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Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

Crucifixus by Antonio Caldara (1670-1736):

Lyrics, taken from the Nicene Creed, are below the fold.
Latin text:
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato:
Passus, et sepultus est.

Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas.
Et ascendit in coelum: sedet ad dexteram Patris.
Et iterum venturus est cum gloria judicare vivos et mortuos;
Cujus regni non erit finis.

English Translation:
He was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate:
He suffered and was buried.

And on the third day he rose again, according to the scriptures.
And ascended into heaven: and sitteth on the right hand of the Father.
And he shall come again in glory to judge both the quick and the dead;
Whose kingdom shall have no end.


  1. _________ CRUCIFIXION _________

    He was a man who came to show the way.
    It never was for Him an easy task.
    Sadly, politicians of His day
    Cruelly sought His death. They’d never ask
    Revealing questions in pursuit of Truth.
    Undermining good they sought to hold
    Crookedly to Power. Their uncouth
    Initiatives to godliness were cold.
    Freedom from corruption causes fear
    In those who by coercion seek to rule.
    Xiphoid, ego kills what should endear,
    Instead of letting Self die to renewal.
    On tiptoe oft we creep and hold our breath,
    Not challenging the ones who cause His death.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper

  2. The wounded surgeon plies the steel
    That quesions the distempered part;
    Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
    The sharp compassion of the healer's art
    Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

    Our only health is the disease
    If we obey the dying nurse
    Whose constant care is not to please
    But to remind us of our, and Adam's curse,
    And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

    The whole earth is our hospital
    Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
    Wherein, if we do well, we shall
    Die of the absolute paternal care
    That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

    The chill ascends from feet to knees,
    The fever sings in mental wires.
    If to be warmed, then I must freeze
    And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
    Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars.

    The dripping blood our only drink,
    The bloody flesh our only food:
    In spite of which we like to think
    That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-
    Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.

    ~ T.S. Eliot - from Four Quartets, II East Coker, section 4

    1. [WIKINOTE: Four Quartets is a set of four poems written by T. S. Eliot that were published individually over a six-year period. The first, Burnt Norton, was written and published with a collection of his early works following the production of Eliot's play Murder in the Cathedral. After a few years, Eliot composed the other three poems, East Coker, The Dry Salvages, and Little Gidding, which were written during World War II and the air-raids on Great Britain. The poems were not collected until Harcourt-Brace, Eliot's New York publisher, printed them together in 1943. Before then were first published as a series in Great Britain in 1941 to 1942 towards the end of Eliot's poetic career.

      Four Quartets are four interlinked meditations with the common theme being man's relationship with time, the universe, and the divine. In describing his understanding of the divine within the poems, Eliot blends his Anglo-Catholicism with mystical, philosophical and poetic works from both Eastern and Western religious and cultural traditions, with references to the Bhagavad-Gita and the Pre-Socratics as well as St. John of the Cross and Julian of Norwich.]

  3. Thank you for giving us Caldera's beautiful expression of the meaning of the Crucifixion. There's nothing better able to transform the Agony Our Lord endured into solemn ecstasy than the glories of polyphony in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

    I had never heard this particular motet before. I'm so glad you discovered it, and shared it.

    It's a wonder in this crude, vilely sensual modern world there are any left able to perform music of this exalted caliber so exquisitely.

    The aura of peace and serenity evoked here makes the idea of retreating into a monastic life seem attractive.

    HAPPY EASTER, to AOW and ALL who respect the faith!


    Meditation for Good Friday, March 25, 2016

    "The friend of the Bridegroom."

    John 3:29

    Goodness and purity ought never to attract attention to themselves, they ought simply to be magnets to draw to Jesus Christ. If my holiness is not drawing towards Him, it is not holiness of the right order, but an influence that will awaken inordinate affection and lead souls away into side-eddies. A beautiful saint may be a hindrance if he does not present Jesus Christ but only what Christ has done for him. He will leave the impression - "What a fine character that man is!" That is not being a true friend of the Bridegroom; I am increasing all the time, He is not.

    In order to maintain this friendship and loyalty to the Bridegroom, we have to be more careful of our moral and vital relationship to Him than of any other thing, even of obedience. Sometimes there is nothing to obey, the only thing to do is to maintain a vital connection with Jesus Christ, to see that nothing interferes with that. Only occasionally do we have to obey. When a crisis arises we have to find out what God's will is, but the greater part of the life is not conscious obedience but the maintenance of this relationship - the friend of the Bridegroom. Christian work may be a means of evading the soul's concentration on Jesus Christ. Instead of being friends of the Bridegroom, we may become amateur providences, and may work against Him whilst we use His weapons.

    ~ Oswald Chambers

    1. Oswald Chambers was very stern, and extremely demanding by today's lax standards, but, and I've struggled to accept his wisdom for many years, we'd do better to get back on the straight and narrow path than to traipse aimlessly in the fields of folly and let ourselves be drawn deeper and deeper into the wilderness as we seem to be doing today.

      A healthy REVIVAL would doubtless be much better for us than the bloody Revolution that seems increasingly imminent.


    2. Maybe both a revival and a revolution. One does not have to preclude the other.

      Of course, Easter isn't the time to be discussing political revolutions, only spiritual revival (which is a revolution of its own, IMO).

    3. A genuine religious experience truly becomes a revolution of the Spirit. It's internal, and modifies the way we respond to the world. It does NOT change the world, but it DOES change the individual who experiences it.

    4. FT,
      A genuine religious experience...does NOT change the world...

      I must disagree.

    5. How so, AOW? I wonder if we mean the same thing, when we think of "religious experience?"

      Please remember the Jews recited Jesus, because THEY led themselves to believe that "their" Messiah would enable them to conquer the world through superior military force.

      Jesus, of course, was the polar opposite of those worldly and vain desires and expectations, so they had no qualms about letting Him be crucified.

      Be that as it may, He said, as He hung on the Cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

      We should do no less than to follow his example.

    6. A Godly political leader -- one who has had and lives the religious experience and transformation you mentioned -- is a powerful force for good. Not to mention the impact that so many Believers have had in the fine arts.

  5. Thanks for sharing that. The composer is new to me though I am particular fan of polyphony from the late Renaissance to Baroque period. Palestrina is a favorite of mine.

    1. Mike,
      The composer was new to me, too, and I'm one who loves polyphonic music.


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