Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ash Wednesday 2016


Purple is the liturgical color for Lent

Ash Wednesday is the first day of the Season of Lent, a time of fasting, prayer, and repentance for the faithful.

Lent begins 47 days before Easter Sunday, which will be on March 27. It is usually 46 days prior, but this is a Leap Year, so February has 29 days instead of 28.

"Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return..."

During the course of my life, I have only rarely received ashes that actually looked like a cross, as they are theoretically supposed to. This year was not one of those years, as you can see.

The important part of this sacramental, of course,
is the outward sign of faith and penitence which we display to the world today.

"I like the color."


Hey, New Hampshire!

So, the good citizens of New Hampshire went to the polls has night, and it would be fair to say that they did NOT cover themselves with glory.

On the Democratic side, they gave an overwhelming victory to avowed socialist Bernie Sanders, even though party rules ensured that he'd be cheated out of delegates.

And on the Republican side, they gave a substantial victory to lifelong progressive Democrat Donald Trump, and gave second place to Ohio governor John Kasich, who is only polling at around 4 percent nationally among GOP voters.

There is one, and only one, proper response to give the good citizens of New Hampshire for this fine effort:

I will not. If New Hampshire caught fire I wouldn't pee on it to put it out...

The Creature I Wish Was Extinct

From the indispensable comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

Even though the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles did not move to Gower, Missouri until 2006, a couple of years after I moved from St. Joseph, Missouri to Atlantic, Iowa I always felt a connection with the order, in part because Bishop LeBlond Memorial High School, where I taught in St. Joseph, is just 20 miles from Gower, and in part because LeBlond is actually owned by another Benedictine order.

The order's 2014 recording Lent at Ephesus is actually the first recording of theirs I came across. I was doing an Amazon search on Ash Wednesday last year (which fell on my birthday, February 18), looking for some new music for the Lenten season. A quick listen to the excerpts was all it took to sell me.

Since then, I have acquired all the order's recordings, which can be ordered directly here.

Today's send-off is "Jesu Salvator Mundi," from Lent at Ephesus. The popular choral work was written by the noted 18th century religious composer Bartolomeo Cordans. The singing, as it always is with the Benedictines of Mary, is gorgeous. Enjoy...


  1. I will be acquiring more of the Benedictines of Mary once I get some iTunes gift cards for my birthday. They are my go-to soundtrack for most work that I do.

  2. So happy to hear that! All of their albums are wonderful, of course!