Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days – Out To Faking and Back to Traditional Four Part Arrangement

The pianist of a very fine Filipino choir, in which all the members harmonize very well, applied fake marks to a traditional four-part arrangement of a hymn.

LordWhoThroughoutTheseFortyDays-ToFakeAndBackToFourPart

Faking isn’t a deprecatory term, it is a standard musical designation the fine art of improvising a usable performance from the scanty materials of a melody line, chords and lyrics.

I recovered that player’s fake sheet, removed the fake marks, transforming it back to traditional four-part arrangement, which I regularly play.

 

The congregation later sang to my rendition of the traditional four-part arrangement during Liturgy of the Hours.

Unlike the Filipino choir, most choirs cannot handle singing harmony. If a singer starts harmonizing, the other singers will start faltering in their execution of the main melody, because they find the unfamiliarity of vocal harmonization radically distracting.

The usual reason for neglecting to train choirs for to sing with other singers harmonizing is the “circular” reasoning that “it’s too hard for them”.

(Heather Keevers, who attended LifeTeen team training in Arizona, reports that while LIfeTeen purposefully “dumbs-down” their music on the pretext that the purpose is to include the most number of kids, LifeTeen never gets around to “smartening-up” the music–it’s uniformly dumb.)

This neglects the obvious fact that in past ages, all players harmonized. “It’s too hard” only because the players haven’t been exposed to it. “They can’t sing it…because they can’t sing it” is a “just ‘cuz” excuse.

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The video below wasn’t a fanciful Hollywood mythologizing of four-part harmonizing, nor does it involve specialized barbershop chords. It accurately reflects how ordinary people actively performed music as part of their daily cultural lives in the period before the dominance of portable radios, like “transistor” radios.

The “everywhere” ubiquity of transistor radio contributed to the demise of active cultural life–in the 1960s, people weren’t “dancing in the streets” to Martha and the Vandellas, the average person’s experience of music was more akin to “muzak” elevator-music as wallpaper background. As late as the start of World War II, most homes didn’t have radio.

Prior to the initial introduction of radio in 1923, Victrola was an expensive novelty, most of the public became aware of the work of recording stars at music stores, music was propagated to the public through sheet music sales linked to the recordings, the most popular titles selling upwards of a million copies in the decade of 1910-1919.

ShieldsFamily1937(levels)

My extended family in 1938. The youngest child is my sister, my Father and Mother are by the Grandmother. This would have been a moderately small family at the time.

In the generation before radio, there were 300 piano manufacturies in the U.S. (Now there are perhaps five.) My family went to their cousins, the Reddys, where my Mother learned to sing almost before she could speak. If you wanted music, you made it.

This was the age-old pattern throughout all human history, prior to the technological impoverishment of cultural life which is ubiquitous today. In the standard history of a small guitar-like instrument, the cittern, it is generally agreed that in many Renaissance barbershops, a musical instrument was present which the patrons could tune up to accompany casual choral singing.

In today’s technologically enforced, cultural desert, our contemporaries can’t begin to imagine the high level of the everyday person’s culture. John Senior estimated that the average person was able to sing 200 songs in the period prior to radio, M-TV and continual cell-phone music streaming.

Charles Chaput, Cathoic Archbishop of Philadelphia, wrote of a young father’s comment about “banal modern liturgical music more suitable to failed off-Broadway theater”. This observation accords with the findings of a book “Why Catholics Can’t Sing“. The do-it-yourself guitar music revolution of the late 1960s, throwing out the vigorous lay musical cultural life of prior generations in favor a continual cultural revolution, over-emphasized needlessly complicated but uncultured Broadway show-style music that was deliberately calculated to exclude the congregation from singing.

A people who had retained their own authentic, vital culture, would never have fallen for this anti-cultural ruse.

Most keyboardists are no longer capable of following a sight-read, four-part hymnody arrangement. They can only analyze the chords, apply a narrow routine of faking, the deficiencies of which they count on the congregation not to notice–because the congregation doesn’t sing anymore, and are themselves unaware of the culture they have lost.

There is more than passing similarity between faking and the “worship” habits of non-Catholic Christians who misunderstand “heaping up vain repetitions” (Matthew 6:7). Coming Home Network host Marcus Grodi remarks that supposedly “spontaneous” non-Catholic prayers are highly formulaic and repetitious. Whereas, the angels continually cry out “Holy Holy Holy”, and Jesus repeated His plea to His Father in the Garden of Gesthemane.

