28 December 2003

Today is the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Was it not a Sunday, today would be the feast of the Holy Innocents. Regardless of the day of the week, today is my 19th birthday. So, happy birthday to me, I guess. My mom got me a 2-year subscription to Irish Music magazine, which is pretty exciting.

Fr. I. gave an interesting homily today, about the importance of the family. He's one of the few parish priests I've ever heard stand up at Mass and say that there are forces in our society trying to break down the natural, God-ordained order of the family, because they know that if they can rid society of the family, they can rid it of Christianity also. God made man and woman and gave them the power to bring new life into the world, and that is the family. It was a very powerful statement. I'm glad my parents have started going to this parish, as I doubt I would have heard anything like that at the previous one. The priests there are somewhat afraid of offending people (though they don't seem too worried about offending me).

26 December 2003

Another Great Christmas Song!

Continuing Jane's tradition of posting Christmas songs, I present to you one of my all-time favorites: The Twelve Days After Christmas!

The Twelve Days After Christmas
by Frederick Silver

The first day after Christmas,
My true love and I had a fight.
And so I chopped the pear tree down
And burned it just for spite;
Then with a single cartridge,
I shot that blasted partridge,
my true love gave to me.

The second day after Christmas,
I pulled on the old rubber gloves,
And very gently wrung the necks
Of both the turtle doves
my true love gave to me

The third day after Christmas,
My mother caught the croup;
I had to use the three French hens
To make some chicken soup.
The four calling birds were a big mistake,
For their language was obscene.
The five gold rings were completely fake
And they turned my fingers green.

The sixth day after Christmas,
The six laying geese wouldn't lay:
I gave the whole darn gaggle to
the A.S.P.C.A.
On the seventh day, what a mess I found:
All seven of the swimming swans had drowned
my true love gave to me.

The eighth day after Christmas,
(before they could suspect,)
I bundled up the
Eight maids a milking,
Nine pipers piping,
Ten ladies dancing,
'Leven lords a-leaping,
Twelve drummers drumming--
(Well, actually, I kept one of the drummers!)
And sent them back collect!

I wrote my true love,
"We are through, love,"
And I said in so many words:
"Furthermore, your Christmas gifts were for the-
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree!"

25 December 2003

Nollaig Shona duit!

Christmas in Carrick
by Seamus McGrath (a slightly more cheery song than the last I posted)

On the road the frost is glistening
People stream from midnight Mass
Friendly candles glow in windows
Strangers greet you as you pass
Home then to the laden table
Ham and goose and pints of beer
Whiskey handed round in tumblers
Christmas comes but once a year.

Puddings made with eggs and treacle
Seeded raisins, brown suet
Sifted breadcrumbs and mized spices
Grated rind and plenty fruit
Cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg
Porter, brandy and old ale
Don't forget the wine and whiskey
Christmas comes but once a year.

Women fussing in the kitchen
Lay the food on every plate
Men there patient in the hallway
Gulping porter as they wait
Who cares if we're poor tomorrow
Now's the time to spread good cheer
Pass the punch around the table
Christmas comes but once a year.

This is a nice vision of Christmas at home. Ok, so Mass wasn't at midnight (9:30pm), there will be no goose, puddings, or suet on our table, nobody drinking beer and whiskey, and there are only five of us here. But, ham will be served, plenty of wine, port, and brandy will be drunk, and probably champagne, and there will be plenty of fruit and spices in the form of the fruitcake Mom bought from the bakery (we do not belong to the Great Fruitcake Conspiracy, which tries to convince you that you do not like fruitcake even though you may never have had it, or never had a good one). And, the five of us (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, and Jane) will have a wonderful time until the partying ends at Epiphany.

On a liturgical note, I was the only one who genuflected during the Creed at Mass this morning, as my missal told me to. Did anyone else notice a lack of genuflecting?

22 December 2003

Sin and the Season

Summa Contra Mundum posts about sin being the reason for Christmas, and how he'd like to decorate with a gigantic bloody Spanish crucifix covered with Christmas lights. In that spirit, I would like to post the Corpus Christi Carol, which is not a carol for the feast of Corpus Christi, but which in its oldest versions used that Latin phrase. It's from England.

Corpus Christi Carol

Down in yon forest there stands a hall
The bells of Paradise I hear them ring
It's covered all over with purple and pall
And I love my Lord Jesus above everything. [or "any thing", in some versions]

In that hall there stands a bed
The bells of Paradise I hear them ring
It's covered all over with scarlet so red
And I love my Lord Jesus above everything.

At the bedside there lies a stone
The bells etc.
Which the sweet Virgin Mary knelt upon
And I love etc.

Under that bed there runs a flood
The one half runs water, the other runs blood

At the foot of the bed there grows a thorn
Which ever blooms [blows] blossoms since He was born

Over that bed the moon shines bright
Denoting our Saviour was born on this night.

20 December 2003

Vacation
I'm home for Christmas vacation, and so is Lizzy. I don't know how much we'll be posting during the next three weeks. My parents don't approve of spending more than about an hour at a time online unless I have a good excuse, and they wouldn't consider this a particularly good excuse.

Last night, I went to see Golden Bough at the Napa Valley Opera House. It was great fun. I first saw them here in Napa about eight years ago. After seeing and hearing Ms. Butler play and sing, I began begging my parents for a Celtic harp. Six months later, I got one, and some of you have seen and heard the outcome of that. CD #1 was recorded two years ago, and CD #2 has been in planning stages for nearly that long. I'll get around to it eventually. Anyway, I finally got my chance to go up to Margie Butler after last night's performance and tell her that she was my inspiration. She was surprised and happy to hear it, and autographed the CD I'd just bought--their second Christmas album. She wrote "Jane, happy harping!" Sweet. When I got home, I watched the second of the new Horatio Hornblower movies on A&E. And I just finished baking sugar cookes shaped like harps. I'm a pretty happy girl today.

17 December 2003

Return of the King

It's 3:50 am and I'm just back from the theatre. Really, all that one can say is: Aglar'ni Pheriannath!

It's an incredible movie, the music was excellent (what else could one expect from Renee Fleming?) and the scene with Eowyn and the Witch King is fabulous. The end was a little anti-climactic, but oh yes. Definitely worth the 5 hours spent in the theatre. Definitely worth the 5 hours of sleep I'll get tonight.

Speaking of which, I'm off to sleep--and dream of huge, psycho, hungry spiders. (And I thought Aragog was bad!!!)

16 December 2003

Miracle on Boone Street

No, it's not Lizzy actually studying for exams, though that might be considered a minor miracle. No, our miracle is far more serious. It's the miracle of the Tape Cross. What is the Tape Cross, I hear you ask? Well, it all started yesterday, when Lizzy was opening her present from her choir Secret Santa (it was an Aragorn action figure, but that is beside the point). As she tore off the tape and place it on her desk, without looking at it while she stuck it to the surface of the desk--I know because I was watching her--the tape stuck together in a cross shape. It was only noticed after a few minutes of exploring the possibilities of the action figure, when Lizzy went to throw the packaging away. The tape was in the form of a beautiful, translucent cross, actually not unlike the one that graces the top of the fountain in front of the altar of our cathedral here.

The Tape Cross has been given a place of reverence on Lizzy's wall above her desk, and is available for veneration to all comers, for a small fee, of course. We believe it is a sign that we will be favored by God in this exam season. Unfortunately, pictures, holy cards, medals, etc. featuring the Tape Cross are not yet available. Money from personal viewings will go toward a camera, film, getting it processed at Safeway, and the subsequent development of a small product line. We will be calling the Vatican as soon as sales, er, um, visitations by the faithful begin to show that the Tape Cross is indeed a miracle.
The Alle Psalite Theme Song (Part Two)

Lizzy and the Jane
Lizzy and the Jane
Together they're a genius,
Apart, they're insane.
From Church, Faith and Religion
to Lurch, Wraith, and a Pidgeon
We're Random!
We're Lizzy and the Jane, Jane, Jane, Jane, Jane!

15 December 2003

Since yesterday was Gaudete Sunday, we proudly present:

Lizzy's Top Ten Advent Songs!

Rorate Coeli Desuper
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Creator of the Stars of Night
O Come Divine Messiah
People Look East
Wake, Awake for Night is Flying
Lo He Comes With Clouds Descending
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent
On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry
The King of Glory
Philosophers like language because it is the defining feature of humanity, but why do they have to play so many damned games with it?
I have answered all of my questions about my philosophy exam, but now I have more questions. And that essay. "In 500 words, repeat back to me what I told you about why the materialism that arises from Descartes is wrong."

11 December 2003

My Soundtrack

It's been suggested by Don that I provide a soundtrack for The Life of Jane. I'm afraid it's not very long, as I'm still very young.

Opening credits:
The Mills Brothers, Broadway show tunes, Wagner, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Pete Fountain, various Big Bands, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Rosmary Clooney, Nat King Cole. This is what my parents listened to. The classical music was generally Sunday morning, everything else was all day every day. I vivdly remember getting some second-hand ballet costumes for dress-up when I was about six, and twirling around the room to Nat Cole's "Dance, Ballerina, Dance."

