Telemann’s Tremendous Task

George Philip Telemann (1681 – 1767) was one of the most prolific and prodigious composers in all history, with at least 3000 musical works to his credit, about half of which survive. He was a contemporary and friend of the great composers G.F. Handel, as well as  J.S. Bach – who were no slouches themselves. Bach had his fellow musician stand as God-father of his son, and even bestowed Telemann’s middle name upon the child, Carl Philip Emmanuel.

Telemann’s musical career began inauspiciously. He became absorbed in music his parents forbidding him to follow such a ‘useless’ path, with the prospect of little financial reward. So young G.P. studied and practised in secret – no tiger mum hovering over him, which is his case was a good thing, the music, and the drive to excel, being internalized early on. He taught himself, if we may trust Wikipedia, “the flute, oboe, violin, viola da gamba, recorder, double bass, and other instruments”. Quite an impressive feat, for those of us who have yet to master, or even moderate, one instrument!

For all of his tremendous output, Telemann fell somewhat into obscurity, overshadowed by his contemporaries. Some critics compared some of his pieces unfavorably to Bach, without realizing that the pieces they were comparing them to were actually by Telemann himself! Anyone who can pass a blind music test with the great J.S. is someone with whom to be reckoned. Telemann has been described as a bridge between the baroque and the classical, even with the romantic.

Praise the Lord

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Our Secret Vote: God is Watching

John Gerard Lewis has written a book that might startle many cafeteria Catholics who consider themselves fully liberated from the fixed and objective traditions of Catholic morality. The highly acclaimed Catholic Voting and Mortal Sin (2020) takes for its premise exactly what the title suggests: every vote is gambling on right or wrong; you vote at your peril, but vote you must; indifference is not an option … God and the devil are watching. At the outset Lewis emphasizes that, consistent with Church teaching and the expressed sentiments of the American bishops, voting for self-declared abortion rights candidates may well be a vote for mortal sin. The Church can say this, while at the same time not saying which specific candidate you should or should not vote for. Lewis notes that many American Catholics do not understand the need for them to examine their conscience before they enter the voting booth.

Lewis rightly observes that most Catholics are poorly catechized about morality and sin. Indeed, the frequency of Catholics confessing their sins, which requires the examination of conscience, has greatly diminished. Combine this fact with so many priests and bishops unwilling, or too intimidated, to risk the blow-back from a now largely liberal laity, and one sees why so many Catholics regard abortion as just one of a myriad number of issues to consider when choosing a candidate for office. It is, of course, not just one of many issues. It is the central issue of rampant evil in modern times. Each day in America more than 2,300 children are slaughtered in the womb. The gravity of this sin is such that those who cheer it on by voting for Catholic politicians who defend it are joining them on the broad path to hell, even those who recklessly suppose that they vote for such politicians with the best of intentions.

Are there any longer, as there used to be, true Catholic voters who can be counted on not to sever their religious convictions from their political choices? Separation of Church and State is a hollow phrase if it means that the Church can have no say in the political convictions of its members. What the phrase really means is that the Church must cravenly subject itself to the State. The Johnson Amendment to the IRS tax code of the 1960s made it inevitable that that if the bishops and priests wanted to keep the tax-exempt status of their properties protected, they would have to shut their mouths when it came to speaking from the altar about how Catholics should vote on moral questions in order to be loyal Catholics. Hence, the compliance of the bishops and the priests who follow the lead of their bishops, all too many of them more zealous for pieces of silver than for preaching the gospel.

Praise the Lord

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Vatican: Minors living in homes of Heralds of the Gospel must return to their families

The female branch of the Heralds of the Gospel. / Heralds of the Gospel.

Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sep 9, 2021 / 17:13 pm (CNA).

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has decreed that minors living at homes of the Heralds of the Gospel are to return to their families.

Praise the Lord

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Cardinal Gregory ‘Embarrassed’ at McCarrick Abuse Charges Because Such Crimes Are ‘Absolutely Contrary’ to the Meaning of Priesthood

Vatican MediaCardinal Wilton Gregory receives his red hat from Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica on Nov. 28, 2020.‘My first thought was about the people that he [McCarrick] had hurt,’ said Cardinal Wilton Gregory, who emphasized that the Church’s primary concern should be caring for victims.

Praise the Lord

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