31 December 2008
30 December 2008
29 December 2008
28 December 2008
27 December 2008
26 December 2008
I dropped Katie and her friend Jessica off at the train station this morning at 6:30 for the beginning of their Italian vacation. We have news that their flight from Vienna landed safely in Venice early this afternoon, and I'm sure that they are strolling around in Venice right now. They were still adjusting their travel plans even late last night, but it's settled as least that they'll stay tonight in Venice, and then two nights in Florence, two in Siena, and two in Norcia. After that point it's not so clear, but they should be in Rome from about 2 Jan. '09 until their flight back to Bratislava on 9 Jan. '09.
Into the way of peace and prosperity direct them, O almighty and merciful God: and may the Angel Raphael accompany them in the way, and may they return in peace, health and joy unto their own homes.
25 December 2008
24 December 2008
23 December 2008
22 December 2008
21 December 2008
20 December 2008
19 December 2008
18 December 2008
17 December 2008
16 December 2008
14 December 2008
Just as last year, John and I are trying to determine what sort of traditions we want to start for important holidays such as Christmas, incorporating some from each side of our families, and coming up with some of our own. This year, we heard of people setting up their Christmas tree on the first Sunday of Advent, but only decorating it with purple ornaments. Then on Gaudete Sunday, adding pink (or rose, whichever is your preference) to the mix, and finally decorating the tree in all its glory Christmas Eve. We liked the idea, and so up until now we've only had purple ribbon on the tree. To honor my family's tradition, we decided to decorate the tree, without lights, today. We'll wait to light the tree until Christmas Eve night. After all the ornaments were on, we realized that we had a bouquet of pink roses from my shower Friday night. We decided to add them, and from now on, perhaps we'll add pink roses every Gaudete Sunday.
We sampled the fruits of all our cookie baking after Divine Liturgy this morning. But don't worry, the rest are packed safely away until Christmas!
I think Maria had more fun decorating the tree this year.
If you look very carefully, you can see roses peeking out between the branches.
13 December 2008
Born at Syracuse in Sicily of noble parents, St. Lucy gave herself to Jesus and chose death rather than lose the incorruptible treasure of her virginity, in 303. Her name occurs in the canon of the Mass.
Katie made 64 chocolate chip cookies, with big chocolate chunks (in which Maria seemed rather interested).
12 December 2008
In honor of our Lady of Guadalupe, we had a Mexican feast in the ITI common room. Huge burritos of black beans, rice, potates, peppers, etc. Big bowls of homemade salsa. Even a mini keg of beer. Delicious!
Lisa also had a baby shower this evening with a Mexican theme in honor of our Lady. She says that Mexican cheesecake is quite good. We got lots and lots of diapers...
11 December 2008
If one can judge by the vestments that a Cardinal wears, the sacred Liturgy would appear to be in good hands.
10 December 2008
My last assignment is a 7-10 page exegetical exercise on the death scene of Christ in Matthew's Gospel (27:45-50). It promises to be rather interesting in light of the atonement on account of Christ's enigmatic cry from the cross: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
09 December 2008
08 December 2008
"We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful" (Ineffabilis Deus, 29).
07 December 2008
St. Ambrose, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
This Bishop of Milan was one of the four great doctors of the Western Church. As an orator he opposed the heretics, as a writer he enshrined Latin literature with his sacred hymns. He died in 397.
Our little pilgrimage to Milan for the feast of St. Ambrose was quite an up and down experience. We left Saturday morning for Vienna, only to discover upon our arrival there that one of our party had forgotten his passport. We continued on to the airport hoping that he'd be able to board the plane anyways, but no such luck. It was quite disappointing to all of us to leave him behind. The remaining two of us landed uneventfully and proceeded into the city to be greeted by this truly magnificent sight: the Duomo of Milan.
The crypt of St. Charles, as I mentioned, was supposed to open at 1:30, which would give us just time enough to venerate the great cardinal and bishop of Milan before running off to catch a bus to the airport at 2:00. However, stand there as we might, the door to the crypt was not opened for us and we had to leave without seeing St. Charles. Ah, well.
Our adventures were still not over. We landed in Vienna around 6:20 and headed into the city to meet some ITI folks who were there to celebrate the intsallation as Lector and Acolyte of a seminarian-professors of ours. We knew they were near the Votivkirche, but nothing else. And my fellow traveler's cell phone, upon which we were relying heavily, completely failed us. No service in Vienna. We spent the next few hours looking for our ride home. We pumped about 7 euro into a pay phone and only managed to get a message through to the Kartause that if they were able to communicate with our friends to tell them to pick us up at the Votivkirche. Having arrived in the city center around 7:30 we finally found our ride back to Gaming between 9:30 and 10:00. We are back, though, safe and sound, and happy to have paid our respects to the great bishop of Milan.
06 December 2008
Divine Liturgy was in the main church, and was the only Eucharistic celebration today at the Kartause, so that all the students from both the ITI and Franciscan University could participate. St. Nicholas is a major saint in the Eastern Churches. After Liturgy the children were all called up to the front, and told that if they sang for St. Nicholas, maybe he would come visit them. Sure enough, as you can see below, he came and asked them many questions, as well as asking the parents if their children had been good this year, and then he handed out presents to each of them. Then everyone was able to receive a blessing with oil. After we arrived home this afternoon, Maria told us, "St. Nicholas looks like Br. Basil." Indeed he does.
We hope that John is having a great time in Milan with Max and Rob. Please pray for a safe journey home for them!
05 December 2008
04 December 2008
This morning the second low Mass of the semester was offered in the traditional Latin Rite of Mass. It was offered in honor of St. Peter Chrysologus, with commemorations both of Advent and of St. Barbara (which made it rather complicated for me to prepare the propers, but I figured out how it all works together eventually - I hope).
03 December 2008
02 December 2008
It seems to be the case that as exams approach, time slips by faster and faster... We have only a week and a half of classes left, I've already received one study sheet for an exam, and I still have one more paper to write!