Sunday, April 21, 2019

Christ is Risen! Alleluia, Alleluia!


I like the idea that beauty and holiness are the apologia for Christianity. The beauty of Christianity needs to shine out more; this is where the celebration of the liturgy becomes central. And the goodness of Christianity, i.e. the holiness of self-giving love (the witness of charity) and of prayer, needs to be sustained and developed. And this too, certainly: that the one thing Christianity has to offer is Easter. Simply: Christ is risen!
— Dom Hugh Gilbert (from A Conservative Blog for Peace)

The Regina caeli is said in place of the Angelus during Eastertide. It is chanted, HERE.

Queen of Heaven
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Regina caeli
V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.


Here is the Easter Sequence, to be sung before the Gospel during the Easter Octave:

Victimae Paschali laudes immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves: Christus innocens Patri reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando: dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria, Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis, et gloriam vidi resurgentis.
Angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea: praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere: Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

++++++++++

Christians, to the Paschal victim offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb; and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners to his Father reconciled.
Death with life contended: combat strangely ended!
Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign.
Tell us, Mary: say what thou didst see upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose; I saw Christ's glory as He rose!
The angels there attesting; shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen: He goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia Share

Wines for Versailles

In an ideal world, museums seeking to fund projects would tap enthusiastic donors, and the monies would simply appear. Today, however, cultural institutions are getting increasingly creative in order to reach out beyond their core supporters. Consider the intriguing initiatives that are fueling improvements at Château de Versailles, the French royal domain that’s so big—700 rooms, 2,000-plus acres—that “there is no shortage of urgent and exciting projects,” Catherine Pégard, the veteran political journalist who became the president of Versailles in 2016, told AD. “Versailles is unique not only in the immensity of its needs if it is to continue to live and flourish in this day and age but also in the extraordinary riches it has to offer to everyone, so it is only natural that our response should be a creative one.” 
For the benefit of Versailles, Hermès once created a limited edition scarf, Guerlain conjured up a limited edition scent based on Marie Antoinette’s favorite flower (that would be jasmine), and Saint-Louis is working on glassware that looks to 18th- and early-19th century examples in Versailles’ collections. Then there’s Château Mouton Rothschild, the legendary, premier cru winery in Pauillac, France, near Bordeaux, which has partnered with Versailles for a series of wine auctions. Says Pégard, “The entire proceeds of this act of patronage will be devoted to the restoration and decoration of the Royal Apartments in the Palace of Versailles and the fountains in the Grand Trianon gardens.” (Read more.)
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Neuron Formation in the Human Brain

From Scientific American:
If the memory center of the human brain can grow new cells, it might help people recover from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, deepen our understanding of epilepsy and offer new insights into memory and learning. If not, well then, it’s just one other way people are different from rodents and birds.

For decades, scientists have debated whether the birth of new neurons—called neurogenesis—was possible in an area of the brain that is responsible for learning, memory and mood regulation. A growing body of research suggested they could, but then a Nature paper last year raised doubts. Now, a new study published today in another of the Nature family of journals—Nature Medicine—tips the balance back toward “yes.” In light of the new study, “I would say that there is an overwhelming case for the neurogenesis throughout life in humans,” Jonas Frisén, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said in an e-mail. Frisén, who was not involved in the new research, wrote a News and Views about the study in the current issue of Nature Medicine. (Read more.)
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Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Gathering of Egg Cups

From Victoria:
As diminutive as they are exquisitely detailed, these shapely collectibles garner appreciation that exceeds their dainty proportions. Beyond cradling soft-cooked eggs served at brunch, they can be used in myriad ways. Companies began offering eggcups in their most beloved china patterns during Victorian times, but these charming serving dishes were first noted among culinary traditions generations before. Turkish mosaics discovered in the ruins of Pompeii—the ancient Roman city that was preserved instantaneously when Mount Vesuvius erupted—portray diners using similar vessels as early as 3 A.D. (Read more.)
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Of Hell and Logic

