I was invited to play…

a gig at a local prison with a small group of folks. Mostly praise music, perhaps a few other tunes. I accepted, not just to release my inner Johnny Cash but music for God is, as it has been said, a prayer prayed twice.

Yet my bass isn’t coming with me. Just can’t bring it. They’d have to open the body up to check for contraband and the strings, well I get that part. A bass string would be a formidable weapon in the wrong hands. What’s more it could be cut into small pieces and used as a needle for a prison tattoo. I have to admit I didn’t even think about that. Attach the wire to an electric shaver head, dip it in ink and let the back and forth motion pound it into the skin.

Kudos, I guess, for resourcefulness to the people behind bars and a certain sense of gratitude on my part for living a fairly sheltered life…

Some advice…

Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.

~A. Cornelius Celsus

St. Ephraim…

Thou, O Christ our Savior, hast become for me the path of life which leads to the Father. There is but one path, and it is my joy, and at the end of it is the heavenly kingdom.

Thou, O Master, Jesus, Son of God, hast become for me the path of life and enlightenment.

In the heart of Thy servant Thy grace has become light and joy, which are sweeter than the honey of the honeycomb to the lips of Thy slave.

In the soul of Thy servant Thy grace has become a treasure, which has made his poverty rich and driven away misery and corruption.

For Thy servant, Thy grace has become a refuge, strength, a defense, ennoblement, praise, and food for the whole of his life.

How can Thy servant be silent, O Master, after having tasted the great sweetness of Thy love and grace? How could I dare once again to obstruct the waves of grace which pour forth into the heart of me, a sinner, and which are replete with sweetness according to the multitude of Thy gifts?

I shall sing of the glory of the Master of heavenly powers and shall magnify Thy grace, O Christ our Saviour, and my tongue shall not cease to chant of Thy love.

Thy love draws me to Thee, O Savior, O praise of my life.

Thy grace makes it sweet for me to follow Thee with my mind.

May my heart be as a fertile field for Thee, and may Thy grace sprinkle the dew of eternal life upon it.

May Thy grace reap a good harvest on the field of my heart: humility, reverence, sanctity, and all that is ever pleasing to Thee.

Return my soul to the sweet garden of paradise, and may it abide in light that, surrounded by the delights of paradise, I too may say with all the saints: Glory to the Immortal Father; honor to Him Who presents heavenly gifts to this worthless one, that he may bring a tithe of glory to the King of all!

attributed to St. Ephrem the Syrian, 4th century

The Hope for Haiti…

telethon was all over television last night. Certainly its a good cause, the people of Haiti need much and yet part of me is always cynical about these celebrity driven telethons. I wonder why multi-millionaire artists wouldn’t simply write a check from their largesse and quietly help good things happen. They could avoid delays, production costs, salaries, all the expenses and send their help quickly and efficiently.

Ah, but no one would know, and that makes all the difference. The sad part is once the show is over their reward is already in hand and it will fade with the spotlights, still valuable, of course for the people of Haiti, but lost for eternity.

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