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12 Days of Christmas (Songs) - Day 8: Blood Will Be Shed

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  The 12 Days of Christmas: A hidden catechesis for Catholics while they endured persecution in England (1558-1829). You can read more about it  here . This year I will be posting a Christmas song for each day. Day 8: Eight Maids a-Milking The eight beatitudes are the message of the day. Today traditionally honours the circumcision of Christ. On the eighth day He was circumcised, as was the Jewish custom. It is the day He first shed His blood.  He shed His blood to save the world. I present Good Christian Men Rejoice , as sung by the Dominican Friars. The chorus goes, "Christ was born to save. Christ was born to save." As a bonus, my favourite song on the album, Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming :

12 Days of Christmas (Songs) - Day 7: O Holy Night

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  The 12 Days of Christmas: A hidden catechesis for Catholics while they endured persecution in England (1558-1829). You can read more about it  here . This year I will be posting a Christmas song for each day. Day 7: Seven Swans a-Swimming The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are represented today. WUCK, PFF is how we used to remember. Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Piety, Fortitude, Fear of the Lord.  I had YouTube play me some Christmas tunes the other day. YouTube is a nefarious and demonic entity. It put on O Holy Night by Mariah Carey. "The song will forever be ruined!" I cried.  I prayed for the gift of fortitude. The Spirit sent Mr. Dreamy to the rescue. Here is Josh Groban singing O Holy Night . 

12 Days of Christmas (Songs) - Day 6: Warm Fuzzy Feelings

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The 12 Days of Christmas: A hidden catechesis for Catholics while they endured persecution in England (1558-1829). You can read more about it  here . This year I will be posting a Christmas song for each day. Day 6: Six Geese a-Laying The six days in which God created the world are represented today. The theme is creating Christmas memories. More than any other time, Christmas is a time for feelings. Not exactly my greatest strength. But it is clear that, given the lockdowns and such, this year people were turning to Christmas to spark some emotional happiness. Lights were put up in earnest. People went over the top with baking and decorating. Christmas is a time to save. But not in that way. It is of a baby who came to save.  Nevertheless, as long as Christ is the focus, a few warm and fuzzy feelings along the way aren't dangerous. With that, I present a blast from the past. Roger Whitaker! My oh my, memories indeed. Here is Momma Mary:

12 Days of Christmas (Songs) - Day 5: The Year Was 1984

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The 12 Days of Christmas: A hidden catechesis for Catholics while they endured persecution in England (1558-1829). You can read more about it  here . This year I will be posting a Christmas song for each day. Day 5: Five Golden Rings Five refers to the first five books of the Old Testament, the Torah. Marcion said Christians need not bother with the Old Testament. Marcion was a heretic. Christ is prefigured in the Old Testament, and he fulfills it in the New. I've chosen two catchy Christmas songs today. The first being  Do They Know its Christmas  by the conglomeration known as Band Aid. The second being Last Christmas by Wham's George Michael (who finds himself in both songs). B oth songs came out in 1984. A year which was prefigured by writer George Orwell way back in 1949. The world was heading for evil, according to Orwell.  Song 1: First thoughts? That's a lot of makeup. Second thoughts? Bono is short. Anything else? Ok, I'll state the obvious. They're sort

What I Read in 2020 - Part 2

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  What I read in 2020, part two. If you missed it, part one is here .  Peter Kwasniewski - Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright:  The Genius & Timeliness of the Traditional Latin Mass Possibly the best book I read all year. Kwasniewski makes a masterful case for the traditional Latin Mass, but he does so with his usual charity and understanding. In particular, his chapters on children at Mass are invaluable. Peter Kwasniewski - Holy Bread of Eternal Life:  Restoring Eucharistic Reverence in an Age of Impiety Or, maybe this one was the best. I was extremely excited to be asked to review this book for OnePeterFive. Check out the review here . Of note, this book is very approachable for not just traditional Catholics, but ALL who seek Christ in the Eucharist. Shadows on the Rock - Willa Cather My dad rescued some old books a couple of years ago. One day my wife picked one of them up and read it. "You need to read this... you'd like it," she said to me. That turned ou

12 Days of Christmas (Songs) - Day 4: Lully, Lulla, Lullay

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The 12 Days of Christmas: A hidden catechesis for Catholics while they endured persecution in England (1558-1829). You can read more about it  here . This year I will be posting a Christmas song for each day. Day 4: Four Calling Birds The four Gospels are represented today. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. In Matthew's Gospel we read of Herod having all the male children of his region, two and under, slaughtered. They are the first martyrs to die for Christ. The song is Lully, Lulla, Lullay . This version is by Philip Stopford, and is based on The Coventry Carol . It is sung for the Holy Innocents - thou little tiny child. Ignore the over-the-top videography of this clip, and simply enjoy the haunting beauty.

12 Days of Christmas (Songs) - Day 3: I Saw Three Ships

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The 12 Days of Christmas: A hidden catechesis for Catholics while they endured persecution in England (1558-1829). You can read more about it  here . This year I will be posting a Christmas song for each day. Day 3: Three French Hens Faith, hope, and charity are the great theological virtues taught by day three.  The song I've chosen is I Saw Three Ships. There are a plethora of interpretations for this hymn. One is that it sings of the three wise men being brought to the Cologne cathedral to be laid to rest (on Christmas day). Regardless, I love the bells in this version!

