world where we prepare to party for December 25.  Anyway, I looked it up on Catholic Answers:

Question:

Can a Catholic church have a celebration during Advent?
Answer:
Yes, a Catholic church can have a celebration during the Advent season.
The confusion arises because both Advent and Lent use the liturgical color purple and omit the Gloria at Mass. During Lent, parishes curtail and avoid celebrations due to the penitential nature of the season. People, therefore, assume that the same is true of Advent. However, Advent is not listed as a penitential season (canon 1250), and instead of prohibiting unaccompanied music and altar flowers as during Lent, the Church puts forth only that they should be done in moderation during Advent (GIRM 305).


 This is a picture from a fourth grader for Christmas 


I asked, “Where’s Jesus?”?  She forgot. So she did another one. 


Better. It’s obvious that this is a manger scene. Her sister however, had a definite theme in mind. “Peace on earth “. She is in the eighth grade. 



Sunday, December 10, 2023

How to Pray

 When someone changes religion, I wish them well.  After all, they're searching for a relationship with God.  Good luck to them.  But.

But when they're leaving the God you know to become a witch, what then?  How can I wish them luck?  I'm at a loss, as what to do. 

I can't be thankful for their finding a faith they're comfortable in.  Can I?

Please join me in praying this way:

Let's pray that God helps them to find a true path to Him.

Pray that God shows them what to do.

Pray that God gives them understanding.

Pray for me, for the grace of patience, and to say the right thing.



Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover.

 Look how old this book is. 

The binding is falling apart. This book has been on my bookshelves for a long- long time. I finally committed myself to reading it. The Cloud of Unknowing is touted as the greatest thing since the invention of toilet paper. I knew I had it, but when I took it off the shelf, I thought I couldn’t read that!  It was falling apart!  So I bought a new edition. 


Nice looking, slim volume. I chose this translation because it was translated by Evelyn Underhill.  I don't remember if I've ever read anything of hers, but I go to her lecture studies.  She's well quoted.  Looking at the prologue, she states:

This edition is intended, not for the student of Middle English, nor for the specialist in mediaeval literature; but for the general reader and lover of mysticism.  My object has been to produce a readable text, free from learned and critical apparatus.  The spelling has therefor been modernised throughout: and except in a few instances, where phrases of a special charm or quaintness, or the alliterative passages so characteristic of the author's style, demanded their retention, obsolete words have been replaced by their nearest modern equivalents.

It's the exact opposite.  Underhill's edition is unreadable.  So much, for nice, shiny volumes!

The unattractive volume, by William Johnston is written for anybody.  Underhill's copyright is 1922.  Johnston's is 1973.  Compare the translations:

Underhill -- The First Chapter     Ghostly friend in God, thou shalt well understand that I find, in my boisterous beholding, four degrees and forms of Christian men's living: and they be these, Common, Special, Singular, and Perfect.

Johnston -- Chapter 1     My dear friend in God, I would like to pass on to you what I have roughly observed about the Christian life.  Generally, it seems to progress through four ascending phrases of growth, which I call the Common, the Special, Singular, and the Perfect.

See.  Would you rather be a "ghostly friend in God," or a "dear friend in God."

Hence, I chose to read Johnston's translation.  Once in awhile I compared it to 
Underhill's, but Johnston's is much more understandable.


So don’t judge a book by its cover. How did I like the Cloud of Unknowing?  I wasn't impressed.  The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, and Francis de Sales, An Introduction to the Devout Life, and even Catherine of Siena's the Dialogue were all about the same subject, "how to converse with God."  I like Nike's advice, "Just Do It."

God Hates Vegetarians

 This was funny.  Today, the "cloistered brothers" were reading about Cain and Abel, Genesis 4: 1-7.  Cain farmed and Abel shepherded.  For offerings to God, Cain offered fruit and vegetables, whereas, Abel offered the first-borns from his flocks.  God accepted the meat offerings but wasn't thrilled with the fruit and vegetables.  One of the "cloistered brothers" quipped, "because God hates vegetarians."

Of course that's not true.  No one knows why God liked one offering and not the other.  Some people surmise that it was the intentions of the giver. IOW, Abel offered the first-borns and Cain offered old and rejected fruit and vegetables.  Scripture doesn't say exactly.

This led to a discussion of siblings and parenthood.  From the siblings point of view, it wasn't fair.  But we don't know God's reasons.  As parents, sometimes our actions look like we prefer one child more than the other, but the parent may be helping the vulnerable child.  A parent can't help each child equally because each child's needs are different that the others.  

