Our teens and some of their friends meet on a weekly basis to work on a capella singing - including both secular and sacred pieces. They worked especially hard in recent months preparing Palestrina's Sicut Cervus and Byrd's Ave Verum to sing with the parish choirs for the Mass of Thanksgiving of our new associate pastor. I think it went really well and it sure was a lot of fun!
I've also been listening to a lot of Matt Maher lately. Favorites include: Abide with Me, Because He Lives, Lay It Down, and Lord, I Need You.
Graduations! Terri has now graduated from high school and Kate from 8th grade. We had a beautiful high school graduation ceremony with our homeschool group (we tend to pass on the 8th grade graduation ceremonies since our kids have continued to homeschool during high school - but those are also available) and a lovely graduation dance in which all of the graduates were recognized.
Family pictures. My parents are celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary this month, so we are tackling the project of scanning the old family slides.
|Me meeting the family dog, Patches, upon arriving home from the hospital.|
|Hanging out with Dad. :)|
Baseball, Scrabble, Perspective and Sporcle. I don't think there's anything new on the list right now.
I started Fr. Michael Gaitley's 33 Days to Merciful Love a few weeks ago. My mom had bought it for me over Easter and one day when I was headed off to Adoration I picked it up on an impulse and decided to check what the recommended starting dates were. (They like you to set it up to finish on an appropriate feast day.) To my surprise and delight, I happened to pick it up on the only day in May (the 27th) that was listed as a recommended starting day.
It's a wonderful little book, very much in the same flavor as 33 Days to Morning Glory and intended as a follow-up to that book. In comfortably short daily readings, it offers a spirituality based on the writings of St.Thérèse of Lisieux which is particularly focused on appreciating how much we need God and how much he loves us.
Hail, Caesar! A Tale of the Christ
I've seen this movie reviewed in oddly different ways. As far as I can tell, it works if you can give it an uncynical viewing (and see it through until the end!), but if you try to read other things into it, it just doesn't work.
The movie is about Hollywood of the 1950s. Eddie Mannix (based on a real-life character) has a tough job at the studio holding together a cast of characters starring in various movies who are always getting themselves (and potentially the studio) into all sorts of trouble. With great artistry and a dry sense of humor, the story pokes fun at these various characters (and through them humanity in general) and their petty quirks and problems.
The main movie being produced during the story is an epic story of Christ that looks an awful lot like Ben Hur. The movie studio is anxious to not offend anyone's religious sensibilities (which ends up involving a very witty conversation between Eddie Mannix and a group of religious leaders - a Catholic priest, an Orthodox priest, a Protestant minister and a Jewish Rabbi). Its production is unexpectedly halted by the disappearance of the main star, who has his own set of dramatic and intellectual adventures.
The story climaxes with a beautiful scene from the Ben Hur-like movie which is shown to impact not just the characters within that film, but also those involved in its production.
It's a quirky movie - very different from anything else I've ever seen, but we really enjoyed it.
Quote I'm Pondering:
And if the good God wants you weak and helpless like a child... do you believe that you will have less merit?... Agree to stumble at every step therefore, even to fall, to carry your cross weakly, to love your helplessness. Your soul will draw more profit from it than if, carried by grace, you would accomplish with enthusiasm heroic actions that would fill your soul with personal satisfaction and pride. - St. Thérèse of Lisieux as quoted in 33 Days to Merciful Love