What I Read in 2020 - Part 1

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  Let's just skip the idea that we might have a book-buying problem. Ok?  Seeing as more time was spent at home this year, it was possible to get more reading done. And so, I will split my yearly reading-recap into two pieces. I begin by announcing a failure. I made it through about half of A Tale of Two Cities  by Charles Dickens. I gave up. My wife told me it would get better, and "come together" at the end. I couldn't take it anymore. Sorry Dickens! It's not you, it's me. I'll try again some other time, I hope. Phoenix from the Ashes - Henry Sire I read most of this book last year, finished it earlier this year, and then consistently pulled it out for references throughout the remainder of the year. It really helps with understanding why the Church is in such a troubled state.   Spiritual Warfare and the Discernment of Spirits - Dan Burke Dan Burke, the former news editor at EWTN, seems like a first-rate man. He now spends his time passing on the spir

12 Days of Christmas (Songs) - Day 2: Chesterton Carol

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The 12 Days of Christmas: A hidden catechesis for Catholics while they endured persecution in England (1558-1829). You can read more about it  here . This year I will be posting a Christmas song for each day. Day 2: Two Turtle Doves What are the two turtle doves? They represent the Old and New Testament. Today I present something new. It is called Chesterton Carol , and was created by Mark Nowakowski (he writes occasionally at OnePeterFive). 

12 Days of Christmas (Songs) - Day 1: Angels We Have Heard on High

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The 12 Days of Christmas: A hidden catechesis for Catholics while they endured persecution in England (1558-1829). You can read more about it here . This year I will be posting a Christmas song for each day. Day 1: A Partridge in a Pear Tree  A partridge willingly gives up its life for to protect its young. Jesus is the partridge.  Today being Christmas Day, I begin with my favourite: Angels We Have Heard on High as sung by Andrea Bocelli.

Breaking Bread 2021 Hymnal - A Review

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951 Songs/Psalms/Commentaries $17.09 USD Oregon Catholic Press Every now and then a book comes along which is rich in wisdom and beauty, and profoundly enlightening to all who encounter it. The latest Breaking Bread 2021 hymnal is not one of those books. Tiresome, inane, fluffy, fruity, and worthless are all words that come to mind when I consider the latest liturgical offering from our bishops. 2020 was a rough year. 2021 is already off to a mortifyingly awful start.  Enough with the suspense. Let's dive into it. Behold a few examples of what to expect at a church near you in 2021: At first I misread this title and thought it was Guns & Roses with Knocking on Heaven's Door. And then I thought of Paul McCartney singing "Someone's knocking at the door...." Sadly, it is neither. I love the juxtaposition though. "Somebody's knock-in' at your door," versus the Stabat Mater . I can just see the choir director, "Hmm... shall we meditate on t

Danny Stories (Episode 3) - How to Know What You're Getting for Christmas

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My little girl asked for me to make a book about Danny stories -  real accounts of young Danny and his many childhood adventures. Danny was a good little boy, and always very... sneaky. Now for a young boy, there is nothing better in the world than the anticipation of Christmas. Presents lay under the tree, lights glimmer in the night, carols and jollity fill the air, presents lay under the tree. And, presents lay under the tree. That's right, little Danny  has   had an obsession with Christmas gifts. In fact, it was to the point where he needed to know what he was getting. Perhaps he would die otherwise? No worries. There are ways and means for a young boy to know his gifts. The first is rather simple. Mom puts the gifts under the tree. Danny picks up his gifts and gives them a shake. The unmistakable rattle and hum of Lego resounds. Mom yells in frustration. Danny smirks. He then measures the size of the box and compares it to the Lego sets in the Sears Christmas catalogue. A fe

Limited Covid Gatherings - They Make Me Sick

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The province of Saskatchewan recently announced a temporary measure to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The new rule is that there can be no private gatherings of more than ten people. Ten is max. However, if you have more than ten people in your immediate family, they've graciously allowed all to stay under the same roof. So no, such families will not have to choose their least favourite child. It is more of the same - completely brainless and illogical. It is unreal. Are you in favour of this? Fine. But then you must also be begging the government to shut down schools. I teach a small class of twenty students. Every day I am in close contact with twenty different households. And who are those students in contact with? One student is on a provincial hockey team. That's 15 other households from across the province. Another is on a provincial baseball team. Same with him. And so on and so forth. I estimate my daily contact with students pushes me in the realm of contact with

Danny Stories (Episode 2) - The Second Coming of Gretzky

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My little girl asked for me to make a book about Danny stories -  real accounts of young Danny and his many childhood adventures. Danny was a good little boy, and always very... busy. Well Danny had two older brothers and an older sister. Nothing against the older sister, but she didn't play hockey. The older brothers did. And so Danny followed what the older brothers did.  To be a younger brother is to have an advantage. That is, you never really learn how to play hockey, you just always somehow know how.  Danny's first childhood memory was of him skating. Two little feet, laced into old brown skates, inching forward on a sheet of glass. His second memory is of him losing a mini-stick at a rink, while his older brothers had a hockey practice. It was all hockey.  Well Danny soon was old enough for hockey. Almost. The town Danny lived in said he was too young to play - possibly they were just racist against four-year-olds - so Danny's dad drove him to a nearby village where

Last Night I had a Dream that I was Elvis...

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Last night I had a dream that I was Elvis. I was the king of rock and roll. I sang my songs of love and rebellion for the downtrodden world.  But the world was not pleased with me. I wasn't wearing a mask while I sang. "You're spreading coronavirus everywhere!" they screeched in anger. I shook my hips to appease their wrath. It didn't help. Not anymore. Karens are above hip shakes. Mercy! So I left the building. I went on the run. Through canyons and caves I fled, refusing to jailhouse rock with a muffling mask. But eventually the government caught up to where I was hiding. I was caught in the final scenes from The Sound of Music.  The soldiers were slowly panning their flashlight in my location. I was ducked out under the seat of a pink Cadillac-suburban. The light gleamed before me. I held my breath, and silently fixed the single hair that fell out of place. They never found me. Take that government. Long live the king.