Sunday, September 14, 2014

Birthday Of "Our National Anthem"

I have had the honor of both singing (in a play in 1976) and playing (on the trumpet before a junior college basketball game in 1980) this as a solo. Both times were done with the dignity the song deserves.

The words belong to Francis Scott Key; the melody, John Stafford Smith (as documented here).

In honor of the bicentennial of its birth, beginning with the events at Fort McHenry, Baltimore, MD, (although not adopted as the nation's official song until 1931), the verse we know and the three we don't:
O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? 
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. 
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. 
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Long may she wave.

And may we continue to be the last line, God help us.

Friday, September 12, 2014

End Of The Ninth

Remember this?

Seems so long ago.

Yet, here I am; my infinitesimal corner of the universe has concluded its ninth year of existence.

It's still more hobby than anything, and in my mind that is OK. I am not a professional writer. To be prolific was never a goal. To have something meaningful to say and expressing it in a thoughtful manner has always been my goal.

Have I succeeded? At times. It seems I have taken a more "it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness" approach as this has evolved. I have to remind myself it takes the same amount of energy to build as it does to destroy. There are plenty of other 'blogs that kvetch well on whatever is the crisis du jour.

Mark Twain's admonition is always at the forefront. I hopefully understand the limits of my intelligence; but I also want to expand that. I still want to know things. Robert Browning's inquiry still drives me.

To those who do visit to see if I have something to say about anything, I thank you. I realize original posts are few and far between. While I have a life outside of the internet and more pressing matters at hand, the desire to continue this remains.

And I will.

I got to get through the next twelve months.

Any anniversary ending with a "0" is a milestone.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Unlucky 13th.

Thirteen years ago this morning the skyline of New York City looked liked this:

How fast did that change.

The world has never been the same since.

And neither have we.

The scars are still there, despite our best efforts to alleviate them. We continue to mourn, as we should. We gather to remember and memorialize. We mark this sad day with the solemnity it deserves. As I have said before, this is my very modest tribute to the day. Go find others which have meaning to you.

While evil is still with humanity, there are times when it becomes seemingly invisible to the point of being oblivious. It is a moment like this that brings it back upon the collective radar of the public psyche. And while this blip has been duly noted, one wonders if its echoes are not found in current events.

Evil cannot be ignored. Yes, it is larger than our selves, as individual and society. It is overwhelming, the whole and the sum of its parts. It only wants one thing:  surrender.

But evil will never have that. Victory has already been won through the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We, His brothers and sisters, only have to cooperate with the graces dispensed at Calvary. And, yes, it starts with the individual. The first rule of Christian ethics is "do good and avoid evil".

It will be a never-ending battle while on earth. We have our weapon of choice for this spiritual warfare, for that is the biggest picture of all is what it seen and unseen. Let us fight the good fight, so as to claim our share of the spoils.

That is the lifetime challenge. Today, let us remember the events which happened in New York, NY, Washington, DC, and Shanksville, PA. The new Patriots Day.

Monday, September 01, 2014

September 2014 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:

Universal Intention - Mentally disabled. That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.

Evangelization Intention - Service to the poor. That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.