From Robert Royal:
In 1294, Celestine V was elected pope, after an interregnum of two years without one, owing to a deadlock among the Cardinals. He resigned only five months later because, though he had founded and run the Celestines, an offshoot of the Benedictines, he felt himself inadequate to the papal office. In 1415, Pope Gregory XII “withdrew” in a somewhat different case – in order to prevent schism over the apostolic succession. 
Celestine’s, therefore, was the last pure resignation prior to that of Benedict XVI in 2013. Most Dante scholars have believed over the centuries that Dante was referring to Celestine in Inferno Canto 3 (the place that contains souls who were so indifferent that they refused to choose God or anything else for eternity). He speaks of meeting one, without naming him, “who out of cowardice made the great refusal,” (che per viltade fece il gran rifiuto). 
Dante thought this a profound betrayal of the Church, not least because Celestine’s successor, Boniface VIII (a political schemer) was involved in Dante’s exile from Florence. Boniface himself had a troubled life after that because of his constant efforts to expand papal powers. His famous Bull Unam Sanctam claimed authority over secular rulers, which led to his condemnation on a whole list of charges by French bishops. And French King Philip the Fair sent forces that captured and humiliated Boniface, an experience that contributed to his death. (Read more.)
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Martyrs of the Rwandan Genocide

From Catholic News Agency:
The story of Cyprien and Daphrose Rugumba is a story of atheism and devout faith, of a strained marriage and a love that overcomes obstacles, of a powerful conversion that was able to change an entire life. Cyprien and Daphrose were murdered 25 years ago, at the start of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Today, their cause for sainthood is open, and their impact lives on through the Emmanuel Community, an international Catholic association of the faithful focused on adoration, compassion and evangelization, which the couple brought to Rwanda. (Read more.)
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No One Saw It Coming

From Russian Insider:
Winston Churchill once described Russia as a "riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."  Churchill's words ring true today as we see Russia, almost mysteriously, emerge onto the world stage as a military adversary; a geopolitical rival; and a vexing riddle that nobody in Washington, D.C. has quite figured out.  Obama got it wrong when he mocked Mitt Romney's concerns that Russia was a menace to world order, calling the Russians a "regional power."

D.C.-based Russian foreign policy experts have a dismal track record as prognosticators.  Mr. Leon Aron, in Foreign Policy magazine, writes:  "Every revolution is a surprise." Still, the latest Russian Revolution must be counted among the greatest of surprises. In the years leading up to 1991, virtually no Western expert, scholar, official, or politician foresaw the impending collapse of the Soviet Union. (Read more.)
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Friday, April 19, 2019

Good Friday


From Daniel Mitsui.

The Reproaches (Improperia)
I.
1 and 2: My people, what have I done to you
How have I offended you? Answer me!
1: I led you out of Egypt,
from slavery to freedom,
but you led your Savior to the cross.
2: My people, what have I done to you?
How have I offended you? Answer me!

1: Holy is God!
2: Holy and strong!
1: Holy immortal One, have mercy on us!
1 and 2: For forty years I led you
safely through the desert.
I fed you with manna from heaven,
and brought you to a land of plenty; but you led your Savior to the cross.
Repeat "Holy is God..."
1 and 2: What more could I have done for you.
I planted you as my fairest vine,
but you yielded only bitterness:
when I was thirsty you gave me vinegar to drink,
and you pierced your Savior with a lance.
Repeat "Holy is God..." 
II.
1: For your sake I scourged your captors
and their firstborn sons,
but you brought your scourges down on me.
(Repeated throughout by Choir 2)
2: My people, what have I done to you?
How have I offended you? Answer me!
1: I led you from slavery to freedom
and drowned your captors in the sea,
but you handed me over to your high priests.
2: "My people...."
1: I opened the sea before you,
but you opened my side with a spear.
2: "My people...."
1: I led you on your way in a pillar of cloud,
but you led me to Pilate's court.
2: "My people...."
1: I bore you up with manna in the desert,
but you struck me down and scourged me.
2: "My people...."
1: I gave you saving water from the rock,
but you gave me gall and vinegar to drink.
2: "My people...."
1: For you I struck down the kings of Canaan.
but you struck my head with a reed.
2: "My people...."
1: I gave you a royal scepter,
but you gave me a crown of thorns.
2: "My people...."
1: I raised you to the height of majesty,
but you have raised me high on a cross.
2: "My people...."
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