Rossini-Agnus Dei (Petite Messe Solennelle)

  Giaochino Rossini was, in his time, considered the most successful composer of operas in history, creating such enduring favorites as The Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola, and William Tell. Then, having composed an astounding 39 operas before his 37th birthday in 1829, he simply stopped.  For the rest of his life, until his death almost […]

Eucharistic Adoration: Sitting at the Feet of the Lord

Most of us can probably identify with Martha: always “worried about many things”, and too distracted to notice the Lord.  Adoration is a great opportunity to give our “inner Martha” a rest and, like Mary, choose “the better part”. After all, what is Eucharistic Adoration, if not watching and listening at the feet of Jesus?

Practical Apologetics: The Geometry of Faith

outside.”  Those of us who have been out and now are in (back in, for some of us) know how true it is.  And it stands to reason: as both a worldly and a spiritual entity, the Church cannot be contained within purely physical bounds.

The Bishops, the Politicians, and Abortion: What Would St. John Fisher Do?

You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.      The quote above is often attributed to communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky.  There is no record of his actually having said it, but it’s widely repeated because it pithily sums up a terrifying truth about the relentlessness of war.  In an age when a large […]

Music Monday- ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ by Ola Gjeilo

   My Monday Music selections are usually compositions from the treasury of Catholic sacred music, some of them centuries old. There are still some composers even today, however, who are composing music worthy of that tradition. A couple months ago I posted a setting to the “Te Deum” by Pedro Camacho. The words to the hymn […]

Finding the Future in the Past: Why The Latin Mass is not Going Away

     The scene is a parish church.  A congregation has assembled for Sunday Mass. The opening hymn begins with a grand flourish.  The celebrant processes into the church amid alleluias and mighty blasts from the organ. We reach a mini-climax.  The music ends. Then, there is a moment of silence while the celebrant adjusts his microphone. He smiles.  And what […]

Monteverdi’s ‘Nisi Dominus’: Arrows in the Hand of a Warrior

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was probably the most important composer in the transition from Renaissance Polyphony to Baroque.  This beautiful piece from his Vespers composition, Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610), is a musical setting for Psalm 127 (sometimes listed as Psalm 126).   This particular psalm (printed in full below the music video) has always resonated with me. […]

A Brief Visit to Hell

     Who wants to talk about Hell?  Just about nobody, and we can hardly blame them – why dwell on something as, well, hellish, as eternal torment?  Many people, both inside and outside the Church, only mention the Abode of the Damned at all in order to discount it.  At the same time, we don’t have the luxury of […]