Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cleaning House

A commentary series on Psalm 139 in haiku poetic form.

If only you would slay the
       wicked, O God!
   Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
They speak of you with evil intent, your adversaries misuse your name.
                                                               Psalm 139:19-207-18

Cleaning House

Evil thirst for blood
Spews God’s name with raw distaste,
Debased intentions.

The God who knows all,
Hears all, sees all, sustains all,
Gives evil the boot.

I align with God,
None of this devilish brew
Scorching his good name.

 Quote to Ponder . . .
For the good make use of this world in order to enjoy God, whereas the evil want to make use of God in order to enjoy the world.
        Augustine of Hippo, City of God


Non nobis Domine – sung here in the movie Henry V (includes graphic war scenes). 

War is always a terrible thing, brought about by unrestrained evil in the heart’s of people. The song text comes from Psalm 115:1. The Psalm goes on to say in verse 13 “The Lord. . . will bless those who fear the Lord, small and great alike,” and in verse 17 & 18, “It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to silence; it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forevermore.” 

Here is verse 1a, the song’s text:

               Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.
               Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to your name give the glory.

The “Dies Irae” or “Day of Wrath” has been set to music by most of the major composers throughout the history of classical/sacred music. Explore the source of the text and the lyrics with English translation here.

Listen to several of the links below and hear how these composers set such terrifying words to music:              

Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) – Mozart, 1791

Dies IraeArvo Pärt, (1989-1992) begins at 7:50, from his work “Miserere.” Here is a video with information and brief interview excerpts from this contemporary composer. His works are the most performed of any living classical contemporary composer.  

Artwork:  The Temptation in the Wilderness, 1898 Briton Revieri

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Limitless Love

A commentary series on Psalm 139 in haiku poetic form.

How precious to me are your
      thoughts, O God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
   they would outnumber the grains of sand
when I awake,
   I am still with you.
                                                               Psalm 139:17-18

I am still with you
After precious thoughts of yours
Overwhelm my soul.

I am still with you
After counting grains of sand
And falling sleep.

I am still with you
After everything, I wake,
I am in your thoughts.

At the beach with the grandkids

 Quote to Ponder . . .
O highest and best, most all-powerful, most merciful and most just, most deeply hidden and most nearly present, most beautiful and most strong, constant yet incomprehensible, changeless yet changing all things, never new, never old, making all things new, bringing the proud to decay and they know it not: always acting and always at rest, still gathering yet never wanting; upholding, filling and protecting, creating, nourishing, and bringing to perfection; seeking, although in need of nothing.
You love, but with no storm of passion; you are jealous, but with no anxious fear; you repent, but do not grieve; in your anger calm; you change your works, but never change your plan; you take back what you find and yet have never lost; never in need, you are yet glad of gain; never greedy, yet still demanding profit on your loans; to be paid in excess, so that you may be the debtor, and yet who has anything which is not yours?
You pay back debts which you never owed and cancel debts without losing anything.
        Augustine of Hippo, Confessions


God Be in My Head – by Walford-Davis
The words are from Pinson's Horae (Book of Hours) in 1514, in English in the Sarum Primer of 1558 

God Be in My Head – by John Rutter 

God Be in My Head  – in a newer setting by Barbara Brennan and Michael Upward (for SATB with sax, piano, organ)

Christ Be with Me (a Prayer of St. Patrick) – by John Rutter

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