It was an interesting discussion.



Saturday, December 9, 2023

Keep Calm

 A Fatal Grace is Louise Penny's second novel. The major protagonist, Chief Inspector Gamache, is still establishing what kind of person he is, to the reader. I for one like what he is, i.e., honest, kind, strong, and loyal. He is dealing with a team of detectives who at times are incompetent, disloyal, and confused. He's trying to solve two murders.

One is a tradition, in that, every year he choses one cold case to solve. While dealing with that, there's another murder in Three Pines. The little village is working its way into his heart.
An obnoxious women has been murdered by electrocution. No one mourns her demise and her murderer could have been one of three people but it ends up a surprise. Lo and behold, she is related to the cold case, Gamache is trying to solve. Both are related in surprising ways.
Their are hints of trouble to come to Gamache, in future novels. He makes a deal, which the reader doesn't know about, with one of his agents. Another agent may be disloyal. We will find out in another mystery. But Gamache and his wife end with satisfaction that they've made the world a safer place.



Prosopagnosia

 The ability to recognize and read faces is prosopagnosia.  This must be some type of autism, asperges, etc.  It certainly would affect social communication.  People that are good as reading faces win at polka.  Police should be able to do it. It's one of God's gifts.

What was the mark God gave Cain?  People just looked at his face and knew he had God's protection.  Everyone could read it.

At the end of the Bible, the angel cries out, "Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads." (Rev. 7: 3)

The best facial expression is the gaze of love.  Everyone looks at newborns with that look.  Lovers hold that gaze. 

But life can change that look.  Let us pray for God to give people the protection He gave Cain.



Thursday, December 7, 2023

Complex Question Fallacy

 How do you answer a question someone asks you, when the question isn't true?  The question takes for granted an answer that you haven't responded to and is really asking you a follow up question.

The famous complex question fallacy is "Have you stopped beating your wife, yet?"  It is taken for granted that it is a known fact that you beat your wife.

Lawyer's trick.  It's an unjustified presumption. It's a trick question. 

Don't answer these types of questions.  They are trying to incriminate you.  




Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Converts

 People argue that Christmas' date, December 25, is a pagan holiday for Solstice.  What if it is?  I don't see the objection.  If you are pagan, can't you convert to Christianity?  You get baptized and then you are no longer a pagan.  Why isn't that true for pagan holidays and customs?  Why can't they become Christian holidays and customs?  



Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Nowhere Physically Is Everywhere Spiritually

 When our minds focus on anything, we are there in that place spiritually, as certainly as our bodies are located in a definite place.  Are you following me?

Our senses will be frustrated for lack of something to dwell on and we will feel like we should be doing something. Forget about it.  Continue doing this nothing.  Focus on God.  That is NOT nothing.  

Persevere in this nothingness.  Consciously long to possess God through love.  Get lost in this nowhere place.  This nothingness is blessed.  Keep at it.  Eventually, you will grasp it.  

I can't explain it.  It has to be experienced.



Monday, December 4, 2023

Funny Memories

 Found these on Facebook: 

Your funniest moment as an alter server server was........

Msgr: "Let us prayyyy!"

Server:

Msgr: "*Ahem* Let us prayyyy!"

Server:

Msgr: ".....Let us get the boooook"
Server turned beet red and came running with tears of embarrassment streaming down his face. Msgr comforted him and all was well.


The bell clapper came off in my sweaty hand right before Sanctus. No way that wire was going back in, so I improvised. I held the clapper in my left hand and shook the bell so the ball hit the sides. It sounded different, but Father was happy when I 'splained and told me to get the pliers.

Lit the advent wreath on fire, trying to reach the candle. Technically it was a ribbon attached to the wreath that ignited.

My brother and I were serving at midnight Christmas Mass, my brother fell asleep on the altar.

Father's sleeve knocked a Host off the ciborium and he didn't notice it.  We servers looked at each other.  Then one of us picked it up and just placed it on the altar.  Father saw it, and just picked it up and put it in with the others in the ciborium.   Then one of the boys said, "Thirty second rule."  We lost it.




Sunday, December 3, 2023

Believe None of What You See

 The reason I read "How the Light Gets In", is because I read Louise Penny's book before this one.  I had to know what happened to Chief Inspector Gamache and Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir.  Book # 8 left me hanging.  I just had to follow up and read # 9.

     Louise Penny did not disappoint.  Gamache's back was against the wall.  His department was gutted.  His friend, Jean-Guy was alienated from him.  Gamache finally just resigned--literally.  It maybe, forever, but I have to read the other mysteries to find out.