Junior High:
The Rogers and Hammerstein phase was sixth and seventh grades. "If I Loved You" especially, but pretty much everything except the stuff from "Oklahoma."
Eighth grade: started listening to KABL radio from San Francisco, and Irish stuff.
I've Got a Crush on You (Gershwin)
Why Can't You Behave? (Porter)
Dream a Little Dream of Me (Kahn, Schwandt, Andree)
My Lagan Love (Irish)
Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms (T. Moore)
The Rose of Tralee
Moonlight Sonata (Beethoven)

High School:
Scarborough Faire (Simon and Garfunkle version)
Daydream Believer (Monkees)
Yesterday (Beatles, as if you didn't know)
My Johnny was a Shoemaker (Steeleye Span)
All Things are Quite Silent (Steeleye Span)
Rave On (Steeleye Span)
Rag Doll (Steeleye Span)
Thomas the Rhymer (Steeleye Span)
Padstow May (Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band)
Hungarian Rhapsodies (Lizt)
Heaven (Emer Kenny)
Riptide Reels (Anam)
Fiddler on the Roof Soundtrack
Polka Dots and Moonbeams (Frank Sinatra)
April Played the Fiddle (Frank Sinatra)
The Highwayman (Loreena McKennit)
All for Me Grog (Molly's Revenge)
Prelude in C# minor for the left hand (Scriabin)
Finlandia (Sibelius)
The Oceanides (Sibelius)
Grande Valse Brillante (Chopin)
Scarlet Ribbons (Jo Stafford)
Ragtime Cowboy Joe (Jo Stafford)
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (Andrews Sisters)

College:
You Will Always Be Mine (Julee Glaub)
Greenhouse (album by Grey Larsen and Paddy League)
Imagination (Frank Sinatra)
Gentleman Soldier (Steeleye Span)
Puer Natus (chant)
Missa Mater Patris (Josquin des Prez)
Pesah al Mano (La Rondinella; Songs of the Sephardim and Renaissance Spain)
Istanbul (Lee Press-On and the Nails)
Hard to Say Goodbye (Robbie O'Connell)
Mariam Matrem Virginem (anonymous medieval French)
Waltzing with Bears (Geissel/Poddany/Marxen, arr. Bridges/Touchwood)
The Bantry Girls' Lament (trad, Dolores Keane)
If Ye Love Me (Thomas Tallis)
Lullabye of Broadway (Andrews Sisters)

Still listen to Nat Cole, the Mills Brothers, Ella, Rosie, Pete, et al, quite a bit. I still steal CD's from my parents everytime I go home. We listen to mostly the same stuff, well, except for the medieval and renaissance music.

09 December 2003

I'm done! I managed to get through all of the concerts and take my parents to the airport and see Gavin this weekend, all without killing myself or completely losing my sanity. Of course, some question whether I have any sanity to lose, but to them I say, "gwerdle bork gump NI!"

07 December 2003

Secret Dorm Projects

Since today was the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, one of my friends and I decided to spread some Christmas Cheer(tm) around the dorm. With a little help from the RA, it became a full-fledged hall program, and the residents put their shoes out in the hall last night. Using our best house-elf powers, we put candy into everyone's shoes. I was pleasantly surprised that almost everyone put a shoe out! And we didn't get a "Bah Humbug" out of anyone!

02 December 2003

There is a God, and he has been merciful to me. The student recital in which I was to play harp has been moved from tomorrow to 14 Dec. This is a huge relief.

01 December 2003

Numbers

7...days of hell
6...days till my parents come
5...days left to write my New Testament term paper
4...rehearsals this week
3...concerts this week
2...recitals this week
1...opportunity to see Gavin, which may or may not actually take place
0...amount of sanity I will have left after I finally return my harp to the music building next Monday night
Today is the feast of St. Edmund Campion
Today's Chant Mass

Ok, by now, everyone who regularly reads this blog knows that we always do the propers of the day, and you all know what website I always link to so you can hear them. So, go do it! For ordinaries, Mass XVIII. We were a little shorthanded (only three women and five men--weird when the guys outnumber us), so only did one polyphonic piece, and that in three parts. Dufay's setting of Conditor Alme Siderum, available at cpdl.org. We alternated with English verses in an attempt for congregational participation.

We also sang Vespers before Mass, as is our Advent and Lent custom. A few people (about five) showed up early to pray with us, and at least two of them were actually singing. This is encouraging. And tonight three people told me they'd forgotten about Vespers and would be there next week. Very good. Carry on. You've all done very well. Thank you, Mr. Grace. Oh, never mind, most of you won't get that.

30 November 2003

First Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. We are in preparation for the Coming of Christ at Christmas, but we remember that we are also in spiritual preparation for the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time.

Were it not the first Sunday of Advent, today would be the Feast of St. Andrew. Today we begin the St. Andrew Novena, saying this prayer fifteen times a day until Christmas:

Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayers and grant my desires through the merits of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of his Blessed Mother. Amen.

22 November 2003

The Feast of St. Cecilia

Happy feast day to all you musicians out there! Lizzy and Gavin and I will be celebrating by going to the recital of one of our friends this afternoon and generally having some fun.

My inside source at Nashville has told me how the Sisters of St. Cecilia will be celebrating the feast of their patroness. She says they awoke to the sound of one of the sisters playing the organ full throttle, sang Lauds, and had a truly elevating Mass. This evening the novitiate sisters will perform a sort of operetta they have written on the life of St. Cecilia. It sounds as though they are being very true to the spirit of their lovely patroness!

She also offered a quote from St. Therese on St. Cecilia:
"Everything in her thrilled me, especially her abandonment, her limitless confidence which made her capable of virginizing souls who had never desired any other joys but those of the present life. Her life was nothing else but a melodious song in the midst of the greatest trials, and this does not surprise me because, 'the Gospel rested on her heart,' and in her heart reposed the Spouse of Virgins!"
Friday Five
(Yes, we made it back from Newport alive. Somehow we managed to get a bus and get the harp inside the bus. I may put the picture up on the other website if it turns out.)


1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year.

1. Make it through my jury alive.
2. Get no exam grades lower than a B.
3. Actually get around to telling my parents that I have a boyfriend, instead of hinting at like crazy.
4. Not get sick again this year.
5. Learn one more chant Mass setting.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again.

1. Colin McDonald, my good friend and "twin" from kindergarten.
2. Sharon Olson, children's choir director.
3. My fourth grade teacher.
4. Mr. Wright, now Br. Shawn, who was my literature teacher in sixth grade (he now resides in a monastery in Oregon and makes fudge).
5. Clare, nutty artist/general genius friend from high school who never replied to my letters.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do.

1. Accompany Irish tunes on the harp.
2. Write a piece of music using a whole-tone scale.
3. Play a reel on the tin whistle at actual dance-speed.
4. Contemplative prayer.
5. Jitterbug.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit).

1. Force Gonzaga to build a performing arts center before I graduate.
2. Buy a piece of property for my alma mater and make sure they have a good arts program in perpetuity.
3. Buy antiques, especially instruments and rare books.
4. Build a colonial-style mansion with a music room and library in which to put the antique instruments and rare books.
5. Help undo a 1970's renovation of a Catholic parish church, install a huge pipe organ, and donate money for decent artwork and decently-paid musicians.

5. List five things you do that help you relax.

1. Praying.
2. Listening to/playing/singing/dancing to music.
3. Laughing with Lizzy.
4. Hugging Gavin.
5. Wrapping up in my shawl, reading fiction, with a cup of tea and a plate of my dad's oatmeal-raisin-banana cookies. (Everyone wonders why he always sends the same kind of cookies. They don't get that it's a special me-and-dad thing.)

20 November 2003

Snow, Snow, Go Away!

It's snowing again. A lot. It's been snowing continuously for at least five hours and there must be three inches worth out there. Ordinarily, I would have rejoiced and gone out and made a snowman and had a few snowball fights and maybe stolen a cafeteria tray and gone to the slope behind the Admin building. But, as it is, the choir and their harp-accompanist (moi) are driving north tomorrow evening for a concert, and we have to get there under our own power.

I'm from California. I've driven in snow...let's see...once. I don't have snow tires, don't really have the time or the money to get them by 4pm tomorrow, and don't know how to put on chains. My dad pretty much said, "Go slowly, don't do anything stupid, stay away from the crazy people, and take your cell phone." Lizzy's parents, on the other hand, are exhibiting much more concern. I think her mother is going to email our lovely director.

On the one hand, we're not children. We should be able to take care of ourselves, including standing up for ourselves if we feel it necessary, including driving ourselves to Newport. On the other hand, we're still very much dependant on our parents. Since this is a mandatory event, the school should be providing transportation. After all, the basketball team doesn't have to drive to their games, does it?

Oh great. Now the neighbors are lobbing giant snowballs at our window. This is not improving my mood.

18 November 2003

Concert Night

I think that when Dr. Spittal decided to call tonight's band concert "Autumn Winds," he had no idea how appropriate it would be. It is indeed quite the blustery day. They are playing a selection from Carmina Burana, a few Percy Granger pieces, a suite based on three Celtic songs (march, air, and reel), and the chamber winds are playing something or other. I'm accompanying on harp for the Celtic Suite and one of the Granger pieces, so I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off since 11am, taking my harp to the theater downtown (curse not having a theater on campus!), going to my harp lesson, skipping Latin class.... My harp teacher applauded me for skipping Latin to move the harp. I've got my priorities straight, apparently. I wonder if Fr. Krall would agree?

Must be off. Got to get organized since I'm leaving here around 4pm and won't be back until at least 9pm. Wish me luck!

P.S. Prayers for a friend's father would be appreciated. He is in the hospital and is seriously ill, but she says they don't know what's wrong with him.

