Saturday, 13 April 2013

Venerable Fulton Sheen on the Devil

It has been a while since I have posted anything by the Venerable Fulton Sheen.

Here is a very interesting an profound sermon, concerning the Devil and the diabolic, dating from the 1960's, and perhaps even more relevant today.

The sermon is in four parts, and I urge you to listen to all of it, as it becomes deeper as it progresses.

'Tell them, "There is a Man on the Cross"' - the Crucifix in Peterborough Cathedral (note the motto 'Stat Crux dum volvitur Orbis' - 'The Cross stands while the World turns', also the motto of the Carthusian Order)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Interesting Version of Marian Chant

Found this version of 'Omni Die Dic Mariae' on Youtbe - Gregorian Chant, harmonised and accompanied by various instruments, including, at times, an electric guitar - shouldn't work, but amazingly it does - judge for yourself.

Maybe this is what Mutual Enrichment means - certainly knocks spots off  'Shine, Jesus, Shine'.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Quasimodo Sunday

Today is Low Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, sometimes referred to as Quasimodo Sunday from the custom of referring to Proper Masses (and by extension the days on which they are celebrated) by the opening words of the Introit.

Introit 'Quasi Modo for Low Sunday

For those who don't know Victor Hugo's 'Hunchback of Notre Dame' was so named because he was found abandoned on the Cathedral steps on Low Sunday.

Perhaps being reminded of the novel is no bad thing, given its main themes of our inhumanity towards those who are 'different' - the disabled, the dispossessed, the mentally ill... - and the value of small mercies and genuine charity.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Music for Eastertide - Reigina Caeli

The Marian Antiphon for Eastertide.

Also, have a look at this post from Defende Nos in Proelio - for all those who say children don't get Latin. ;-)

Music for Eastertide - Agnus Dei I (Lux et Origo)


Music for Eastertide - Sanctus I (Lux et Origo)

Continuing the Mass chants for the Easter season, here is the Sanctus - the tone suggests moving towards the more solemn and serious part of the Liturgy.

Treasures and the Poor

I see that Bones has recently put up an interesting post in which he compares the Church as custodian of artwork, historic buildings, and so forth to the National Trust, and reflects on how no-one suggests that the latter should sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor.

Of course Charity demands that the Church care for the physical welfare of the poor. That is why we have Missions, Church charities, and so many Religious, and indeed laity, who devote themselves to this work. There is, however, also a reason for the Church to possess and care for things of beauty.

Nowadays, we hear a great deal about the importance of a pleasant environment and its effect on health and wellbeing. The Victorians recognised this when they included public parks, statues and imposing civic buildings in industrial towns. It is the reason why today's councils are tearing down depressing estates like this...

... and replacing them with this sort of thing.
We who work in education are very aware of making classrooms pleasant, interesting and stimulating, and devote a lot of effort to keeping rooms tidy, putting up displays, and so on.
It makes sense, therefore, for the Church to provide places and things of beauty which help to inspire and to develop our awareness of, and focus on, the divine. This is especially true of the poor: if the only beautiful things you see in your life are when you go to church, then these will be things you value greatly. I am always aware of this when I visit Medieval Cathedral Cities. Here, for example, is Canterbury.
It isn't hard to imagine this street in the Middle Ages when it was built - dark, squalid, an open sewer runnin down the middle - but in the distance a glimpse of the magnificent Cathedral, inspiring thoughts of God, and hopefully the reward of Heaven. When the citizens went to Mass on Sunday, perhaps they saw something like this...
...the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven.
Yes, the Church should care for the physical needs of the poor - she does - but she should also care for their mental and spiritual wellbeing, and one way to do this is through great art and beautiful buidings. After all, being warm, healthy and adequately fed, but in a totally barren an soulless environment doesn't make people feel paricularly good or happy. 

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