…nor floods sweep it away

Today is the Feast Day of St. Scholastica, the foundress of the Benedictine Order of nuns and the twin sister of St. Benedict of Nursia, founder of the Benedictine Order of brothers. Together they are credited with establishing monasticism in the western world.

It is the first reading today that grabbed my attention. It is from the Old Testament book, The Song of Songs – also known as the Canticle of Canticles. It is a collection of love lyrics, arranged to present an inspired portrayal of ideal human love and a resounding affirmation of the goodness of human sexuality that is applicable to the sacredness and the depth of married union.

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Given that it is the end of Advent and we are just days away from Christmas, given the title of this post, perhaps your mind immediately conjured up “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” That wasn’t what I intended, but so that one might not be disappointed, I can at least offer several choices of YouTube videos of the classic Christmas hymn:

That would certainly offer enough variety and cover a rang of musical tastes. But, as I mentioned, not what I had in mind.

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The 40s

The very first liturgical action in the Rite of Baptism isn’t pouring water – it is marking the one receiving baptism with the sign of the cross – traced on the forehead. At the same time speaking the words, “I claim you for Christ…” They are powerful words, words of life and death. Words that mark a new beginning. “I claim you for Christ…” This is who you are and whose you are. And now off you go into the world, into the wilderness of life, among the beasts and the angels among us. Continue reading