Update: The concert was pretty good, considering that our conductor missed the two rehearsals before the concert because he had to go to his mother's funeral in Ohio, and the percussionists were having issues, and one of the trumpet players didn't see the part until about four days before the concert, and neither the harpist, pianist, percussionists, or said trumpet player had rehearsed with the band before the dress rehearsal. I think we did a respectable job, and had a respectable sized audience.

15 November 2003

New Link

There is a new link to the left for y'all to check out: the blog of Mark Brumley, Catholic author, lecturer, president of Ignatius Press, and Vice President of Campion College in San Francisco. I went to school with his kids. He's very cool.
Professorial Wisdom

"I'm a peanut-butterist." --Dr. Clayton

"You need to think about your Cartesian ghosty-thing." --Dr. Clayton

"The watches are reproducing themselves!" --Dr. Clayton

"I'm hooked on styrofoam."--Prof. Thompson

"Chapters 11 and 12 are the hinge on which John's Gospel swings. I should have brought some Glenn Miller to play at this point." --Prof. Thompson

"If it's a neuter king, we're in trouble." --Fr. Krall

"It's nice to see something sticks to the Velcro of your mind." --Fr. Krall

"Less Russian...more Irish." --Dr. Spittal

Based on that, I bet you can guess what they teach.

14 November 2003

Friday Five

1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space.
small

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer.
I'm unemployed.

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime.
thrilling, lovely, passionate

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day.
tiring, happy, intense, interesting

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life.
musical, academic, God-fearing, passionate, peaceful

11 November 2003

I don't usually post quizzes here, but I thought this one was worth it. Apparently it was the question about temperment that did it: I answered something like, "stubborn, given to fits of rage, gifted pianist." I am a half-decent pianist, which almost no one here at college knows because they all just think of me as a harpist.


St Elizabeth of the Trinity
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity is praying for
you! To learn more about this gental carmelite
saint go to the Patron Saint Index at
http://www.catholic-forum.com


Which Saint Would You Be?
brought to you by Quizilla

10 November 2003

Major Concentration

There has been much discussion of majors and concentrations going on in this little red-and-blue corner of the universe. Lizzy's half, the blue half of the room, has been staring at a change-of-major form for several weeks, and seems to have finally decided to double-major in music (concentration on theory and literature) and French. She also wants to abandon me and run off to France all next year. I don't know who I'll live with--everyone's going abroad but me! *cries*
My half of the room, which would be the half decorated almost exclusively in red (it has to match the wardrobe, you know) has moved on from the world of harp. It was hard to admit that I had been wrong to come to college so sure that my concentration as a music major would be on harp performance. I love the harp, but even I don't love the harp quite that much. I haven't filled out the paperwork, but I'm going to double-concentrate in theory and literature (sounds like two but it's not) and liturgical music. The liturgical music concentration has just been added, but I've already taken half the classes required for it (music of the Catholic Church, Gregorian chant seminar, schola). My mother, upon being informed of my decision, said, "That sounds like you. Liturgical music is very much in your 'comfort zone,' isn't it?" Ah, no one knows me like my mother. I'm going to do the theory and lit thing as well, because the only added bits are a class on research methods and writing a thesis. I think that for someone who wants to go to grad school on the academic side of music, this would be a good thing. It will help me know what is entailed in writing a long research paper, and it will look good on the transcript for grad school.

The liturgical music concentration is pretty cool. One has to study both voice and a keyboard instrument (preferably organ, though piano may be accepted) and do a half recital on the primary instrument. In my case, this entails a voice recital and taking a year's worth of organ lessons. I also have to take two classes in conducting (one of which is applied conducting, which confuses me as it is not in my year-old course catalogue), and do a one-semester internship at a parish, which must involve "some significant responsibilities in planning, preparing, and executing music for a certain number of liturgies." I think I can handle that, considering that as a cantor, the organist and I jointly chose music and I certainly "executed" the music (unfortunately sometimes in more than one sense). Dr. Schaefer did say that he intends to be selective about who he admits to the program, as it is intended to turn out people who will be parish music directors. He doesn't want to release people into that world who will not have high standards (no matter how well they may or may not acheive those standards under the circumstances in which they find themselves). He did say that he is willing to admit me. I guess I'll be his first little student. I wonder if he knows how much I look up to him, or whether he is too concerned with his own projects to notice?
Here's a great site for word-lovers!
Lost in Translation
12.5 %

My weblog owns 12.5 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?
In Basilicae Laterenensis

Introit: Deus in loco sancto suo
Kyrie: Missa super Dixit Maria, Hans Leo Hassler
Gloria: Mass XI
Gradual: Laetatus sum
Alleluia: Bene fundata est
Creed: Credo III
Offertory: O Lord Give Thy Holy Spirit, Thomas Tallis
Sanctus: Mass XI
Agnus Dei: Missa super Dixit Maria, Hans Leo Hassler
Communion: Lucis Creator (chant hymn)

Mass was sung by Fr. Barnett of St. Francis' and St. Patrick's parishes in Spokane. His singing has much improved over the summer, and his homily was as lovely as the ones I remember from last year.

08 November 2003

Saint's Limbs

I just got a holy card depicting St. Peregrin, the patron of cancer-sufferers. Does anyone know why he's lifting his robe to show his bleeding leg?

04 November 2003

Hayley Westenra

I was reading the arts section of the New York Times over lunch today--something I don't do nearly as often as I'd like. There was an article about a 16-year-old singer from New Zealand who has two hit CD's in her native land and now has made the charts in England with her fourth CD, "Pure." When I started reading the article, which had the words "Voice of an Angel" in the headline, all I thought was, "Charlotte Church all over again."
But I checked out her website, and listened to some of the clips. She has a lot of the same material as Miss Church, but I think she does some of it better. From the B-G Ave Maria and Lloyd Webber Pie Jesu tracks, I can confidently say that she should get a diction coach. Her Latin pronunciation needs work. But her English is fine, and she hits the high notes with clarity and precision. She's obviously not pushing her voice, and works well with her young voice, rather than pushing herself to sound older.

Those of you who know me in real life know my loathing of Charlotte Church. Most of it has to do with the comparisions I suffered all through high school. I think she hit it big when I was a freshman. She's a year younger than I am, and since I sing and bear a certain physical resemblence to her, people were constantly coming up to me after I'd sing at Mass and say, "Oh, you remind me so much of that little English soprano!" I'd grumble, "She's Welsh," and nod my thanks. I know they meant well, but at that time I had about four years of vocal training more than she had, much better diction, wasn't trying to sing arias way above my ability level, and for heaven's sake, I didn't sing flat. In other words, I'm better than she is, and she's the one making all the money and doing a Christmas special with Placido Domingo. How does that work?

Ok, Charlotte-bashing over. I was very pleased to find that Hayley Westenra isn't another Charlotte Church. She's better. She does have the voice of an angel (angels don't sing flat!) and she has a much more natural image. The title of her most recent CD, "Pure," seems to fit her pure and almost vibrato-less voice. I might even be induced to buy this CD, since unlike her earlier ones it doesn't seem to contain any Andrew Lloyd Webber dreck, though the lyrics of "Wuthering Heights" are a bit disturbing.

Plus, she shares a last name with one of the characters from Dracula!
More Snow
Please pray for all the people who have to drive the road between Spokane and the neighboring town of Cheney. A friend of ours flipped her car on the highway yesterday. Thankfully, she's all right. There have been several accidents, as the ice on the road tends to take people by surprise. Tonight, of course, I'm praying for my sweetheart who came to visit Lizzy and me, and who has some classes and a job here in town.

02 November 2003

Feast of All Souls

Introit: Requiem aeternam
Kyrie: XVIII (Ad Missam pro defunctis) (9-fold)
Gradual: Requiem aeternam
Sequence: Dies irae (translation
Alleluia: Requiem aeternam
Offertory: Domine Iesu Christe
Sanctus: XVIII
Communion: Lux aeterna (antiphon with psalm-tone verses)
Recessional: In paradisum
Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow!
Searchers

Welcome to the people who searched for:

poems to an ex boyfriend
latin monk chant mp3
are the Jesuits Catholic
latin quote for fire breathing dragon

...and found our blog.
As far as the "latin monk chant mp3's" perhaps we were able to direct you to what you were searching for. The rest of you...sorry. Perhaps I'll be able to get back to you on how to say "fire breathing dragon" in Latin after I've taken a few more semesters of it.

31 October 2003

Friday Five

1. What was your first Halloween costume?
The first one I remember was a pink bunny rabbit. I had pink fuzzy footie-pajamas and big floppy ears on a headband. I was about 4, I guess.

2. What was your best costume and why?
My best costume was the year I went dressed as a golfer. You'd never believe how much candy you can fit in even a child-size golf bag. Or how easy that makes it to carry it. Of course, the year I was an alien in a gold jump suit, gold face paint, gold tennis shoes, and gold feelers was pretty good too.

3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat?
No.

4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? (ie: Family pumpkin carving, special dinner before trick or treating, etc.)
No.

5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend!
I love the song/poem of Thomas the Rhymer. In short, Thomas meets a lady that he at first mistakes for the Queen of Heaven, but she tells him he is wrong; she is the queen of Elfland. She takes Thomas on a wild ride through unknown lands on her milk-white horse. When they stop to rest, she shows him three roads: the broad, straight road to hell, the narrow path beset with thorny briars which leads to heaven, and the winding, tree-lined road to elfland. The fairy offers him an apple which will cause him always to tell the truth, but he refuses. They proceed down the road to elfland, the queen warning Thomas that if he should speak while there, he will not be allowed to leave for seven years. Now, not speaking is a very hard thing for a rhymer to do, and he responds to a comment of the fairy. The last we know is that Thomas was not seen on earth for seven years. Whether he was seen after that is not revealed.

