Archive for December, 2006

Folks, I’m happy to say that I’m feeling a lot better. But I’ve got to sing in the choir on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Monday morning. So… I’m going to give my vocal chords a rest until that’s all done. I’ll start up again sometime next week, God willing and the crick don’t rise.

(You can hear us, btw, Christmas morning at 9:30 EST on the live radio link at www.1610.info. We’ve never tried broadcasting before, so hopefully it will all work. What you’ll hear won’t be as big a musical deal as the Vigil Mass, but still pretty neat.)

Merry Christmas, everyone! And thank you very much for all your support of both the blog and me!


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This very short excerpt from St. Zeno (translated by Thomas Livius in The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers of the First Six Centuries) talks about Jesus’ life in the womb of Mary. You can’t get more Advent-ish than that.

“…whilst preserving what He was, He meditated to be what He was not. Mingled thus with human flesh, He forms Himself an infant. The womb of Mary swells forth with pride….”

“Jesus as a Fetus”


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But not until tonight, I’m afraid. Please hold for a really nice excerpt from St. Zeno about the unborn Jesus.

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Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wished it were Christmas every day.


“Christmas Every Day”


Visit the William Dean Howells Society!

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Star Hunter continues, as Vye discovers that sometimes you just have to slug somebody.

Ch. 11


Andre pays tribute to Fredric Brown this week, and next week I’ll be reading the final two chapters of the novel! Don’t miss it!

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From All Things Considered, a 1908 collection of Chesterton’s columns for the Illustrated London News, here’s G. K. Chesterton¬† writing about “Christmas”. Enjoy!



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Cabbages and Kings continues with plenty of cockleburrs.

Chapter 13: Ships


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The Ascent of Mount Carmel continues with a chapter on the dos and don’ts of rejoicing in things of the senses.

Chs. 24-26


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Fatherless Fanny continues. The odious Lord Somertown manages to rise from his sickbed in order to pay a call — and begins to muster his forces against Fanny.

Chapter 15: A Morning Visit.


Due to my continuing throat and time problems, I’ll be skipping Gerusalemme Liberata again this week. Sorry, folks. I’ll catch up on the epic poetry once things slow down at work again, and I stop having to stay late and such….

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The Nebuly Coat continues with a pivotal chapter.

I know not many of you have been following this book, but the mystery plot, the romantic plot, and the small town plot all pay off in this ominous chapter. The intertwined points of view are so well done that you hardly notice what a difficult and intricate thing the author is doing. This book only has 23 chapters, so go download and catch up!

Chapter 18


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If you want to hear some real folk religious hymns, Sonific has samples of a couple as performed by Aine Minogue.

“Caoineadh na dTri Muire” (The Keen of the Three Marys) is an old Irish song from the POV of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, as she stood at the foot of the Cross with Mary Salome and Mary Magdalene. Very few keens survive, as they were usually improvised and thought to be extremely unlucky to imitate or repeat in non-funeral situations; but this unusual hymn is an exception.

“A Iosa, B’im Chroise” is the harp tune of an old Irish hymn.¬† This sort of “slow air” is unjustly neglected by most non-Celtic musicians striving to “sound Celtic”.

“Deus Meus” is some kind of setting of the 7th century Latin/Irish hymn “Deus Meus, Adiuva Me”.

The album is full of unusual stuff like that. A few have New Age-y or Enya-style arrangements of Celtic music, which I usually don’t like, but they don’t seem lame (for once), so this album seems worth making an exception. The problem is that the liner notes, although interesting and useful, also contain large helpings of Deep Thoughts. But the selections are so good, and so unusual! Sigh. This is how I ended up with quite a few other albums with annoying liner notes…..

Btw, it seems that Minogue’s holiday albums also have some nice rare material on them. Argh! My poor screaming wallet!

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Hymn VII definitely puts the flesh into Israel’s anticipation of Christ’s Advent and Incarnation.

St. Ephrem of Syria is known for his really awesome hymns. I’m betting this one never makes it into a modern church, though! (Amusing as it would be.)

Hymn VII


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Pastoral Care continues with the best approaches to use with the slothful and the hasty, and the meek and the passionate.

Book III, Chs. 15-16


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Against Heresies continues to answer Gnostic objections with a look at why Jerusalem’s destruction doesn’t disprove that God is God. Also, Irenaeus points out Jesus’ sayings about Abraham, and that Jesus did teach that He was Abraham’s God.

Book IV, Chapters 4-5


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“The Brazen Android” ends with a bang, as our Franciscan android-makers confront that maleficent Paduan, Malatesti — and find out there’s more riding on this than they could have imagined….

Part 6


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