Thursday, February 28, 2013


I grew up singing this (rather solemn) version of the "Old One Hundredth" (first 40 seconds):


But the British church I attended sang it which I cannot find seem to find online when I went looking for it so my children could hear.  But I encountered some other lovely variations:


Still, my favorite is the way the Mennonites do it:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sung Rosary in Malayalam

If I used "tags" on my posts, this post would be under "stuff I think is fantastic".

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I am suspicious...

(This is the second in what I hope will be a series of posts on things to be wary of.  Not only to guard against that which might be harmful, but of course so as to redirect our thoughts toward what is good)

It is probably safe to say that all Christian churches celebrate Christmas and Easter.  But not all churches make a fuss on Ash Wednesday, and some even call it something different or begin Lent on a Monday instead.  Some do not even have a Lenten season, but look forward to Palm Sunday and then Easter.

There is something that all Christian traditions hold in common, however, and emphasize year round, year in and year out.  And that is a focus on repentance and mercy.  Whether you are Baptist or Orthodox or Pentecostal or Episcopalian, the beginning and the core of the Christian faith is a prayer that is both personal and universal: "Save me, O Lord."

In addition to the "Sinner's Prayer," many Christians of various denominations practice a repetitive prayer, called the Jesus Prayer (I particularly like the one called the Anglican Rosary)

The reason for prayer beads and for this kind of prayer at all is that it is important to repeat the cry for mercy, over and over again, and not just a single time.  It is important to remain humble, and to turn to Jesus, and to recognize oneself as a sinner: "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit," and there is not much that more simply expresses contrition than the Jesus Prayer.

For those of us who celebrate Ash Wednesday, the ashes go onto our foreheads and we pray, "Blot out my transgressions, O Lord." The prayer of the Church, the prayer of the Christian, is a humble one, and it is a plea. 

I am suspicious of prayer that does not begin, and end, with a cry for help.

Monday, February 11, 2013

on the pontificate of Benedict XVI

A worthwhile read.  I remember hearing that Pope John Paul II had decline multiple requests from Cardinal Ratzinger to retire years ago.  Seems this current, and humble, pope has long been aware of his limitations.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Celebration of Subjective Beauty

This post comes out of some conversations I had over the past week. It is meant as a response to the argument of those who consider that tattoos or piercings are not a form of cultural or personal expression, and instead claim that "there are in fact objective standards of beauty, you know."




source (read more HERE)







For more photo montages, visit here for a collection on the theme of global expressions of human beauty, and here for an excellent photo-essay on the diversity of reasons that exist for having a body tattoo.