Please visit my blog as I write my first book, the authorized biography of Leonard Pennario.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Today is Palm Sunday, or the Second Passion Sunday if you want to get technical which, you know me, I do. Above is a picture of Padre Secondo at 9 a.m. declaiming the Gospel of Matthew in Latin from the steps of St. Anthony's.
Those down jackets! Ha, ha! In Buffalo you cannot get away from them. That is a massive down jacket on that guy on the left. I should have moved over to get a better picture but I am always afraid people are going to look at me and see me taking pictures instead of praying.
A few minutes before that picture was taken the padre blessed the palms. Above is my surreptitious picture of that.
Zut alors, this morning my clock radio goofed up again. Again it was my fault. I had the volume too low. So I did not have time for coffee before Mass. I am telling you, you need that coffee. I had trouble concentrating. My mind was wavering all over the place.
However I did notice this was the day we have the line about the unicorns that I love. I wrote about it last year on Palm Sunday. How is that for a quick year? The psalm I loved:
Domine, ne longe facias auxilium tuum a me, ad defensionem meam aspice: libera me de ore leonis, et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam.
O Lord, keep not Thy help far from me; look to my defense; deliver me from the lion's mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.
We went through the Passion twice, first sung in Latin and then read in English. My brother George and I once had this conversation about how you can hear this story over and over and the details still hit you. There is the business about the moment that Christ died on the cross (the Gospel says literally, gave up the ghost, which is where that expression comes from) the sky turned pitch black. And the curtain of the tabernacle of the synagogue was torn from top to bottom. Imagine that. Imagine being there and seeing that.
It is no wonder the Roman soldiers were freaking out. "Truly he was the son of God." Imagine being that centurion at the foot of the cross, realizing what just happened. What you just did.
George and I also discussed how every year you hear it, there will be something you did not notice or think about before. That is weird but it is true. Today what it was for me was that besides the darkness and the curtain ripping, many graves opened and saints came out of them and they went into towns and appeared to many. So I guess technically Christ was not the only one to rise from the dead. I guess these saints did, too.
So much to think about!
So little coffee!
After Mass the padre gave me one of the Traveling St. Anthonys. I was thrilled! Padre Secondo takes statues and fixes them up and safeguards them and he has several statues of St. Anthony of Padua that are making the rounds and you are welcome to play host to him in your home. He gave me St. Anthony packed up in a big duffel bag. The last host had donated the bag.
I put St. Anthony in the trunk and moved on to my next stop. This is going to sound terrible but my lack of coffee and my awe at ancient events and my joy at having St. Anthony in my trunk did not stop me from going to an estate sale. Looking back, I am kind of ashamed! I am like the disciples in that other part of the Passion, where Christ goes into the garden to agonize over what is to come, and he wants his friends to be there for him, and they keep falling asleep. That is awful but it is so human. Human beings, we have these limited brains. Something huge can be going on right under our eyes and we can focus on it for about five minutes and then we are thinking about something else.
Well, God cannot have been too mad at me because at the estate sale He showed me the way to three Leonard Pennario records.
Best of all was this Ravel record which, it was missing from Pennario's personal collection so I did not have it. It was up on a top shelf. And it was funny, I had just answered my cell phone, which was my mother reporting from another estate sale, when I lifted my eyes and saw this record.
There was also this classic, the Schumann/Franck. The Schumann is the Fantasia that I link to a lot on this Web log. Pennario had this one but I do not mind having a double.
That face, that face, that marvelous face!
The owner of this house had been a music teacher of some sort and had lived there since the 1930s, is what I heard. That is why he had these Pennario records which you find only at the homes of connoisseurs. There was also a bunch of albums of Schumann and Mahler songs and other things I loved, so I wound up buying about 25 records. There were also beautiful framed pictures and I bought one for $18.50.
I got home and Howard was already gone to Big Blue so I proceeded with my day at a luxuriously laid-back pace.
I put St. Anthony in the sun room.
I hung up my estate sale picture.
Then I poured myself some coffee and sat down and listened to Pennario playing "Miroirs."