Thursday, July 27, 2006

Summer Reading

I'm watching my mailbox for the arrival of this soon-to-be released title. It's the first of its kind since the old Baltimore version, which I fondly, though a bit vaguely, remember from my plaid jumper wearing days of third grade.

Let's see, it went something like this:

Q: Who made us?
A: God made us.

Q: Who is God?
A: God is the Supreme Being...
According to the authors, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the 21st Century version is designed to facilitate more than mere memorization.

Each chapter in the Catechism for Adults includes stories, doctrine, reflection, quotations, discussion questions, and prayer to lead the reader to a deepening faith. The Catechism for Adults is an excellent resource for preparation of catechumens in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and for ongoing catechesis of adults.
At 600-and-some pages, it'll take awhile to get through this one. I'm interested to see how different this new version reads through these presbyopian eyes, compared to the old memorized version of my youth. I look forward to replacing memorization with reflection and perhaps a bit of inspiration.

While I wait for my delivery, I have a feeling I have unleashed a shower of repressed memories from those early religion classes:

Sister Irene: Class, What is Grace?

A Chorus of 25 Identically Dressed Third Graders: Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation.
Like we had a clue then. Yet, I remember it now.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Weekend Humor

What with all that's going on in the world these days, seems a good time for a little levity.

From my dear friend who sent me a papal puzzler many posts back:

A Catholic man is struck by a bus on a busy street. He is lying near death on the sidewalk as a crowd gathers.

"A priest, somebody get me a priest!" the man gasps.

Minutes drag on and no one steps out of the crowd. A policeman checks the crowd and finally yells, "A PRIEST, PLEASE! Isn't there a priest in this crowd to give this man his last rites?"

Finally, out of the crowd steps a little old Jewish man of at least 80 years of age.

"Mr. Policeman," says the man, "I'm not a priest. I'm not even a Christian. But for 50 years now I'm living behind the Catholic Church on First Avenue, and every night I'm overhearing their services. I can recall a lot of it, and maybe I can be of some comfort to this poor man."

The policeman agrees, and clears the crowd sothe man can get through to where the injured man lay. The old man kneels down, leans over the prostrate man and says in a solemn voice:

"B-4. I-19. N-38. G-54. O-72"

Happy weekend!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Songs That Make A Difference

While I was thinking about pastoral musicians, I came across an interesting piece at the National Association of Pastoral Musician's site.

In September 2005, the NPM conducted an online survey that invited Catholics to name a liturgical song "that has made a lasting impact on their own lives of faith". According to the NPM, more than 3,000 people responded to the survey.

Here are the "Top 25".
Read 'em and feel free to click and sing along!

1. On Eagle's Wings
2. Here I Am, Lord
3. Be Not Afraid
4. You Are Mine
5. How Great Thou Art
6. Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
7. Amazing Grace
8. All Are Welcome
9. Prayer of St. Francis
10. Ave Maria
11. We Are Called
12. Let There Be Peace On Earth
13. I Am The Bread Of Life
14. The Summons
15. Panis Angelicus
16. The Servant Song - Gillard
17. Pescador de Hombres
18. The Servant Song - McGargill
19. Shepherd Me, O God
20. Ave Verum Corpus
21. Lord of the Dance
22. One Bread, One Body
23. Tantum Ergo
24. Hosea
25. Pange Lingua

Lovely list. It definitely includes a toe tapper or two!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Parent's Wish

Got this via email from mom and dad today. Get your kleenex ready. You'll need it.

Go here.

Mom & Dad, Got it. And, thanks for sharing!

Much love,
Your daughter

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Say "Thank You"

I'm just a little ol' Cafeteria Catholic reminiscing about songs I like to hear and sing at Mass -- and, one reaction I get is that I best stop tapping my toes and clapping my feet for fear of being tagged a sinner.

That got me thinking. Imagine what life must be like for our Pastoral Musicians and Liturgical Composers! I can see a parish music director putting his/her heart and soul into the perfect blend of chants and toe-tapping tunes to create a spirit-lifting, sacred Sunday celebration. As the doors to the church swing open to the tune of the closing hymn, I imagine 99.8% of the congregation leaving for life in the real world feeling inspired and strengthened.

But, odds are there are one or two who leave church with a chip on their shoulder. They may have the courage to tell the music director what they think. More likely, they'll tell the parish priest, or call the bishop's office and declare that the parishioners at their church are doomed to Hell because they tapped a toe at Mass. Sigh.

God bless all of the talented people who bring life to our liturgy through music. Please join me in thanking your parish musicians, singers and music directors for sharing the gift of music with you and your fellow parishioners. And, if you have a favorite liturgical composer, look them up and let them know you love their music.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Speak Up

I'm stepping away from the music for just a moment (and my toe, for the record, is still tapping the tune of sweet liturgical music) to address something new on the net that may be of interest to patrons of the Cafeteria.

The National Catholic Reporter has just launched, a new community site that's designed to uncover the truth, "one voice at a time".

Check it out. There are places to chime in on a number of "conversations", from "Spirituality and Culture" to "Ecological Sustainability", and many points in between.

Speak up, now!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sweet Music

Between the Pope and Kermit, it seems to be quite the musical week. You know how it is when you get something into your mind and can't seem to let it go? That's how it's been for me and liturgical music this week. Please bear with me.

I'm the first to confess I'm not a fan of Gregorian Chants. That said, I do own one CD full of them, and - in the right context - that music can fill my soul.

Maybe it's that I was a child of the 60s, or played too many guitar masses as a young girl. But, for me, at Sunday mass, I prefer something a little more 20th century...preferably with an edge.

Here are some of my favorites:

Open My Eyes. (Sample it here)
Go Make a Difference. (Sample it here.)
Tryin' To Get Ready. (Sample it here.)
One Bread, One Body. (Sample it here.)
In This Place. (Sample it here.)
Canticle of the Free. (Sample it here.)
Springs of Water. (Sample it here.)
What Wondrous Love. (Sample it here and imagine the lyrics.)

My, my. I feel a hear a new playlist in the works.

Do you have links to your favorite liturgical music?
Share them here!