Spring Bests Have Arrived

Whenever I can, I try to compose little lists of the best things in the world.

It will take me a long time to get through them all. Fortunately, I am still young.

I have posted a new list under the Bests tab above.

The following old list of ‘blizzard bests’ is retired from the tab…

Continue reading “Spring Bests Have Arrived”

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Finally!

Guess what? I finally made a new “Bests” list.

Very old Holy Land list is retired…

Continue reading “Finally!”

Presenting the Nea

Hoyas 3-0! Yeah, buddy.

Speaking of which, it was nice to see our old homeboy Jeff Green on the court against the Wizards last night…

…Looking for an act of devotion in honor of the Solemnity of Christ the King?

Consider adding your e-signature to the Manhattan Declaration

…After I finished high school, I got a job typing the reports of a company of local archaeologists.

The company specialized in pre-historic archaeology–that is, the study of artifacts produced by people who did not have writing.

In our area, you can discover a pre-historic artifact while you are out for a walk. There are still Algonquian arrowheads and potsherds lying on the surface of the earth.

Contrast this with archaeology in the Old City of Jerusalem. On Monday evening, we walked down four flights of steps from street level. We emerged into a cistern that was built to hold water for use in the Temple in the fifth century B.C.

Chiesa Nuova in Rome

There are books written about the building of that temple–they can be found in the Old Testament. My point is: In Jerusalem, archaelogists have dug and dug and dug, and they still have not gotten to the pre-historic level.

And here is some more perspective: In our day and age, since the beginning of the Digital/Organic Era (which began when Bill Gates’ net worth reached $1 trillion), “new” refers to something that came into being in the last half-nanosecond.

In Rome, there is a beautiful church called Chiesa Nuova, the “New Church.” It was completed in 1606.

In Jerusalem, the Nea, the “new” church in honor of Mary the Mother of God, has lay buried beneath the rubble of earthquake and Persian destruction for 1200 years.

Today is the day the Nea was dedicated in A.D. 543.

Our Lady was born in Jerusalem. She was among the girls who cared for the Temple paraphernalia.

When Mary brought the newborn Jesus to the Temple to present Him to the Father, she encountered the priest Simeon and the prophetess Anna. The three of them may already have known each other.

The above is a mosaic map of Christian Jerusalem. It is not easy to read. The Cardo, or main street, runs left to right through the middle of the city. The huge ancient basilica of the Holy Sepulcher is below the main street, the Nea is above it, to the right. There was an annual procession between the two churches.

…I am sorry that I allowed the following “Bests” list to get as stale as five-year-old granola bars. It is retired. An exciting new edition is available behind the Bests tab above.

Continue reading “Presenting the Nea

St. Matthew

In honor of St. Matthew’s feast day, we present El Greco’s portrait of him:

el greco st matthew

This painting is in the El Greco Museum in Toledo, Spain.

As you can see, El Greco’s figures are elongated.

The museum guide in the Prado in Madrid told us that all the people in El Greco’s paintings are 13% taller than they should be.

By the by…El Greco was indeed a Greek. He was from Crete. (He was a Cretan, though hardly a cretin.)

The Spaniards could not pronounce his name, so they called him “The Greek.” (No relation to Jimmy the Greek.)

jimmy the greekJean Poyet was a late-medieval illuminator who produced the beautiful image of the Mass you see below. He also drew a magnificent St. Matthew.

The picture of St. Matthew is in the “Book of Hours of Henry VIII,” which is in the Morgan Library in New York. Alas, I cannot find the image of St. Matthew anywhere on the ol’ internet, so here’s Poyet’s picture of the Holy Mass instead.

Happy feast day to all Matthews!

jean poyet

…With bad luck like this (see below), you are going to lose to the N.Y. Giants, even if you are the Dallas Cowboys in the home-opener in your billion-dollar new stadium:

…These old Bests are retired:

Continue reading “St. Matthew”

The Year Gone By

rehobo postcardIt is nice to be back in familiar pastures. Your servant has returned for a holiday at the beach, and we find ourselves at the wifi hotspot where this little weblog began.

In its first year of publication, Preacher and Big Daddy has seen its ups and downs. When it comes to readership, we have taken this motto from Seneca: “A few is enough for me. So is one. So is none.”

lib.GROUCHO FILES.B1047That said, we enjoy a few hundred visitors each day. It may be true, dear reader, that you would never join a club that would accept you as a member. Nonetheless, the P&BD society is a happy, medium-sized group.

In honor of our first anniversary, the editorial staff has decided to open up the Bests page to comments, especially nominations for Best Post of the Year and Stupidest Post of the Year. Do not hold back!

…This Shakespearian Bests is retired:

Continue reading “The Year Gone By”

Emperor Has No Clothes

John Daly's pants just get better and better
John Daly's pants just get better and better
Today I announced that a new parochial vicar will arrive at our parish on August 8. After Mass, I received the greatest compliment I have ever gotten:

“Father, we will miss your homilies and your cufflinks.”

…The Emperor who has no clothes is the Washington Shakespeare Theatre Company.

Such emperors are always surrounded by toadies. In this case, the Washington Post, the City Paper, and the Washingtonian‘s one-time critic are among the cheer-leading toadies.

I was able to see King Lear at the Harman Center through the gracious generosity of a friend, and I am grateful for his kindness.

wstc king learWe have been down this road before. The Shakespeare-Theatre-Company production of Twelfth Night turned out to be painfully “gimmick-ridden,” and utterly unsatisfying for this “Shakespeare fundamentalist.”

The problem is: Their production of King Lear is laden with more gimmicks than twelve Twelfth Nights. And all of the gimmicks in this production of King Lear are gross with a capital G.

Gross beyond the point of gratuity. Gross beyond the point of abysmal taste. Gross to the point of embarrassment.

Continue reading “Emperor Has No Clothes”

Wednesday Night Miscellany II

Major General Charles Champion Gilbert
Major General Charles Champion Gilbert
Hedo
Hedo

Gwen Stefani was in the air earlier this evening. It is time for another Wednesday Night Miscellany.

Andrew Jackson Higgins
Andrew Jackson Higgins

If you read Wesley Pruden’s column, you know that Andrew Jackson Higgins had a “pleasantly malicious expression.”

Mr. Higgins was a New Orleans businessman.

His company built the plywood landing boats which brought our troops to the beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944…

…Why is it wrong to kill abortionists? Here is an excellent answer

…Did you know that there was a “Preacher’s Regiment” in the Union Army in the Civil War? It was full of Methodist circuit-riders from Illinois…

Continue reading “Wednesday Night Miscellany II”

Three and Out

I was dismayed to discover this morning that I was not named to the President’s Religious Advisory Council.

This leaves me with more time to compile lists of some of the best things in life.

The list below is now retired. There is a new, special-edition Bests above.

Best Scene from “Prince of Egypt“:

ph2006022100002Best Tori Amos Song: A Sorta Fairytale

Best Georgetown Hoya Ever: Patrick Ewing

Best Professor at Seton Hall University: Fr. John Grimm (pictured above with the Holy Father and a foolish tall priest)

Best Super Bowl Commercial:

Close Call

nighthawks

It was incredibly close. Too, too close. Altogether too close.

Edward Hopper won the Art Lovers’ Poll by a single vote.

And the Hoyas lost to the Pirates by five points.

jt-iii-cufflinksSeton Hall’s luck was charmed by the twentieth-anniversary commemoration of their trip to the NCAA finals.

We Hoyas fans are going to have to re-evaluate our expectations for this season. Now we really do have a losing Big East record.

On the bright side…

Continue reading “Close Call”