Tag Archives: God

word: ineluctable


ineluctable 

Definition: (adjective) Not to be avoided or escaped; inevitable.
Synonyms: inescapable, unavoidable
Usage: Those war plans rested on a belief in the ineluctable superiority of the offense over the defense. Discuss.

word: scrawl


scrawl 

Definition:

(verb) Write carelessly.

Synonyms:

scribble

Usage:

The note that my brother scrawled before his quick exit was unreadable. Discuss.

Saint of the Day, Tuesday, August 12th, 2014: St. Michael My


Saint of the Day

CALENDAR ORTODOX — SFINTII ZILEI VIETILE SFINTILOR — SINAXAR 10 August


Sinaxar 10 August

În aceasta luna, în ziua a zecea, pomenirea Sfintilor Mucenici Lavrentie (Laurentiu) arhidiaconul, Xist (Sixt), papa Romei, si Ipolit.

Lavrentie arhidiaconulSfântul Sixt (sau Xist) era grec din nastere si studiase filozofia la Atena inainte de a veni sa se instaleze la Roma sub domnia imparatului Valerian in vremea pontificatului Sfântului Stefan I (253-257, praznuit la 3 august). Mai intii favorabil crestinilor, imparatul – care cazuse sub influenta magilor si ghicitorilor egipteni dupa o nefericita expeditie in Orient – publica un edict interzicând practicarea in public a cultului crestin si cerea tuturor clericilor sa se inchine zeilor, amenintându-i cu exilul in caz contrar. Sfântul Stefan fusese una dintre primele victime ale acestei persecutii iar Sixt fu consacrat pentru a-i succeda. Persecutia spori atunci si fu decretata executia Episcopilor, Preotilor si Diaconilor in baza simplei constatari a identitatii lor, in timp ce laicii urmau sa fie condamnati injosirii si muncilor fortate. Sfântul Sixt fu atunci arestat si condus, dupa un prim interogatoriu, la renumita inchisoare Mamertine (n. tr. : unde au fost inchisi si Sfintii Apostoli Petru si Pavel). Pe drum, Arhidiaconul sau Lavrentie il intâlni si ii spuse in lacrimi : “Unde te duci, Parinte, fara fiul tau ? Ce jertfa te pregatesti sa aduci fara Diaconul tau ? M-ai gasit cumva nedemn de aceasta ? Vei refuza tu sa-ti fie alaturi pentru a-si varsa sângele pe cel pe care l-ai primit intru Sfintele Taine ?”. Episcopul ii raspunse : “Nu fiule, nu te parasesc, dar lupte inca si mai mari te asteapta. Noi, ca batrânii, ne-am angajat intr-o lupta usoara. Dar pe tine, tânar viguros, te asteapta o victorie si mai plina de glorie asupra tiranului. Nu mai plânge. Peste trei zile Diaconul ii va urma Preotului”. Si inainte de a-i da sarutul pacii, ii incredinta administrarea in numele sau a bunurilor Bisericii. Lavrentie isi indeplini pe data sarcina dupa voia lui Dumnezeu, impartind bogatiile Bisericii la clerici si la saraci. Pe muntele Coelius intâlni o vaduva, ce se numea Domnita, care ascundea pe multi crestini. Profita de intunericul noptii pentru a le aduce bani si haine si trecea apoi din casa in  casa, vindecând pe bolnavi si spalând picioarele credinciosilor, asemeni Domnului.

Cum Papa fusese condamnat sa i se taie capul pe Via Appia, Sfântul Lavrentie ii iesi in cale si ii striga : “Nu ma lasa, Parinte Sfânt, pentru ca am impartit deja comorile pe care mi le-ai incredintat”. Auzind vorbindu-se de comori, soldatii il prinsera imediat si pe Lavrentie si il dusera in fata tribunului Partenius care il instiinta pe imparat. Aruncat in inchisoare si dat in paza tribunului Ipolit, Sfântul Lavrentie vindeca prin rugaciunea sa si aduse la credinta pe un orb numit Lucillus. Auzind vestea, alti numerosi orbi alergara la el si fura cu totii vindecati de catre sfânt, care in plus il boteza pe Ipolit impreuna cu celelalte nouasprezece persoane ce se aflau in casa lui…(continua aici)

word: penchant


penchant 

Definition: (noun) A definite liking; a strong inclination.
Synonyms: preference, taste, predilection
Usage: Our boss humored Bobby’s penchant for playing jokes on people until he found himself on the receiving end of one such prank. Discuss.

Quotations 101: Henry Miller (tropic of capricorn, tropic of cancer)


“To walk in money through the night crowd, protected by money, lulled by money, dulled by money, the crowd itself a money, the breath money, no least single object anywhere that is not money, money, money everywhere and still not enough, and then no money or a little money or less money or more money, but money, always money, and if you have money or you don’t have money it is the money that counts and money makes money, but what makes money make money?”

“No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance.”

“Take a good look at me. Now tell me, do you think I’m the sort of fellow who gives a fuck what happens once he’s dead? “

Read more about Henry Miller, here

Saint of the Day for Saturday, July 26th, 2014: Sts. Joachim and Anne


Image of Sts. Joachim and Anne

Sts. Joachim and Anne

By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. … continue reading

 

More Saints of the Day

quotation: Gilbert Chesterton


I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)

word: apotheosis


apotheosis 

Definition: (noun) Exaltation to divine rank or stature.
Synonyms: deification, exaltation
Usage: How strange was this miracle of fame, I pondered, this strange apotheosis by which a mere private name becomes a public symbol. Discuss.