Most faking practitioners posses only very modest improvisational skills. Traditional four-part arrangements in the best, old hymnals reflect continual critical filtering of generations of active music practitioners, who were highly capable of mounting worshipful music performances based on tried and tested arrangements.

Liturgical musicians of the look-at-me Hootenany generations simply, generally lack minimal technical competence to perform four-part singing and accompaniment. They generally fail to inspire their “audiences” even scant attention to the great musical culture of the 500 year span 1450-1950. This is the substance of the fall and loss of a once great culture, in the record of human accomplishment.

Thomstic philosopher Peter Kreeft has remarked that he personally knows of four atheists who were converted to the Christian faith simply by virtue of listening to the music of J.S. Bach: “Bach exists, therefore, there is a God”.

Self-taught “liturgical” musicians of the period 1970-2010 inspire scant zeal for the Good and the Truth through the Beautiful.

Novena to Mary Untier of Knots

http://www.theholyrosary.org/maryundoerknots

1. Make the sign of the cross

2. Say the Act of Contrition. Ask pardon for your sins and make a firm promise not to commit them again.

Oh my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But most of all, because I have offended Thee, oh my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen

3. Say the first 3 decades of the Rosary.

4. Make the meditation of the day (to be posted each day)

5. Say the last 2 decades of the rosary

6. Finish with the Prayer to Our Lady the Undoer of Knots/span>

Meditation for Day 1

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Dearest Holy Mother, Most Holy Mary, you undo the knots that suffocate your children, extend your merciful hands to me. I entrust to You today this knot….and all the negative consequences that it provokes in my life. I give you this knot that torments me and makes me unhappy and so impedes me from uniting myself to You and Your Son Jesus, my Savior.
I run to You, Mary, Undoer of Knots because I trust you and I know that you never despise a sinning child who comes to ask you for help. I believe that you can undo this knot because Jesus grants you everything. I believe that you want to undo this knot because you are my Mother. I believe that You will do this because you love me with eternal love.

Thank you, Dear Mother.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

The one who seeks grace, finds it in Mary’s hands.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Meditation for Day 2

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Mary, Beloved Mother, channel of all grace, I return to You today my heart, recognizing that I am a sinner in need of your help. Many times I lose the graces you grant me because of my sins of egoism, pride, rancor and my lack of generosity and humility. I turn to You today, Mary, Undoer of knots, for You to ask your Son Jesus to grant me a pure, divested, humble and trusting heart. I will live today practicing these virtues and offering you this as a sign of my love for You. I entrust into Your hands this knot (…describe) which keeps me from reflecting the glory of God.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Mary offered all the moments of her day to God.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Meditation for Day 3

Our Lady Undoer of Knots Meditating Mother, Queen of heaven, in whose hands the treasures of the King are found, turn your merciful eyes upon me today. I entrust into your holy hands this knot in my life…and allthe rancor and resentment it has caused in me. I ask Your forgiveness, God the Father, for my sin. Help me now to forgive all the persons who consciously or unconsciously provoked this knot. Give me, also, the grace to forgive me for having provoked this knot. Only in this way can You undo it. Before You, dearest Mother, and in the name of Your Son Jesus, my Savior, who has suffered so many offenses, having been granted forgiveness, I now forgive these persons…and myself, forever. Thank you, Mary, Undoer of Knots for undoing the knot of rancor in my heart and the knot which I now present to you. Amen.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Meditation for Day 4

Our Lady Undoer of Knots Dearest Holy Mother, you are generous with all who seek you, have mercy on me. I entrust into your hands this knot which robs the peace of my heart, paralyzes my soul and keeps me from going to my Lord and serving Him with my life.
Undo this knot in my love…., O mother, and ask Jesus to heal my paralytic faith which gets down hearted with the stones on the road. Along with you, dearest Mother, may I see these stones as friends. Not murmuring against them anymore but giving endless thanks for them, may I smile trustingly in your power.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Meditation for Day 5

Our Lady Undoer of Knots Mother, Undoer of Knots, generous and compassionate, I come to You today to once again entrust this knot…in my life to you and to ask the divine wisdom to undo, under the light of the Holy Spirit, this snarl of problems. No one ever saw you angry; to the contrary, your words were so charged with sweetness that the Holy Spirit was manifested on your lips. Take away from me the bitterness, anger and hatred which this knot has caused me. Give me, o dearest Mother, some of the sweetness and wisdom that is all silently reflected in your heart. And just as you were present at Pentecost, ask Jesus to send me a new presence of the Holy Spirit at this moment in my life. Holy Spirit, come upon me!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Mary, with God, is powerful.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Meditation for Day 6