Not really a traditional "ghost" story, I suppose, but I find it creepy.

29 October 2003

Strings

There is at least one downside to having a Celtic harp in one's bedroom. That downside is a string breaking at an indecent hour of the morning and scaring the, pardon my Greek, skubala out of one and one's roommate.
Silence

Tonight, Lizzy and I heard Matthew Kelly speak. His message was one I'd heard many times before: our culture tells us that success is the most important thing, but it isn't. The modern world lies to us about what will make us happy. We can't fill that God-shaped hole in our heart with anything but God. We need to spend time in silence, to pray, to listen, or just to stop doing all the crazy things we fill our time with and be still. It's a common enough message, but it is probably a common message because it is one God wants us to hear.

27 October 2003

Just so you know, Lizzy hasn't dropped off the face of the earth. She says she hasn't been blogging because she doesn't have anything profound to say. As if profundity was a requirement or something...

26 October 2003

Father Bruno

This priest used to say chant Mass for us. He always wore a cassock and biretta, which is pretty exciting for someone used to seeing Jesuits in khaki pants and polo shirts. Now he's gone off to Austria to join the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. Nifty habits. (There's an explanation of that funny white tie at the bottom of the FAQ's.)
Spitzer on Prayer

This is Fall Family Weekend at Gonzaga, when the families of students are encouraged to come visit, go to classes, meet the professors, and generally find out whether they're getting their money's worth.
Last night, the Newman-Stein Fellowship sponsored a Lord's Day Meal, and our wonderful university president, Fr. Robert Spitzer, spoke to us on the subject of prayer. To everyone's astonishment, he had four points instead of three. He talked about the effects of the Eucharist, inspiration, guidance, and spontaneous prayers. He really likes to talk about spontaneous prayers. Spontaneous prayers are the short prayers you say when you're frustrated, or fearful, angry, need to forgive someone, or don't understand. His favorite is the classic, "Thy will be done." It sums up all the spontaneous prayers, but there are others he likes to use as well. When he's frustrated, "I can't handle this. You take care of it." When he needs to forgive someone, "You're the Just Judge. You take care of it." Have you ever been asked for advice that you weren't sure you were qualified to give, but gave anyway, and then woken up at 3am thinking, "Ack! They could have taken what I said this way and this way or this way and gotten it all wrong! What have I done?" Apparently, Fr. Spitzer has, and I know I certainly have. He suggests, since there's usually not a lot that can be done at 3am, praying this: "God, whatever harm I may have done, bring good out of it."

The other message Fr. Spitzer had for us last night that I really remember was about guidance. God has sent the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Guide. Sometimes, when we are in a very difficult situation which should be causing us to be anxious, frustrated, stressed, or upset, we don't actually feel this way. Instead, we are calm and peaceful, but we think we ought to be upset, so we force ourselves to be anxious, frustrated, and stressed. Fr. Spitzer said that the peace that we feel when we are in a difficult situation is from the Holy Spirit, and that we should not push it away.
How many times have you been in that situation, of pushing away the gift of peace and comfort that the Holy Spirit was trying to give you?

I love Fr. Spitzer. He's a wonderful, intelligent, engaging speaker who doesn't talk down to his audience and yet is understood by all. He seems to be able to grab hold of the issues which are common to human experience, and address them in a meaningful way. He says this is the Holy Spirit too, giving him the words that we will hear.

25 October 2003

Chant and the Holy Grail

The concert last night came off without a hitch. The music was fine, no one came in at the wrong time, and nobody fainted. I was a little worried, as I was standing in the spot which the girl who fainted last year had occupied, but nothing went wrong.

After the concert, Lizzy and Gavin and I went downtown to participate in a bit of the local theater's classic film festival. Last weekend, I saw "Singin' in the Rain," and last night, we saw "Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade." That was pretty exciting. It's been six or seven years since the last time I saw that movie, and I'd forgotten a lot of it. When the characters were going to the place where the Grail was, in the Crescent Moon Canyon, Gavin said something about the "Castle Arrrghhh" (wrong Grail movie!) and the guys in the row in front of us picked up on it. One of them quoted a line from the Monty Python flick at a very appropriate moment, but I no longer remember what it was. Give me a break. The movie started at 10pm, and we didn't get home until 12:30! Very fun.

24 October 2003

Concert

The Gregorian Schola and the Gonzaga University Choir are giving a performance in the Student Chapel tonight at 7:30. If you're hanging out in Spokane, come hear us sing! The Schola will be singing some chants, including the Introit, Rorate Coeli, and some polyphony, including Hassler's Dixit Maria and the Kyrie from his Missa Dixit Maria, Laudate Nomen Domini by Tyne, and the chant-with-a-harmonized-refrain Salve Mater. I forget just at the moment which monk of Solesmes that is attributed to, but I'll update sometime when I remember.

*Salve Mater is attributed to Dom Poithier.

22 October 2003

Thoughts on Man

The heart of man is not compound of lies,
but draws some wisdom from the only Wise,
and still recalls him. Though now long estranged,
man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned,
his world-dominion by creative act:
not his to worship the great Artefact,
man, sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with elves and goblins, though we dared to build
gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sow the seeds of dragons, 'twas our right
(used or misused). The right has not decayed.
We make still by the law in which we're made.

--J.R.R. Tolkein, Mythopoeia
My new favorite Irish tune name: "Splendid Isolation." It's a nice-sounding tune, too: a G-dorian reel, composed by Brendan McGlinchey (not that I know who that is).

My old favorite tune name was "Toss the Fiddles," composed by piper Kieran O'Hare and his fiddler wife Liz Knowles, who was trying to teach him to play fiddle (yes, I do know who these two are--I got to hear the story in person, when Liz was teaching me to play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"--the extent of my fiddle experience).

19 October 2003

Welsh Harp

Since I've begun considering my life as a Celtic harpist apart from my life as a classical harpist, I've been experiencing a resurgance of my interest in Celtic harp. Today, my non-classical harp-nerdiness manifested itself in looking at the website of a woman whose CD I was fortunate enough to purchase in Wales a few years ago. She plays the Welsh triple-strung harp, which is quite different from the harps I play in that it has three rows of strings, as opposed to one. Check out her website, and listen to the MP3 samples of her CD. The sound of a triple harp is very different. Ok, go have fun: Llio Rhydderch.

In case you're wondering, the double-l in Welsh is pronounced roughly like "kl" and the double-d as "th." Or so the guy in the music store told me in 1997.

17 October 2003

Friday Five

1. Name five things in your refrigerator.
Jello, iced tea, water bottle, orange juice, cheese

2. Name five things in your freezer.
Strawberry shortcake ice cream bar and an empty ice cube tray. That's all there is.

3. Name five things under your kitchen sink.
Well, I don't have a kitchen sink, but under the dorm kitchen sink is a pot, paprika, olive oil, dried chili, and dish soap.

4. Name five things around your computer.
A pen with a plastic sunflower on it, a roll of black duct tape, a CD of me playing the harp, a tape of my boyfriend singing "The New Testament Song" and some mint chocolate squares from Ghiradelli.

5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet.
Don't have a medicine cabinet--I keep things in a drawer. Antihistamines, hairspray, Advil, lipstick, and contact lens solution.

16 October 2003

Ambrosian Rite video

For those of you with DSL or other high-speed connections, check out this website which has a video of an Ambrosian Rite Mass, which was celebrated in Rome last May. I haven't watched all of it, but what I saw was cool and the music sounded really good. The altar servers are sort of fidgety, though. It strikes me as slightly odd that this rite would be used in Rome; I have never heard of its use outside of Milan. Not that I really keep up on such things, but I do know that it is only normally used in the diocese of Milan. Perhaps this warrents further investigation.

Thanks to my sweetheart for providing the link. Check out what he has to say for himself at Catholic, Organist, Choir Nerd, now that we've gotten his blog to actually work (I keep telling him to junk the Mac and get a PC, but does he believe me? No).

15 October 2003

Feast

Today is the feast of St. Teresa of Avila, virgin, Doctor of the Church, mystic, reformer of the Carmelites, and a dear friend of St. John of the Cross. I took her name at my confirmation because I admired her mysticism, but more because I was attracted to her practicality and her joy.

14 October 2003

Evangelization III

Hmm, "Evangelization III" sounds like an action movie title, doesn't it? I can see it now ~~~~ Christian girls in (modest) catsuits taking on the minions of the devil and the secular world to bring poor heathens the light of Christ! ~~~~ Ahem.

I think that the four messages from the Newman-Stein Fellowship listserv raised some important issues regarding evangelization. As Catholics, we don't go out and knock on doors the way Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses do, and we don't say odd things to our non-Catholic friends like, "Have you been saved?" (At least, I don't do that. Actually, none of my non-Catholic friends have ever said that to me, but other people tell me they've had this experience.) Catholics tend to take the approach that our faith is here and we will tell you more if you're interested. We try to live out our faith without apology but also without being obnoxious. If we live it with sincerity and joy, and are obviously content with what living the faith brings us, it will be attractive to other people. People have actually asked me, "Why are you so happy?" I'm not hesitant to tell them.