Regina Spektor – “Laughing With” [Official Music Video]


Regina Spektor – “Laughing With
(Official Music Video)

“Laughing With”

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one’s laughing at God
When it’s gotten real late
And their kid’s not back from the party yet

No one laughs at God
When their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No one’s laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken

No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No one’s laughing at God
When there’s a famine or fire or flood

But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious
Ha ha
Ha ha

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’ve lost all they’ve got
And they don’t know what for

No one laughs at God on the day they realize
That the last sight they’ll ever see is a pair of hateful eyes
No one’s laughing at God when they’re saying their goodbyes
But God can be funny
At a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke, or
Or when the crazies say He hates us
And they get so red in the head you think they’re ‘bout to choke
God can be funny,
When told he’ll give you money if you just pray the right way
And when presented like a genie who does magic like Houdini
Or grants wishes like Jiminy Cricket and Santa Claus
God can be so hilarious

No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one laughing at God in hospital
No one’s laughing at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
when they’re starving or freezing or so very poor

No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
No one’s laughing at God
We’re all laughing with God

facebook, poetic thought by George-B (the smudge and other poems)


facebook, poetic thought by George-B

To like or not to like:
That is today’s question:
Facebook plays with my feelings of liking and disliking,
but you know that,
it’s all over the news…the betrayal of trust of confidence,
of the most basic relationship…among people:
Fairness, not taking advantage of each other,
as a tool to make yourself rich (and make another poor)
But then you knew there is nothing sincere about facebook, that some made into faithbook: big mistake, big, big mistake)

need: to return ethics to the world!

Saint of the Day June 25, 2014: St. William of Vercelli


Saint of the Day

Image of St. William of Vercelli

St. William of Vercelli

William of Vercelli, Saint 1085-1142. founder, born in Vercelli Italy he was brought up as an orphan became a hermit on Monte Vergine, Italy after a pilgrimage to Compostella and attracted so many … continue reading

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word: ransack


ransack 

Definition: (verb) To search carefully for plunder; pillage.
Synonyms: foray, reave, rifle, loot, plunder, strip
Usage: My apartment looked like a tornado had torn through it after it was ransacked by a band of thieves. Discuss.

Life, poetic thought by George-B (my poetry collection ©ALWAYS)


Life, poetic thought by George-B

I’m strong in my weakness
I’m weak in my strength

I fear no change, I know what to expect
The closer the goals, the longer it takes and
The further it gets and yet
What’s to come, has come and passed,
In the past, like a turning wheel or
A turning page, one of many identical ones,
or
The wind prevailing from the South-West
Most of the time,
I know what’s to come,
From what has been passed…

my strength in my weakness,
my weakness in strength, and yet
still time to live with no regret,
knowing that giving was by far
the conquest

Georges Brassens: La Prière (The Prayer)


La Prière

Par le petit garçon qui meurt près de sa mère
Tandis que des enfants s’amusent au parterre
Et par l’oiseau blessé qui ne sait pas comment
Son aile tout à coup s’ensanglante et descend
Par la soif et la faim et le délire ardent
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par les gosses battus, par l’ivrogne qui rentre
Par l’âne qui reçoit des coups de pied au ventre
Et par l’humiliation de l’innocent châtié
Par la vierge vendue qu’on a déshabillée
Par le fils dont la mère a été insultée
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par la vieille qui, trébuchant sous trop de poids
S’écrie: ” Mon Dieu ! ” par le malheureux dont les bras
Ne purent s’appuyer sur une amour humaine
Comme la Croix du Fils sur Simon de Cyrène
Par le cheval tombé sous le chariot qu’il traîne
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par les quatre horizons qui crucifient le monde
Par tous ceux dont la chair se déchire ou succombe
Par ceux qui sont sans pieds, par ceux qui sont sans mains
Par le malade que l’on opère et qui geint
Et par le juste mis au rang des assassins
Je vous salue, Marie.

Par la mère apprenant que son fils est guéri
Par l’oiseau rappelant l’oiseau tombé du nid
Par l’herbe qui a soif et recueille l’ondée
Par le baiser perdu par l’amour redonné
Et par le mendiant retrouvant sa monnaie
Je vous salue, Marie.

The Prayer

For the little boy who lays dying close to his mother
While children play on the flower bed
And for the wounded bird that doesn’t know how
His wing became suddenly bloody and falls from the sky
For the thirst and the hunger and the feverous delirium
Hail, Mary

For the beaten children, for the drunk who returns home
For the ass who gets kicked in the stomach
And for the humiliation of the innocents who are punished
For the sold virgin that is undressed
For the son whose mother has been insulted
Hail, Mary

For the old woman who stumbles under too much weight
Exclaiming “My God!”, for the unfortunate ones whose arms
Couldn’t rely on a human love
Like Simon of Cyrene bearing the Cross of the Son
For the fallen horse under the chariot that it drags
Hail, Mary

For the four horizons that crucify the world
For all those whose flesh is torn or dies
For all those who are without feet, who are without hands
For the sick that are operated on and moan
And for the just put among the ranks of killers
Hail, Mary