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Queen of Mercy, I entrust to you this knot in my life…and I ask you to give me a heart that is patient until you undo it. Teach me to persevere in the living word of Jesus, in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Confession; stay with me and prepare my heart to celebrate with the angels the grace that will be granted to me. Amen! Alleluia!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

You are beautiful, Mary, and there is no stain of sin in You.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Meditation for Day 7

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Mother Most Pure, I come to You today to beg you to undo this knot in my life…and free me from the snares of Evil. God has granted you great power over all the demons. I renounce all of them today, every connection I have had with them and I proclaim Jesus as my one and only Lord and Savior. Mary, Undoer of Knots, crush the evil one’s head and destroy the traps he has set for me by this knot. Thank you, dearest Mother. Most Precious Blood of Jesus, free me!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of our people.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Meditation for Day 8

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Virgin Mother of God, overflowing with mercy, have mercy on your child and undo this knot…in my life. I need your visit to my life, like you visited Elizabeth. Bring me Jesus, bring me the Holy Spirit. Teach me to practice the virtues of courage, joyfulness, humility and faith, and, like Elizabeth, to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Make me joyfully rest on your bosom, Mary. I consecrate you as my mother, Queen and friend. I give you my heart and everything I have (my home and family, my material and spiritual goods.) I am yours forever. Put your heart in me so that I can do everything Jesus tells me.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

Let us go, therefore, full of trust, to the throne of grace.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

Meditation for Day 9

Our Lady Undoer of Knots
Most Holy Mary, our Advocate, Undoer of Knots, I come today to thank you for undoing this knot in my life…You know very well the suffering it has caused me. Thank you for coming, Mother, with your long fingers of mercy to dry the tears in my eyes; you receive me in your arms and make it possible for me to receive once again the divine grace.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, dearest Mother, I thank you for undoing the knots in my life. Wrap me in your mantle of love, keep me under your protection, enlighten me with your peace! Amen.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

PRAYER TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS (Closing Prayer)

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of His children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot…I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea.
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me

The Beatitudes

1 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
3 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
4 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
5 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
6 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
7 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
8 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:3-12


“Received” or Not, the Beatitudes Point Us to Holiness


Father Jeffrey Kirby, Sunday, June 8, 2018

Beauty is the perfection of order and symmetry, and as such is a primary source of holiness. This basic truth can be seen by any Christian believer or any person of good will. And yet, such a claim is regarded as peculiar in contemporary Western societies because of something Saint Paul unmasked, namely, the “great exchange” of divine glory for the fallen things of this world. (cf. Romans 1:18-24)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; 21 for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.

In its current Western form, this great exchange abandons religion for self-help practices, the objective realities of life for subjective preferences, faith-and-reason for an absolutized reason without conditions, male/female complementarity for sexual disorder. And – sadly – the compromises of the great exchange continue into a rapid downward spiral of confusion and misery.

In such societies, people are fragmented, institutions of belonging are redefined, and essential sources of identity are clouded. This leads to widespread social ills, from an epidemic in pornography, widespread opioid abuse, to an increase in suicide rates.

But weren’t we made for something greater that makes beauty and holiness possible in our souls and in society?

It was to answer such questions that Jesus Christ entered human history. By his life and teachings, culminating in his Paschal Mystery, the Lord points us to a more excellent way. He presents this way of life in what the Christian tradition has come to call “the Beatitudes.” The Lord gives the Beatitudes as an interior autobiography of his own heart. He offers them as a remedy to our ills, and as a path toward internal harmony and social tranquility.

The eight Beatitudes reflect the symmetry of beauty and are, therefore, a sure path to peace and holiness. Rather than a random collection of platitudes, the Beatitudes hold an inner logic and offer us a path to harmony.

It is no surprise that only the first and eighth Beatitude refer to the “kingdom.” The two are seen to form bookends. The first Beatitude calls for a “poverty of spirit,” which is a radical existential declaration of a true need for God. This is the beginning of wisdom, tranquility, and happiness. The eighth Beatitude, by contrast, is a commission to accept persecution for the sake of righteousness.

In between, however, lies the hard work for holiness. As the first Beatitude leads us to an assertion of our need for God, so the second one calls us to a sorrow and repentance for our sins and the evil of the world. This grieving compels us to the meekness of the third Beatitude. The meekness here is not passivity, but an authentic desire to know our place in the world, to discern our vocation, given by God, and to live accordingly.

The movement of the first three Beatitudes – from our need for God, our sorrow over evil, and our drive to know our place – reaches a culmination in the fourth Beatitude, which urges on us hunger and thirst for righteousness. Knowing ourselves better, we now want to be excellent, virtuous, and holy. This hunger and thirst doubles down and re-directs our attention.

