All Saints

Ordinary Time 30/Trinity 23 – Friday
Solemnity of All Saints, Vespers 1 

This week has been a mighty long one. It’s been another 50+ hour week for me (work and travel time). And I’ve still got stuff here at home that I can legally take home to read up on and study this weekend.

“On what?” some (read: none) of you may be asking. Four words for you: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

I was reading some of the public submissions on the train into work today and couldn’t get my head around the rolling balance method. One of my colleagues (who’s also looking at it) and I ended up sitting down this morning to work out how some of the submissions calculated out their numbers. Made sense after that. Now have to transfer this onto some spreadsheets for the benefit of explaining it to my team at work. Given that most of the submissions are public documents, I should be able to whip up a spreadsheet here at home this weekend and then send it to work via email.

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On NCYC matters, my Bible Study preference has been made. Looking forward to the “scuba diving” session with Robyn Whitaker. Here’s what the NCYC site has to say about her Bible Study (which, like everyone else’s at NCYC09, will be based on the Gospel according to St. Mark).

 

Robyn Whitaker
Interested in going deeper? Want to understand more about the world of the Bible? Wonder what scholars know about the Bible that never gets told in church? Then this Bible study is for you.

The New Testament was written in a very different time and place. A world where religion and politics overlap, good and evil wrestle for power, demons and healings are commonplace, and society is structured differently. In this study participants will learn a basic method for reading Mark that can be applied to any part of the Bible. Engaging the ancient world we will begin with the Bible, not with a theme, allowing Mark’s gospel to speak for itself. You will discover for yourselves what teaching emerges: what Mark might have meant for early Christians, and what it means today.

To be able dive right into the gospel, I will assume participants have read the WHOLE of Mark’s gospel through at least once.

Given that she’s currently pursuing her doctorate in New Testament Studies over in Chicago, this one is gonna be a doozy. I’m already geeking out over it.

Something else however that is bugging me is what Submersions stream I am gonna go into on Day 4 of the NCYC week. And by Submersion, I’m not talking about a piddly 2 hour session before we all come back for lunch. It’s virtually half of an entire day from 11am to 6pm (community and small group activities make up most of the morning apart from breakfast).

So far, I have the Missions one selected. But I’m also wanting to go to the one dealing with Peace and Anti-Nuke too. I have Merton and the Sojourners group, spearheaded by Rev. Jim Wallis to thank for changing my views on war and the use of weapons – even if at times the anger on the inside at times makes me want to actually throttle and sleeper hold those who commit atrocities against others [like Mugabe and those janjaweed idiots in Sudan for example]. It’s a tough one.

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Lastly, I’ll leave you with the intercessions from the Divine Office for First Vespers on this solemnity of All Saints.

With so many witnesses in a great cloud on every side of us, we are encouraged to run steadily in the race we have started. We pray to Christ, for he is the author of our faith, and he will bring it to fulfilment: R: With all the saints we praise and thank you, Lord.

Lord, you chose the apostles to be the foundation of your Church: – keep us faithful to all that you left in their care. R: With all the saints we praise and thank you, Lord.

Your martyrs testified to you, even to the shedding of their blood: – make all Christians faithful witnesses to your word. R: With all the saints we praise and thank you, Lord.

Lord, be with those who have consecrated their lives to you in virginity: – may their hope and generosity be a sign to the world of the glorious life they await at the end of time. R: With all the saints we praise and thank you, Lord.

In the saints you reveal your presence and your care: – as we venerate them, may we be closer to you. R: With all the saints we praise and thank you, Lord.

Welcome our departed brothers and sisters into the company of Mary, Joseph, and all the saints: – through their intercession, grant us a place in your kingdom. R: With all the saints we praise and thank you, Lord.

The Collect for All Saints, First Vespers

Almighty, ever-living God, we are celebrating with joy the triumph of your grace in all the saints. With so vast a multitude praying for us, may we receive from you the fulness of mercy we have always desired. We make our prayer though our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity and fellowship of the Holy Ghost; one God, world without end. Amen.