For the mother learning that her son is healed
For the bird calling the fallen bird back to the nest
For the thirsty grass that gathers rain
For the lost kiss returned by love
And for the beggar who finds his money again
Hail, Mary

word: admonitory


admonitory 

Definition: (adjective) Serving to warn.
Synonyms: cautionary, exemplary
Usage: Bella, entering with a raised admonitory finger, kissed Lizzie softly, but said not a word. Discuss.
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Saint of the Day May 19: St. Celestine


Saint of the Day

May 19 Saint of the DaySt. Celestine
May 19: When the father of this Italian saint died, his good mother … Read More


May
19
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Saint of the Day MAY 17 : St. Paschal Baylon – Franciscan lay brother and mystic


Saint of the Day

Image of St. Paschal Baylon

St. Paschal Baylon

Franciscan lay brother and mystic. Born to a peasant family at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon, on Whitsunday, he was christened Pascua in honor of the feast. According to accounts of his early life, … continue reading

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Saint of the Day St. Rose Venerini May 7: Blessed Rose


Saint of the Day

May 7 Saint of the Day

St. Rose Venerini
May 7: Blessed Rose was born at Viterbo in 1656, the daughter of … Read More

May
7
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POPE: IF YOU HAVE PEACE, THERES NO ROOM FOR GOSSIP, ENVY OR DEFAMATION View Video


POPE: IF YOU HAVE PEACE, THERES NO ROOM FOR GOSSIP, ENVY OR DEFAMATION   View Video

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Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus–Beethoven Oratorio: Christ on the Mount of Olives–Hallelujah



Oratorio, “Christ on the Mount of Olives

Ludwig Van Beethoven
(1770-1827)

Beethoven wrote but one oratorio, “Christus am Oelberge” (“Christ on the Mount of Olives”). It was begun in 1800 and finished during the following year. The text is by Huber, and was written, with Beethoven’s assistance, in fourteen days. The first performance of the work is entirely took place at Vienna, April 5, 1803, at the Theater an der Wien.

The closing number, a chorus of angels (“Hallelujah, God‘s almighty Son”), is introduced with a short but massive symphony leading to a jubilant burst of “Hallelujah,” which finally resolves itself into a glorious fugue. In all sacred music it is difficult to find a choral number which can surpass it in majesty or power.


Lyrics for the Hallelujah

Hallelujah unto God’s Almighty Son Praise the Lord, ye bright angelic choirs
In holy songs of Joy.
Man, proclaim his grace and glory,
Hallelujah unto God’s Almighty Son
Praise the Lord in holy songs of joy.



FROM THE COUNCIL OF TRENT

Resurrection

By the word Resurrection, however, we are not merely to understand that Christ was raised from the dead, which happened to many others, but that He rose by His own power and virtue, a singular prerogative peculiar to Him alone. For it is incompatible with nature and was never given to man to raise himself by his own power, from death to life. This was reserved for the almighty power of God, as we learn from these words of the Apostle: Although he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. This divine power, having never been separated, either from His body in the grave, or from His soul in hell, there existed a divine force both within the body, by which it could be again united to the soul, and within the soul, by which it could again return to the body. Thus He was able by His own power to return to life and rise from the dead.


Ascension

Filled with the Spirit of God, and contemplating the blessed and glorious Ascension of our Lord, the Prophet David exhorts all to celebrate that splendid triumph with the greatest joy and gladness: Clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with he voice of joy…. God is ascended with jubilee. 

This, then, the faithful must believe without hesitation, that Jesus Christ, having fully accomplished the work of Redemption, ascended as man, body and soul, into heaven; for as God He never forsook heaven, filling as He does all places with His Divinity. 

He ascended by His own power, not being taken up by the power of another, as was Elias, who was carried to heaven in a fiery chariot; or, as the Prophet Habacuc, or Philip, the deacon, who were borne through the air by the divine power, and traversed great distances.

Neither did He ascend into heaven solely by the exercise of His supreme power as God, but also by virtue of the power which He possessed as man. Although human power alone was insufficient to accomplish this, yet the virtue with which the blessed soul of Christ was endowed was capable of moving the body as it pleased, and His body, now glorified, readily obeyed the behest of the soul that moved it. Hence, we believe that Christ ascended into heaven as God and man by His own power.


Please visit our site at:

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http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals…

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Sain of the Day Feastday April 23: St. George: Patron of England & Catalonia


Image of St. George

Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to rescue a beautiful lady. The dragon stands for wickedness. The lady stands for God‘s holy truth. St. George was a brave martyr who was victorious over the devil.

He was a soldier in the army of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and he was one of the Emperor’s favorite soldiers. Now Diocletian was a pagan and a bitter enemy to the Christians. He put to death every Christian he could find. George was a brave Christian, a real soldier of Christ. Without fear, he went to the Emperor and sternly scolded him for being so cruel. Then he gave up his position in the Roman army. For this he was tortured in many terrible ways and finally beheaded.

So boldly daring and so cheerful was St. George in declaring his Faith and in dying for it that Christians felt courage when they heard about it. Many songs and poems were written about this martyr. Soldiers, especially, have always been devoted to him.

We all have some “dragon” we have to conquer. It might be pride, or anger, or laziness, or greediness, or something else. Let us make sure we fight against these “dragons”, with God’s help. Then we can call ourselves real soldiers of Christ. 

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SAINT OF THE DAY April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D.