The focus shifts, therefore, in the fifth Beatitude. We now look to our neighbor and are moved to mercy. From this state of compassion, we are guided into the “purity of heart” of the sixth Beatitude. Such a summons to purity helps us to see God’s Providence, to see what others cannot, namely, healing in brokenness, goodness in the midst of evil, and the power of light over darkness.

This enables us to be the “peacemakers” of the seventh Beatitude and to desire a tranquility of order in our own lives and in the world around, which makes us strong enough and ready to accept and live the commission of the eighth Beatitude.

This simple walk through the Beatitudes reveals to us the beauty of holiness, but also its challenges.

In our culture, there are Jesuitical attempts to discredit moral truth about marriage, family, and sexuality. By classifying certain moral truths, such as sodomy or contraception, as not having been “received” by the People of God (since a majority of believers may not consent to them), such teachings are argued to have not, therefore, really been given by the Holy Spirit.

But we could say the same about the very Beatitudes given to us by Jesus. Many have tried to live up to them, but then quit because they appeared to be too hard or not rewarding enough. Some only pay the Beatitudes lip service, others try to redefine them, while still others completely reject them.

It might even be argued that a majority of believers do not assent to the full life of the Beatitudes. And yet, could we claim that they have not been “received” and therefore are not from God? And even if they’re not “received,” can they be let go?

Of course not. The Beatitudes are here to stay, as is all moral truth. And any such argument is an abuse of the sensus fidelium, which does not mean “what’s everybody doing,” but is the actual living out of the Church’s declared faith by the People of God. That way of viewing things does not reflect the demands of discipleship born from truth and beauty, but rather manifests a rationalization of the tenets of revealed religion. The argument is an intellectual appeasement of this world and a shameful display of the “great exchange” denounced by Saint Paul.

And so, whether “received” or not, the Beatitudes, and the entire body of moral truth, offer the human family another way, a more excellent way, of love. It’s a way that is difficult and marked by toil and struggles. It’s rejected by many. But it’s one that leads to true peace. And the hearts that receive it – and labor to live it – find holiness and the joy of life in God. And they’re the ones whose righteousness ends up converting and changing the world.

St. Nicholas Hymn (en francais)

Saint NICOLAS

This popular French song, the Légende de Saint Nicolas, dates back to the 16th century and is still sung by French children today. It tells the rather gruesome story of St. Nicholas rescuing three children from an evil butcher. The story, which was originally of three young men—traveling scholars, is told in France of three young children (see illustrations from 1935). Here on this page, they are shown as older children by 19th century artist E. de Liphart. Music and an English text, freely translated by poet James Henry Dixon, follow the original French.


Cover
Saint NICOLAS
E. de Liphart, illustrator
Maison Quantin, Paris ca 1880
St Nicholas Center Collection
Children approach butcher's

They came to the butcher’s one evening  

St Nicolas at table

Butcher, butcher, do not flee. 
 
Rise up, children

Then the Saint extended his fingers 
 
Music to traditional French song
 
Click for printable PDF

Saint NICOLAS (La Légende de Saint Nicolas)

    Ils étaient trois petits enfants
    Qui s’en allaient glaner aux champs—
    S’en vinr’nt un soir chez un boucher:
    ”Boucher, voudrais-tu nous coucher?”—
    Entrez, entrez, petits enfants,
    Il y’a d’la place assurément! . . .

Ils n’étaient pas sitôt entrés
Que le boucher les a tués,
Les a coupés en p’tits morceaux,
Mis au saloir comme pourceaux.

    Ils étaient, etc.

Saint Nicolas, au bout d’sept ans,
Vint à passer dedans ce champ,
Alla frapper chez le boucher:
“Boucher, voudrais-tu me loger?”

    Ils étaient, etc.

— Entrez, entrez, saint Nicolas,
Il y’a d’la place, il n’en manq’pas.”
Il n’était pas sitôt entré
Qu’il a demandé à souper.

    Ils étaient, etc.

“Du p’tit salé je veux avoir
Qu’il y a sept ans qu’est dans l’saloir.”
Quand le boucher entendit ça,
Hors de la porte il s’enfuya.

    Ils étaient, etc.

“Boucher, boucher, ne t’enfuis pas;
Repens-toi, Dieu t’pardonnera.”
Saint Nicolas alla s’asseoir
Dessus le bord de ce saloir.

    Ils étaient, etc.