The trouble with a lot of Catholics, both liberal and conservative, me included, is that we complain a lot. This and that are wrong with the Church, such and such shouldn't happen. Catholic students on the campus of a university which doesn't always support them are in danger of becoming cliquish, especially if they are well-educated in their faith, because they see what is wrong and naturally band together with like-minded people. Emboldened by numbers, we complain about everything we see that is wrong to anyone who will listen. This is, essentially, what the Newman-Stein Fellowship has been accused of: being cliquish and negative. And who wants to join a group with that reputation?

There are certainly god reasons for calling us negative. One of the members used the listserv to try to organize a walk-out from one of the talks on campus last week, and requested that people who did not wish to participate in the walk-out should sit outside the auditorium before the speech and pray the Rosary. In a series called "Catholicism for a New Millenium," this speech was by an openly gay Catholic. I was told by a girl who was there that the speaker did, in fact, acknowledge that his views were not in line with the Church. We were told by the person who organized the walk-out that the speaker would not acknowledge this.

Now, this is a rather extreme example. But it is not the only example of such behavior by our group. People jumped to conclusions about the event primarily because of its title and because of the group which organized it. They proceded to react in an extremely negative fashion. A positive reaction would be to have given it the benefit of the doubt. If the speech turned out to be as awful as anticipated, we could have organized a presentation by a faculty member on a later date as a response, presenting the Church's view accurately. This is very much encouraged under our new speaker policy. Students have the right to be presented with dissenting views, but we also have the right not to be confused about what the Church actually teaches.

Acting negatively has a bad impact on other students, but just as importantly, it affects the faculty members who support us. We sometimes have trouble gaining support because we have made a bad reputation for ourselves. NSF is a good group. A lot of wonderful social and religious events are organized, and University Ministry would fall apart without us. Guess who fills most of the time slots for adoration every Thursday? Who are the readers and EM's for daily Mass? Which students staff the retreats? Mostly us. We do work for charity, we sponsor school-wide events like "Pope Week" this week and the Vocations Fair last year, in addition to our mission of educating ourselves about the faith through weekly meetings. But the actions that the university sees are the bad ones, and we need to make sure that such things don't happen again.

I think this has implications beyond the NSF at Gonzaga. I think that there are a lot of Catholics who are probably guilty of complaining too much, and in the wrong company, even when we really are happy to be Catholic. I don't suggest trying to change your personality. If you're naturally grumpy, fine, but maybe you could find something else to complain about.

12 October 2003

Evangelization II

In which E replies to T's reply, and Dr. D replies to both. I'll try and post some of my thoughts on the Fellowship's problem...soon. Probably Tuesday. (Midterms this week, so who knows?)

E:
T raises many issues, some of which I had not considered, and some that I had not intended to imply.

When talking of the issue of joy in our lives, I did not take the time to think about how perceptions of it might be affected by an individual's persnoality. While it may not be absolutely transparent in some people, I think it will be apparent in everyone, regardless of their personality. Just because a person is joyful does not mean that they are giddy, or silly, or anything like that. The joy that comes with a deep love for Christ and relationship with Him is closely tied to the other fruits of patience, kindness and generosity which are not dependent on personality, and should be present in everything we do. I know many of us have some problems with our personal formation in dealing with one of these (Patience is certainly not my gift), but as the relationship with Christ grows, those personal barriers can also be broken down. My story is somewhat like Mr. Waugh's that was shared - if I'm impatient now, just imagine what it was like before I had any sort of relationship with Christ (there are a couple people on campus who knew me back then, ask them).

I'm specifically thinking of the presence of these fruits of patience, kindness and generosity, in addition to joy, as they relate to evangelization on this campus. One of the most frequent complaints I hear
about our group is that we do not do a good job of really sitting and listening and discussing issues with other people. I've been told that we are too quick to just dismiss someone because what they're saying is
inconsistent with the teachings of the Church, or just wrong. Many people feel as if we are not willing to sit and listen and truly dialogue with them. The reason I've been told this is because its something I've been
personally guilty of, but it was interesting that when people have mentioned it, they didn't see it as something that just I did, but instead as a general characteristic of our group.

More disturbing is that many people have called us elitist, snobbish or cliqueish. Some of this comes from gruops who are simply hostile to us, and that will always be there. The part that concerns me is that many of these comments have come from your average Joe Catholic here on campus. If we are perceived this way, then we will have a difficult time ever reaching out to all the people who are in the middle of this war on campus, because they aren't going to want to listen to a group who they feel act in an elitist manner.

My hope is that even though most of the issues that will be brought up have already been decided for the Church, and are not going to change, that we will still be willing to talk about why they are the truth, and why they aren't going to change, in a way that will reflect the presence of the fruits of a relationship with Christ in our life. (how's that for a run-on sentence?)

I in no way intended to suggest that we should get rid of the theology and study part of this group. Without the theology, we're going to have a tough time sharing the deeper truths of Catholicism, and have a tough time responding to criticisms of the faith. In fact, it is because of Newman-Stein that I am able to discuss theology in a decent matter, and I also owe a part of my vocation to NS because of the learning that I got out of it last year. I learned far more last year due to Newman-Stein than I did from all my classes combined. What I am seeking is not a removal of a part of NS and probably not even an addition to it, but instead just a strengthening of a part of the mission that we may not have done the best job of implementing.

As far as concrete solutions, I would say the strengthening would need to occur on two levels. Each of us as individual members would constantly reflect on the way they spread the gospel to others, so that we can take care to always do so in the manner of Christ, being peaceable, gentle, kind and loving at all times.
As a group perhaps we could host speakers either for our group or for the entire campus on what good evangelization is, and what it isnt. This presentation or presentation could talk about practical tips for the
evangelization of a campus, and could talk about how to relate to people who are Christians but not Catholics, or how to relate to people who are Catholics but do not always fully understand or share in the teachings of the Church, and also how to minister to those who have no faith, but constantly see so much warfare within the Church.

I look forward to a continuing discussion on some of these issues, and hearing from the group what they think about this. Thanks to T for getting that discussion started.

Dr. D:
I appreciate the thoughtful comments from both E and T. My own reflection would be this: just as a parent needs to alternate between, on the one hand, showing pleasure and delight in a child, and exhibiting displeasure and imposing discipline, so the Christian must respond to what he or she sees. In the same way that a parent will fail if the parent is constantly correcting and finding fault, the Christian will fail if the primary message to the culture is one of disapproval. Speaking from experience, what is sometimes difficult is to discern the right time for each. If a child is having a good time, but in a rambunctious sort of way, do you accept it and encourage his enthusiasm? Or do you warn him about his little sister, who might get run over in the process? Theory is one thing; application is another. Similarly, in our culture do we identify the positive things that aspire to the good, even in a mixed up sort of way, or do we identify the inadequacies or shortcomings that have a potential for evil? Again, speaking from experience I have looked back and recognized that at times I was too indulgent, and at other times too harsh. Hindsight is always 20-20.

NSF may appear more fixated on the discipline aspects because of a perception that the normal disciplinary process in a Catholic university has been impaired; there's a sort of "attachment disorder" phenomenon. Where children don't perceive that their parents are fully in control, they spend a lot more time thinking about authority and discipline than children who have confidence that their parents are in charge. If parents set clear boundaries and enforce them consistently, their children will be childlike (spontaneous, playful, etc.). Last Sunday's homily invited us to be like children, and I concur. However, for the reasons I identified in my talk, we have reason to be anxious about whether or not there are clear boundaries that are being consistently enforced. I'd plead guilty to being fixated about rules, but I submit it's for good reason.

11 October 2003

Evangelization

There is a big discussion on the Newman-Stein Fellowship listserv about our mission for evangelization. As a group, we've been reading Mary Beth Bonacci's book, "We're on a Mission From God," and the first chapters deal with being a Christian and being a joyful Christian. My small group supplemented this with an excerpt on joy and contentment from the writings of Fulton Sheen. I'm going to post parts of the discussion here. I hope the authors don't mind. The first writer, E, is co-leader of a discussion group with Lizzy and me. He's also a seminarian. The second, T, doesn't actually go here anymore; he finished his bachlor's in philosophy last year, but this group was sort of his brainchild, so he's still very much invested in it even though he's now on the East Coast. The third, Dr. D, is a professor at the Law School, and NSF's faculty advisor. He spoke to us last week on the universal call to holiness. The text of these messages has been edited for names and spelling errors.

E:
I was thinking about our talk on the Universal call to Holiness by Dr. D. While it was interesting and did have some good points behind it, I found it very abstract, and not directly applicable to my faith and personal call to Holiness. While we are all called to personal holiness, that holiness is not supposed to be an abstract thing, but something that is rooted in a deep and abiding love for Jesus Christ. One thing I love about Newman-Stein is the opportunity it gives us to learn about the faith. However, without that deep love of Jesus and a relationship with Him, it really doesn't matter at all how much theology we happen to know.

This also ties into the Bonacci book that we've been reading. With that deep relationship with Christ comes the true Joy that she was talking about. That relationship is something that truly transforms a person, because of the great graces that are present. If we do have a deep and abiding love for Christ, one that seeks to have an active relationship with Him, then our lives will be abundantly joyful. The fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity and faithfulness will all be present in our lives in abundance as well. While I want Newman-Stein to be a place where we can learn about our faith, and about theology, even more than that I want it to be a place that fosters a deep relationship with Christ.