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 21 Saint of the Day

ST. ANSELM
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. … Read More

April
21
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Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Original Studio Version)



Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah (Original Studio Version)

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King’s College Cambridge Easter #12 Rise, Heart, Thy Lord is Risen, Vaughan Williams


King’s College Cambridge Easter #12 Rise, Heart, Thy Lord is Risen, Vaughan Williams

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MAKE MUSIC PAST OF YOUR LIFE SERIES: Messiah-Part III: Worthy is the Lamb-


Messiah-Part III: Worthy is the Lamb-George Frideric Handel-bekhit

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Revelation 5 : 12-13)

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SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. ALPHEGE April 19


SAINT OF THE DAY

April 19 Saint of the Day

ST. ALPHEGE
April 19: Archbishop and “the First Martyr of Canterbury.” He was born in … Read More

April
19
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MAKE MUSIC PART OF YOUR LIFE SERIES: “Nearer My God To Thee” I SALONISTI


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SAINT OF THE DAY – APRIL 13: ST. MARTIN I


SAINT OF THE DAY
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

April 13
St. Martin I
(d. 655)
When Martin I became pope in 649, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine empire and the patriarch of Constantinople was the most influential Church leader in the eastern Christian world. The struggles that existed within the Church at that time were magnified by the close cooperation of emperor and patriarch.

A teaching, strongly supported in the East, held that Christ had no human will. Twice emperors had officially favored this position, Heraclius by publishing a formula of faith and Constans II by silencing the issue of one or two wills in Christ.

Shortly after assuming the office of the papacy (which he did without first being confirmed by the emperor), Martin held a council at the Lateran in which the imperial documents were censured, and in which the patriarch of Constantinople and two of his predecessors were condemned. Constans II, in response, tried first to turn bishops and people against the pope.

Failing in this and in an attempt to kill the pope, the emperor sent troops to Rome to seize Martin and to bring him back to Constantinople. Already in poor health, Martin offered no resistance, returned with the exarch Calliopas and was then submitted to various imprisonments, tortures and hardships. Although condemned to death and with some of the torture imposed already carried out, Martin was saved from execution by the pleas of a repentant Paul, patriarch of Constantinople, who was himself gravely ill.

Martin died shortly thereafter, tortures and cruel treatment having taken their toll. He is the last of the early popes to be venerated as a martyr.

Comment:

The real significance of the word martyr comes not from the dying but from the witnessing, which the word means in its derivation. People who are willing to give up everything, their most precious possessions, their very lives, put a supreme value on the cause or belief for which they sacrifice. Martyrdom, dying for the faith, is an incidental extreme to which some have had to go to manifest their belief in Christ. A living faith, a life that exemplifies Christ’s teaching throughout, and that in spite of difficulties, is required of all Christians. Martin might have cut corners as a way of easing his lot, to  make some accommodations with the civil rulers.

Quote:

The breviary of the Orthodox Church pays tribute to Martin: “Glorious definer of the Orthodox Faith…sacred chief of divine dogmas, unstained by error…true reprover of heresy…foundation of bishops, pillar of the Orthodox faith, teacher of religion…. Thou didst adorn the divine see of Peter, and since from this divine Rock, thou didst immovably defend the Church, so now thou art glorified with him.”

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QUOTATION: Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Talent, lying in the understanding, is often inherited; genius, being the action of reason or imagination, rarely or never.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: MAIMONIDES


Maimonides

Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, or Maimonides, was the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages. His great philosophical work, Moreh Nevukhim (Guide for the Perplexed), attempts to reconcile Aristotelian philosophy with the tenets of Jewish theology and addresses such metaphysical and religious topics as the existence of God and the principles of creation. A physician as well as a scholar and philosopher, he also wrote a number of medical texts. Why is he called “Rambam”? More…Discuss

 

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Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Dresdner Kreuzchor: Agnus Dei (Samuel Barber) + Abendlied (Josef Rheinberger)



Live-Recording from 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roP6Mc…

Slide Show to

Agnus Dei (Samuel Barber 1910-1981)
Motet for mixed choir

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.

Agnus Dei,
qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona nobis pacem.

Abendlied / Evensong (Josef Rheinberger 1839-1901)
Motet for six-part choir

Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden,
und der Tag hat sich geneiget,
o bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden.

Stay with us, because night is coming
and the day has gone,
o stay with us, because night is coming.

Dresdner Kreuzchor, Roderich Kreile
Geistliche Gesänge / Sacred Songs
recorded 2003 Lukaskirche Dresden

http://www.amazon.de/Geistliche-Ges%C… 

http://www.jpc.de/jpcng/classic/detai…

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TODAY’S SAINT: ST. JOHN OF GOD


Feastday: March 8
John of God is patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, and firefighters and is considered the founder of the Brothers Hospitallers.
1495 – 1550
From the time he was eight to the day he died, John followed every impulse of his heart. The challenge for him was to rush to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit gave him, not his own human temptations. But unlike many who act impulsively, when John made a decision, no matter how quickly, he stuck with it, no matter what the hardship.

At eight years old, John heard a visiting priest speak of adventures that were waiting in the age of 1503 with new worlds being opened up. That very night he ran away from home to travel with thepriest and never saw his parents again. They begged their way from village to village until John fell sick. The man who nursed him back to health, the manager of a large estate, adopted John.John worked as a shepherd in the mountains until he was 27. Feeling pressure to marry the manager’s daughter, whom he loved as a sister, John took off to join the Spanish army in the waragainst France. As a soldier, he was hardly a model of holiness, taking part in the gambling, drinking, and pillaging that his comrades enjoyed. One day, he was thrown from a stolen horse near French lines. Frightened that he would be captured or killed, he reviewed his life and vowed impulsively to make a change.

