Friday, December 31, 2010

Catechism of the Day

Table of Duties - continued

Of Civil Government

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.
For there is no power but of God;
the powers that be are ordained of God.
Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God;
and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.
Wilt thou, then, not be afraid of the power?
Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same;
for he is the minister of God to thee for good.
But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid,
for he beareth not the sword in vain;
for He is the minister of God,
a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
(Romans 13)

De Magistratibus

Omnis anima potestatibus supereminentibus subdita sit.
Non enim est potestas nisi a Deo.
Quae vero sunt potestates, a Deo ordinatae sunt.
Itaque quisquis resistit potestati, Dei ordinationi resistit.
Qui autem resisterint, sibi ipsis iudicium accipient.
Non enim frustra gladium gestat, nam Dei minister est,
ultor ad iram ei, qui, quod malum est, fecerit.
(De Epistola beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos)

Carl Malcolm + Chicago Steve + Big Youth - No Jestering

Steve Wiest was more than a great pastor, preacher, and biblical scholar. He was also a great musician. One of his lovely daughters found this video on youtube, and posted it at her facebook wall. Fr. Wiest's version is the second of the three in the video. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Catechism of the Day

Table of Duties - What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors - continued

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves;
for they watch for your souls as they that must give account,
that they may do it with joy and not with grief,
for that is unprofitable for you.
(Hebrews 13)

Obedite praepositis vestris et cedite eis.
Ipsi enim vigilant, quasi rationem pro animabus vestris reddituri,
ut cum gaudio hoc faciant, et non gementes;
hoc enim non expedit vobis.
(De Epistola ad Hebraeos)

the new Gaba picture

This Christmas a thought came to me.  It has probably been many years since we did anything like a picture of the two of us.  And it would be kind of nice to have a slightly more up to date one.  So I asked my sister to take this picture.  As you can see, we included our housemate, Dorian.

Catechism of the Day

Table of Duties - What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors - continued

And we beseech you, brethren,
to know them which labor among you
and are over you in the Lord and admonish you;
and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake.
And be at peace among yourselves.
(1st Thessalonians 5)

Rogámus autem vos, fratres,
ut novéritis eos qui labórant inter vos,
et præsunt vobis in Dómino, et monent vos,
ut habeátis illos abundántius in caritáte propter opus illórum:
pacem habéte cum eis.
(De Epistola prima beati Pauli Apostoli ad Thessalonicenses)

Skating through a Martyr's Feast

On the Fifth Day of Christmas my wife treated me to the cost of the skate rental fee at Red Arrow Park, so I enjoyed some time on the ice today with my brother in law Bob, sister in law Sarah, and of course their wonderful offspring Rachel, David, and Hannah.  They were in town for a woefully short visit.  Most good sensible people, one supposes, would be loath to inflict others with the sight of such bad skating skills.  I, however, am not most people.  When I am on the ice, I don't seem to be all that bothered by the fact that others will see what a bad skater I am.   So I thank the Detlaffs for graciously enduring my presence with their skating excursion. 

I did seem to skate a bit more smoothly when I thought less of the ice in front of me and more of the life and witness of a brother in Christ who died about eight hundred years before I was born.  My dear nieces and nephew displayed zero interest in St. Thomas a Becket, so I mentally preached to the birds. 

A public skating rink in Downtown Milwaukee is like an invigorating box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to find.  And today I had the pleasure of running into the Rev. Fr. Todd Pepekorn and his delightful family.  So that means that not only did the Detlaffs see my skating method today, but so did Todd Peperkorn, a reputable Lutheran pastor, preacher, and fellow pericopal traditionalist. 

But seriously, I had a fun time skating today; no better place for it than Red Arrow Park, right across from the Marcus Center and in the shade of the Germanic rear end of the glorious City Hall. It was good to spend time with family. And on top of all that, it was really nice to see a good friend there. I did not think to bring a camera, but here is a picture or two that were taken of yours truly.

I began the outing, mind you, with a sweater, jacket and scarf over the shirt you see in the pictures, but after a while I was too hot, so off went the jacket, and then the sweater, until my upper part was left only with my new shirt, a Christmas gift from a busser at the restaurant.  Last year I skated at Red Arrow for my joint birthday celebration with my sister Bedull, whose birthday is the day after mine.  One of the great things about that evening was that Fr. Gary Schultz was a part of it.  I'll have to get back out on the ice this winter, maybe on my birthday. 




Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Catechism of the Day

Table of Duties - What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors - continued

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor,
especially they who labor in the Word and doctrine.
For the Scripture saith,
Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn;
and, The laborer is worthy of his reward.
(1st Timothy 5)

Qui bene praesunt presbyteri, duplici honore digni habeantur,
maxime qui laborant in Verbo et doctrina.
Dicit enim Scriptura:
Non obligabis os bovi trituranti.
Et: Dignus est operarius mercede sua.
(De epistola prima beati Pauli Apostoli ad Timotheum)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Catechism of the Day

Table of Duties - What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors , continued

Let him that is taught in the Word communicate unto him
that teacheth in all good things.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked;
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
(Galatians 6)

Communicet doctori in omnibus bonis is, qui docetur Verbo.
Nolíte erráre: Deus non irridétur. Quæ enim semináverit homo,
hæc et metet.
(De Epistola beati Pauli Apostoli ad Galatas)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Catechism of the Day

Table of Duties - What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors - continued

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which
preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.
(1st Corinthians 9)

Dominus ordinavit his, qui evangelium annuntiant,
de evangelio vivere.
(De epistola prima beati Pauli apostoli ad Corinthios)

Springsteen "Merry Christmas Baby" Buffalo 11-22-09

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Catechism of the Day

Table of Duties - What the Hearers Owe to Their Pastors

Eat and drink such things as they give;
for the laborer is worthy of his hire.
(Luke 10)

Quid Debeant Auditores Episcopis Suis

Edéntes et bibéntes quæ apud illos sunt:
dignus est enim operárius mercéde sua.
(Sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Catechism of the Day

Table of Duties

Or certain passages of Scripture for various holy orders and estates
whereby these are severally to be admonished as to their office and duty

To Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers

A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife,
vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality,
apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker,
not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler,
not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house,
having his children in subjection with all gravity;
not a novice; holding fast the faithful Word as he hath been taught,
that he may be able by sound doctrine
both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
(1st Timothy 3, Titus 1)

Tabula Oeconomica

In quia proponuntur elegantes quaedam ex Sacra Scriptura sententiae,
pro omnibus sanctis ordinibus ac statibus, per quas illi,
tamquam propria quadam lectione, sui officii et muneris admonentur

Episcopis, Parochis, et Concionatoribus

Oportet episcopum irreprehensibilem esse, unius uxoris maritum,
vigilantem, sobrium, modestum, hospitalem,
aptum ad docendum, non vinolentum, non percussorem,
non turpis lucri cupidum, sed aequum, alienum a pugnis,
alienum ab avaritia, qui suae domui bene praesit,
qui liberos habeat in subiectione cum omni reverentia, non novitium,
tenacem fidelis sermonis, qui secundum doctrinam est,
ut potens sit exhortari doctrina sana, et eos, qui contradicunt,
arguere et cetera.
(De epistola ad Timotheum et ad Titum)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Veni Veni Emmanuel

Catechism of the Day

Returning Thanks

Also, after eating, they shall,
in like manner, reverently and
with folded hands say:

Oh, give thanks unto the LORD, For he is gracious,
and his mercy endureth forever,
who giveth food to all flesh;
who giveth fodder unto the cattle,
and feedeth the young ravens that call upon him.
He hath no pleasure in the strength of an horse.
Neither delighteth he in any man’s legs.
But the LORD’s delight is in them that fear him,
and put their trust in his mercy.