We should be an organization on campus that people look at and say, "Wow, look at the way Christ has changed their lives! Look at the joy, peace, love, and generosity that is present in their lives! I want to have what they have!" If this is what we were truly seeking, I believe that the prospect of evangelizing our campus would be immeasurably easier. Rather than us having to try to bludgeon people to death with the truth they would look at us and see the beauty of the truth already present in us through Christ. Then we could be truly living St. Francis' exhortation to "Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary, use words."

So, thats my reflection on what this universal call to holiness could mean for each of us, and for our organization as a whole. Thoughts? Maybe we can have some sort of discussion of this, and how it is that we want to be evangelizing the campus.

T:
E is right that primarily important is our relationship to Christ and the conversion of our whole being that that brings. There seems, however, to be something dangerous in the way he views that manifesting itself. His assumption seems to be that joy in our relationship to Christ is something that will necessarily be evident to other people in a completely transparent way. A few comments on this:

First, not all of us are bubbly or cheerful. Some are dour, melancholic, grumpy, etc. I am reminded of a story about Catholic novelist Evelyn Waugh, who was known to be an acerbic, rather nasty guy. A woman once asked him, "Mr. Waugh, you're awful! How can you call yourself a Christian!" Waugh is said to have replied, "madam, think how much worse I would be were i not a Christian." The point is that it is not so much important to feel holy or to seem holy to others, but to actually BE holy. Also, remember that the Church is a hospital and that the members of the body of Christ are the ailing patients therein. We are all sinners, all needing Christ's saving grace. If others look at us and say, "It is not directly evident to me that they are holy. in fact, I see a lot of sin and evil. How unattractive!" They are missing the point. We must
sin less and strive to increase in faith and holiness, in part because of the scandal caused by the sins of a Catholic. But who can judge the soul of a Christian, other than God? There are many things happening beneath the surface of someone who may not look to be filled with the joy of Christ.

Next, there is a danger of a tyranny of apostolate. Not everyone is called to every apostolate. Some people are called primarily to study the faith or to educate about it. I think a large proportion of Newman-Stein members fall into this category. There is nothing wrong with that. Should we encourage other
apostolates in the group? Absolutely!!!! But we need to recognize that different people are called to different things.

So, my question for E, and the list, is: What, concretely, can Newman-Stein do to help the evangelical mission of the group that takes into account the diversity of apostolates among the members of the group and also is realistic about the fact that relationship to Christ is about holiness, not necessarily about changing (or upgrading) one's personality.

I'll post the replies of E and Dr. D tomorrow.

10 October 2003

Friday Five

I feel like such a sheep.

1. Do you watch sports? If so, which ones?

I have been known to watch golf with my dad, but only in 15-minute incriments.

2. What/who are your favorite sports teams and/or favorite athletes?

I have no favorite sports teams or athletes.

3. Are there any sports you hate?

I pretty much hate all sports.

4. Have you ever been to a sports event?

I've been to two A's games and one junior-high basketball game.

5. Do/did you play any sports (in school or other)? How long did you play?

I do not and never have played sports except when forced to in school (I hate PE).

06 October 2003

Unfortunate Diagnosis

Lizzy has been diagnosed with theoretical retrogression. The diagnosis was offered by Dr. Jane (ORM, MTODS). Unfortunately, this condition, when combined with her previously-diagnosed MTOD (Music Theory Obsession Disorder), can be very volatile and cause severe grade-drops if not managed properly. Fortunately, the disease causes no pain to the patient. All symptoms, except for the low grade levels, are instead exhibited by those around her. The physical manifestations of the illness, as exhibited by other musicians in contact with the patient, include ear pain, headaches, and in the case of professors of music, profuse bleeding. This bleeding has never actually been witnessed, but the evidence is visible on the graded papers of the patient.

Lizzy does wish to seek a second opinion. If you know of any other specialists in MTOD or theoretical retrogression, or if you know of any other diseases, disorders, syndromes, etc, which share the described symptoms, please email the address at your left. It might be at your right if you're in the land behind the mirror, but I don't know for sure as I've never been there myself.

The good news for Lizzy is that, with hard work and perseverance, theoretical retrogression can be turned into theoretical progression, which is a good thing to have, at least according to the textbook.

03 October 2003

Posts are getting shorter

Being head-over-heels can be really, really nice.

02 October 2003

Wheeee! My harp teacher from home just called me! She's sooooo cool! I miss her a lot. *grumble mumble grumble current teacher grrrr* I'm going home this weekend to see a local production of "1776", and she might be there! *happy dance* If anyone in Northern California needs a harpist, call Fran Fanelli, because she's the greatest.

01 October 2003

Lizzy and I decided last night that there is a new counting system. One, three, six, two, five, one, four, five, one, seven, one. Five and seven can change places, if they want to. Four and two can change places, and one can come anywhere you darn well please and as many times as you wish. How does that sound?

If you don't like the idea of this way of counting, I would not advise being a music major.

I iii vi ii V I Ahhh!

On that chord, I think I'll go do my theory homework. Anyone for a Picardy 3rd or a Neapolitan 6th? (Am I the only one who thinks these sound like alcoholic beverages?)
Loud Franciscans

Mass this evening was said by a conventual (not conventional, he informs us) Franciscan who is here for a year, studying something or other. He's an Air Force chaplain that was brought back from Afghanistan to get another degree. He said he didn't believe our first "Amen" and "and also with you," so he gave a 5-minute speech on how we needed to be excited about being at Mass and then he started all over again. His homily was preached from all up and down the center aisle. He's very... "in your face." He asked questions. I answered one of the questions, and he came over, got down on one knee and gave me a hug and said "God bless you" because, not only did I answer, I actually got it right. (Did Jesus tell his disciples why He was going to Jerusalem? What was going to happen there? Umm, He was going to die.) After Mass (the only 55-minute daily Mass I remember going to), he stood outside the chapel door and greeted all of us. He kissed my hand. That was interesting. (In addition to answering a question, I was also the reader, so I'd introduced myself before Mass.)

He sings very well. I wonder if he's on the schedule for Chant Mass. I'm not really into the interactive homily thing, though, or the homily from the aisle.

Speaking of homilies from the aisle: I saw "Luther" on Friday night. It was tolerable, though I'm not overly familiar with the history, so I probably missed a lot. In the movie, though, Luther was depicted as giving homilies from the aisle of the church. Surely this would not have been done?

30 September 2003

High Holy Days

For our Jewish brothers, Rosh Hashana began last Friday evening. Lizzy and my sweetheart and I are thinking of going to the Shofar blowing for Yom Kippur which will be on Monday evening at Temple Beth Shalom here. An email went out from Campus Ministry that said Gonzaga students had all been invited to attend their high holy day services. For those of you who may not be familiar with the shofar, or have never heard one, there is a virtual one here. (Link courtesy my sweetheart, who is really interested in Jewish culture.) The same link will take you to explanations of the days and their traditions. So, happy new year, and if you needed a reason to repent or to celebrate, here you are!

29 September 2003

In the Bag

Following the example of Terry Teachout and some folks in St. Blog's, we now present Jane's "In the Bag," the five books/CD's/works of art I'd take with me if I had to leave right now, not the things I'd necessarily like you to think I'd like, but the things I happen to like at the moment and can actually remember the names of.

Book: Collected Novels of Jane Austen

Book: An Anthology of Jewish Folklore

CD: The Green House (Gray Larsen and Paddy League--flute, bodhran, melodeon, and guitar)

CD: Ella Fitzgerald: Pure Ella (a compilation of hits from several different Decca albums)

Book: A Modern Mephistopheles (Louisa May Alcott)

27 September 2003

Today I got the strangest e-mail from my ex-boyfriend. I haven't talked to him in the four months since we broke up, but for some reason he decided to send me a snotgram. So here, for your viewing (and/or mocking) pleasure, the inspired words of my idiot ex-boyfriend.

Lizzy:

Since you broke up with me, I have attempted to be as patient as possible, enduring everything you sent my way in the hope that we could return to the friendship we had before we decided to try for a relationship. Instead, you have decided to torment me by teasing me with your periodic conversations and I've reached my limit on them. I can not and will not accept your delibrate attempts at hurting me anymore because it is hurting other people besides me. I still consider you a friend, despite everything you have done and if you ever have a problem or just want to talk, then yes I will be here for you. But otherwise, please, just let me go and live my life.

Goodbye Lizzy.


I'm not sure when I did any of these things--if I did them at all. And I prefer being accused for things I've actually done. I was expecting this directly after we broke up, not after four months of silence!

I don't think I'm going to dignify this with a response.

25 September 2003

Keys

I have two new keys on my key ring today: the keys to the elevator door and elevator operating system for the music annex, so that I can move my harp without having to check out the keys each and every time.

This means that, in addition to my car keys which I keep separately because I don't use them everyday, I have a key to the outside door of the dorm, a key to my room, a key to my mailbox, and a key to the annex classroom, plus a swiss army knife that I use too often to take it off the ring. Six keys. If I get any more, they won't all fit in my pocket.
I think that the fact that I have to have so many keys is a pretty sad commentary on our society. The classrooms in the music buildings have to stay locked, presumably less someone destroy the piano or steal music stands, or write something untoward on the blackboard. Why would anyone do these things? Or can you think of other reasons why the classrooms would be locked?

I can't leave my harp in a practice room. It might be stolen or harmed in some way. Why? If students are trusted with the pianos in the practice rooms, why not a harp? It's almost as non-portable as an upright piano. After all, have you ever looked inside an upright piano?