When he returned he kept his spur of the moment vow, made a confession, and immediately changed his life. His comrades didn’tmind so much that John was repenting but hated that he wanted them to give up their pleasures too. So they used his impulsivenature to trick him into leaving his post on the pretext of helping someone in need. He was rescued from hanging at the last minute and thrown out of the army after being beaten and stripped. He begged his way back to his foster-home where he worked as a shepherd until he heard of a new war with Moslems invading Europe. Off he went but after the war was over, he decided to try to find his real parents. To his grief he discovered both had died in his absence.

As a shepherd he had plenty of time to contemplate what God might want of his life. When he decided at 38 that he should go to Africa to ransom Christian captives, he quit immediately and set off for the port of Gibraltar. He was on the dock waiting for his ship when he saw a family obviously upset and grieving. When he discovered they were a noble family being exiled to Africa after political intrigues, he abandoned his original plan and volunteered to be their servant. The family fell sick when they reached their exile and John kept them alive not only by nursing them but by earning money to feed them. His job building fortifications was grueling, inhuman work and the workers were beaten and mistreated by people who called themselves Catholics. Seeing Christians act this way so disturbed John that it shook his faith. A priest advised him not to blame the Church for their actions and to leave for Spain at once. John did go back home — but only after he learned that his newly adopted family had received pardons.

In Spain he spent his days unloading ship cargoes and his nights visiting churches and reading spiritual books. Reading gave him so much pleasure that he decided that he should share this joy with others. He quit his job and became a book peddler, traveling from town to town selling religious books and holy cards. A vision at age 41 brought him to Granada where he sold books from a little shop. (For this reason he is patron saint of booksellers and printers.)

After hearing a sermon from the famous John of Avila on repentance, he was so overcome by the thought of his sins that the whole town thought the little bookseller had gone from simple eccentricity to madness. After the sermon John rushed back to his shop, tore up any secular books he had, gave away all his religious books and all his money. Clothes torn and weeping, he was the target of insults, jokes, and even stones and mud from the townspeople and their children.

Friends took the distraught John to the Royal Hospital where he was interned with the lunatics. John suffered the standard treatment of the time — being tied down and daily whipping. John of Avila came to visit him there and told him his penance had gone on long enough — forty days, the same amount as the Lord’s suffering the desert — and had John moved to a better part of the hospital.

John of God could never see suffering without trying to do something about it. And now that he was free to move, although still a patient, he immediately got up and began to help the other sick people around him. The hospital was glad to have his unpaid nursing help and were not happy to release him when one day he walked in to announce he was going to start his own hospital.

John may have been positive that God wanted him to start a hospital for the poor who got bad treatment, if any, from the other hospitals, but everyone else still thought of him as a madman. It didn’t help that he decided to try to finance his plan by selling wood in the square. At night he took what little money he earned and brought food and comfort to the poor living in abandoned buildings and under bridges. Thus his first hospital was the streets of Granada.

Within an hour after seeing a sign in a window saying “House to let for lodging of the poor” he had rented the house in order to move his nursing indoors. Of course he rented it without money for furnishings, medicine, or help. After he begged money for beds, he went out in the streets again and carried his ill patients back on the same shoulders that had carried stones, wood, and books. Once there he cleaned them, dressed their wounds, and mended their clothes at night while he prayed. He used his old experience as a peddler to beg alms, crying through the streets in his peddler’s voice, “Do good to yourselves! For the love of God, Brothers, do good!” Instead of selling goods, he took anything given — scraps of good, clothing, a coin here and there.

Throughout his life he was criticized by people who didn’t like the fact that his impulsive love embraced anyone in need without asking for credentials or character witnesses. When he was able to move his hospital to an old Carmelite monastery, he opened a homeless shelter in the monastery hall. Immediately critics tried to close him down saying he was pampering troublemakers. His answer to this criticism always was that he knew of only one bad character in the hospital and that was himself. His urge to act immediately when he saw need got him into trouble more than a few times. Once, when he encountered a group of starving people, he rushed into a house,stole a pot of food, and gave it to them. He was almost arrested for that charity! Another time, on finding a group of children in rags, he marched them into a clothing shop and bought them all new clothes. Since he had no money, he paid for it all on credit!

Yet his impulsive wish to help saved many people in one emergency. The alarm went out that the Royal Hospital was on fire. When he dropped everything to run there, he found that the crowd was just standing around watching the hospital — and its patients — go up in flames. He rushed into the blazing building and carried or led the patients out. When all the patients were rescued, he started throwing blankets, sheets, and mattresses out the windows — how well he knew from his own hard work how important these things were. At that point a cannon was brought to destroy the burning part of the building in order to save the rest. John stopped them, ran up the roof, and separated the burning portion with an axe. He succeeded but fell through the burning roof. All thought they had lost their hero until John of God appeared miraculously out of smoke. (For this reason, John of God is patron saint of firefighters.)

John was ill himself when he heard that a flood was bringing precious driftwood near the town. He jumped out of bed to gather the wood from the raging river. Then when one of his companions fell into the river, John without thought for his illness or safety jumped in after him. He failed to save the boy and caught pneumonia. He died on March 8, his fifty-fifth birthday, of the same impulsive love that had guided his whole life.

John of God is patron saint of booksellers, printers, heart patients, hospitals, nurses, the sick, and firefighters and is considered the founder of the Brothers Hospitallers.

