{    Cnytr   }

{Thursday, August 31, 2006  }

.:{Worst Fear}:.

I don't know if this is hilarious or if I'm extremely embarrassed for this woman.
posted by Lauren, 9:21 AM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, August 30, 2006  }

.:{Another Medievalist}:.

Oh, fantastic! Such things as God, the Architecht on the blog of a fellow Medievalist. Henceforth, the Roving Medievalist has a highly-recommended place in my blogroll.
posted by Lauren, 4:36 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Geoffrey Chaucer Had a Blog, E-I-E-I-O!}:.

And behold, all in Middle-English, Serpentes on a shippe!
posted by Lauren, 4:32 PM | link | 2 comments

{Tuesday, August 29, 2006  }

.:{Abso-friggin-lutely hilarious}:.

I was looking at this during my first theology class this morning, and it took a lot of effort not to randomly bust out laughing in the middle of the near-silence.

Thanks, Mark Shea :P
posted by Lauren, 7:53 PM | link | 0 comments


Cnytr's worst fear; this almost happened to the Cnytr upon her entry into the world.

But quoth my dad, "not in my new car!"
posted by Lauren, 10:45 AM | link | 3 comments

.:{Reflections on Psalm 126 (127)}:.

sicut sagittae in manu potentis


Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum,
in vanum laborant, qui aedificant eam.
Nisi Dominus custodierit civitatem,
frustra vigilat, qui custodit eam.

Vanum est vobis ante lucem sugere
et sero quiescere,
qui manducatis panem laboris,
quia dabit dilectis suis somnum.

Ecce hereditas Domini filii,
merces fructus ventris.
Sicut sagittae in manu potentis,
ita filii iuventutis.
Beatus vir, qui implevit pharetram suam ex ipsis:
non confundetur,
cum loquetur inimicis suis in porta.

Lauren's off-the-top-of-her-head translation:

Unless the Lord will have built the house,
In vain do they labor who build it;
unless the Lord will have guarded the city,
They watch in vain who guard it.

It is vain for them to rise before the dawn,
and to lay down at evening,
they who eat the bread of labor,
because He will give sleep to his beloved.

Behold the inheritence of the Lord are sons,
the reward, the fruit of the womb.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
even so are the sons of youth.
Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver from these:
he will not be confounded
when he speaks with his enemies at the gate.

I was flipping through my Breviarum the other day for the purpose of practicing my ecclesiastical Latin when I came accross this psalm. It's one I've heard a dozen or so times before, but suddenly I was struck by the context in which I had found it. I realized that it was in the common of virgins.

Interesting, I thought to myself, what could this mean?

I'm no exegete, and my understanding of Scripture is primitive and rather Medieval. So when I look at this psalm in that sort of context, I see the psalmist talking about virtue -- specifically the virtue of chastity.

Chastity, like any virtue, is not a prize that one can win. Unless it is a gift of the Lord and desired, it can never be obtained. It is impossible to make oneself perfectly chaste; the cult of Diana is an example of this, for chastity does not equal celibacy, chastity is not simply "not having sex", but the rightly-ordering of sexuality. It means little to be a virgin if one despises the opposite sex (as the virgins of Diana did) -- it is merely a different and less conventional way of indulging in one's disordered desires.

But those who are chaste, who have and who recognize that they have said gift must be wary of it, but not of their own accord. Likewise if they try themselves to be the guardians each of his own chastity ("Oh I'd never do that -- I'm not that sort of person"), one can expect to fail. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away" -- and one can expect him to take away his help if one willfully elbows all but self out of the way. In fact such people can expect to eat the bread of toil, of very little fruit and use to the one who eats it. However, coming to the one whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, the soul can expect to be given rest, completely different from what the laborer recieves -- bread. This rest is given to those who surrender to the Lord, and they are said to be the ones whom he loves.

This might likewise apply, perhaps more aptly, to the theological virtues -- the ones infused within our souls at baptisms. These are the foundational virtues, the ones on which the other virtues are built, like house and city for other virtues. However I think it not appropraite to apply this, as mentioned, to the virtue of chastity as it governs our exterior and interior relations.

It seems to me that perhaps the sons, the arrows in the hand of the warrior, are such other virtues. Especially virtues "of youth", those virtues acquired in one's youth that will, like sons born to a man in his youth, grow to an appropriate age in his senility such that they can be a comfort and a defense and heris to which to gives all. The soul armed with such arrows, confident in the Lord and given rest by him and fortified and guarded by him, can have nothing to fear from its enemies. If the Lord is for us, who can be against us?

