"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fargo, Fr. Mike & Byrd Wine

My Slow Takes

1. The Richmond Spiders continue their winning streak and advance to the third round of the FCS playoffs. Their next opponent is North Dakota State. A trip to Fargo, N.D. where the winters are cold and long. Or is that just in the movie? The current forecast is a high of 12, mainly sunny and a 10% chance of snow.

2. “Forgiveness isn’t an event, it is a process. Knowing that forgiveness is a process and not just an event reveals why it is so difficult to forgive. We want it to be over and done with in a single moment, but in reality it takes a serious emotional and spiritual commitment.”

Watch a short, two minute, video by Father Mike Schmitz and read the reflection at Dynamic Catholic.

3. Advent Lessons and Carols was another successful event at the Church of the Epiphany. Dee and I enjoy spending the evening listing to the reflections and music. It is a great way to embrace the Advent season. 

We are blessed to have Rev. Arthur Mendez, Presider and Patricia Schrock, Director of Music.  

Many thanks to the readers, the Chancel, Choir, and the Jubilate Ringers. Also in accompaniment were Heather, Aaron and Jane on violin, Patricia on cello, Rafael on the hand drum, Tracy on flute and Victor on trumpet.

4. Byrd Cellars is winery located in Goochland, Virginia. Dee and I went for a wine tasting, along with her Mom, brother Pat and his wife Judy. I always enjoy wine tastings, but this one was somewhat special as we had “Bill” as our wine expert. He is knowledgeable in his wines, but more important, he made us feel like we were in his home sharing wines that he enjoys. 

My favorite wine was Pete’s Blend. Named after the winery dog. It is a “Chateau style dry red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.” An excellent wine.

Dee and Me at Byrd Cellars

5. Dee and I wish all of you a Blessed Christmas.

6. Jordan Smith - “Mary, Did You Know.”

7. Michael Bolton - “Silent Night”

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum,” where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, December 11, 2015

12 Days and The Holy Door

My Slow Takes

1. The Richmond Spiders beat William & Mary and now advance to the second round of the FCS. They travel to Normal, Ill. and face Illinois State on Saturday.

2. The 12 Days of Christmas are suppose to have a religious connection to Christianity. Read about this from Fr. Hal Stockert, the Catholic Information Network. 

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Two (2) Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
Three (3) French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
Four (4) Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
Five (5) Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", 
     which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
Six (6) Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
Seven (7) Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
Eight (8) Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
Nine (9) Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Ten (10) Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
Eleven (11) Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
Twelve (12) Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

3. Monday, December 7, 2015 marked the 73rd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Peter Holley has an informative article here.

4. Tricia has written a beautiful article on her blog, “Prince of Grace,” about the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Please read it here.

“Today begins the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis.  The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a fitting kick-off, because it illustrates how God has loved us and longed for us to be reconciled with Him.”

5. The Jubilation Choir of Salisbury Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, held it’s annual Christmas Concert. Admission is free, but space is limited. Dee and I were there, along with family and friends, and enjoyed the performance. My favorite song was “How Should a King Come?” I found this version on YouTube.

6. On Wednesday, Beth DeCristofaro, from Your Daily Tripod, wrote of Pope Francis and the "Holy Door."

"Even as he invokes the rich traditions of our ancestors, Pope Francis looks forward.  In a break with Catholic tradition, Pope Francis has declared that during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, every diocese may designate a “Holy Door,” symbol of Jesus as the door, the gateway, to salvation which we are all welcome to enter.  In the past only five churches had such holy doors but the Pope wants all to take advantage of pilgrimage in their own home.  In keeping with the theme of bringing the mercy of Jesus to all the faithful, Pope Francis is also designating special confessors and also priests will be allowed to absolve women who have had abortions. At St. Peters in Rome, the Pope prayed on December 8, "Open the gates of justice." As he pushed open the Holy Door, a symbol of God's justice, which he said will always be applied in God’s mercy."

I was unaware of the "Holy Door," but learned more about in the following video that Beth recommended.

7. Josh Groan sings, “O Holy Night.”

Go over to "Written By The Finger of God,” where Anabelle is hosting more takes this week.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Advent, Huron Carol & Bison

My Slow Takes

1. The Richmond Spiders beat William & Mary at home and face them again for the FCS playoffs on Saturday, December 5. They ended the regular season with 8-3.
Notre Dame lost a close game to Stanford, 38-36. The Irish Lads ended their regular season at 10-2.

2. Advent started on Sunday, November 29. Dee and I have signed up for the Dynamic Catholic, “Best Advent Ever.” You can sign up here for daily emails. 

“Beginning on the first Sunday of Advent (November 29) and continuing every day through December 23, Dynamic Catholic will email you simple yet powerful messages from Matthew Kelly, America’s bestselling Catholic author, and other leading Catholic voices of our time that will help you encounter God’s incredible mercy. An ideal response to Pope Francis’ invitation to celebrate the Year of Mercy, Best Advent Ever: Rediscover Mercy can transform your life, relationships, work, and ability to genuinely embrace and experience life.”

3. On December 4, 1956, four young men gathered together, in Memphis,Tennessee, at Sun Records. It was a jam session consisting of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash. They became known as the “Million Dollar Quartet.” The actual recording was not released until 1981. 

4. I read an article in the Wine Spector Magazine, May 31, 2015 issue, entitled “How a Palate Transforms.” It was written by Matt Kramer.
He writes about our changing tastes in wine and what influences them. I never really thought about that, but it does make sense.The wines I drink now are different from what I used to enjoy. Mr. Kramer feels that there are four factors that cause us to change. Wine, time, curiosity and flexibility. 
My taste for wine has not changed because of time alone. The factor of curiosity, led me to try a Cabernet Shiraz, because I wanted to know how it tasted. It was good and is now included in my wine purchases. I was then flexible enough to try other blends, like Cabernet Merlot and Merlot Malbec. My palate has changed. So, to quote Mr. Kramer’s article;

“Palate transformation follows along these lines: Wine + Time + Curiosity + Flexibility = Evolution. We need all four. Without them, well, we’re stuck. We lose a vital openness to other forms and varieties of beauty.”

5. Susan Cosier from onEarth, has written about Wild Buffalo roaming once again in the grasslands of Illinois. They are not a large herd, but it is a beginning.

“The herd of 30 bison is part of an effort by the Nature Conservancy to restore grasslands in the Prairie State, which, perhaps ironically, has lost more than 99 percent of its former grassland.”

6. “Brébeuf and the Huron Carol” From Ralphus at “Flintlock and Tomahawk.” 

St. Jean de Brébeuf is the patron saint of Canada. His feast day is October 19.

“This is a historical docu-drama video on the life of Jean de Brébeuf which I started as a personal project. Produced on an extremely low budget by Robert Sandler, Directed, shot and edited by me, (Peter Elliott), Brébeuf and the Huron Carol attempts to tell a two hour long story in forty six minutes. It was broadcasted on CBC and APTN back in 2002.The original music was composed and performed by Cathy Elliott with music rights acquired from Robbie Robertson, The Nylons and Bruce Cockburn, Don Ross, Toronto Consort and the Toronto Children's Chorus.”

7. Reba McEntire - “The Angels Sang.”

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum,” where Kelly is hosting more takes.