 

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QUOTATION: Miguel de Cervantes


Everyone is as God has made him, and oftentimes a great deal worse.

Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616) Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: MERWAN SHERIAR IRANI, MEHER BABA (1894)


Merwan Sheriar Irani, Meher Baba (1894)

Born into a Zoroastrian family of Persian descent, Meher Baba underwent a spiritual awakening at 19 and in time concluded that he was the avatar—the incarnation of God in human form—of his age. He formulated a belief system that identified the goal of life as realizing the oneness of God, from whom the universe emanates. In an effort to bring others to that realization through love, he worked extensively with the poor and the physically and mentally ill. For how many years did he remain silent? More…Discuss

 

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QUOTATION: Plato (427 BC-347 BC)


All men are by nature equal, made all of the same earth by one Workman; and however we deceive ourselves, as dear unto God is the poor peasant as the mighty prince.

Plato (427 BC-347 BC) Discuss

 

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WORD: COGNOSCENTE


cognoscente 

Definition: (noun) A person with superior, usually specialized knowledge or highly refined taste.
Synonyms: connoisseur
Usage: I may not be a cognoscente of art, but I know talent when I see it, and this painter has it in spades. Discuss.

 

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ARTICLE: JULIAN OF NORWICH


Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich was an English mystic who began reporting visions of Jesus during a serious illness. After recovering in 1373, she wrote accounts of her experience. Her Revelations of Divine Love is remarkable for its clarity, beauty, and profundity and is believed to be the first book written in English by a woman. Though Julian lived in a time of plagues and peasant revolts, her theology was optimistic and focused on God‘s compassionate love. What was her most controversial belief?More… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Scholastica


St. Scholastica

St. Scholastica

Feastday: February 10
Died: 543
St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to Godfrom her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode in the neighborhood at Plombariola, where she founded and governed a monastery of nuns, about five miles from that of St. Benedict, who, it appears, also directed his sister and her nuns. She visited her brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went in company with some of his brethren to meet her at a house some distance away. These visits were spent in conferring together on spiritual matters. On one occasion they had passed the time as usual in prayer and pious conversation and in the evening they sat down to take their reflection. St. Scholasticabegged her brother to remain until the next day. St. Benedictrefused to spend the night outside his monastery. She had recourse to prayer and a furious thunderstorm burst so that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could return home. They spent the night in spiritual conferences. The next morning they parted to meet no more on earth. Three days later St. Scholasticadied, and her holy brother beheld her soul in a vision as it ascended into heaven. He sent his brethren to bring her body to his monastery and laid it in the tomb he had prepared for himself. She died about the year 543, and St. Benedict followed her soon after. Her feast day is February 10th.

 

from Wikipedia

Scholastica (c. 480 – 10 February 542) is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Born in Italy, she was the twin sister of Benedict of Nursia.[2]

St. Gregory the Great, in his Dialogues, tells us that she was a nunand leader of a community for women at Plombariola, about five miles from Benedict’s abbey at Monte Cassino. We do not know what rule this community followed, although it seems most likely it was the Rule of St. Benedict.

Scholastica was dedicated to God from a young age (some tellings of her story indicate that she preceded Benedict in godliness, and he came to holiness after she did). The most commonly told story about her is that she would, once a year, go and visit her brother at a place near his abbey, and they would spend the day worshiping together and discussing sacred texts and issues. She also is the founder of women’s branch of Benedictine Monasticism.

Austrian €50 coin of 2002

One day they had supper and continued their conversation. When Benedict indicated it was time for him to leave, she protested, and begged him to stay with her for the evening so they could continue their discussions. He refused, insisting that he needed to return to his cell. At that point, Scholastica closed her hands in prayer, and after a moment, a wild storm started outside of the guest house in which they were housed. Benedict asked, “What have you done?”, to which she replied, “I asked you and you would not listen; so I asked my God and he did listen. So now go off, if you can, leave me and return to your monastery.” Benedict was unable to return to his monastery, and they spent the night in discussion. According to Gregory’s Dialogues, three days later, from his cell, he saw his sister’s soul leaving the earth and ascending to heaven in the form of a shining white dove.

Her memorial is 10 February. Scholastica is the patron saint of nuns, convulsive children, and is invoked against storms and rain.

She was recently selected as the main motif for a high value commemorative coin: the Austria €50 ‘The Christian Religious Orders’, issued 13 March 2002. On the obverse (heads) side of the coin Scholastica is depicted alongside Benedict.

 

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LA Opera’s “Noah’s Flood” (“Noye’s Fludde”) by WIlliam Ohanesian


I created this profile of the production of Benjamin Britten‘s “Noye’s Fludde” at the Los Angeles Cathedral on April 19th and 20th, 2013. 

Performance conducted by James Conlon.

 

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ARTICLE: SUMMA THEOLOGICA


Summa Theologica

Summa Theologica was the first Christian attempt at a comprehensive theological system. Written by Thomas Aquinas—a 13th-century philosopher and a principal saint of the Catholic Church—it is a compendium of all the main teachings of the Church for the “instruction of beginners.” It addresses a range of topics including God, the creation of the world, morality, and the life of Christ. Though incomplete,Summa Theologica is Aquinas’s most important work. About how many pages is it? More… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S SAINT: St. Francis de Sales


St. Francis de Sales

 
St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

    Feastday: January 24
    Patron Saint of Journalists, Writers
    1567 – 1622
    Born in France in 1567, Francis was a patient man. He knew for thirteen years that he had a vocation to the priesthood before he mentioned it to his family. When his father said that he wanted Francis to be a soldier and sent him to Paris to study, Francis said nothing. Then when he went to Padua to get a doctorate in law, he still kept quiet, but he studied theology and practiced mentalprayer while getting into swordfights and going to parties. Even when his bishop told him if he wanted to be a priest that he thought that he would have a miter waiting for him someday, Francis uttered not a word. Why did Francis wait so long? Throughout hislife he waited for God’s will to be clear. He never wanted to push his wishes on God, to the point where most of us would have been afraid that God would give up!

