Saturday, May 11, 2013

Rediscovering the Classic Shave

This is very important for you gentlemen!
Proper shaving has become a lost art. Today’s average male has no clue about the fine art of the traditional wet shave that their grandfathers and some of their fathers used to take part in. Instead, they’re only accustomed to the cheap and disposable shaving products that companies market. I’m not sure when or why it happened, but the tradition of passing down the secrets of a clean shave abruptly stopped. Thankfully, this glorious male ritual is making a comeback.

What are the benefits?
Reduce costs, reduce environmental impact, get better, more consistent shaves, and feel like a bad ass (for lack of a better term).
And if you're feeling really old-school manly, learn to shave with a straight razor, like your great-grandpa did.

Hat tip to the Art of Manliness blog, a blog that should be on every gentleman's daily reading list.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Science and Faith with Br. Guy Consolmagno

Following up from my earlier post on the TEDx Conference hosted by the Vatican, several of the talks are being posted on YouTube. Here is the talk given by Br. Guy Consolmagno; Br. Consolmagno is an American planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Aquinas Lecture 2013: Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP

There is a video from the annual Aquinas Lecture at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at Berkeley, CA. Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., speaks on, "Baptismal Theology and Practice in the Age of St. Thomas Aquinas"

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Thank you, Publix. Thank you.

Publix Mother's Day Commercial

For something so normal, this shouldn't be so controversial. Defend human life. Always.

Is Chant Like Folk Music?

Great article in Crisis Magazine from Jeffrey Tucker (of the Church Music Association of America). Our parish in Sugar Land (a large suburban parish with more than 5000 families) is one of many across the country that has put together a great program of Gregorian Chant that is used at most liturgies on Sunday -- in full conformity with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Some points from the article (emphasis mine):
If you look back at the roots of chant, and even just take time to understand what it means from a musical and historical point of view, you quickly find that it has nothing to do with music conservatories, stuffy performance venues, and rule-bound authoritarians. And, moreover, it has nothing to do with social class, taste, and educational level. The issue of the chanted Mass is really about whether the liturgy is going to be permitted to be what it is or whether we are going to replace its authentic voice with something else.

Maybe people forget that Gregorian chant is premodern in its origin. It was not somehow invented in the age of winged collars, top hats, and mutton chops. It arose from the world of the first millennium—before there were universities, conservatories, cathedrals, or individually owned books. Chant arose among people poorer than is even imaginable to us today. The singers were from the lowest class. The composers too were monks drawn from every strata of society. They did not write their music down because no one had figured out how to write music. That only began to happen in a coherent way about the 11th century. The work of the chant composers continued for many centuries and the results have been handed on to us today.

This is why chant is what it is today. And if you look closely, you can discover that first-millennium sense about it. The more you sing it, the more you discover its humane qualities—written and sung by people just like us.

At the same time, it is a window into a world we do not know. The sensibility of chant is spontaneous. It tells stories in the folk vein. It emerged out of a culture of sharing. It wasn’t about musical theory and technique. In those days, people couldn’t write music. Mostly, the people who heard it couldn’t read either. There was no point because books were exceptionally rare and only available to a tiny group. Chant came about within this world to be the most compelling way to express the faith in a worship context.
Read the whole article.

Hat tip to Tea at Trianon.


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