Then shall be said the Lord’s Prayer, and the following:

We thank Thee, Lord God,
Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
for all Thy benefits,
Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

Gratiarum Actio

Sic quoque post cibum sumptum ad
eundem modum modeste complicatis
manibus ad mensam assistant et dicant:

Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus,
quoniam in aeternum misericordia eius,
qui dat escam omni carni,
qui dat iumentis escam ipsorum
et pullis corvorum invocantibus eum.
Non in fortitudine equi voluntatem habebit,
neque in tibiis viri beneplacitum erit ei.
Beneplacitum est Domino super timentes eum et in eis,
qui sperant super misericordia eius.

Deinde addant Orationem Dominicam cum oratione sequenti:

Agimus tibi gratias,
omnipotens Deus,
pro universis beneficiis tuis,
qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mozarabic chant - Gratias Dei Patris

Catechism of the Day

How the Head of the Family
Should Teach His Household
To Ask a Blessing and Return Thanks

Asking a Blessing

The children and members of the household
shall go to the table reverently,
fold their hands, and say:

The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O Lord,
and Thou givest them their meat in due season;
Thou openest Thine hand and fillest all things living with plenteousness.

Note: To fill all things living with plenteousness means that
all living things receive so much to eat that they are on this
account joyful and of good cheer,
for care and avarice hinder such satisfaction.

Then shall be said the Lord’s Prayer and the following:

Lord God, Heavenly Father,
bless us and these Thy gifts which we receive
from Thy bountiful goodness,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Quo Pacto Patresfamilias Suam Familiam
Benedictionem Mensae et Gratiarum
Actionem Simplicissime Docere Debeant

Benedictio Mensae

Pueri una cum familia debent complicatis manibus,
modestiam prae se ferentes,
ad mensam accedere et sic orare:

Oculi omnium in te sperant, Domine,
et tu das escam illorum in tempore opportuno.
Aperis tu manum tuam et imples omne animal benedictione.

Scholion: Benedictio hic significat largam distributionem Dei,
qui omnibus animantibus tantum cibi, suppeditat,
ut inde hilariter et iucunde vivere possint.
Hanc benedictionem et laetitiam ac acquiescentiam
impediunt sollicitudo prohibita, cura, avaritia, tenacitas.

Deinde addant Orationem Dominicam cum oratione sequenti:

Benedic, Domine,
nos et haec tua dona
quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi.
Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas sale at Lulu

Note to anyone considering the purchase of The Essential Lutheran Prayer Book:

From now until 15 January, you can get a 15% discount by entering this code: RESOLUTION305.

Order yours here, and don't forget to use this special discount code.  Thank You.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Cor meum conturbatum est in me, or Not all Albanians have the rhythm of John Belushi

Wednesday night after I came home from work, I sat down and noticed my heart was racing and out of rhythm.  This happens every so often for those with atrial fibrillation.  Not a big deal necessarily.  For me, it has been I think well over a year since the last episode.  And it persisted until Thursday morning.  Such an experience can cause a man concern.  Seeing that it hadn't gone away, I decided to call my cardiologist's office, and they wanted to get me in to see the good doctor, which I did that afternoon. 

He listened to my heart, chatted with me, had a woman extract some blood, and decided I should have an echo and a sleep study.  This was the first time a cardiologist has spoken to me about a sleep study, but he said that they are now seeing some connection between a-fib and sleep apnea.  It is possible that I have had this and simply have not noticed, so we shall see.

Unfortunately, the experience meant a day out of work.  In the end, however, it was probably worth it. 

Earlier today I had the pleasure of an all too brief chat with a good friend, who reminded me that not all Albanians lack rhythm.  How true!    Alas, my troubles can only be blamed on myself.  And I thank God for them, for Christ the crucified suffers with me.  Or as the Psalm says, It is good for me that I have been in trouble, that I may learn Thy statutes.

Old Roman chant - Kyrie eleison

Thanks to Joseph Schmidt for showing me this youtube site.  It has several good chants from a variety of liturgical rites.  Here is the first I wish to share here:

Catechism of the Day

Evening Prayer

In the evening, when you go to bed,
you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.

If you choose, you may, in addition, say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ,
Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day;
and I pray Thee that Thou wouldst forgive me all my sins
where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night.
For into Thy hands I commend myself,
my body and soul and all things.
Let Thy holy angel be with me,
that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Benedictio Vesperi Dicenda

Similiter vesperi, quum confers te cubitum,
signabis te signo sanctae crucis, dicens:

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Deine flexis genibus vel stans
dicas Symbolum et Orationem Dominicam.
His potes et hanc precatiunculam addere:

Gratias ago tibi, mi Pater caelestis, per Iesum Christum,
Filium Tuum dilectum, quod me hac die gratuita
misericordia et bonitate tua custodieris.
Et oro te, ut mihi omnia peccata mea,
quae perpetravi et quibus offendi te,
remittere et me hac nocte tua gratia benigne conservare velis.
Quia ego me meumque corpus et animam
ac omnia in manus Tuas commendo,
Tuus sanctus angelus sit mecum,
ne diabolus quidquam in me possit. Amen.

Atque ita tandem placide et tranquille dormiendum est.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Catechism of the Day

How the Head of the Family Should Teach His Household To Bless Themselves in the Morning and in the Evening

Morning Prayer

In the morning, when you rise,
you shall bless yourself with the holy cross and say:

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Then, kneeling or standing, repeat the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.

If you choose, you may also say this little prayer:

I thank Thee, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ,
Thy dear Son, that Thou hast kept me this night
from all harm and danger;
and I pray Thee that Thou wouldst keep me this day also
from sin and every evil,
that all my doings and life may please Thee.
For into Thy hands I commend myself,
my body and soul, and all things.
Let Thy holy angel be with me,
that the wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

Then go joyfully to your work, singing a hymn,
like that of the Ten Commandments,
or whatever your devotion may suggest.

Quo Pacto Patresfamilias Suam Familiam Formas Benedictionis Unam Mane, Alteram Vesperi Dicendam, Simplicissime Docere Debeant

Benedictio Mane Dicenda

Mane cum surgis e lecto,
signabis te signo sanctae crucis, dicens:

In Nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Deinde innitens genibus vel stans dicas Symbolum et Orationem Dominicam.

His potes et hanc precatiunculam addere:

Gratias ago tibi, mi Pater caelestis, per Iesum Christum,
Filium Tuum dilectum, quod me hac nocte ab omnibus incommodis
ac periculis conservatum custodieris.
Et oro te, ut me hac die quoque conservare et a peccato et
omnibus malis custodire velis,
ut tibi omnia mea facta atque adeo tota vita bene placeant.
Quia ego me meumque corpus et animam ac omnia in manus tuas commendo.
Tuus sanctus angelus sit mecum, ne diabolus quidquam in me possit. Amen.

Postea alacriter ad vocationis tuae operas accedendum est,
cantata psalmo, Decalogo vel alio carmine,
quo excitetur cor tuum.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Catechism of the Day

The Sacrament of the Altar continued

Who, then, receives such Sacrament worthily?

Fasting and bodily preparation are indeed a fine outward training; but he is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words,

"Given and shed for you for the remission of sins."

But he that does not believe these words, or doubts, is unworthy and unprepared; for the words "for you" require all hearts to believe.

Quis utitur hoc sacramento digne?

Ieiunare et corpus suum praeparare est quidem bona et externa disciplina. At ille est vere dignus ac probe paratus, qui habet fidem in haec verba:

“Pro vobis datur et effunditur in remissionem peccatorum.”

Qui vero his verbis non credit aut de illis dubitat, ille est indignus ac imparatus, quia hoc verbum, “Pro vobis,” postulat omnino cor, quod Deo credat.

free ground shipping at Lulu

http://www.lulu.com/static/121410_GROUNDENDwv.html?cid=121410_en_email_GROUNDEND

Monday, December 13, 2010

Catechism of the Day

The Sacrament of the Altar continued

How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?


It is not the eating and drinking indeed that does them, but the words here written,

"Given and shed for you for the remission of sins;"

which words, besides the bodily eating and drinking, are the chief thing in the Sacrament;
and he that believes these words has what they say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins.

Qui potest corporalis illa manducatio tantas res efficere?


Manducare et bibere ista certe non efficiunt, sed illa verba, quae hic ponuntur:

“Pro vobis datur et effunditur in remissionem peccatorum;”

quae verba sunt una cum corporali manducatione caput et summa huius sacramenti.
Et qui credit his verbis, ille habet, quod dicunt et sicut sonant, nempe remissionem peccatorum.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Albanian Folk Music

Catechism of the Day

The Sacrament of the Altar continued

What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?

That is shown us by these words,

"Given and shed for you for the remission of sins";

namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

Quid vero prodest sic comedisse et bibisse?

Id indicant nobis haec verba:

“Pro vobis datur et effunditur in remissionem peccatorum,”

nempe quod nobis per verba illa in sacramento remissio peccatorum, vita, iustitia et salus donentur. Ubi enim remissio peccatorum est, ibi est et vita et salus.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Catechism of the Day

The Sacrament of the Altar

As the head of the family should teach it in the simplest way to his household

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.

Where is this written?

The Holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul the Apostle write thus:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He brake it and gave it to His disciples, saying,

Take, eat; this is My body,
which is given for you.
This do in remembrance of Me.

After the same manner also He took the cup when He had supped, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying,

Drink ye all of it;
this cup is the new testament in My blood,
which is shed for you for the remission of sins. This do, as oft as ye drink it,
in remembrance of Me.

Sacramentum Altaris

quomodo paterfamilias simplicissime suam familiam de eo docere debeat

Quid est sacramentum altaris?

Sacramentum altaris est verum corpus et verus sanguis Domini nostri Iesu Christi, sub pane et vino nobis Christianis ad manducandum ac bibendum ab ipso Christo institutum.

Ubi hoc scriptum est?

Sic scribunt sancti Evangelistae, Matthaeus, Marcus, Lucas, et Sanctus Paulus:

Dominus noster Iesus Christus in ea nocte, qua traditus est, accepit panem et postquam gratias egisset, fregit et dedit discipulis suis, dicens:

Accipite, comedite. Hoc est corpus meum,
quod pro vobis datur.
Hoc facite in mei commemorationem.

Similiter et postquam coenavit,
accepit calicem et, quum gratias egisset,
dedit illis, dicens:

Bibite, ex hoc omnes. Hic calix novum testamentum est in meo sanguine, qui pro vobis effunditur in remissionem peccatorum. Hoc facite, quotiescunque biberitis, in mei commemorationem.

marriage, virginity, & God's command

The following question came up at the blog of Eric Brown, a Missouri Synod pastor:

If "Be fruitful and multiply" is a hard standing command that applies to all today - how can chastity and virginity (in the "remain unmarried sense") be approved by God?  I'm guessing the answer will be that it is only to the married. Then, the question becomes this. I know many who are upset with my take on contraception also hold to the perpetual virginity of Mary. This seems to put Mary in a bind, for then she was refusing to engage in what was God's command for the wedded. How is this reconciled?

My answer would not fit in the comment space there, so I cut it down.  The following is my fuller answer.

"Be fruitful and multiply" is indeed a hard standing command, and it applies to all today. It is fulfilled in nature, and it is fulfilled in humanity. It is fulfilled in marriage in general, and in each marriage in particular ways.

It is also a command that brings about its own fulfilling. It can be seen at once as both a command and a promise, or as a word which accomplishes what it demands. It is a beautiful and rich and gracious and complex indication that creation is not a one time event, but an ongoing reality.

Yet chastity and virginity are not only approved by God, but commanded by Him, and blessed by Him. Chastity is the calling of every Christian, to live out in ways appropriate to each one's calling and station in life. Unmarried adult virginity/chastity is a special calling, as is marriage. For some, it is lifelong; some are called to witness to Christ in this way only for a season of life. There are many types of examples of Godly chastity in the sense of extended abstinence from connubial relations, one being widowhood, another being consecrated lifelong virginity, another being maidenhood, however long it lasts (as with, for example, Loehe's deaconesses in nineteenth century Bavaria).

How are these truths reconciled? Few things compare with the holy calling of motherhood. At the same time, virginity, rather than being a sort of allowance or exception to the rule, is praised just as highly. In fact, Saint Paul would have us think that "he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better."

I suggest that one way to approach the reconciliation of these two Christian realities is by considering the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for she embodies and fulfills both fruitfulness and virginity as no one else has. Her holy calling was lifelong virginity, a purity and sempervirginity pictured for the Church by the Prophet Ezekiel as the temple whose eastward gate is shut, and shall not be opened, for it is for the Prince.

At the same time her lifelong virginity is coupled with her glorious fruitfulness. Mercy and truth are met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. And Mary's purity, holiness, and ever-virginity met and kissed the righteous command and annunciation of God, and the result was the most fruitful and multiplying maternity imaginable. For Life Himself was brought forth, Who with his union with His blood bought Church brings forth many children to this day, like you and me. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the Lord of all, the Lord of life, was not only brought forth, but as St. Ambrose says in one of his hymns, He stepped forth from His pure and kingly hall, an image that reminds us of His triumphant stepping forth from the tomb three decades later, and also reminds us of the proper placing of the verb. It was not Mary's doing. It was Christ's own doing. Or, as the Formula of Concord says, it was God showing His divine majesty (section 24 of the Thorough Declaration, VIII).

Many think of the unfruitful womb as a moribund and desolate and lifeless thing, like a tomb. So Ambrose's imagery helps us, I think, to see that sometimes it is our view that needs adjustment. Christ makes all things new. His grace is everywhere, as Therese of Lisieux said at the end of her agony (which was not meant in the sense of a panentheism or in the sense that God's grace is received by all, but that even in suffering, God brings forth His good and gracious will). And His grace brings with it life, and salvation.

Marriage and virginity are not antithetical, but are reconciled in the same Church, and sometimes in the same marriage.Now, let us emphasize, God's command to be fruitful and multiply is for all of us today, and it is improper to step in front of this Word, and presume to know His will, by the use of contraception. However, there are marriages that will not result in the issue of children, or will not for many years. In this case, as in the case of the virgin and those called for various reasons to abstinence, God's Word is fulfilled not in such a particular and literalist manner, but is still fulfilled.

In all of our vocations and callings in this life, God, the life giver (vivificantem), brings about His grace and life. He plants His Word in us, as in the Annunciation, and it brings forth new life daily, constantly. The result is that while children are a wonderful heritage of the Lord, we must stand up for the truth that the highest heritage of God is the gift of Himself and His testimonies, as we pray in the one hundred and nineteenth psalm.
 
Incidentally, to clear up a misconception, Mary did not "refuse to engage in what was commanded for the wedded." Rather, it is not commanded in such a literalist way for every marriage, and Mary's virginity is improperly labeled a 'refusing.' It is an embracing of her vocation, a 'fiat,' an 'amen.' This, moreover, was not a hardship for Joseph, not in the sense of conjugal frustration. For he fully embraced this as well. He entered this special marriage knowingly and prayerfully.
 
Thoughts anyone?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Note Well the Deals at Lulu

I would alert the reader to the fact that Lulu often gives certain deals and sales, and that there are several good resources there for the Christian home.

One such deal is the free shipping which goes until 12 December:  http://www.lulu.com/static/120710_HOLIDAY305wv.html/?cid=120710_en_email_HOLIDAY305

I know of several good books available there, and there are surely others at Lulu which I have not discovered.  One I would recommend is Daily Divine Service Book, a missal put together by Fr. Heath Curtis, and offered in both paper and hardcover.  I have not yet been able to purchase a copy, but it looks to contain mass propers for the celebration of daily Mass, and so it would make a good purchase for the missal stand, and for the theologian's study.

Another is a book on the liturgy, written by Fr. Burnell Eckardt.  It is entitled The New Testament in His Blood, and is offered in both paper and digital form.  Judging by what I know of Fritz Eckardt, his scholarship, his churchmanship, and his way with the written word, this promises to be an excellent read, and a good purchase for the seminarian, the pastor, and the family.

Indeed, I would also remind the reader about a little enterprise called The Essential Lutheran Prayer Book.  One can get it in hardcover or digital format; it is about 154 pages, and for the vast majority of its content, it has nothing new or innovative to offer.  What does it have to offer, you ask?  Be warned.  If you do not like the word "catholic," then this is not a book for you.  If you feel uneasy about the word "mass," then do not buy this book.  If you do not want your children and students to be exposed to any Latin, then keep this book away from them.  If you want a handy guide to daily prayer with classic English forms, and yes, some Latin, then this is a good resource for you, and yours.

Please consider these in your Christmas gift giving plans.

Flaka Mbuloi Fshane (Albanian folk music with English subtitles)

Some traditional Albanian iso-polyphony for you today. This song is about a village that was attacked, at the time of the struggle with the Ottoman Turk. The theme, the costume, and the music, are all pure Albanian.

Catechism of the Day

Pray, give me a brief form of Confession.

Say to the Confessor,

Reverend and dear Sir,
I beseech you to hear my confession,
and pronounce forgiveness to me, for God’s sake.

Proceed!

I, a poor sinner, confess myself before God
guilty of all sins.

Especially do I confess before you that I am
a servant, etc.,
but, alas! I serve my master unfaithfully;
for in this and in that I have not done what they commanded me;
I have provoked them to anger and profane words,
have been negligent and have not prevented injury,
have been immodest in words and deeds,
have quarreled with my equals,
have murmured and used profane words against my mistress, etc.
For all this I am sorry, and implore grace;

I promise amendment.

A master or mistress may say:

Especially do I confess before you
that I have not faithfully trained my children
and household to the glory of God;
I have used profane language,
set a bad example
by indecent words and deeds,
have done my neighbor harm and spoken evil of him,
have overcharged
and given false ware and short measure;

And whatever else he has done against God’s Commandments
and his station, etc.

But if anyone does not find himself burdened
with such or greater sins,
he should not trouble himself on that account,
nor seek or invent other sins,
and thus make confession a torture,
but simply make one or two that you know, after this manner:

Especially do I confess that I have once been profane;

I have once used improper words;
I have once neglected this or that, etc.

Let that suffice.

But if you are conscious of none at all,
which, however, is scarcely possible,
then mention none in particular,
but receive absolution upon the General Confession
which you make before God to the confessor.

Then shall the Confessor say:

God be merciful to thee, and strengthen thy faith.

Respond: Amen.

Furthermore:

Dost thou believe that my forgiveness is God’s forgiveness?

Yes. I believe it.

Then shall he say:

Be it unto thee as thou believest.

And I, by the command of our Lord Jesus Christ,
forgive thee thy sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost.

Respond: Amen.

Depart in peace.

Those, however, whose conscience is heavily burdened,
or who are troubled and tempted,
the confessor will know how to comfort and incite to faith
with more passages of Scripture.

This is designed merely to be a general form of Confession
for the unlearned.

Brevis Forma Confessionis pro Rudioribus.

In hunc modum alloqui debes ministrum verbi,

Reverende et dilecte domine,
rogo te, ut confessionem meam audias
et mihi propter Deum remissionem annunties.

Dicas.

Miser ego peccator confiteor coram Deo me
omnium peccatorum reum esse;
imprimis confiteor coram te, me quidem servum,
ancillam, et cetera esse,
sed infideliter servire domino meo;
non enim feci, non facio, quae mihi iniungit,
irritavi et ad maledicendum commovi
dominum vel dominam meam, multa neglexi et damno causam praebui et cetera,
in verbis et factis petulantem me praebui,
impatiens fui, obstrepui et cetera,

Ideo, doleo, gratiam imploro,
emendationem promitto.

Herus aut hera sic dicant:

Imprimis confiteor coram te,
me non diligentem fuisse in fideli educatione
et institutione liberorum et familiae ad gloriam Dei,
blasphemavi, nomine Dei abusus sum,
malum exemplum
prava loquens et faciens praebui,
vicinos laesi, multis obtrectavi,
pondera et mensuras violavi,
decepi proximum vendendo merces et cetera.

Et si quid aliud contra praecepta Dei in cuiusque
vocatione occurrit et cetera.

Si vero quis non sentit se onerari talibus
aut gravioribus peccatis,
is non sit solicitus,
nec quaerat aut fingat peccata,
nec ex confessione carnificinam faciat sed unum
atque alterum peccatum sibi notum recitet, ut:

Imprimis confiteor me abusum esse nomine divino,

verbis impudicis usum,
hoc vel illud neglexisse et cetera.

Sic sane quiescat animus.

Si vero plane nullius tibi conscius es
(quod propemodum impossibile est),
nullum etiam in specie recites,
sed accipias remissionem, facta generali confessione,
quam coram Deo ad ministrum pronuntias.

Respondeat autem minister:

Deus tibi sit propitius et confirmet fidem tuam.

Responde Amen.

Interroget etiam confitentem:

Num meam remissionem credis esse Dei remissionem?

Ita, dilecte domine.

Affirmanti et credenti porro dicat:

Fiat tibi, sicut credis.

Et ego ex mandato Domini nostri Iesu Christi
remitto tibi tua peccata in Nomine Patris, Filii,
et Spiritus Sancti.

Responde: Amen.

Vade in pace!

Qui vero conscientias habent afflictas,
tentatas, moestas,
eos minister pluribus sententiis Scripturae facientibus ad fide incrementum consolabitur.

Haec, quam commemoravimus, tantum est puerilis
et communis forma confessionis pro simplicioribus et rudioribus.

temporary free shipping at Lulu

http://www.lulu.com/static/120710_HOLIDAY305wv.html/?cid=120710_en_email_HOLIDAY305

Ambrosian chant - Alleluja

A little bit of Ambrosian rite chant for you. The other beautiful thing about this clip is the setting, ie., the great Duomo in Milan. Cheers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Catechism of the Day

What sins should we confess?

Before God we should plead guilty of all sins,
even of those which we do not know,
as we do in the Lord's Prayer;
but before the confessor we should confess
those sins only which we know and feel in our hearts.

Which are these?

Here consider your station according to
the Ten Commandments,
whether you are a father, mother, son, daughter,
master, mistress, servant;
whether you have been disobedient, unfaithful, slothful;
whether you have grieved any person by word or deed;
whether you have stolen, neglected, or wasted aught,
or done other injury.

Quae peccata sunt confitenda?

Coram Deo omnium peccatorum reos nos sistere debemus,
etiam eorum, quae nobis sunt abscondita,
sicut in Oratione Dominica facimus.
Coram ministro autem debemus tantum ea peccata confiteri,
quae nobis cognita sunt et quae in corde sentimus.

Quaenam sunt ista?

Hic unusquique examinet vitae suae statum
secundum Decalogum: an pater, mater,
filius, filia, dominus, hera, servus sis;
an contumax, infidelis, negligens fueris;
an aliquem laeseris dictis, factis;
an furtum commiseris aut iniuria, ignavia et segnitie damnum alicui intuleris.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Albanian folk singer in Çarşija, Skopje

Here, dear blog reader, is a little taste of traditional Albanian music. This guy was found on the streets of Skopje, in the old Muslim section of the city called Carsija. (As you might know, Skopje, like much of Macedonia, has a very sizable Albanian population.  In fact, it has a rich Albanian history.  In Albanian, the city is called Shkup.)  The singer is playing a ciftelia, a traditional Albanian instrument of two strings. 

What does his song mean?  My Albanian is not good enough to tell you.  Albanian folk songs treat all the usual themes of love and traditional life, plus laments of the conquering and oppression at the hands of a number of foreign nations.  Apart from having the words to the song, this video gives the general viewer a chance to absorb a taste of the music, inflections of Albanian, and a bit of the street scene in Carsija, with its Turkish influences.  Check out his coffee cup in front of him as well.  Nothing quite like a cup of Albanian coffee.  When the camera view is turned, did you catch the guy in the white suit with the cane?  Probably Albanian mafia-just joking.  Enjoy.

Catechism of the Day

Of Confession

How the unlearned should be taught to confess.

What is Confession?

Confession embraces two parts: one is that we confess our sins; the other, that we receive absolution, or forgiveness, from the confessor as from God Himself, and in no wise doubt, but firmly believe, that by it our sins are forgiven before God in heaven.

De Confessione

Quomodo simpliciores de ea erudiendi sint.

Quid est confessio?

Confessio duo comprehendit: unum est peccata confiteri, alterum est absolutionem sive remissionem a confessionario sive praecone evangelii accipere, tamquam ab ipso Deo, et non dubitare, sed firmiter credere peccata per illam absolutionem coram Deo in caelo remissa esse.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Greensleeves

Some might think, when listening to this video, that I have switched from the folk theme I have been employing lately to a hymn theme. Such is not the case. When William Chatterton Dix' hymn "What Child is This" was set to music in the nineteenth century, a tune was chosen, the true home of which is in the medieval English folk tradition. 

To be clear, I do not mind the fact that this tune reminds me of the Christmas season.  The purist in me, however, stands in opposition to its use in the Church.  The Dix song, with this music, is most fittingly sung in the home, rather than in public worship. 


There are many performances of this song, Greensleeves, on youtube, including some beautiful instrumental versions.  I chose this one because it includes the singing of the lyrics.  I have not seen the movie, The Tudors, portions of which form the visual aspect of this video, so I can neither endorse nor comment upon it.  The reason for associating this song with The Tudors, however, is the tradition that Henry VIII wrote the song for Anne Boleyn.  Personally, I cannot buy the notion that Henry was capable of such a song. 


Catechism of the Day

The Office of the Keys


As the head of the family should teach it in all simplicity to his household

What is the Office of the Keys?

It is the peculiar church power which Christ has given to His Church on earth to forgive the sins of penitent sinners unto them, but to retain the sins of the impenitent as long as they do not repent.

Where is this written?

Thus writes the holy Evangelist John, chapter twentieth:

The Lord Jesus breathed on His disciples and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.

What do you believe according to these words?

I believe that when the called ministers of Christ deal with us by His divine command, especially when they exclude manifest and impenitent sinners from the Christian congregation, and, again, when they absolve those who repent of their sins and are willing to amend, this is as valid and certain, in heaven also, as if Christ, our dear Lord, dealt with us Himself.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lil Rev - Finjenta - 2007

Yesterday we had some Swedish music, so today we'll do one more traditional Sweedish tune. It's called Finjenta, and it is performed, quite logically, by a ukulele playing Milwaukee Jew.

Catechism of the Day

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism continued


Fourthly. What does such baptizing with water signify?

It signifies that the Old Adam in us should,
by daily contrition and repentance,
be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts and, again,
a new man daily come forth and arise,
who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

St. Paul says, Romans, chapter sixth:

We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that,
like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Quartum. Quid autem significat ista in aquam immersio?

Significat, quod vetus Adam, qui adhuc in nobis est,
subinde per quotidianam mortificationem ac poenitentiam
in nobis submergi et exstingui debeat una cum omnibus peccatis et malis concupiscentiis,
atque rursus quotidie emergere ac resurgere novus homo,
qui in iustitia et puritate coram Deo vivat in aeternum.

Ubi hoc scriptum est?

Sanctus Paulus ad Romanos, dicit:

Sepulti igitur sumus una cum Christo per baptismum in mortem,
ut quemadmodum excitatus est Christus ex mortuis per gloriam Patris,
ita et nos in novitate vitae ambulemus.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Gaudete" - a Swedish carol

This is a Swedish tune, with Latin words.  It is a beautiful song, which dates from at least as far back as the 16th century (first published, as far as I know, in 1582).  It would be most fitting for Christmastide, but since its name reminds us of the third week in Advent, and since that is only a couple weeks away, I will dare to post it now.  (Yes, that excuse is a lot of nonsense.  I just like the song, and feel particularly undisciplined today; plus, I fear I would forget to post it if I waited till Christmas.) 

Oh yes, and I must say, the third stanza is especially noteworthy, for it shows that the traditional reading of the closed portal of the Temple in Ezekiel 44 in light of the Mary's ever-virginity is not mere classroom speculation, but part of the traditional piety of the Christian.

Catechism of the Day

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism continued


Thirdly. How can water do such great things?

It is not the water indeed that does them,
but the Word of God which is in and with the water,
and faith which trusts such Word of God in the water.
For without the Word of God the water is simple water,
and no Baptism.
But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is,
a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost,
as Saint Paul says, Titus, chapter third:

According to His mercy He saved us
by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost,
which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior,
that, being justified by His grace,
we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
This is a faithful saying.

Tertium. Qui potest aqua tam magnas res efficere?

Aqua certe tantas res non efficit,
sed verbum Dei, quod in et cum aqua est,
et fides, quae verbo Dei aquae addito credit.
Quia aqua sine verbo Dei est simpliciter aqua et non est baptismus,
sed addito verbo Dei est baptismus, hoc est,
salutaris aqua gratiae et vitae
et lavacrum regenerationis in Spiritu Sancto,
sicut Paulus ait ad Titum:

Secundum suam misericordiam nos salvos fecit
per lavacrum regenerationis ac renovationis Spiritus Sancti,
quem effudit in nos opulenter per Iesum Christum, Salvatorem nostrum,
ut iustificati illius gratia heredes efficeremur iuxta spem vitae aeternae.
Filedis hic sermo est.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Veni Redemptor gentium

Incidentally, this is pretty much what I look like when I read the paper in the morning.

Catechism of the Day

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism continued


Secondly. What does Baptism give or profit?

It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil,
and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this,
as the words and promises of God declare.

Which are such words and promises of God?

Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark:
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Secundum. Quid praestat aut confert baptismus?

Operatur remissionem peccatorum, liberat a morte et a diabolo
et donat aeternam beatitudinem omnibus et singulis, qui credunt hoc,
quod verba et promissiones divinae pollicentur.

Quae sunt illa verba et promissiones divinae?

Ubi Dominus noster Iesus Christus dicit Marci ultimo:
Qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit, salvus erit.
Qui vero non crediderit, condemnabitur.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Milwaukee School of Pipes and Drums Concert 2008

Catechism of the Day

The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

As the head of the family should teach it in all simplicity to his household

First. What is Baptism?

Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God’s command and connected with God's Word.

Which is that Word of God?

Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew:

Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.

Sacramentum Baptismi

quomodo de eo paterfamilias suam familiam simplicissime docere debeat

Primum. Quid est baptismus?

Baptismus non est simpliciter aqua, sed est aqua divino mandato comprehensa et verbo Dei obsignata.

Quod est illud verbum Dei?

Ubi Dominus noster Iesus Christus dicit Matthaei ultimo:

Euntes docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

prayer book preview

Traditional Irish Music on Fiddle and Concertina

A little Irish music today. This performance took place at Irish Fest, the world's largest Irish festival (and surely one of Milwaukee's top fifteen festivals in terms of coolness and fun).  Ciaran O Maonaigh on the fiddle and Caitlin Nic Gabhann on the concertina.

Caechism of the Day

The Lord's Prayer continued

Conclusion

Amen.

What does this mean?

That I should be certain that these petitions are acceptable
to our Father in heaven, and heard;
for He Himself has commanded us so to pray,
and has promised to hear us.
Amen, Amen, that is, Yea, yea, it shall be so.

Conclusio

Amen.

Quae est huius vocabuli significatio?

Amen significat idem quod certe, ut scilicet ego sim certus,
eiusmodi petitiones Patri nostro caelesti esse acceptas atque ab eo
exauditas, quia ipse nobis mandavit, ut ad
hunc modum oremus, promisitque se nos exauditurum esse.
Amen, Amen, id est, vere, certe, haec ita fient.

from "Jackson Cage"

Here are a few lines from Springsteen's "Jackson Cage," one of the twenty songs that ended up on the double album, The River, in 1980.  Comparing the setting in which the characters live, in this case a town called Jackson, to a prison, is a brilliant poetic move.  As fatalist and cynical as the song may seem, it captures well the frustration felt by many in the working class who have had to settle for a certain type of life. 

You can try with all your might
But you're reminded every night
That you've been judged and handed life
Down in the Jackson Cage
Every day ends in wasted motion
Just crossed swords on the killing floor
To settle back is to settle without knowing
The hard edge that you're settling for
Because there's always just one more day
And it's always gonna be that way
Little girl, you've been down here so long
I can tell by the way that you move you belong to
The Jackson Cage
Down in Jackson Cage
And it don't matter just what you say
Are you tough enough to play the game they play
Or will you just do your time and fade away
Down into the Jackson Cage

Monday, November 22, 2010

airport indecency

What's going on at our airports?  You can now get randomly chosen to have your rights, and body, violated by means of the full body scan, or opt to have your rights, and body, violated by the hands of the blue shirted agents.

Currently the number of body scanners is far outnumbered by the number of lines that will be filled with travellers this week, so is this all the "making of a mountain out of a molehill," as one interviewer put it, since an estimated 80% of air travellers will not have to go through these measures?  I don't think that the fourth amendment to the U.S. Constitution is a molehill of an issue. 

Reports keep coming in, telling of the extremes to which the government will go to invade our persons and our dignity. 

The seal on a man's urostomy bag was broken during a feel up session in Orlando.

The ordeal endured by author Erin Chase in Dayton could only be described as sexual assault.

A young boy has his shirt removed as he is examined by agents.

A woman is made to remove her prosthetic breast in the course of a "pat down."

A three year old girl is brought to tears as she goes through the "pat down."

The corrupting nature of the new powers of the TSA agents has some of them making pronouncements on the "appropriateness" of a woman in Austin deciding to breastfeed her child.  The agents lost any moral authority to tell anyione what is appropriate when they began assaulting out wives and children.

ABC News says that TSA administrator John Pistole is "beleaguered."  Poor guy.  It's nice that the media is so sympathetic to his perspective.  What the press should do is stand up vigilantly for the rights of the American people, and against the corruption in our government. 

Those trained to be good, loyal defenders of institutions, like some Lutheran "church work" graduates, will tell us that this is all a lot of sensationalizing of a few incidents.  Men like that will go far, but I'm not sure I would trust my spiritual life, or my wife, with them. 

Fr. Larry Beane at Gottesdienst Online, shared an international incident he had recently.  This reminded me of my own family's recent experience with air travel.  And while this is not a confessional blog (relax Lutherans, I don't mean that in the theological sense, but in the sense of autobiography) I will now confess in brief what happened.  In August my wife flew to Salt Lake City, and I was apprehensive, because news of these new measures had already come to my awareness by then.  Nevertheless, I allowed it, because I was brought to the understanding that the body scan was strictly optional.  Now what I failed to realize was that you could be chosen, at random, for the scan, and if chosen, you could then opt for the physical harassment instead.  My wife was never chosen.  The trip happened without incident.  Nevertheless, I ought to have made myself more aware of the procedures at the time.

It seems that in the last couple months, however, things have only worsened.  The number of incidents has increased, and the stories are getting more outrageous.  Is the modesty of our women worth the effort to stand up for our rights?  I say it is.  Is the innocence of our children worth it?  I say it is.  Is a man's dignity worth standing up for our rights?  A man might choose to make certain costly sacrifices, for his family, or for his country, or for others, but ultimately, his dignity must also be taken into account. 

I think many people say they are opposed to the violations, but will walk right through the line, to make the trip to the in-laws this week for Thanksgiving go as smoothly as possible.  I hope we will all beware of what we are giving up, and of what we are accepting as a people.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

a snippet of O'Connor dialogue

"She says it's ten million more like them, Displaced Persons, she says that there priest can get her all she wants."

"She better quit messin with that there priest," Mr. Shortley said.

"He don't look smart," Mrs. Shortley said, "-kind of foolish."

"I ain't going to have the Pope of Rome tell me how to run no dairy," Mr. Shortley said.

"They ain't Eye-talians, they're Poles," she said.  From Poland where all them bodies were stacked up at.  You remember all them bodies?"

"I give them three weeks here," Mr. Shortley said.

(From one of the early scenes in "The Displaced Person")

Friday, November 19, 2010

It should be illegal to be that fat

Part of being a good restaurant host (not that I am one, try as I might) is welcoming people as they arrive, and being cordial and responsive to their concerns, complaints, or whatever they want to express, as they wait to be seated, or are on their way out the door, while of course he keeps track of everything else at the podium.  Recently circumstances presented the opportunity to test these very aspects of the job in a way I would not have predicted.

A couple was sitting in the waiting area, as their family was arriving; they were celebrating forty years of marriage, with their children and grandchildren, at our restaurant.  When the time came, I informed that couple and their family that their table was ready upstairs, and sent them up to the second floor dining room.  A woman from another party, who had noticed the anniversary couple, then said to me, "It should be illegal to be that fat."

She was filled with visible indignation and disgust.  I told her it was an inappropriate thing to say, but she went on to give me a minor lecture on cholesterol and heart disease, etc.  Soon her car was brought around, and she was gone.  The woman surely had a couple of drinks in her.  When Milwaukeeans drink they tend to celebrate with each other, but when some of them drink they prefer to turn on each other. 

Quite aside from the asininity of theories of government controlling the nutritional content of our food, and other such public health measures, and also quite aside from the fact that there is a complex variety of factors that leads to obesity (it is possible, eg., to eat moderately and be overweight due to wacked out metabolism), the incident brings to light the self-righteous attitude that leads a person to say such a thing about someone else. 

If legalities could solve problems, maybe we should say that it should be illegal to go out in public with an obnoxious personality.  In fact, such an approach would itself be obnoxious.  Gentlemen, and ladies, in a civilized world act kindly to those they meet in public.  Nor should it be merely an act.  We ought to truly see others as having a beauty and a dignity the full story of which we cannot fully appreciate by meeting them for a moment on the street.  Our children will learn from this example; and as a bonus, the friendly nature of our city will be more fully realized.

Catechism of the Day

The Lord's Prayer continued

The Seventh Petition

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition, as the sum of all,
that our Father in heaven would deliver us from every evil
of body and soul, property and honor, and finally,
when our last hour has come, grant us a blessed end,
and graciously take us from this vale of tears
to Himself in heaven.

Septima Petitio

Sed libera nos a malo.

Quae est huius petitionis sententia?

Oramus hac precatione tamquam in summa,
ut Pater noster caelestis liberet nos ab omnibus malis ac periculis
corporis et animae, bonorum et honorum, et ut tandem,
cum hora mortis venerit, felicem vitae exitum nobis largiatur,
nosque pro sua gratuita bonitate ex hac miseriarum valle
ad se in caelum recipiat.

Springsteen. Pay me my money down

Here is a little taste of the work Springsteen did as an extended tribute to Pete Seeger, and the American folk music tradition. The band he put together he called The Sessions Band, and I highly recommend the album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Catechism of the Day

The Lord's Prayer continued

The Sixth Petition

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?

God indeed tempts no one;
but we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us,
so that the devil, the world, and our flesh
may not deceive us
nor seduce us into misbelief, despair,
and other great shame and vice;
and though we be assailed by them,
that still we may finally overcome and obtain the victory.

Sexta Petitio

Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.

Quae est huius petitionis sententia?

Deus quidem neminem tentat,
sed tamen petimus hac petitione, ut ipse nos custodiat et conservet,
ne Satanas, mundus et caro nostra nobis
imponant et nos a recta fide seducant et in superstitionem, diffidentiam, desperationem atque alia gravia scelera
et flagitia coniiciant,
et ut maxime eiusmodi tentationibus sollicitemur, ne succumbamus,
sed ut tandem vincamus ac triumphemus.

Jim Liban at Filisko Harp Bash 9-26-09

Lil Rev, who is a master harmonica player by any standard, once told me, "There are a lot of great blues harmonica players in Milwaukee, but Steve blew them all away."  He was referring to Fr. Stephen Wiest; we were chatting during a break in his set one night over at Linnemans, and reminiscing about our mutual departed friend.   I considered that to be high praise, even though Rev is surely biased.  Nor does such a statement take anything away from great Milwaukee bluesmen, like the one I want to highlight here.  When I hear Jim Liban blow harp I hear my late pastor, along with all the passion and richness of the tradition of the blues.  Here is just one example of the work of Jim Liban:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Catechism of the Day

The Lord's Prayer continued

The Fifth Petition

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition
that our Father in heaven would not look upon our sins,
nor on their account deny our prayer;
for we are worthy of none of the things
for which we pray, neither have we deserved them;
but that He would grant them all to us by grace;
for we daily sin much
and indeed deserve nothing but punishment.
So will we also heartily forgive
and readily do good
to those who sin against us.

Quinta Petitio

Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.

Quae est huius petitionis sententia?

Petimus hac precatione,
ne Pater caelestis velit respicere et examinare peccata nostra
et propter ista nostram orationem repudiare;
quandoquidem nullis rebus,
quas petimus, digni sumus, nec quidquam mereri possumus;
sed ut velit nobis sua gratia et bonitate donare omnia,
quia quotidie multifarium peccamus
et nihil nisi poenas meremur.
Vicissim autem ex corde condonabimus,
quidquid in nos peccaverint alii,
et pro maleficio libenter reddemus beneficium.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Catehism of the Day

The Lord's Prayer continued

The Fourth Petition

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?

God gives daily bread
indeed without our prayer,
also to all the wicked;
but we pray in this petition
that He would lead us to know it,
and to receive our daily bread
with thanksgiving.

What, then, is meant daily bread?

Everything that belongs to the support
and wants of the body,
such as food, drink,
clothing, shoes,
house, home, field, cattle,
money, goods,
a pious spouse, pious children, pious servants,
pious and faithful rulers, good government,
good weather, peace, health,
discipline, honor,
good friends, faithful neighbors,
and the like.

Quarta Petitio

Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie.

Quae est huius petitionis sententia?

Deus dat quidem omnibus panem quotidianum,
quamvis non petamus,
etiam malis hominibus.
At nos precamur hac petitione,
ut agnoscamus hoc beneficium,
atque ita panem nostrum quotidianum
cum gratiarum actione accipiamus.

Quid autem significat panis quotidianus?

Significat omne, quod ad vitae nostraenecessitatem
ac sustentationem pertinet,
videlicet cibum, potum,
vestes, calceos,
domum, aream, agros, pecudes,
pecuniam, divitias,
probam coniugem, probos liberos, probos servos,
probum ac fidum magistratum, bonum reipublicae statum,
salubrem aerem, pacem, sanitatem,
modestiam, honorem,
bonos amicos, fidos vicinos
et id genus alia.

The Litany

Below you will find a form of the classic Litany which differs in some ways from the form it tends to take in modern Lutheran books.  It has been very useful to me, and I commend it to any who might find it likewise useful.

Kyrie:
Eleison.

Christe:
Eleison.

Kyrie:
Eleison.

O Christ:
Graciously hear us.

O God, the Father in heaven:
Have mercy upon us.

O God, the Son, Redeemer of the world:
Have mercy upon us.

O God the Holy Ghost:
Have mercy upon us.

O Holy Trinity, One God:
Have mercy upon us.

Be gracious unto us:
Spare us, O Lord.

Be gracious unto us:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From all sin:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From all error:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From all evil:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From the crafts and assaults of the devil:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From sudden and unexpected death:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From pestilence and famine:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From war and murder:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From sedition and rebellion:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From lightning and tempest:
Deliver us, O Lord.

From everlasting death:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By the mystery of Thy holy incarnation:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By Thy holy nativity:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By Thy baptism, fasting, and temptation:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By Thine agony and bloody sweat:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By Thy cross and passion:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By Thy precious death and burial:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By Thy Resurrection:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By Thy Ascension:
Deliver us, O Lord.

By the advent of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter:
Deliver us, O Lord.

In all time of our tribulation:
Deliver us, O Lord.

In all time of our prosperity:
Deliver us, O Lord.

In the hour of death:
Deliver us, O Lord.

In the day of judgment:
Deliver us, O Lord.

We sinners:
Beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to rule and govern Thy Holy Catholic Church:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to illuminate all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, with true knowledge and understanding of Thy Word, and that both by their preaching and life they may set it forth and shew it accordingly.
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve all orders of the Church in holy religion:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to put an end to all schisms and causes of offense:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring into the way of truth all such as have erred and are deceived:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to trample Satan under our feet:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to send faithful laborers into Thy harvest:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant to all hearers increase in the word and in the fruit of the Spirit:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to lift up the lapsed and to strengthen those who stand:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to comfort and help the weak-hearted and the distressed:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give to all nations unity, peace, and concord:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to direct and protect the President (or “King,” “Queen,” etc.) and his counselors:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bless and protect our magistrates and people:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to regard and deliver the afflicted and those in danger:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve all who travel:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant a safe delivery to pregnant mothers, and healthy babies to those who nurse them:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to cherish and guard the infants and the sick:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to liberate those wrongfully held captive and imprisoned:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to protect and provide for the orphans and widows:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to take pity on all men:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to forgive our enemies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to convert them:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to graciously hear us:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

O Son of God:
We beseech Thee to hear us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world:
Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world:
Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world:
Grant us Thy peace.

O Christ:
Graciously hear us.

Kyrie:
Eleison.

Christe:
Eleison.

[All] Kyrie eleison. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our Daily Bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Badlands (Bruce Springsteen Live in Barcelona)

Catechism of the Day

The Lord's Prayer continued

The Third Petition

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

What does this mean?

The good and gracious will of God
is done indeed
without our prayer;
but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also.

