Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gratitude to God, St. Benedict and Benjamin George

Gratitude rays are just shooting out of me today. (No, that sounds like I'm a science fiction character. Let's try again.)

I'm just oozing gratitude all over the place. (Yuck. No....Let's try  one more time.)

I'm grateful for three things that happened today. (Good. Normal. Plain and to the point.)

Today dawned bright and sunny, and it promises to remain so for several days. This after days upon days of rain punctated by cloudiness puncutated with occasional 30-minute stretches of sunshine that only served to tease and frustrate those of us who are longing for some Actual Summer Weather. Although, trying to see that silver lining--I've tried to be grateful that I've only had to water the tomatoes with a hose twice this month. But even that has been difficult, since I've been longing to use my gimmicky, new, as-seen-on-TV hose that expands when you turn the water on and contracts when you shut the water off. Honestly, when I read that verse in Psalm 63 that says " a dry weary land without water," I just want to snort and say, "What's that?"    Anyway, today is beautiful, and I plan to take a nice long hike today, even though each step will go squish in the sodden ground. Thank you, Lord, for the sunshine.  

Next, today is the feast of St. Benedict! The saint who more or less created western monasticism and gave us the Divine Office! (not to mention played a huge part in preserving western civilization after the fall of Rome. Read his biography sometime.)  Don't forget to do his memorial office today, using either the common of holy men with the proper of saints, or else the weekday psalter, substituting all the extras for Benedict in the proper of saints.   Just love the second reading in the OOR which ends with this thought: Put Christ before all else; and may he lead us all to everlasting life. Thank you, St. Benedict.

Last, I just discovered an app that will help hugely with my anger management issues related to Gregorian chant.  You see, I love Gregorian chant. But I hate trying to figure out the archaic  four-line staff system that the movers and shakers of the New Liturgical Movement insist on using. (Even though I am convinced that you can do chant JUST FINE with the modern five-line staff.) After decades of playing piano and reading music with the modern staff, I can't train myself--despite valiant effort--to sight read the four line staff. I'm just too old and the grooves in my brain for reading musical notes are too deep.

But then, early this morning, I discovered the iChant Gregorian app, which is available both in android and ioS.  The screen gives you a Gregorian staff with notes on each line and space, enabling you to tap out any hymn, psalm tone, anitphon,etc., so that you really know you have the right notes and intervals. There are buttons to switch from the Do clef to the Fa clef, and to move these from one line to another. You can also transpose it to any key you like.  Here is a sample screen shot:

So I am hugely grateful to Benjamin George. Finally, someone understands.

Oh, and it's weekly Question time for anyone who has one.