Record Store Day

According to this article from the AV Club the Space Jam soundtrack is going to be released on vinyl for Record Store Day. Record Store Day is on April 22 and like you expect there are several special release records coming out, a bunch make sense Prince and David Bowie as well as other like Thelonious Monk and Fleetwood Mac but Space Jam seems like an odd choice to put on vinyl. Sure I own the soundtrack on Compact Disc and it is a pretty solid album. If I didn’t own a physical copy already I would so want to get a copy. Record Store Day is an event that brings the focus of music back to the physical media and the root of the music industry. It supports local small businesses as well. Some people claim that records are the only way to listen to music, if you have a chance and have a record player please support your local record stores.

World Baseball Classic 2017 Championship

For the first time in the World Baseball Classic the United States is in the Championship game. This is huge as to get there they took down the previous winners of the Classic in Japan (06,09) and the Dominican Republic (13). This means some other nation will bring home the trophy after the game tonight and it will be an interesting game between the United States and Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico hasn’t lost a game yet this go around and placed second four years ago. The US hasn’t gotten this far yet, they’ve placed fourth in 2009 and the team is completely different from that time. Currently the second ranked team in the world perhaps the United States will have the advantage over the twelfth ranked team Puerto Rico, but who knows it will be an exciting game to watch. If you have some time tomorrow take a look at this game to get ready for the beginning of baseball season.

Book of Esther part 3: The finale

This is the last of the series on the Book of Esther, last week we looked at Haman’s plot. We get to the whole deal with Purim today.

The King Xerxes, couldn’t sleep so he gets out the book of memorable deeds and reads about Mordecai and how he informed the King about the two eunuchs that were plotting against him. The king asks what was bestowed on Mordecai for doing this and learns it was nothing. The king asks who is in court and lo and behold it’s Haman, the King asks Haman what the king should do for someone who delights him. Now, Haman think that this is about himself and that the King will be honoring him so he goes all out, he wants to be dresses in royal robes and ride on a royal horse through the town being honored by all. The king says wonderful and tells Haman to do this for Mordecai, the Jew by the gate. Haman returns home in mourning and with his head covered and told his wife and friends what had happened, they predict that it is only going to get worse for Haman. While this is happening the King’s Eunuchs come to bring Haman to Queen Esther’s banquet. At this second banquet the King ask Esther again what her petition is and Esther reveals that she is Jewish “I and my people are being sold to be destroyed”. The King wonders who would do such a thing and Esther points to Haman, this foe and enemy. This enrages the King and storms out furious about this, one of the eunuchs mentions that Haman is/was building a gallows for Mordecai by his house. So Haman was hanged on the gallows meant for Mordecai. The king gave Haman’s house to Esther and Mordecai became the new Prime Minister and lived in Haman’s house.

The initial step was taken but there was that Edict that went out saying to kill all the Jewish people, so Esther pleaded with the King to cancel the edict sent out by Haman ordering the destruction of the Jews. A new edict was printed and distributed across the nations saying that the previous one is wrong and allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and women, and to plunder their goods,  upon one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasu-e′rus, on the thirteenth day of Adar.  As time passes it gets it the thirteenth of Adar and the Jews gathered together and in Susa, the capital they slew 500 men and 10 of Haman’s sons were captured. Esther goes before the King and asks for another day since the Jews didn’t take any plunder. He agrees that those in Susa can do it another day and the Jews slew 300 more. Across the provinces of King Ahasuerus some 75,000 were slain. This is why the feast of Purim is celebrated.

This is a strange book in the Bible as it has a different feel from the rest of the books. I can sort of understand why the church reads only a brief section from Esther as it’s sort of like the Quentin Tarantino movie of the Bible. It is worth reading, seeing or hearing.

 

Saint Joseph’s Day

This is the Italian equivalent of St. Patrick’s Day traditionally on March 19th. Traditionally you wear red and set up a St. Joseph altar. This is about all I know about the feast since Patrick gets the lions share of the press around this time of year. However Joseph is someone that we all tend to forget about, he isn’t in the Bible much and we hardly talk about him at all. Much of the focus goes to Jesus and Mary, so let us all remember Saint Joseph today. There are a bunch of prayers to St. Joseph, and nothing really has stuck like St. Patrick’s Breastplate. The first one is prayed as a novena to St. Joseph:

Oh, Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

Oh, Saint Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers.

Oh, Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss his fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.

Saint Joseph, Patron of departed souls – pray for me. (Mention your intention) Amen.

This other one was given to us by Pope Leo XIII as a prayer to add to the end of the Rosary especially during the month of October.

To you, O blessed Joseph,
do we come in our tribulation,
and having implored the help of your most holy Spouse,
we confidently invoke your patronage also.

Through that charity which bound you
to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God
and through the paternal love
with which you embraced the Child Jesus,
we humbly beg you graciously to regard the inheritance
which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood,
and with your power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family,
defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ;
O most loving father, ward off from us
every contagion of error and corrupting influence;
O our most mighty protector, be kind to us
and from heaven assist us in our struggle
with the power of darkness.

As once you rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril,
so now protect God’s Holy Church
from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity;
shield, too, each one of us by your constant protection,
so that, supported by your example and your aid,
we may be able to live piously, to die in holiness,
and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven.

Amen.