+ Pax,
bf 2240hrs

Eagle eyes…

Ordinary Time 30/Trinity 23 – Thursday

Eve of the memorial day for Martin Luther (d. 1546) & other Continental reformers – Australian Anglican Calendar

Firstly a “Hi!” to an Ed Cheu who seems to have linked to my blog from his blog on blogspot. Well, I seem to be appearing on his blogroll. And I think he’s in HK (or Taiwan), going by his posts. Given that he seems to post a lot on liturgical matters and RC canon law, I’m surmising that he is either a Roman Catholic deacon (permanent or “transitional”) or a priest. Unfortunately, most of his posts are all in Chinese (except for a few in Latin, that I can roughly translate and get an idea of what he is blogging on, or English).

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Converge

Ordinary Time 30/Trinity 23 – Monday

Back from the Youth Bible Study not too long ago. We’re on to studying Hosea (one of my favorite prophetic books in Scripture). Oh, how many times have I read the first 3 chapters of it alongside Psalm 51 (or rather, Psalm 50 in the monastic psalter that I use) whenever I have screwed up. I’ve lost count.

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Continue reading Converge

Thoughts on a Saturday night

Ordinary Time 29/Trinity 22 – Saturday

Here’s the basis for some thoughts that have crossed my mind throughout the past week. Particularly on theological matters and they’re derived from a song and the following texts. Make of them what you will. I’m still ruminating on them myself.

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Turandot

Ordinary Time 29/Trinity 22 – Friday

[ now playing? ] Final Fantasy XII 4CD OST | “Song of Storm and Fire” – Yuki Kajura (performed by Eminence Symphony Orchestra members) | “Two of Us” – Joe Hisaishi (performed by Eminence Symphony Orchestra members) | “Evangelion: Thanatos” – Eminence Symphony Orchestra | “Moon Over The Castle ~Orchestral Version~” – Masahiro Andoh (Gran Turismo 4 Theme)

Opera Queensland did quite a good job I have to say with the penultimate opera of their 2008 season: Puccini’s Turandot. And yes, I was there last night at QPAC for the 30 Below night. Packed crowd down in the stalls. I was in seat K21 (last time I checked that’s either Deluxe or A Reserve seating) and man, all around me, I saw people, more people and nary an empty seat in the Lyric Theatre at all.

Maestro Peter Robinson and the Queensland Orchestra shone for the entire performance. As the opening bars of Act 1 began, I knew that it was going to be one helluva night from them. Magical.

The set and costumes for the entire night were sublime (full credit to the production team). I have a feeling that a number of women in the audience loved the buff men who were the crack execution team. While walking back to the car afterwards, I heard a number of middle-aged women loving how “Manpower were on stage tonight!” Had to chuckle at that.

The only slight downer on the night for me was Ukranian tenor Marian Talaba. While having a fairly commanding stage presence as Calaf, his voice seemed incredibly weak at first. I was hoping it was simply early in the act softness and that he would open up a bit more as the night went on. Sadly, I found that wasn’t the case. At some points, all you heard when all parts on stage were singing was everyone else bar him. Having said that, in spite of his rather soft volume, he didn’t murder the role of Calaf (including the most well-known aria in opera courtesy of Maestro Pavarotti, “Nessun dorma”). So he still gets an overall thumbs up from me.

The three bozos Ping, Pang & Pong (played respectively by Lucas de Jong, Virgilio Marino & Bernard Hull) were very, very well sung (at least by my standards, and no I don’t have La Scala standards here – I’m not exactly that much of an opera purist). Their trio segment at the beginning of Act 2 was wistful and laughable at times to me. Bunch of 3 old farts lamenting their life now compared to if they were back in their homelands… =P

Cynthia Makris carried the ice-princess role of Turandot exceedingly well and very convincingly. Very, very commanding on stage (and the iciness shattered perfectly at the end of Act 3). You would not want to piss off someone like her Turandot in real-life. Gennadi Dubinsky I loved in OQ’s production of The Magic Flute earlier this year when he was Sarastro and in Turandot, his characterization of the blind Timur was superb on stage (one couldn’t help feeling pity for him, the ex-King of Tartary). Couldn’t ask for much better than Kenneth Collins as the Emperor (I’d have been mighty scared of the height off the stage that he was at).