That's just what struck me when reading this psalm again.
posted by Lauren, 12:25 AM | link | 3 comments

{Monday, August 28, 2006  }

.:{Anchors Aweigh - An Excuse for Obscure Saints}:.

Today Cnytr is a bit blue -- Navy blue, in fact, as her beau leaves her to go become a Navy pilot (piloting what we don't know just yet).

Prayers are very much appreciated (St. Joseph of Cupertino, who is said to have levitated or flown during his ecstatic moments, pray for him!), as the Cnytr is a bit on edge about cool/scary things such as SERE training.

Praise God for all our men and women serving in the military; may they all come home safe and sound from their honorable duties.

Patron Saints:
Of Naval Officers:
* St. Francis of Paola: ...In 1464 Francis wanted to cross the Straits of Messina to reach Sicily, but a boatman refused to take him. Francis laid his cloak on the water, tied one end to his staff to make a sail, and sailed across with his companions. Franz Liszt wrote a piece of music inspired by the incident.

Of Sailors:
* Anthony of Padua
* Barbara
* Brendan the Navigator (Irish saint; said to have discovered the Americas in the 6th century, but had the good sense not to tell anybody)
* Brigid of Ireland
* Christopher (the beau's Confirmation saint)
* Clement I (this is the photo randomly linked on his site; um, none too comforting)
* Cuthbert
* Erasmus (aka St. Elmo)
* Jodocus
* John Roche (Helped Father Richard Watson, a condemned priest, escape by meeting him outside the prison with a boat, then changing clothes with him to lead pursuers off his trail.)
* Julian the Hospitaller (As penance, he and his wife travelled to Rome as pilgrims seeking absolution. On his way home, to continue his penance, he built a hospice beside a river, cared for the poor and sick, and rowed travellers across the river for free.; making his second appearance on the blog)
* Michael the Archangel (YEAH)
* Nicholas of Myra (a shared patron saint)
* Nicholas of Tolentino (Nine passengers on ship going down at sea once asked Nicholas' aid; he appeared in the sky, wearing the black Augustinian habit, radiating golden light, holding a lily in his left hand; with his right hand he quelled the storm.)
* Our Lady, Star of the Sea
* St. Peter Gonzales, OP (Almighty God, you bestowed the singular help of Blessed Peter on those in peril from the sea. By the help of his prayers may the light of your grace shine forth in all the storms of this life and enable us to find the harbor of everlasting salvation. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. )
* Phocas the Gardener (???)
* Walburga

Of Pilots:
* Joseph of Cupertino (aka "the Flying Friar")
* Our Lady of Loreto
* Therese of Lesieux

And, as this matter involves study, St. Thomas Aquinas!

Your prayers are very greatly appreciated. God bless.

St. Peter Gonzales, OP
posted by Lauren, 9:29 AM | link | 0 comments

{Friday, August 25, 2006  }

.:{You Tube and Papa Benedetto}:.

Somehow randomly on YouTube I came across this video. After watching it with the beau looking over my shoulder -- the same one who took me to St. Dominic's church in downtown DC as a surprise [Catholic. Nerd. Date.] -- and exclaiming "that is so blogged!", I discovered a number of other sweet videos of Pope Benedict by the same Youtube user. The videos are in French, but to my mind, that makes it all the sweeter.

posted by Lauren, 4:07 PM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, August 24, 2006  }

.:{A random chapter from the Imitation of Christ}:.

I. Those things that a man cannot amend in himself or in others, he ought to suffer patiently, until God order things otherwise. Think that perhaps it is better so for thy trial and patience, without which all our good deeds are not much to be esteemed. Thou oughtest to pray notwithstanding when thou hast such impediments, that God would vouchsafe to help thee, and that thou mayest bear them kindly.

II. If one that is once or twice warned will not give over, contend not with him: but commit all to God, that His will may be fulfilled, and His name be honoured in all his servants, who well knoweth how to turn evil into good. Endeavour to be patient in bearing with the defects and infirmities of others, of what sort soever they be; for that thyself also hast many failings which must be borne with by others. If thou canst not make thyself such an one as thou wouldest, how canst thou expect to have another in all things to thy liking? We would willingly have others perfect, and yet we amend not our own faults.

III. We will have others severely corrected, and will not be corrected ourselves. The large liberty of others displeaseth us; and yet we will not have our own desires denied us. We will have others kept under by strict laws; but in no sort will ourselves be restrained. And thus is appeareth, how seldom we weigh our n eighbour in the same balance with ourselves. If all men were perfect, what should we have to suffer of our neighbour for God?

