Friday, December 30, 2022

The Christmas Octave

I hope everybody is having a lovely Christmas holiday. Today is the feast of the Holy Family. The Lord could've come into this world any way, but He chose to come in poverty as a defenseless Baby, in a human family, thereby sanctifying family life. I know it's not always easy being part of a family--my own was fractured--and I'm away from home to help with my brother's. It's not easy, but I keep the hope that the Lord will bind up our wounds, heal us, and make us whole again. Please pray for us. 

Despite the winter storm, my sister-in-law, my niece, and my sister and brother-in-law made it over for Christmas. It was good to be all together. The future is uncertain, but we place our trust in the Lord Jesus, that He will resolve everything according to His will. I live by Romans 8:28.    

I got some lovely mail--The Visitation by Gandolfi from a dear friend and a postcard from Dagny. It makes being apart from loved ones easier. This year I missed sending out cards, but I look forward to reading the Christmas letters when I am home. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022


I long so much for the words of the prayer that our Lord Jesus taught us: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven to come true. Now! How long, O Lord? For consolation I listen to Miserere mei (Psalm 50/51) and sing the beautiful Advent hymn, Rorate Caeli to myself all the time and for a truly beautiful polyphonic setting by William Byrd of the first verse (Ne irascaris Domine) listen to Voces8. 

I'm in Texas. This young woman is flying the nest--I'm so proud of her.

Roráte caéli désuper,
et núbes plúant jústum.

Drop down, ye heavens, from above,
and let the skies pour down righteousness.

Ne irascáris Dómine,
ne ultra memíneris iniquitátis:
ecce cívitas Sáncti fácta est desérta:
Síon desérta fácta est, Jerúsalem desoláta est:
dómus sanctificatiónis túæ et glóriæ túæ,
ubi laudavérunt te pátres nóstri.

Be not wroth very sore, O Lord,
neither remember iniquity for ever:
thy holy city is a wilderness,
Sion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation:
our holy and our beautiful house,
where our fathers praised thee.

Peccávimus, et fácti súmus tamquam immúndus nos,
et cecídimus quasi fólium univérsi:
et iniquitátes nóstræ quasi véntus abstulérunt nos:
abscondísti faciem túam a nóbis,
et allisísti nos in mánu iniquitátis nóstræ.

We have sinned, and are as an unclean thing,
and we all do fade as a leaf:
and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away:
thou hast hid thy face from us:
and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

Víde Dómine afflictiónem pópuli túi,
et mítte quem missúrus es:
emítte Agnum dominatórem térræ,
de Pétra desérti ad móntem fíliæ Síon:
ut áuferat ípse júgum captivitátis nóstræ.

Behold, O Lord, the affliction of thy people,
and send forth him whom thou wilt send;
send forth the Lamb, the ruler of the earth,
from Petra of the desert to the mount of the daughter of Sion:
that he may take away the yoke of our captivity.

Vos testes mei, dicit Dóminus,
et servus meus quem elégi;
ut sciátis, et credátis mihi:
ego sum, ego sum Dóminus, et non est absque me salvátor:
et non est qui de manu mea éruat.

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord,
and my servant whom I have chosen;
that ye may know me and believe me:
I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour:
and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

Consolámini, consolámini, pópule méus:
cito véniet sálus túa:
quare mæróre consúmeris,
quia innovávit te dólor?
Salvábo te, nóli timére,
égo enim sum Dóminus Déus túus,
Sánctus Israël, Redémptor túus.

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people;
my salvation shall not tarry:
why wilt thou waste away in sadness?
why hath sorrow seized thee?
Fear not, for I will save thee:
For I am the Lord thy God,
the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.