     In this one, Gamache has to go into hiding.  Of course, Three Pines is the place.  Gamache's supervisors, and even the premier of Canada, are all in cahoots against Gamache.  They were making a lot of money by not doing the construction work they should have done.  Structures were going to collapse.

      Fortunately, Gamache's plans pan out and the good guys win, again.  I love happy endings.



Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Sunday School isn't Cool

 


My parish put up its creche.  I brought my grandchildren to see it and say a prayer.  They didn't want to.  They were embarrassed because their friends might see them.  

I was telling this to the Faith Formation Director and she said she knows.  Children don't want to go to Church or Faith Formation Classes.  It's not cool.

I don't know what to do to change the culture, help my grandchildren.  Come Holy Spirit!

Monday, November 27, 2023

Beautiful Music is a Mystery

 Louise Penny's novel, The Beautiful Mystery is very well researched.  I gather that Louis Penny is not Catholic, yet her knowledge of monastic life and Dominicans adds great authenticity to her tale.

The monks are Gilbertines, an order that disappeared from sight around the 1300's.  In the novel, their monastery is on an island in Canada--very isolated.  They were very specialized in singing chants.  To raise money, they released a CD.  The monks got the money they needed.  Also, however, came the fame, which they didn't want. This cause the monks to be divided.  There were those who wanted to do more CDs and those that resisted.  The conflict led to the murder of the choir director.

This is where Chief Inspector Gamache and Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, come in.  They track down the murderer.  Additionally, is the story line of Gamache's boss and Jean-Guy's drug addiction.  The book actually ends with Jean-Guy abusing drugs--again and angry at Gamache.  Now I know Jean-Guy eventually married Gamache's daughter, so Jean-Guy and Gamache must come together again, somehow.  I've just got to get the next book. to find out.  Louise Penny is clever, isn't she?

The murder mystery is interesting.  I'm not a music person, myself.  But since I've read this novel, I'm listening to Gregorian chant and trying to appreciate it.  Appreciating chant would have given me a taste of the mystery's theme.  If I loved chant, I would have understood the monks better.  But murder?  Well, music is said to tame the savage beast.  Chant is said to be conversing with God.  

A Dominican even enters the scene from 400 years ago.  No, he's not 400 years old, but the Inquisition had been looking for the Gilbertines since they disappeared from sight.  Their fame brought them to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (Inquisition).  400 years!! Now you know why the Dominicans are called "hounds of the Lord." But I don't think the Gilbertines need fear the Dominicans, this friar fell in love with their chant, as he helped solved the murder.  He's the one who understood the ancient markings on the scroll, the murdered monk was clasping in his dying hands.

This novel had all the elements that I love: religion, murder in a monastery, monks, Dominicans, cops, and tension between employers and employees.  And it leaves the characters hanging just enough for me to order the next book in the Gamache series.  


Friday, November 24, 2023

The Final Doxology

 

Brothers and sisters:
To him who can strengthen you,
according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages
but now manifested through the prophetic writings and,
according to the command of the eternal God,
made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith,
to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ
be glory forever and ever. Amen.

STUDIUM:

Good Grief, Paul!  This is one long salutation!  However, it's at the end of this letter to Romans.  It's called the Final Doxology.  A doxology is a hymn of praise to God.  Is one of Paul's titles "Saint of verbosity?"

MEDITATIO:

I get it, Lord.  You are God.  You are omnipotent, omnisciencent, and we owe everything to You.

ORATIO:

I join Paul in praising You for your love and care, especially giving us Your Son, Jesus.

CONTEMPLATIO:

 Thank You, Jesus, for loving me.

RESOLUTIO:

I must never, never, forget to praise and give thanks to God.



Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Keep Singing

 


R. (2a) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, "My kindness is established forever";
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
"He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm."
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

STUDIUM:

These verses sing the praises of God.  What you don't see is the despair, the defeat, and hardship, that David is living.  In spite of it, David still praises God; that's the point.

MEDITATIO:

I see the very words of God quoted here: "My kindness is established forever; "I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity. and establish your throne for all generations."
     David has faith.  I should.  

ORATIO:

Lord, increase my faith.  I need the faith of David.  I want to be steadfast, strong, and loyal.  I plead for the grace of more faith.

CONTEMPLATIO:

Steadfast love leads to faithfulness.
 

The Lord is Our Rescurer

  LECTIO: Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 R. (9a)  Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever ...