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

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:

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.


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.


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.


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

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


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.