How is this done?

When God breaks and hinders every evil
counsel and will
which would not let us hallow God’s name
nor let His kingdom come,
such as the will of the devil, the world, and our flesh;
but strengthens and preserves us steadfast
in His Word and faith unto our end.
This is His gracious and good will.

Tertia Petitio

Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.

Quae est huius petitionis sententia?

Bona ac misericors Dei voluntas
fit quoque
sine nostra oratione;
sed rogamus hac petitione, ut etiam apud nos fiat.

Qua ratione fit istud?

Cum Deus frangit ac impedit omne malum consilium, voluntatem et conatus,
qui obstant, quominus nomen Dei sanctificemus,
regnumque eius ad nos, pervenire possit,
ut est diaboli, mundi et carnis nostrae voluntas;
deinde cum confortat et conservat nos fitmiter
in suo Verbo ac fide usque ad finem vitae nostrae:
haec est misericors ac bona ipsius voluntas.

how cats drink water

In this morning's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel there is an interesting article on how engineers have captured something that is too fast for the human eye to see, a cat drinking water.  The Journal Sentinel picked up the article from the New York Times, so I am sharing with you the Times link: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/12/science/12cats.html

My only criticism of the reporting in the article is that the swipe against dogs is unnecessary.  Dogs, also, are God's creatures, and have their own charm.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Albanian Folk Iso-polyphony

the Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Kyrie:
Eleison.

Christe:
Eleison.

Kyrie:
Eleison.

O Jesus, hear us:
O Jesus, graciously hear us.

O God, the Father in Heaven:
Have mercy upon us.

O God, the Son, Redeemer of the world:
Have mercy upon us.

O God, the Holy Ghost:
Have mercy upon us.

O Holy Trinity, one God:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Son of the living God:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Splendor of the Father:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Brightness of eternal Light:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, King of Glory:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Sun of Justice:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, most amiable:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, most admirable:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, the mighty God:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Father of the world to come:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Angel of Great Council:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, most powerful:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, most patient:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, most obedient:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Lover of Chastity:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, our Lover:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, God of Peace:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Author of Life:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Model of Virtues:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, zealous for souls:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, our God:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, our Refuge:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Father of the Poor:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Treasure of the Faithful:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, good Shepherd:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, true Light:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, eternal Wisdom:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, infinite Goodness:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, our Way and our Life:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, joy of the Angels:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, King of the Patriarchs:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Master of the Apostles:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Strength of Martyrs:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Light of Confessors:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Purity of Virgins:
Have mercy upon us.

Jesus, Crown of all Saints:
Have mercy upon us.

Be gracious unto us:
Spare us O Jesus.

Be gracious unto us:
Graciously hear us, O Jesus.

From all evil:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

From all sin:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

From the crafts and assaults of the devil:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

From the spirit of fornication:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

From everlasting death:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

From the neglect of Thy inspirations:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Nativity:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Infancy:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy most divine Life:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Labors:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Agony and Passion:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Cross and Dereliction:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Sufferings:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy precious Death and Burial:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Resurrection:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Ascension:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Joys:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

By Thy Glory:
Deliver us, O Jesus.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world:
Spare us, O Jesus.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Jesus.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sin of the world:
Have mercy upon us, O Jesus.

O Jesus, hear us:
O Jesus, graciously hear us.

Kyrie:
Eleison.

Christe:
Eleison.

[All] Kyrie eleison. Amen.

Our Father who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our Daily Bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

Let us pray:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast said, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you"; mercifully attend to our supplications, and grant us the grace of Thy most divine love, that we may love Thee with all our hearts, and in all our words and actions, and never cease to praise Thee.

Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name, for Thou never failest to govern those who Thou dost solidly establish in Thy love. Thou who livest and reignest, world without end.

Amen.

Jon Stewart Speaks About Bruce Springsteen At the Kennedy Center Honors

Catechism of the Day

The Lord's Prayer continued

The Second Petition

Thy kingdom come.

What does this mean?

The kingdom of God comes indeed without our prayer, of itself;
but we pray in this petition that it may come unto us also.

How is this done?

When our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit,
so that by His grace
we believe His holy Word and lead a godly life,
here in time
and hereafter in eternity.

Secunda Petitio

Adveniat regnum tuum.

Quae est huius petitionis sententia?

Regnum Dei venit etiam per se, sine nostra oratione;
sed petimus hac precatione, ut ad nos quoque perveniat.

Qua ratione fit istud?

Cum Pater caelestis dat nobis suum Sactum Spiritum,
qui efficit gratia sua,
ut sancto eius Verbo credamus ac pie vivamus,
cum in hoc tempore,
tum postea in aeternum.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Catechism of the Day

The Lord's Prayer continued

The First Petition

Hallowed be Thy name.

What does this mean?

God's name is indeed holy in itself;
but we pray in this petition
that it may be holy among us also.

How is this done?

When the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity,
and we, as the children of God,
also lead a holy life according to it.
This grant us, dear Father in heaven.
But he that teaches and lives otherwise
than God’s Word teaches,
profanes the name of God among us.
From this preserve us, Heavenly Father.

Prima Petitio

Sanctificetur nomen tuum.

Quae est huius petitionis sententia?

Nomen Dei per se quidem sanctum est;
verum nos oramus hac petitione,
ut apud nos quoque sanctificetur.

Qua ratione fit istud?

Cum Verbum Dei pure ac sincere docetur,
et nos secundum illud, ut filios Dei decet,
pie vivimus.
Quod ut fiat, dona nobis, mi Pater, qui es in caelis!
Qui vero aliter docet vel vivit,
quam Verbum Dei docet,
ille nomen Dei inter nos profanat.
Ne autem hoc accidat, tu prohibe, mi Pater caelestis!

one of my favorite baptismal fonts

Definitely one of my favorite baptismal fonts in Milwaukee is the one at Saint Anthony's RC Church on 9th & Mitchell.  Having seen old pictures of Saint Stephen's, by the way, I can tell you that we also at one time had a tall, beautiful, gothic style font.  It was eliminated in the 1950s.  Thank you, mid-20th century Lutherans, who got tired of style and beauty.  Way to go.  Of course I must say here, for the record, that the modernist bug was as rampant in the RC Church as anywhere else.  These problems are cross-denominational.  Thank God, however, that there are churches, like St. Stephen's as well as Saint Anthony's, where we can still see the classic beauty of ecclesiastical architecture to match the classic beauty of the liturgy.  In the case of Saint Anthony's, I am particularly impressed, because it is a lively parish that has openly resisted the strong post-Vat. II impulse to renovate.  These are some pictures I recently took of that font.

Gregorian chant - Circumdederunt me

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Holy Scripture is Not Self-explanatory

If the following commentary makes any preacher feel I am picking on him, please be assured that I am picking on no one in particular.  More than once over the years I have heard preachers begin the homily with words similar to these:

Today's Gospel reading is self-explanatory.

If this were true, then what the preacher should do after saying this is descend the pulpit, and sit back down, so we can get on with the Mass, and not waste our time with what will evidently be a superfluous sermon.

Holy Scripture is not self-explanatory.  God sent us preachers, not so they can tell us how unnecessary they are, but so that by their work the Word of God may be administered to the people, liberally, but also carefully, like a physician administering his medicine in just the right way, in the manner that is precisely needed in a given community, and for a given sinner. 

I suppose that often times a preacher will fall into a certain routine, or rut, so that he lets things remain in the final draft of the sermon, and then escape from the pulpit, which otherwise would not have passed the first draft.  So my comment is meant only as an encouragement to preachers to redouble their efforts, and to be ever vigilant in the holy calling of the teaching of the Gospel.  Some people are listening to your sermons, or trying to listen.