The Devil’s Cross

Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’s sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 By the time we reach this capstone of the Beatitudes, it has long been evident that true happiness is inseparable from suffering. Of course, Christ continually refers us to the “kingdom of heaven,” in which our sacrificesContinue reading “The Devil’s Cross”

The Conquest of Mercy

Mark the glory of the cross! That cross which his enemies insulted, is now set on the forehead of kings. The event thus proved its virtue: For he vanquished the world, not by the sword, but by the cross. The Lord saw injustice and rebellion in the city, and he stretched forth his hands toContinue reading “The Conquest of Mercy”

The Glory of Paradise

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757) was the son of Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725), from whom he learned his trade. A. Scarlatti is one of my favorite composers, about whom I hope to say more in the near future. His son, best known for his hundreds of keyboard sonatas, wasn’t so bad either. Among his fans he can countContinue reading “The Glory of Paradise”

Look Toward Him

One of those occasions when Jan Dismas Zelenka (remember him?) was permitted to shine was Good Friday of 1730. After a liturgy recounting the Passion of Christ according to St. John, the court was treated to Il Serpento di Bronzo, a cantata based on Chapter 21 of Numbers. Wandering in the desert, the people ofContinue reading “Look Toward Him”

Only Jesus

For this is the will of God, your sanctification. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. Matthew 17:6 In the Transfiguration, Peter, James, and John saw their Lord in his undisguised sanctity. As he spoke familiarly to Moses and Elias (long since departed from this mortalContinue reading “Only Jesus”

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”