Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Day 1 of Lent: Oy veh!

In case you were wondering how Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, was going around here. . . .

So far, I've punted on Mass and have resorted to trolling the pope on Twitter. Maybe for Lent this year, I'll give up being even cursorily diplomatic.

Don't make me be fed up. You wouldn't like me when I'm fed up.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

3 Chords & the Truth: Blues and grace

This week on the Big Show:

can be quite

and even give us reason to be But through it all -- if we look -- we just might discover

That, in a musical sense, is some of what we cover this week on 3 Chords & the Truth.

Well, that and some good ol' rockabilly (and fusion-y prog rock, too).

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Chicken-and-andouille gumbo. Good stuff.

Can't have it today.
No meat, fasting.

Die to yourself, you gravy-sucking pig, the church tells us this Ash Wednesday. Or, put more artfully as we receive ashes on our foreheads today, "Remember, O man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."

And hold the gumbo.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dust in the wind

As we embark upon Lent, I think it important to give both President Obama and the GOP's tin-eared "savior" a message gleaned from 5,000-plus years of recorded human history.

"No, we can't."

No, Mr. President, we can't come back from this mess we've made for ourselves stronger than ever. Not if we remain a country still given over to a colossal moral and ethical meltdown. Not if we remain a nation devoted to global hegemony in an age of dwindling natural resources. Not if we remain a country powered by consumption, not creation.

And not if we remain a country forced to spend untold trillions to stave off le deluge now, only to ensure le deluge at some future date. The United States of America is in the same boat as the insolvent banks . . . too big to fail, but insolvent nevertheless. We're also in the same boat as "toxic" homeowners -- a swamped boat.

We ain't going to be paying off that national debt.

AS FOR BOBBY BRADY -- er . . . Jindal -- the good gub'na (and sometime exorcist) of Louisiana needs to exorcise some of his own demons, and those of his political party.

(OK, that was a cheap shot. But the one thing we never learn -- and this is a particular "moral hazard" for those of Jindal's religious and political proclivities -- is that Satan's favorite hideout happens to be in our own hearts.)

Ironically, Jindal's response to Obama was wholly based on the same kind of misplaced American exceptionalism -- an exceptionalism unhinged from human history (particularly the history of empires), geopolitical realities and the basic fallenness of humanity.

In other words, no, Americans can't do just anything. If the last eight Republican-governed years haven't made that clear to the "smart man" of the GOP, the poor fellow must be twice as blind and three times as deaf as Helen Keller.

Really, Jindal doesn't have to go far to utterly disprove such a silly notion, this prideful, faux patriotic notion of "Americans can do anything."

For example, Louisiana has been in the Union since 1803 and a state since 1812. If Americans truly can do anything, why, then, is Jindal's state still such a mess?

Why is the next election there for U.S. Senate shaping up to be a battle between a sex worker and a john? Why is Louisiana's educational system such a disaster area? Why can't he balance the state's budget without making education exponentially worse?

If Americans can do anything, how come the Dutch can keep their below-sea-level country safe and dry while we can-doers can't even do the same for one lousy city?

"When we pull together," Jindal said, "there is no challenge we cannot overcome."

AH, BUT THE RUB is that "pull together" part. And, I'm sorry, but if there's one thing Bobby Jindal's Republican Party is not about, it's pulling together.

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you - the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything. That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families ... cutting taxes for small businesses ... strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers. These plans would cost less and create more jobs.
ISN'T THAT WHAT had been going on for the last eight years? What . . . if at first you don't succeed. . . ?

Under Jindal, Louisiana did a fair amount of that itself last year. This year it has a $2 billion deficit. Oops.

No, you can't.

You can't give fallen human beings -- lousy, rotten sinners all -- more and more leeway to build some sort of laissez-faire utopia, then be utterly surprised when they tear down half of what's already there and sneak it out in their lunchbox. Or briefcase.

The trouble with Obama, and Jindal, is the trouble with America. The America that thinks it can do anything, but only occasionally worries about whether the anything it has chosen is anything right.

We've had the pride. I worry now that we're taking the fall.

I wish our political "saviors" would worry about that, too.

Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Psalm 22 . . . a prophecy of the Passion

EDITOR'S NOTE: A psalm for today, Good Friday, when we commemorate our crucified Savior. Have a blessed end to Holy Week.

To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?* why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying,
8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.
11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28 For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.
29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

* See Matthew 27:46

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Four Songs: Dust for Lent

Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return.

IT'S LENT, and that's one of two things the faithful might hear on Ash Wednesday as they receive ashes on their foreheads. The other would be "Repent, and believe in the Gospel!"

Dust. Ashes. Repentance. Mortality. Lent is not about warm fuzzies and attaboys. It confronts us with the reality of our fallen existence and ends by reminding us of The Way Out.

And the price Jesus paid to make it so.

So, this episode of Four Songs
is about dust. And that's all I'm sayin'. It just seemed appropriate.

Download it now. You have to do something for Lent.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Countdown to king cakes

King cakes. Yum.

But only between 12th Night and Mardi Gras. Eating king cake during Lent -- or anytime else, for that matter -- is just so very wrong. The Associated Press tells us all:
In New Orleans people have always known what king cake is and when you should eat it.

These days that certainty is fading. Once a seasonal treat with a certain taste and texture, king cake is now eaten any time of the year by many non-traditionalists, and it takes a variety of forms.

For years, families in this city celebrated the arrival of Carnival season with king cake — an oval-shaped pastry that commemorated 12th Night, the day the three wise men were supposed to have arrived with gifts for the Baby Jesus. The season for king cakes would last through Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday ushers in Lent.

That’s as it should be, said Mardi Gras historian Errol Laborde. Like oysters, Creole tomatoes and crawfish, things are better at the proper time.

“No king cake will touch my lips before 12th Night or after Mardi Gras,” Laborde said.

For years after the early French settlers brought the tradition to New Orleans, king cake was a plain bread-like pastry topped with purple, green and gold sugar.

But, to the dismay of the traditionalists, these days king cakes can be many flavors and shapes and available all year round.

“I’m a purest,” said cookbook author Kit Wohl. “I believe king cake should be what it’s always been, plain and with a baby, but now people have gilded the lily. Now they can be made with stuffing, it can be sweet or savory.”

Some traditions remain. Each king cake contains a token, now its generally a pink, plastic baby, but it was originally a red bean. The person who gets it is supposed to supply the next king cake.

Although New Orleans is the king cake capital, many cities that have a Mardi Gras tradition have bakeries that produce some version during the season. That has meant more business for people like David Haydel Jr., 32, whose family has been baking in New Orleans for three generations. “It gradually expanded out through whole season and now, with the internet, we do king cakes all year.”