“Petits enfants qui dormez là,
Je suis le grand saint Nicolas.”
Et le saint étendit trois doigts.
Les p’tits se lèvent tous les trois.

    Ils étaient, etc.

The Legend of Saint Nicholas
freely translated from the French

Three little children sought the plain
Gleaners of the golden grain.
They lingered past the angel-song,
And dewy shadows swept along.

‘Mid the silence of the wood
The butcher’s lonely cottage stood,
“Butcher! lodge us for the night,
Lodge us till the morning light.”
“Enter in, ye children small,
I can find a place for all.”

The butcher seized a knife straitway,
And did the little creatures slay.
He put them in a tub of brine,
In pieces small as they were swine.

St. Nicholas, at seven years end,
His way did to the forest wend.
He sought the butcher’s cottage drear:
“Butcher! I would rest me here!”

“Enter! enter, St. Nicholas!
You are welcome, St. Nicholas!
Enter! enter, St. Nicholas!
There’s place for you the night to pass.”
Scarce had the Saint his entrance made,
He would the supper board was laid.

“Will you have of ham a slice?”
“I will not, for it is not nice!”
“Of this veal you’ll take a bit?”
“No! I do not relish it.”

“Give me of the little swine,
For seven long years have laid in brine!”
The butcher caught the words he said,
And forthwith from the portal fled.

“Butcher! butcher! do not flee,
Repent and God will pardon thee!”

St. Nicholas the tub drew near,
And lo! he placed three fingers there.
The first one said, “I sweetly rest!”
The second said, “I too am blest!”
The third replied, “Tis well with me,
In Paradise I seem to be!”

Freely translated from the French by English poet James Henry Dixon (1803–1876), Centro Studi Nicolaiani, Bari, Itlay, 1983. Used by permission.

A 17th century version of this song

Credo – I Believe

I believe that our Blessed Lady has a special intention for the Credo. Under her influence I always treat it as more than a kind of public profession. It is primarily a prayer because Faith is a theological virtue. “I belief Lord. Help me in my unbelief.” I think it would be better for it to be sung on the special occasions of re-dedication. The English Credo is the Mother’s Milk of sung prayers; babies can sing it. (Latin would be wonderful, but be all things to all people.) Accordingly, I have moved English to the top.
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CredoL1
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Half a cannabis cigarette causes quasi-psychotic effects like schizophrenia in healthy people

By LIZZIE PARRY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
3 December 2015
dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3345090/Just-HALF-joint-cannabis-causes-psychosis-like-effects-healthy-people-s-similar-schizophrenia-say-experts.html
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  • Active ingredient in cannabis delta-9-THC is linked to psychosis effects
  • Scientists do not fully understand mechanisms that cause these effects
  • Yale team found delta-9-THC increases random neural activity, or noise
  • Believe increased neural noise plays role in psychosis triggered by drug
  • Experts say effects are similar to the symptoms of schizophrenia

Smoking cannabis can induce psychosis-like effects, similar to the symptoms people diagnosed with schizophrenia endure, scientists have said.
While past research as come this this conclusion in the past, the mechanisms underlying these effects are less clear.

Now, a team of scientists at Yale School of Medicine have found the active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) increases random neural activity, known as neural noise, in the brains of healthy drug-users.

Their findings suggest increased neural noise may play a role in the psychosis-like effects of cannabis.
Dr Deepak D’Souza, a professor of psychiatry at Yale, said: ‘At doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, delta-9-THC produced psychosis-like effects and increased neural noise in humans.’
First author of the study, Dr Jose Cortes-Briones, a postdoctoral associate in psychiatry at Yale, added: ‘The dose-dependent and strong positive relationship between these two findings suggest that the psychosis-like effects of cannabis may be related to neural noise which disrupts the brain’s normal information processing.’

Researchers studied the effects of delta-9-THC on electrical brain activity in 24 human subjects, who took part in a three-day study.

During the experiments, they received two doses of intravenous delta-9-THC or a placebo in a double-blind, randomised, cross-over and counterbalanced design.

If confirmed, the link between neural noise and psychosis could shed light on the biology of some of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Dr John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry, the journal in which the study is published, said the research marks an important part of the debate over whether cannabis should be legalised.
He said: ‘This interesting study suggests a commonality between the effects on the brain of the major active ingredient in marijuana and symptoms of schizophrenia.

‘The impairment of cortical function by delta-9-THC could underlie some of the cognitive effects of marijuana.

‘Not only does this finding aid our understanding of the processes underlying psychosis, it underscores an important concern in the debate surrounding medical and legalised access to marijuana.’