Saint Patrick’s Day

This is a reminder to wear some green today as St. Patrick’s is that one day of the year where everyone celebrates their own Irishness. Some do this by drinking copious amounts of green beer, eating corned beef and cabbage or simply by wearing the green. How ever you want to celebrate the life of a Saint. Patrick according to legends taught the trinity using a shamrock, driving the snake from Ireland, and his walking stick grew into a tree. The Breastplate of St. Patrick is a prayer that is associated with him.  This is the shorter modern version of the prayer that can fit on a prayer card

I arise today through
God’s strength to pilot me, God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me, God’s eye to see before me,
God’s ear to hear me, God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me, God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me, God’s host to secure me –
against snares of devils,
against temptations and vices,
against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me
ill, afar and anear,
alone and in a crowd…
Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit,
Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of the Christ.
May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

March Madness

The madness that happens in March began on Tuesday but those first four games aren’t that important as they sort of suck in general as instead of being only at large teams playing it is 4 conference champions and four at large teams, it would make sense if it were only at large teams Conference Championship should automatically place you in the 64 teams. Only one of these teams will likely advance to the second round. I think it would also be great if the Big six conferences had less than half of the bids and there was still a chance for a true Cinderella to do anything in this tournament. It’s the time of year for all schools to remind their alumni base that they should donate back. So root on your own college and then after they lose choose someone else to root for.

Last Orson Welles film to be released by Netflix

This is some pretty cool news as that the final film Orson Welles worked on, The Other Side of the Wind will soon be released. It has taken a while for this film to get finished as filming ended in 1976 and it’s now 2017. This a a bizarre story but hopefully it will have a happy ending with the latest Welles film being worth the wait. The film itself is sort of a mockumentary on Hollywood of the 70s with the ‘Classic Hollywood’ of the 20s-60s passing away and being replaced with the new wave of avant-garde young directors in ‘New Hollywood’. The film is about a 70th birthday party of an director who wants to make a comeback. It is said to use a mix of still photos, and 8mm, 16mm and 35mm color and black-and-white film shot at the party, along with scenes from his unfinished movie, and the film would be a collage of all these various types of film. It sounds like a unique film as I can’t think of a film that uses all these different types of film gauges.

Book of Esther part 2: Haman’s plot against the Jews

Last week I went through the first bit of Esther, this week we look at the plots.

After all this had happened the King, perhaps Xerxes, promoted Haman to be like the Prime Minister in the country and all the king’s servants were told by the king to bow to Haman. Mordecai did not. The other servants told Haman and when he noticed the slight was filled with fury. Haman learned that Mordecai was a Jew and sought to destroy all the Jews. Haman cast Pur (lots) and through this decided that all Jews will be destroyed on the 13th of Adar. Haman put this before the king and sort of approved it. Haman will pay 10 thousand talents of silver for this to be done. So on the 13th day of Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew calendar and wrote the edict to go out across the kingdom. The next chapter is a copy of the edict, that all Jews, with their wives and children, will be destroyed by the sword of their enemies, without pity or mercy, on the 14th of Adar, the last month of the year. Mordecai and the Jewish people rent their clothes, put on ashes and sackcloth, and wailed. Esther eventually learned about the edict through a very clumsy game of telephone through one of the King’s eunuchs, Hathach. Esther decides that Mordecai and the Jewish people should fast on her behalf, and neither eating or drinking for three days. Esther and my maids will also fast, then she will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.

We are then treated to two prayers one from Mordecai and the other from Esther. In Mordecai’s prayer we learn that he didn’t bow because he didn’t want to set a Man above God.  He continues and asks the Lord to spare his people once again for their death was before their eyes. Esther also turned to the Lord, she took off her fancy garments and put on garments of distress and mourning, as well as covering herself with ashes and dung instead of perfume. In Esther’s prayer which is read the Thursday of the first week of Lent, we hear her asking for the Lord to put eloquent speech in her mouth, and turn the king’s heart to hate the man who is fighting against us, so that there may be an end of Haman and those who agree with him. “Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.” This is a powerful prayer and it is really a shame that we don’t hear from Esther on Sundays. On the third day the fast was over and Esther put on her royal robes and with two handmaidens entered the king wasn’t too happy about this to begin with and Esther fainted. The king dashed to Esther and told her that she would be die as it only applied to those people. As she tried to respond she collapsed and as she regained strength asked that the King and Haman join her for dinner. Now, Haman saw Mordecai by the King’s gate and Mordecai wasn’t cowering or kowtowing before Haman so he went home and was pissed. Haman gathered together his friend and wife and after talking about how wonderful he is but Haman wouldn’t be happy unless Mordecai bowed down before him. His wife and friends suggest why not hang Mordecai in the morning and then go to dinner with the king in the evening.

It is still sort of weird going between the extended verses and the regular ones as they are often time saying basically the same thing twice. This is an interesting story and it is a shame that we only hear like six verses from it on a Thursday in Lent.

God’s Garden

For the past two years I’ve been helping an old family friend with her husband who had deteriorated to the point where help was needed to get him to bed and all those fun things that we take for granted, he had some sort of dementia possibly stemming from extended time in Vietnam and the effects of Agent Orange. He was quite the golfer and gardener as well, before I got involved. Everyone knew that death was eventual but we didn’t know when. Over these two years I’ve become like a member of the family. This is a poem that reflect best on his death. I am not quite sure who the poet is as Melissa Shreve or unknown, so whomever it is they wrote a nice poem.

God’s Garden
God looked around his garden
And found an empty place,
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering
He knew you were in pain.
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb.
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, “Peace be thine”.
It broke our hearts to lose you
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

Here The Whole World

This is a short poem by CS Lewis. It has a nice overall Lenten vibe, and I like the image here of Lenten lands as we should consider how Lent begin in the late Winter and end in the early Spring, so to we should be renewed by our Lenten experiences.. i hope that we all do so. This is the poem:

Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day.