IV. But now God hath thus ordered it, that we may learn to bear one another's burdens; for no man is without fault; no man but hath his burden; no man sufficient of himself; no man wise enough of himself; but we ought to bear with one another, comfort one another, help, instruct, and admonish one another. Occasions of adversity best discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man frail, but they shew what he is.
posted by Lauren, 6:54 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{From the Roman poet Trilussa}:.

God asked Adam, "Who are the apple?"
"I did!" he responded, "But she gave it to me."
"Absolutely. Otherwise I wouldn't say it..."
So much for the first Christian gentleman!
posted by Lauren, 4:33 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{I want a pony!}:.

Dude, I'm quitting Catholicism and joining this church.

If I were pessimistic, I would say that if I hung around long enough, I might see something like this come to pass. But being the cheery little optimist that I am (long-time readers of Cnytr are not allowed to snort, though evil cackling is permitted), for every Kumbaya-singing let's-hold-hands we-are-the-laity-we-are-the-church anti-clerical hyphenated-epithet type people are around, there are half a dozen cranky twenty-to-forty-somethings. Give me doom and gloom Catholicism any day, pah!

Next -- a post on St. Dominic and the virtue of joy. ;)

Via Hymnography Unbound.
posted by Lauren, 4:23 PM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, August 23, 2006  }

.:{Recommended by Cnytr}:.

I haven't written in forever ... I'm sure (or, at least I hope) that once the ideas in the brain get going for the senior thesis, I'll attempt to flesh out some ideas here.

In the meantime, enjoy some non-medievalia, namely, a really cool desktop wallpaper of St. Peter's, and Fulton Sheen's Three to Get Married.

Slightly unsatisfied with Christopher West (I'm really not big on modern popular apologetics -- West, Kreeft, and several others) but wanting to read something new on the topic, I found the aforementioned Fulton Sheen book. I find it to be a nice balance between the popular and the scholarly -- i.e. he can put things in layman's terms and not be insulting to the intelligence, while also not forgetting the tradition in which he writes. Indeed, he's quite fond of quoting Thomas Aquinas (and not paraphrasing, quoting).

However, I'm convinced we need more stylists. I cannot stand the writing style of either Christopher West or Fulton Sheen. I confess my favorite popular theological writer of all times in terms of style and approach is C.S. Lewis. He could write about the phone book and keep almost anyone enthralled. Catholic stylists out there, start researching and scribbling.
posted by Lauren, 11:00 AM | link | 0 comments

{Thursday, August 10, 2006  }

.:{From the Dominican Rite mass for the Feast of the Assumption}:.

At the moment I have in front of me bits of the Dominican Rite mass proper for the feast of the Assumption, which is coming up on the 15th, of course. However I have just been struck by the Vere dignum --

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum salutare: Nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine, sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Et te in Assumptione beatae Maria semper Virginis exultantibus animis laudare, benedicere, et praedicare. Quaeet unigenitum tuum Sancti Spiritus obumbratione concepit, et virginitatis gloria permanente, mundo lumen aeternum effudit, Iesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem maiestatem tuam laudant angeli, adorant dominationes, tremunt potestates: caeli caelorumque virtutes ac beata seraphim socia exultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces ut admitti iubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes...

The Dominicans manage to tweak so lovely a preface and while preserving its beauty, make it still expressly Dominican. How lovely

posted by Lauren, 2:24 PM | link | 2 comments

{Tuesday, August 08, 2006  }

.:{Sancte Pater Dominice, Ora Pro Nobis!}:.

Despite my hectic schedule, I could hardly let the feast of Our Holy Father Dominic pass without mention. Happy feast day to all my Dominican brethren.

For your edification, here is a hymn to St. Dominic to "Praise, my soul, the king of heaven"; I sang a variation of this at my own reception into the Dominican third order. I love the images in it... enjoy.

Dominic, our Lady's champion,
Charged to publish wide her fame,
Sent to men to sound her "Ave"
And to speak her glorious name;
With the grace of God within you,
Like a hero lord you came!

Stainless as a burnished chalice,
Shining as a fiery brand,
Dominic, you came to help us,
Came to do your Lord's command;
With the grace of God within you
And the rosary in your hand!

Now again we need your goodness
Be our patron and our guide!
Save us from all sin and error,
From our blindness and our pride;
With the grace of God within us
May we stand close by your side.

This hymn, with MIDI, found on this site via a random Google search.

Like a hero lord you came!
posted by Lauren, 11:10 AM | link | 1 comments