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Saturday Song – Palm Sunday Edition

Have mercy on me,  God, in accord with your merciful love;
Psalm 51

Based on Psalm 51, the Miserere Mei Deus by Gregorio Allegri is a piece of music so powerful,  that it was deemed playable only at very specific times. It was meant only to be used for the Tenebrae, meaning Matins and Lauds,  during the final three days of Holy Week, at the Sistine Chapel.

This is a much longer piece of music than is usually posted – and these are different days. I invite you to set aside the time to give a listen if you can.

Earlier in the week I read something in Give Us This Day which has lodged in my heart all week long.  The very first words of the psalm begin with:

For the leader. A psalm of David, 2when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

After he had gone in to Bathsheba… One thing that I think of is this…  as a people tend to judge and criticize people for their sexuality and behavior all the time. And yet, as humans, we do all kinds of things. David – King David literally took Bathsheba for himself, not to mention killing her husband, Uriah Heap,  to make sure that there was no trouble.

This is not to say that this is OK, but if God forgives David – forgiveness that King David asks for in this psalm, for what he did, where does this leave us? Why do we punish one another so, when God is so ready to forgive us?


Inconvenience and the Gospel… A link to Random Acts of Momness by Ginny Kubitz Moyer

The words stopped me in my tracks this morning.  They made me think about families in church – something that I treasure. Often we only hear the crying children, or experience kids in church as an inconvenience. We remember how we were never allowed to talk, read, eat cheerios or go to the bathroom and we grew up just fine. I’m not always so sure about that… Nothing personal – I’m referring to myself here.

This is a story of motherhood, families, church as community and the huge pain that we all are to one another… if that is how we choose to see it. Even when they are our own kids! See what Ginny has to say:

It’s Sunday morning, and we’re at Mass.  My little boys turn the pages of their picture books, surprisingly well-behaved.  As the priest gets up to read the Gospel, the thought of his homily fills me with pleasant anticipation.  Father Xavier possesses equal parts knowledge and wisdom and honesty in the face of…

Please go to my friend Ginny Kubitz Moyer‘s blog at Random Acts of Momness, and read the rest of  her post entitled, An Inconvenient Gospel. She also writes for Catholic Mom, Busted Halo, and is the author of  the book, Mary and Me.

Lent’s narrow and ever-steepening path…

I don’t have something for today, but I did write about my own Lenten struggle over at the Times Union, have a look if you wish!

Monday Musing – The Annunciation

“She shut her eyes and trusted in God who could bring all things to pass, even though common sense were against it; and because she believed, God did to her as he said…. there are here three miracles: that God and man should be joined in this
Child, that a mother should remain a virgin; that Mary should have such faith as to believe that this mystery would be accomplished in her”Martin Luther on the Annunciation

Mary’s choices… to hear, to listen, to believe, to say yes. What could be more beautiful?

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Saturday Song

Each Lent I look forward to hearing and singing (loudly at that) this song… Jerusalem My Destiny by a favorite liturgical composer of mine, Rory Cooney. Honestly, I do not recall this song from Lents gone by, but I was introduced to it during Lent of 2007. At that time I was still just an every-other-weekend visitor to my home parish of St. Edward the Confessor.  Our wedding and soon-to-follow immersion into the life of the parish were my destiny at that time, too! (At the time, I was preparing to relocate and marry Mark, who lived here already and was here, more or less, every other weekend.)

In any case, I heard the song and I was so taken by it. It’s rousing sound propels us forward into our own journey with Christ to Jerusalem, to suffering, death and the Cross. It also is a reminder of our resurrection to follow. Anything that makes me feel joyful about this journey is a gift indeed. Lyrics and video to follow.

Here are the lyrics:

I have fixed my eyes on your hills,
Jerusalem, my Destiny!
Though I cannot see the end for me,
I cannot turn away.
We have set our hearts for the way;
this journey is our destiny.
Let no one walk alone.
The journey makes us one.

Other spirits, lesser gods,
have courted me with lies.
Here among you I have found
a truth that bids me rise. (Refrain)

See, I leave the past behind;
a new land calls to me.
Here among you now I find
a glimpse of what might be. (Refrain)

In my thirst, you let me drink
the waters of your life,
Here among you I have met,
the Savior, Jesus Christ. (Refrain)

All the worlds I have not seen
you open to my view.
Here among you I have found
a vision bright and new. (Refrain)

To the tombs I went to mourn
the hope I thought was gone,
Here among you I awoke
to unexpected dawn. (Refrain)

Composer: Rory Cooney (1990)

Here is the video.

Amazing God – A Visit With St. Paul – March 26, 2012

On March 26, 2012 we will hold a very special Amazing God event here at Immaculate Conception! We are blessed to welcome Glenn K. Smith and his outstanding performance of A Visit with St. Paul.  The program will begin at 7pm in the Church, all are welcome.

I always wonder what it would be like to have actually met Jesus or the Apostles; it is so hard to imagine, but I do think about it!  While we can never know what that would have been like, Smith offers us a glimpse of what things might have been. We will be transported to 65 A.D. and we will meet the great saint in his Roman captivity.

Please join us – and do bring friends and tell others!  This will be a great Lenten evening and an opportunity to grow in our faith!

A Reflection on John 5:1-16

(This is the text of a reflection that I offered at Lenten Tuesday Evening Prayer at St. Edward the Confessor. I am reflecting on Tuesday’s Gospel, John 5:1-16.)

The Pool of Bethesda, Jerusalem, November 2004. Photo by Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

The words stung as I read them; he wrote: “It’s kinda like this… Many cripples were left waiting at the Pool of Bethesda. I doubt their pain would be mollified by your words. After listening to you talk about the free response that is love, a Deuteronomistic view of the world, and Job 39 – and after you and Jesus walk away with the cheering admirers – they’d still be crippled, in pain, and left behind at the Pool.”

* Ouch *

Those words came to me in the form of a recent blog comment. Ironically it came in response to a blog post that I had written about how lovely evening prayer, and our community at St. Edward’s was. This person had already left a few comments at the blog, appearing like a peaceful, unbelieving, and wistful interloper, but in retrospect, he seemed somewhat hurt and angry. My concern for him was countered with knowing that there were probably no words that I could offer to him. It was not lost on me that the last line of his comment referred to the very Gospel I would be here to talk about tonight.

This is where I Continue reading

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