Baroque and Roll!

Musica Florea is one of several contemporary Czech ensembles whose musicianship strikes me as out of this world. They have been playing since 1992, under the direction of cellist Marek Štryncl, and have many fine recordings to their credit. In December of last year they performed to what appears to be an empty hall, forContinue reading “Baroque and Roll!”

What is the World to Me?

What is the world to meWith all its vaunted pleasureWhen Thou, and Thou alone,Lord Jesus, art my Treasure!Thou only, dearest Lord,My soul’s Delight shalt be;Thou art my Peace, my Rest,What is the world to me! The world is like a cloudAnd like a vapor fleeting,A shadow that declines,Swift to its end retreating.My Jesus doth abide,ThoughContinue reading “What is the World to Me?”

He is Drawing Near!

Why cruel Herod dost thou fearThat God thy King is drawing near?Shall He desire thine earthly throne,Who gives His Saints a Heavenly crown? The Magi came upon their way,Led by that star’s mysterious ray;Light seeking, on by light they trod,And with their treasures, owned their God. ‘Mid Jordan’s waves the Saviour stood,And sinless sanctified theContinue reading “He is Drawing Near!”

Only to Honor Thee!

I shall live only to honor thee,My Savior! Give me strength and courage,So that my heart may do right eagerly.Strengthen me,So that I may worthilyAnd thankfully extol thy grace! J. S. Bach From the fourth cantata of his Christmas Oratorio (streaming, CD, download). What do you think? Please comment, subscribe, & forward to friends! 

O Mighty King!

Great Lord, O mighty king, dearest Savior, O how little you regard earthly splendor! He who maintains the whole world, and created its glory and adornment, must sleep in a hard crib! J. S. Bach, Christmas Oratorio My favorite recording of this magnificent music is by Collegium Vocale Ghent. What do you think? Please comment,Continue reading “O Mighty King!”

Arise, O Jerusalem!

Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high: and look about towards the east. Behold the joy that comes to thee from thy God! Baruch 5:5, 4:36 Wishing all our readers a blessed and happy Christmastide! As Stephen Beale reminds us, “Christ who was of heaven was born on earth so that those of the earthContinue reading “Arise, O Jerusalem!”

A Conqueror Comes!

For while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, thy almighty Word leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne, as a fierce conqueror into the midst of the land of destruction. Wisdom 18:14-15 Why do we rejoice at the coming of a “fierce conqueror”? AsContinue reading “A Conqueror Comes!”

Finding the Peace of God

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 Peace, according to Augustine, is the tranquility of order: for the disturbance of order is the destruction of peace. This tranquility of order is considered from three aspects: first, insofar as it exists in the principleContinue reading “Finding the Peace of God”

Telling the Whole Truth about our Deepest Desires

In Plato’s Gorgias, Socrates wins a debate against the budding rhetorician Polus by calling the latter as witness against himself. Rejecting Socrates’s contention that justice is good and beautiful, Polus attempts to defend the sophisticated view that, despite its ugliness, injustice is useful in helping us to acquire whatever we desire. When pressed, Polus cannotContinue reading “Telling the Whole Truth about our Deepest Desires”

Carrying Cross and Candle

That to profane eyes was contemptible, which the hearts of saints would afterwards glory in: Christ displaying his own cross on his shoulders, and bearing that which was not to be put under a bushel, the candlestick of that candle which was now about to burn. st augustine Christ bids us light our candles andContinue reading “Carrying Cross and Candle”