    God finally made God’s will clear to Francis while he was riding. Francis fell from his horse three times. Every time he fell the sword came out of the scabbard. Every time it came out the sword and scabbard came to rest on the ground in the shape of the cross. And then, Francis, without knowing about it, was appointedprovost of his diocese, second in rank to the bishop.

    Perhaps he was wise to wait, for he wasn’t a natural pastor. His biggest concern on being ordained that he had to have his lovely curly gold hair cut off. And his preaching left the listeners thinking he was making fun of him. Others reported to the bishop that this noble-turned- priest was conceited and controlling.

    Then Francis had a bad idea — at least that’s what everyone else thought. This was during the time of the Protestant reformation and just over the mountains from where Francis lived was Switzerland — Calvinist territory. Francis decided that he should lead an expedition to convert the 60,000 Calvinists back to Catholicism. But by the time he left his expedition consisted of himself and his cousin. His father refused to give him any aid for this crazy plan and thediocese was too poor to support him.

    For three years, he trudged through the countryside, had doors slammed in his face and rocks thrown at him. In the bitter winters, his feet froze so badly they bled as he tramped through the snow. He slept in haylofts if he could, but once he slept in a tree to avoid wolves. He tied himself to a branch to keep from falling out and was so frozen the next morning he had to be cut down. And after three years, his cousin had left him alone and he had not made one convert.

    Francis’ unusual patience kept him working. No one would listen to him, no one would even open their door. So Francis found a way to get under the door. He wrote out his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them under the doors. This is the first record we have of religious tracts being used to communicate with people.

    The parents wouldn’t come to him out of fear. So Francis went to the children. When the parents saw how kind he was as he played with the children, they began to talk to him.

    By the time, Francis left to go home he is said to have converted 40,000 people back to Catholicism.

    In 1602 he was made bishop of the diocese of Geneva, in Calvinist territory. He only set foot in the city of Geneva twice — once when the Pope sent him to try to convert Calvin’s successor, Beza, and another when he traveled through it.

    It was in 1604 that Francis took one of the most important steps in his life, the step toward holiness and mystical union with God.

    In Dijon that year Francis saw a widow listening closely to his sermon — a woman he had seen already in a dream. Jane de Chantal was a person on her own, as Francis was, but it was only when they became friends that they began to become saints. Jane wanted him to take over her spiritual direction, but, not surprisingly, Francis wanted to wait. “I had to know fully what God himself wanted. I had to be sure that everything in this should be done as though his hand had done it.” Jane was on a path to mystical union with God and, in directing her, Francis was compelled to follow her and become a mystic himself.

    Three years after working with Jane, he finally made up his mind to form a new religious order. But where would they get a convent for their contemplative Visitation nuns? A man came to Francis without knowing of his plans and told him he was thinking of donating a place for use by pious women. In his typical way of not pushing God, Francis said nothing. When the man brought it up again, Francis still kept quiet, telling Jane, “God will be with us if he approves.” Finally the man offered Francis the convent.

    Francis was overworked and often ill because of his constant load of preaching, visiting, and instruction — even catechizing a deaf man so he could take first Communion. He believed the first duty of a bishop was spiritual direction and wrote to Jane, “So many have come to me that I might serve them, leaving me no time to think of myself. However, I assure you that I do feel deep-down- within-me, God be praised. For the truth is that this kind of work is infinitely profitable to me.” For him active work did not weaken his spiritual inner peace but strengthened it. He directed most people through letters, which tested his remarkable patience. “I have more than fifty letters to answer. If I tried to hurry over it all, i would be lost. So I intend neither to hurry or to worry. This evening, I shall answer as many as I can. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished.”

    At that time, the way of holiness was only for monks and nuns — not for ordinary people. Francis changed all that by giving spiritual direction to lay people living ordinary lives in the world. But he had proven with his own lifethat people could grow in holiness while involved in a very active occupation. Why couldn’t others do the same? His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for these ordinary people in 1608. Written originally as letters, it became an instant success all over Europe — though some preachers tore it up because he tolerated dancing and jokes!

    For Francis, the love of God was like romantic love. He said, “The thoughts of those moved by natural human love are almost completely fastened on the beloved, their hearts are filled with passion for it, and their mouths full of its praises. When it is gone they express their feelings in letters, and can’t pass by a tree without carving the name of their beloved in its bark. Thus too those who love God can never stop thinking about him, longing for him, aspiring to him, and speaking about him. If they could, they would engrave the name of Jesus on the hearts of all humankind.”

    The key to love of God was prayer. “By turning your eyes on God in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with God. Begin all your prayers in the presence of God.”

    For busy people of the world, he advised “Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others and talk to God.”

    The test of prayer was a person’s actions: “To be an angel in prayer and a beast in one’s relations with people is to go lame on both legs.”

