Sacred Music Friday: Save us, O Lord

Save us, O Lord by Bob Dufford, S.J. – Saint Louis Jesuits, courtesy of Jane Redmont.


Fran, who passes the quote along, and Heather King, who wrote this, are Catholic. I am Episcopalian. But I share the sentiment. (And I have to be grateful that I’m personally experiencing very little suffering these days.)

I do not go to Mass to make myself “better.” I go because, in the dimmest reaches of my scattered, angst-ridden mind, there is something that wants me to get down on my knees and, in spite of my own suffering and all the suffering around me, give thanks. I go because I am beginning to believe that heaven is not in some other world, but shot through the broken world in which we live.

It’s Not Where You Start

I like being able to go to this at those times when I am doubting myself and my abilities. It has a wonderful way of lifting my spirits.

who I miss this election season

I know, she wasn’t around for the 2008 election either. We lost her in 2007. But damn I miss Molly Ivins. The fun she would have had with the crowd of Republican wackos vying for the nomination would make the race at least a little easier to countenance.

She has been recently quoted recently from a 2001 article in which she said: “The next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please, pay attention.” At least Rick Perry is no longer (for the time being anyway) a frontrunner. Not that those who are at the head of the pack are any better.

And speaking of Molly, how about this quote about the Texas legislature from way back in 1971.

All anyone needs to enjoy the state legislature is a strong stomach and a complete insensitivity to the needs of the people. As long as you don’t think about what that peculiar body should be doing and what it actually is doing to the quality of life in Texas, then it’s all marvelous fun.

Scary. Replace “state legislature” with “U.S. Congress” and replace “Texas” with “the United States” and don’t you have an apt description of the current congress?

We miss you, Molly. We’d love to have your wit today to help ease the pain a little.

a thought on prayer

I was looking back at my Kindle notes on Beginner’s Grace by Kate Braestrup, and I found this passage on prayer. It makes so much sense to me. Perhaps you’ll find it of some use as well.

Still, if someone is starving, for God’s sake, don’t sit around praying: Give him food. (The same goes for water, warmth, rest, and the Heimlich maneuver.) To assert that prayer is always, under all circumstances, the first thing love should do, or even the best that love can do, is irresponsible at best and a self-serving lie at worst. Sometimes, however, it’s all we can do. Sometimes prayer is all we’ve got left.

Sacred Music Friday: We Three Kings Of Orient Are

We Three Kings Of Orient Are, Kings College, Cambridge, courtesy of Unapologetically Episcopalian.

Happy Epiphany!

television on Olive Street

An Olive Street recollection.

On Olive street I had a small portable black and white television. For context, we’d had color television at home since about the time I was in the sixth grade. It didn’t get used an awful lot. I spent a lot of time reading and I used my Sears credit card to buy a stereo with a turntable, cassette, and 8-track. I played a lot of vinyl and listened to the soft rock station, Stereo 93, KNX-FM.

As for the TV, though, there was no cable and what I got was what could be gotten over the air via rabbit ears, which in Claremont was all of the Los Angeles stations. So the PBS station, channel 28, got it’s fair share of viewing. Then there were the guilty pleasures. Alison and I were hooked on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and Saturday Night Live. No VCRs then, so you watched when something came on or you missed it. Of course both of those shows were late night viewing, but somehow we managed to watch them, get Alison back to her dorm room at Scripps College, and I still got to work on time the next day.

It didn’t seem so then, but a simpler time it was.

emotionally satisfying?

Miroslav Volf quoted Flannery O’Connor on Facebook recently. Volf says that in response to a suggestion that the Incarnation may not be emotionally satisfying, O’Connor wrote:

I must say that the thought of everyone lolling about in an emotionally satisfying faith is repugnant to me.

Hmmm. OK… We want our faith to reassure us and make us feel good, but I have to admit that I believe O’Connor is right. If our faith is not challenging us to be better people and to help make the world a better place, then it is not doing what it is supposed to do.

A thought in this season of the Incarnation as we approach Epiphany.

blogging in 2011

I ran my blogs for 2011 through the word frequency analyzer at Wordle. (Thanks to Quantum Theology for the idea.) I have to say I was a bit surprised at the results: the words that were there, and the words that weren’t, the words that were more frequently used and those less. Perhaps it will have an impact on my blogging in 2012. Or perhaps not. In either case it was an interesting exercise.

Oh, and comments are included as well. So if you’re a frequent or even occasional commenter on my blog you may see yourself here. (All personally identifiable information has been removed, of course.)

no day but today

Terry and I were late coming to the Rent scene, but saw it several years ago when the national touring company came to San Jose. We loved it and were pleased when the movie version came out. I remember our watching the DVD one unbearably hot Sunday afternoon with the house sealed up and the air conditioner running full blast.  Both of us were grabbing for the Kleenex by the time we got to the finale, “No Day But Today.”

My initial thought is that the philosophy in Rent is pretty existential, but if you think about it, “no day but today” comes straight out of the Bible:

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
—Matthew 6:30 (NRSV)

A good thought to begin the New Year. To remember to live in the moment and not spend time and energy worrying about the future over which we have no control.