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The 12th Day of Christmas

Saturday, December 25, 2010



Today I leave you with Yo Yo Ma (and other exotic instrumentation) accompanying Alison Krauss singing a stunningly beautiful version of The Wexford Carol, a beloved traditional Irish Christmas carol. The lyrics date back to the 12th century.

The Wexford Carol

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born

The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town
But mark right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox's stall

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God's angel did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Arise and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you'll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God's angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife

There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah lay
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBINSNEWNEST 12/30/2010 7:21PM


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DOR2BFIT 12/26/2010 10:45PM

    Wow- that is beautiful, thank you again for your beautiful selections especially for us! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 12/26/2010 9:05AM

    Enjoyed listening this morning! Calming and hopeful. Hope your holidays have been refreshing!

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TKADEEPBREATH 12/25/2010 11:30PM

    Perfect . .. .thank you

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/25/2010 11:30PM

    another beautiful piece!

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LYNNANN43 12/25/2010 11:09PM

    What a hauntingly, beautiful melody to end my Christmas Day with.

Thank you, once again, Maha!

Merry Christmas & Have a Happy, Healthy New Year!

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ALASKASKY 12/25/2010 1:24PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MISS_VIV 12/25/2010 10:57AM

    Merry Christmas -and thank you for this beautiful treasure.

"The bells of Christmas will ring for us again
When we truly do believe what Christmas really means . . .So light a candle that every man may see the world of hope and promise
like the one we knew way back when
And we'll ring the bells of Christmas once again"
Kenny Loggins - The Bells of Christmas


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CLAYKEEPER 12/25/2010 9:44AM

    What a lovely way to start Christmas morn ! Hugs, annette

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SUNNY332 12/25/2010 9:34AM

    It is indeed a Day of Celebration and this is perfect.

God Bless you.

Hugs, Sunny

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...not great things, but small things with great love!

Friday, December 24, 2010

We can do no great things
Only small things
With great love
-- Mother Teresa

Karma Tube does it again: The Dalai Lama once said that the most generous act there is, compassion, is actually a selfish act: "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

What does generosity mean to you? Why do you give? What can you give? Here are some thoughts from a group of volunteers for CharityFocus, an organization that focuses on the practice of selfless generosity and small acts of kindness. How would you answer these questions for yourself?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJSHOCKLEY 1/1/2011 2:28PM

  Beautiful words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing. Happy new year!

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WATERMELLEN 12/24/2010 5:28PM

    Love this -- as always. Your series has made me think. Love that too!!

Doing small things (especially the small things you don't want to do but others need you to do) with great love, rather than aggrievedly and grudgingly, is in fact a great thing. And it's so often the hardest thing of all because taken for granted, not considered to be so great and not bathed in the spotlight of universal approbation!! Or maybe any approbation at all!! So much easier to do the big splashy thing . . .

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MOOKBALL 12/24/2010 1:17PM

    Despite the Hunger by Alice Walker

Despite the hunger all that we can possess is this: Peace in a garden of our own.

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CLAYKEEPER 12/24/2010 12:33PM

    MAHA... I am so thankful to have found YOU this year.... Blessings and wishes for every abundance !

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RUSSELLORAMA 12/24/2010 12:11PM

    Thanks for this! Giving can be selfish, because it makes you feel good (or you think it makes you look good) but for me it's the proper kind of selfish and I need it to survive.

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SLASALLE 12/24/2010 10:14AM

    Maha - You have no idea what you just did to my day!! (It's a good thing). Like Sandra, I so very much appreciate your friendship and wealth of sharing ... xoxoxo

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BECOMINGONE 12/24/2010 10:05AM

    You have a wonderful gift for sharing wisdom from so many traditions ... and connecting people from so many places ... Thank you for being my friend.


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CARRAND 12/24/2010 10:00AM

    You are so generous to pass along these wonderful thoughts. I agree that practicing compassion leads to happiness. True forgiveness is a wonderful thing, too.

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SUNNY332 12/24/2010 9:57AM

    Awesome! We all can "Be the Change". It is the small things done with GREAT love - for sure.

Merry Christmas to you and to you, a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Sunny emoticon

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The 12 Days of Christmas, 11

Friday, December 24, 2010

Notre Dame Cathedral

Though they were not as angelic as these Monks of the Abbey of Montserrat which I share with you on this Christmas eve, they still remind me of the High Mass I used to attend every year as a child with my mom on Christmas eve at midnight -- with the incense, the chanting the Latin mass. Precious memories.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOOKBALL 12/24/2010 1:13PM

    Isn't it funny how we experience "religion." inscense, sore knees , music, light streaming through stained glass windows. Isn't is different how we practice "religion, " a helping hand, a smile, a kind word, a loving heart that does not discriminate but recognizes the inherent worth of each person.

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MISS_VIV 12/24/2010 10:49AM

    Loving memories. This resonates with me today as I too recall my early childhood and the masses and the incense. The music and the sore knees.

Much love

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Christmas Eve, 1513

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look."

Tahquamenon Falls, MI, in Winter

Fra. Giovanni Giocondo (c.1435–1515) was a Renaissance pioneer, accomplished as an architect, engineer, antiquary, archaeologist, classical scholar, and Franciscan friar. Today we remember him most for his reassuring letter to Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513.

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I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not. But there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel's hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCHMAID 12/24/2010 9:31AM

    A wise old monk--hope he was right!

Thanks for posting this. A thought provoker before the onslaught of party party.

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MOOKBALL 12/24/2010 12:40AM

    The taking is within our power if we will but use our powers. How many of us are too timid to do that?


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LYNNANN43 12/23/2010 10:00PM

    You make such a wonderful teacher to me! You've opened my eyes to so many things... made me ponder deep thoughts, enjoy beautiful writings and had me listen to new, amazing music.

How can I ever thank you enough?!

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The 12 Days of Christmas, 10

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christ Emmanuel, icon with riza by
Simon Ushakov, 1668. According to
the Gospel of Matthew, Emmanuel
refers to Jesus.
I share today a haunting piece by Loreena McKennitt, Emmanuel, from the album A Midwinter Night's Dream. I'm totally infatuated by her talent and approach to music.

For those who are not acquainted with this extraordinary talent, McKennitt is a Canadian singer, composer, harpist, accordionist and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes. Researching and singing in authentic dialects and languages and using indigenous instrumentation is a hallmark of her work, and she has been awarded honorary doctorates and other awards for these scholarly pursuits as well as her musical accomplishments.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNNANN43 12/23/2010 5:32PM

    What a haunting, stirring version of Emmanual!

Now here's one for you, Maha! I absolutely adore this one!

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FRACTALMYTH 12/23/2010 4:12PM

    Oh - I love Loreena McKennitt :D Thanks for sharing this one!

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INSPIREBYNATURE 12/23/2010 11:10AM

    Simply amazing

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CLAYKEEPER 12/23/2010 9:44AM

    Oh ! So beautiful my friend... thank you for sharing. Wishes for peace and joy !

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SUNNY332 12/23/2010 9:30AM

    Beautiful and very spiritual. What a great voice! Thanks so much for sharing.

Have a Blessed Day.


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ONEKIDSMOM 12/23/2010 7:15AM

    Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed these blogs... and the music links especially. They make my advent mornings!

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DOR2BFIT 12/23/2010 7:07AM

    Beautiful! We have one of her CDs in my classroom. emoticon

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