    He believed the worst sin was to judge someone or to gossip about them. Even if we say we do it out of love we’re still doing it to look better ourselves. But we should be as gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we should be with others.

    As he became older and more ill he said, “I have to drive myself but the more I try the slower I go.” He wanted to be a hermit but he was more in demand than ever. The Pope needed him, then a princess, then Louis XIII. “Now I really feel that I am only attached to the earth by one foot…” He died on December 28, 1622, after giving a nun his last word of advice: “Humility.”

    He is patron saint of journalists because of the tracts and books he wrote. 

    from Wikipedia

     

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    Saint of the Day for Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014: ST. VINCENT PALLOTTI


    Saint of the Day for Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

     

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    Today” Saint: ST. AGNES


    Saint of the Day for Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

    Image of St. Agnes

    St. Agnes

    St. Agnes was a Roman girl who was only thirteen years old when she suffered martyrdom for her Faith. Agnes had made a promise, a promise to God never to stain her purity. Her love for the Lord was … continue reading

    More Saints of the Day

     

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    Quotation: Friedrich Nietzsche about man and tree…a comparison


    It is the same with man as with the tree … The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep—into the evil.

    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) Discuss

    Bach – Cantate BWV 190 – Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing to the Lord a new song )



    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH BWV 225 Sing to the LORD A NEW SONG LYRICS

    Sing to the Lord a new song 

    Sing to the Lord a new song, the congregation of saints praise him. Israel rejoice in him that made him.The children of Zion rejoice in their King sei’n, Let them praise his name in the series, with timbrels and with harps they want to play him. 

    As a father pities 
    God, you also receive our on, 
    About his young infants, 
    So the Lord is doing all of us, 
    So we childlike fear him pure. 
    He knows our frailty, 
    God knows we are only dust, 
    Because without you nothing is done 
    With all our stuff. 
    Just as the grass from the rake, 
    A Blum and falling leaves. 
    The wind only blows over it, 
    So it is no longer there, 
    Drum you be our shield and light, 
    And do not deceive us our hope, 
    So you’re going to make it further. 
    So man passes away, 
    Its end, which is close to him. 
    Blessed is the only stiff and strong 
    Relies on you and your bounty. 

    Praise the Lord for his mighty acts, praise him according to his excellent greatness! 
    Everything that has breath praise the Lord Hallelujah! 

    English: Sing ye the Lord a new refrain, the assembly of saints shoulderstand be telling his praises.Israel joyful be in him who hath made him. Let Zion’s children rejoice in him who is mighty Their king, let them be praising his name’s honor in dances, with timbrels and with psalt’ries unto him be playing. 

    Chorale (Chorus II) 

    As a father doth mercy show 

    Aria (Chorus I) 

    God, take quiet Further now our part, 
    To his own little children dear, 
    Thus doth the Lord to all men, 
    If pure as children we fear him. 
    He sees our feeble powers, 
    God knows we are but dust; 
    For, lacking thee, naught shall we gain 
    Of all our Endeavors synthesis. 
    Just as the grass in mowing, 
    Or bud and falling leaf, 
    If wind but o’er it bloweth, 
    It is no longer there, 
    So be thou our shield and true light, 
    And if our hope betray us not, 
    Thou wilt Malthus henceforth help us. 
    E’en so one’s life is passing, 
    His end is near to him. 
    Blest he Whose hope Both strong and firm 
    On thee and on thy grace doth rest. 

    [Ps 150:2 and 6] (Chorus I, Chorus II) 

    Praise ye the Lord in all his doings, praise ye him in all his might and majesty! 

    (Chorus I and II) 

    All things Which do draw breath, praise ye the Lord, hallelujah!

     

    Happy Christmas! Handel – Messiah – Hallelujah Chorus


    animated_christmas_tree_2013 (1)


    From Andre Rieu’s “Live From Radio City Music Hall” in New York City 2004, with the Johann Strauss Orchestra and the Harlem Gospel Choir.

    Though heavily romanticized, it is one of the best renditions of this magnificent piece, in this one’s opinion.

    LYRICS:

    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

    For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah 
    (For the lord God omnipotent reigneth)
    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah 

    For the lord God omnipotent reigneth 
    (Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah)
    Hallelujah 

    The kingdom of this world; 
    is become 
    the kingdom of our Lord
    and of His Christ 
    and of His Christ 

    And He shall reign for ever and ever
    And he shall reign forever and ever
    And he shall reign forever and ever
    And he shall reign forever and ever

    King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    and lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
    and lord of lords
    King of kings and lord of lords

    And he shall reign
    And he shall reign
    And he shall reign
    He shall reign
    And he shall reign forever and ever

    King of kings forever and ever
    and lord of lords hallelujah hallelujah
    And he shall reign forever and ever

    King of kings and lord of lords
    King of kings and lord of lords
    And he shall reign forever and ever

    Forever and ever and ever and ever 
    (King of kings and lord of lords)

    Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
    Hallelujah

     

    Word: RECTITUDE


    rectitude 

    Definition: (noun) Righteousness as a consequence of being honorable and honest.
    Synonyms: uprightness
    Usage: We are all equally satisfied of the complete rectitude of Miss Isabel’s conduct, and we are all equally interested in the vindication of her good name. Discuss.

     

    Frederick Delius: Brigg Fair by Sir Charles Mackerras



    Frederick Delius (1862-1934)

    Brigg Fair“, an “English rhapsody” (1907)

    Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera
    by Sir Charles Mackerras
    1990