We can't leave the exterior door of the dorm unlocked. Some stranger might wander in and peek at the girls in the showers or something. We can't leave our room doors unlocked because our neighbors or their visitors or the janitorial staff might steal all our stuff. My mailbox is locked because someone might steal my mail. I wish people could be trusted to just leave other people's belongings alone. Then, I wouldn't have a pocket full of keys jingle-jangling everywhere I walk. But they're better than remembering numbers for those code-punch-in doors.

24 September 2003

Please pray for Sara, a young woman who was hit by a car last Thursday. She was a good friend of some girls I know here. She passed away last night after being taken off life support. Lizzy is sort of in shock, because even though she didn't know the girl, we've all been following the news for the past few days, and Sara happens to be the name of Lizzy's good friend who died a month ago.

22 September 2003

Mass in a small space

Daily Mass last Saturday was interesting. It's usually held in Jesuit House chapel, but the Jesuits were having a day of prayer, so we had to use one of the side chapels. The side chapel was not bigger than our dorm room: probably about 8x15, and we managed to cram at least 20 people in there. It was pretty amazing to have Mass at such close quarters. I had to stand right at the side of the altar, about three feet from the priest. At the end of Mass, Father commented that it was "like the early Christians." Except for a few of the older and infirm people, we all stood, knelt, or sat on the floor for the whole Mass. I didn't really sit: stuck to kneeling or standing. Overall, it was a pretty special experience. Mass at close quarters is awesome. Mass in a cathedral is awesome. Actually, Mass is just awesome.

19 September 2003

Vote

Yesterday, Gonzaga students voted for class representatives to the GSBA. I almost didn't vote, because I was thinking more about all the classwork I have to make up after being sick for 5 days. I wandered into Crosby heading to check my mail, and was accosted by two female students who asked if I'd voted yet. "It only takes two minutes. You get a cookie if you do."

Wow. I'm being bribed to vote, and with chocolate-chip or peanut-butter cookies no less. The really sad thing is that it worked. It was 11am, and I hadn't had breakfast yet. I was hungry, the cookie was virtually free. It would only take two minutes. Esther would kill me if I couldn't honestly tell her I'd voted for her. So I voted. My friend Esther's name was the only one on the whole ballot that I recognized. I didn't understand any of the ammendments to the GSBA laws, I just circled "yes." There were spaces to write-in candidate names, because the sophomore class is so lazy that there aren't as many people who want to be in student government as there are spaces. Maybe we should just populate California with college sophomores. Then the gubernatorial race wouldn't be a problem. There might only be one candidate, or maybe none at all. Wouldn't that be interesting...

I got my cookie, and went down to check my mailbox, which was empty.

18 September 2003

Confessions of a Recovering Choir Director points us to this article about a conference on sacred music held at the Franciscan University at Steubenville.

The following paragraph really struck me:

"The sweetness of the music — the Mass setting by Victoria and the contemporary motets of Robert Kreutz and Charles Callahan — left a silence so reverent that many of the hundreds of students, instead of rushing off after Mass, took advantage of the moment to kneel in prayer as if reluctant to leave the presence of their Beloved."

Now, I have to admit, references to Christ as the Beloved have always fascinated me, but they've always been a little bit foreign. It was a lovely phrase, but I had no feelings associated with it. Since meeting my sweetheart, it has taken on new meaning. I guess I have a "reference point" now. I know what it's like when I say goodbye to my sweetheart. It's hard to leave. I don't want to walk out that door and drive away, but I know I have to. I also know that I can come back soon, and that I'm thinking about the next time I'll see him even before I leave the room.

However true this is of my sweetheart, it is so much more true of my Beloved. We are together at Mass in such an intimate way, and I am often (though to my shame, not always) reluctant to leave the chapel afterwards. I would probably rather fall asleep in the pew and stay all night than leave, but I know I need to go home, finish my homework, and sleep in my own bed.

I'm not always reluctant to leave because, even though I love Him, sometimes I get frustrated. My intellect is so limited that I don't always understand what's going on. What am I supposed to do with my life? Why did I have the stomach flu for almost a whole week? Why won't my posters stay on the wall like they're supposed to? Where am I going with this post?

I suppose that these might be strange thoughts to stem from reading an article on a music conference, but, as it says above, I am a Catholic and a Musician. They're both crucial to my identity, and they're always intertwined in my own imagination. I can't think about one without thinking about the other. When I play, I think of God. When I'm reading for my religion class, I'm thinking about a musical setting of this passage, or where this theory fits in my very musical view of the world. So, if I start talking about music and end talking about God, or vice-versa, try not to be surprised.

17 September 2003

Other quotes

Quotes from people who are not Lizzy:

"If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out."

"And then Denethor gave a squishy EEEK."

"I'm shocked to learn that Greek dancing hasn't caught on in Spokane!"

"I only have one brain cell, and it's on vacation."

"The life dictated by the 3 evangelical councils is...the Socratic life."

"I'm full of people like that..."

"Are the badgers doing aerobics?"

"I'm a peanut-butterist!"

"Novus Weirdo"

"He's almost perfect. I just don't know what the almost is yet."

"We're not normal, we're just the way everyone else should be."

16 September 2003

No Athletics Department for Vanderbilt

This associated press article was mentioned by my music theory teacher in class this morning. Vanderbilt is eliminating its althetics as a seperate department. The program will now be under central university administration, and the budget is being cut. This is being done because the school's chancellor has declared war on the "wrong culture" of sports which he believes prevails at universities.

My professor did not mention anything to do with my school in connection with this article. He stated that it was "interesting," and "a brave move." He also told us that the school's chancellor (and I don't know how he knows this) has been getting letters and phone calls 50-1 in support of the move. This is definitely contrary to anyone's expectations. Dr. Schaefer did say to us that he thinks that a lot of schools might not survive such a decision, Notre Dame for instance.

The sports culture is very strong at Gonzaga. A book about the rise of our basketball team over the last ten years went on sale in the bookstore this spring, to great hype. It was much the same at my high school. Needless to say, it brings a lot of money and attention to the school, but I have to ask, is this really what a university wants to get attention for? Especially a Catholic one?

I'd much rather Gonzaga be known for its outstanding choir. We do have a really awesome choir, and they're going on an 8-day tour of France next summer along with the Schola, which is an almost unique entity among American universities. Yet, hardly anyone knows that we have a fantastic choir, or some really brilliant, first-rate philosophy professors, a unique program of sacred music, a pretty fantastic history, and sports other than basketball (for instance, a prize-winning women's crew team). At the moment, to the outside world, Gonzaga=basketball. And that's sad.

15 September 2003

In Exaltatione Sancta Crucis
5:00 Jesuit House Chapel, Gonzaga University

Prelude: Voluntary V (Stanley)
Processional: Vexilla Regis
Introit: Nos Autem
Kyrie: Mass XVI
Gloria: Mass VIII
Gradual: Christus factus est
Alleluia: Dulce Lignum
Credo: Credo III
Offertory: Christus Factus Est (Anerio)
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Communion:Per signum Crucis
Motet: God So Loved the World (Goss)
Postlude: Basse et Dessus de Trompette (Clerambault)

Celebrant: Rev. Paul Vevik, Pastor, Mary Queen Catholic Church
Lizzy Quotes

"Lizzy on a half-shell."

"We're a genius!"

"Nietzche was a catechist!"

"I'm a music theory heretic!"

"Do you notice that the hall is always quiet except when we're laughing like lunatics?"

"I don't wanna date a heretic!"

Just a few of my personal favorites. *big grin*

13 September 2003

Crud

Woke up this morning with severe chills, and still had nausea for the fourth day. I was very scared, so called my Mommy, called my RA, and got myself to the Emergency Room at Sacred Heart Hospital. My first time in the ER. They stuck me full of holes, looked at my blood, asked me tons of questions about my symptoms, and put me on an IV. After two hours, the doctor said it was probably just a virus and it was taking me a little longer than normal to recover from it. Not terribly different from what the nurse at the Health Center here told me on Wednesday. The good news is that he gave me a prescription for the nausea, so I won't have to deal with that in addition to being weak and light-headed. Haven't had a real meal since dinner on Tuesday, and very much looking forward to being back on solid food. Hopefully tomorrow.

12 September 2003

Prayer Request

I've been sick to my stomach for 3 days now, and I'm still not sure why. Supposed to see the Dr. at the health center this morning. Prayers would be appreciated.