But hands down, my favorite character in Turandot still remains to be Liù. And Hye Seoung Kwon deserved every bit of the loud ovation she received (and we in the audience gave freely) at the end of the night. She was ever the tragic and smitten slave girl of Timur while Calaf was a right bastard in giving her up for Turandot. Liù’s nobility in love to the point of killing herself so that Calaf won’t have to die by Turandot’s hand was executed with passion, conviction and self-identification by Hye Seoung Kwon to my eyes and ears. I’m curious to see how she will go playing Pamina in The Magic Flute in the 2009 Opera Australia season. Unfortunately, I won’t be in Sydney to watch it live. Dammit!

What does this mean for me re: the 2009 season? I’m damn well renewing my 30 Below subscription, that’s what it means. The A$133 I spent for the 3-opera season this year has got to be some of the best money I’ve spent on entertainment ever (much much better than a night out at the movies!). La traviata, Fidelio and Rigoletto are on next year and all three are in my list of opera favorites (especially Traviata). Fidelio should be rather good (in German to boot too, not an English version like this year’s The Magic Flute was of Die Zauberflote) – I enjoy the recording I have here at home so hopefully the live production will live up to my (somewhat meagre) expectations.

+ Pax,
bf 2235hrs

So I’m at home today…

Ordinary Time 29/Trinity 22 – Wednesday

And yes, that’s three straight days where I’ve blogged. Or something like that.

Got the day off work so I could pick up my parents from the airport this morning after their little overseas sojourn finished the moment they stepped onto the plane at HKIA last night.

Was looking through my Dashboard today and it turns out that I’m linked to on a slightly larger site that I otherwise would have expected. Yes, I’m mentioned in a little post entitled “Daily Scroll exclusive: blogs with Latin names”. And I’ve made it onto the blogs list there too.

As for this blog attempting to have a sense of gravitas attached to each post by virtue of the name of this blog being Latin? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Detritus might be a better term to describe how I feel about some of my posts and their content in light of what others think of my posts.

In any case, this is a plug for The Daily Scroll which is gonna be a site that I use fairly regularly for looking around the Christian blogosphere.

+ Pax,
bf 1634hrs

Study Bibles

Ordinary Time 29/Trinity 22 – Monday

Was at Mass today again and Sub-Dean Fr. Peter Catt was the celebrant. Given that an old work colleague (who’s on the St. John’s Cathedral chapter and parish council) had mentioned my plight to him, it was good to have a quick chat with him after the lunchtime Eucharist. To a degree, Fr. Peter and I seem to be cut from similar cloth. Except that he is a man of the cloth, and I am a man who wants to be a man of the cloth. Pardon the horrible pun there please.

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My last post mentioned a couple of Bibles. Now I know that some of you out there (espesh at Youth) might be wondering “Why on earth would one want to get another Bible for?” given that others around the world treasure their one copy. And that’s a fair enough call. Most of those around the world who have only one copy usually have it solely in that one language they speak which isn’t English. For us who do speak, read and (hopefully) understand English, we’re spoilt for choice in terms of translations and study helps.

Very spoilt. Myself being probably too damn spoilt for choice for my own good.

And now courtesy of the Internet Monk and another blogger, we might have some extra study bibles available for sale shortly. Heck, maybe even in time for Christmas (time to draw up a list for good ol’ St. Nick).

Anyone up for a “Dirt Poor Study Bible” with me? Cuz I know I’m wanting one of them!

HT: IMonk.

And Bryan, I am somewhat envious of you. Hit me up via email when you can with a sort of mini review once you’ve started using your ESV Study Bible more.

I have some quotes on theological matters to throw out at y’all soon, but ATM I’m more concerned with the copious amounts of smoke heading the house’s way from the direction of the sugar cane fields… but I am thankful that the severe thunderstorm that looked threatening on the Bureau of Meteorology’s website turned out to be tame. No hail down here and no insurance claim from me as a result! *phew*

+ Pax,
bf 1804hrs