11 September 2003

Confession

There have been a few posts about good and evil going around St. Blog's, by Eve Tushnet, and Amy Welborn.
My experience:

Evil possesses a person. Oftentimes, they have no idea to what extent it possesses them. Even some people who seem to others to be good, kind, caring, generous, pure, forgiving, and patient may be enslaved to evil. I do not believe that anyone can know how tightly bound they are by these chains until they make a thorough examination of conscience and speak their sins out loud, in the Sacrament of Confession. I certainly did not know.
Like most people, I suppose, I'm still a slave to my favorite sins. It's hard not to be discouraged when I find myself repeating the same list over and over in the confessional. But I know that I am a little less enslaved than I used to be. How do I know this? Now, I can admit to my sins. It wasn't that way for a long time, most of my short life in fact.
My parents did not take me to the church for confession, because my parent's weren't married in the Church until I was 13, so obviously they didn't go themselves. I made my first confession just before my First Communion when I was 7, and that was the end of that until I was 11, when I went to a school that actually set aside hours each month for the students to receive this sacrament. I think I went once or twice a year after that until I was 17. Why so infrequently, when it was available twice a week at my parish, and at least monthly at my school?
The very idea of going into a confessional made me sick to my stomach. I would get so nervous, I'd start shaking. And from the time I was 12, there was this one sin I could never admit to. I'd go, but I'd hold back, and it did not feel like I held back of my own will. I was so captivated by this sin that I could not speak it aloud, even when I knew only God was listening. I was barely able to admit to myself that it was even a sin.
My worst experience was probably with a priest who admonished me for one sin for almost five minutes, while I knelt in the torturous certainty that what I hadn't told him was so much worse than what I had. If what I had told him really merited a reproof of this magnitude, how awful must the other sin be! This only made admitting it even harder.
Finally, last year, I was able to confess everything. Since then, I have gone to confession almost monthly. I still get nervous, but I no longer tremble or feel ill, and I no longer spend an hour weeping in my room afterwards. I fall, and I know my sins are great, but I can rejoice in the knowledge that I am forgiven.

Other people think I'm good. I've been praised for the virtues I mentioned above, even by my parents, who theoretically know me better than any other (ordinary) humans. Little do they know. But at least now I know that breaking chains is possible, though years of tears and heartache may precede it.

Sin isn't one chain that binds you. It is many chains, and they tend to be intertwined. You have to break through them one at a time. Some are stronger, thicker, harder to break than others. Sometimes breaking one makes it a lot easier to break others, but other times the Devil is just waiting to throw another chain at you and see if it holds. All the chains can be broken, though.

09 September 2003

AGGGGGHHHHH

I do realize that the music department is not trying to make my life difficult, but they're succeeding anyway.
I am the only harp performance major in the living memory of the music staff here. To their knowledge, there has never, in the 100+ year history of Gonzaga, ever been a harp student other than me. Needless to say, they were not quite prepared for me. Because my instrument is large and and takes a lot of time to move, I have to keep it in the classroom where the orchestra, which I play with, rehearses. Now, practice rooms are open to students 24-7. They do not operate on a schedule. But classrooms do. The building is only open from 8am until 9pm six days a week, and closes at 6pm on Fridays. I have a key which opens the door of the classroom, but not the exterior door of the building. So I am limited to these hours, which normally I would not object to. I'm not one for practicing at 2am. I prefer to be alseep then.
Today I went to look at The Book (*diminished chord plays*) which contains the schedule for the classroom which I practice in. It's by far the most popular of the three classrooms. Well, it's booked virtually every hour of the weekdays. 2-4pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays is free, which is a good time for me. But on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the only time it is free is 8-10am. This is bad. I'm supposed to practice two hours a day, but I have a class at 9am those days, and it's a ten-minute walk. So, subtract that from the one free hour and it leaves me with 50 minutes practice those three days. Less than half of what my teacher expects, and less than half of what I really need.
So, I blocked out that time in the book so that everyone knows I practice then. But I could only pencil it in, because any faculty member can take over that time if they want to. All I can say is, they had better not. I'm playing with three of the five major performing ensembles this winter, and getting neither credit nor payment for two of them. This in addition to my mandatory solo work as a music major. At least I have a little leverage with that: if I can't practice as much as I really need to, I can tell the two most important men in the department to buzz off and take their harp parts elsewhere. They won't like that, because professional harpists cost upwards of $125 an hour.

08 September 2003

This is excellent! The Hokey Pokey, as Written by W. Shakespeare Jane and I had a blast with it. I especially loved the use of the word "Sinistral." Anyway! Go check it out!!
Jane's Hell

People who haven't read any Jane Austin
Circle I Limbo

DMV Employees
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

CogMeat
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

OCP Employees
Circle IV Rolling Weights

Liturgists
Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

Whoever designed the showers in this dorm
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Heretics
Circle VII Burning Sands

Irregular verbs
Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Relativists
Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Rain!

At noon today, eight people stood in the rain in front a statue of our Mother and said the Angelus. It was the best turn out we've had so far this year, probably because today is the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin.

At the Newman-Stein Fellowship meeting last night, there were about fifteen new people. This is excellent. We have a new advisor, Dr. David De Wolf of the Gonzaga Law School, who is also (I believe) the advisor for the Gonzaga Witness, our campus Catholic newpaper. (The newspaper for which I hope to be writing an opinion piece soon, please see post of 1 September.)

I'm very glad it's raining, because in Spokane, rain means it's not hot. Cold is much better than heat. If you're cold, you can always put more clothes or blankets on (yes, I have been known to wear a blanket), but if you're hot, there's only so much you can take off before you scandalize everyone, and even then, you still might be too hot. In addition to this, I'm vain, and winter clothes are more flattering. Reason #3 to like cold weather: people are less likely to want to play sports at social events and more likely to stay inside and talk or watch a movie, both of which are more fun for me than sports (so I guess this makes me selfish in addition to being vain). For teachers, it's good to have weather that's not so good, because students are less likely to be distracted by wanting to go outside and enjoy nice weather. (At the first snow, all bets on this are off. I love snowball fights!)

07 September 2003

Music for Mass: Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
5pm Jesuit House Chapel, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

Prelude:"Poco Lento" from L'Organiste (Franck)
Processional: Allein Gott in her Hoh' sei Ehr (Zachan)
Introit: Iustus es Domine
Kyrie: Mass XVI
Gloria: Mass VIII (de Angelis)
Gradual: Beata gens
Alleluia: Domine exaudi
Credo: Credo III
Sanctus: Mass XVIII
Agnus Dei: Mass XVIII
Communion: Vovete, Sicut Cervus (Palestrina), Lucis Creator (hymn)
Postlude: Allegro (Kittel)

Mass sung by Fr. Gary Uhlenkott, SJ, Ass. Prof. of Music, Gonzaga U.

The Wrath of Conchita

Every year, we have a retreat at this great mansion off campus. Ghost stories about the place are a dime a dozen, so it's always an interesting experience to play "Murder in the Dark." Several of the stories are about a housemaid named Conchita, who died under mysterious circumstances. According to the stories, she and the Master of the House were having an affair, and his wife had Conchita disposed of. However she perished, there is an eerie portrait of Conchita in the room she is said to have died in (or fallen from), and if you disturb her portrait in any way, she will haunt you or cause bad things to happen to you. Also, if you sleep in that bedroom, supposedly she'll visit you in the night.

Our retreat was themed after Scooby Doo. Raggy! Relp! Ra Rhost!! It was very fun, but some of our clues were hidden behind her portrait. And just as Freddy was telling us whodunit and why, he turned and noticed a Fire in the Library! So we had to "Break Glass in Case of Emergency," call the Fire Department, AND Campus Security. Watching the Fire Truck come up the fancy curved driveway was an amazing sight.

We figured that it's the Wrath of Conchita. Someone disturbed her portrait, so she had to punish us by sending electrical fires. The caretaker who normally is in the house next door wasn't there for whatever reason, so if we hadn't been there, the place probably would have gone down.

She wanted to burn the place down, and she would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn't been for us meddling kids and our director named.... Dr. Ed!!!
I got my car washed today, and now it's raining. Of course.

06 September 2003

Links to what we consider to be our "classic posts" (actually, so far, they're only from me), have been added down toward the bottom. If there's another post you remember that you'd like to see there, let us know!
Nichols' Looking at the Liturgy Ch.3

The third chapter is titled, "The Idiom of Worship." Fr. Nichols begins with a quote from Canon Vigo Demant (of Christ Church, Oxford, and contributor to T.S. Eliot's Christendom Group), which may soon become one of my favorite quotes: "When the Church begins to proclaim the Gospel in a secular idiom she may end by proclaiming secularism in a Christian idiom." "Idiom" can be taken to mean several different things, and Fr. Nichols discusses the following categories:
Architecture "For the last forty years Catholic architecture has been dominated by the school of thought known as 'radical functionalism'... Not only by virtue of its dedication but also because of the purposeive Christian intelligence of its builders, a church should be a vehicle of grace for those properly disposed to dwell in it...In modernist vocabulary, a door, for instance, is simply that. It cannot address the pregnant processes of entering, crossing thresholds, transition, and passage and therefore cannot speak, as in the mediaeval period it did to Durandus and Abbot Suger of St. Denis (authors of important tratises on building) of the person of Christ."
Language "That outstanding student of patristic language Christine Morhmann [has] described the whole of the earliest eucharistic terminology in Greek as 'deliberately isolated from the language of everyday life'...There is an argument here either for the retention of an otherwise unusual sacral language (Latin, Church Slavonic, premodern Greek) or for the preservation of a relatively archaic and high version of the vernacular, marking off a difference from secular language use."
Music "And yet of course the Roman rite is essentially a chanted rite...Pius X saw Gregorian chant as the classical or paradigmatic music of the Church, though it need not be exclusively performed. Still, to serve as a paradigm, the "classic" music must of course be available, known, and used...What has replaced the chant and polyphony does not bear too much thinking about [the first place where I think I really disagree with him]."

"What we are witnessing here is not simplay a secularization of the idiom of Christian worship but the expropriation of the Liturgy from the Church altogether, in favor of its recreation by particular groups that cannot claim to represent the ekklesiastikon phronema, the sensus Ecclesiae."

What Fr. Nichols is saying is what most of us already know, that the Mass should be truly divine and separate from the world; a gate into eternity, but we have made it human and of the world; a gate leading nowhere but where we already are. A door that is just a door.