Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I. Well, the prelim exam is finished. I didn't do so well the first day, but I felt really good on today's problems. I'm not sure I'll pass this time, but I'm confident I can pass it next semester if I fail now.

Alice and I celebrated the end of this first hurdle with a picnic on the quads, and later this evening I'll be going to a restaurant called Raleigh's with the other new graduate students for the same purpose. We won't know how we did till Friday.

II. This Sunday, I went to Saint Margaret Mary's Latin Mass (Novus Ordo), as recommended to me by Mary in the comments. I thought the chanted responses and prayers were particularly beautiful- the organ accompaniment gives the Gloria a quiet joy and the Memorial Acclamation a genuinely sorrowful tinge. Of course my Latin will have to improve as I try to follow those prayers that vary, but in the main I can do quite well by matching partial translation with my knowledge of the liturgy in English. That, and they have the English and Latin on facing pages in the missals.

I mean, of course a Latin Mass isn't for everyone, but I find it beautiful, and I find that it helps rather than hurts my participation in the prayer. My mind is forced to be active in following the Mass; I am compelled to keep my thoughts on what is taking place in the Consecration rather than on my private meditations.

III. Now I've finished moving into the room in Barbara's house, I thought I'd give you a peek. Only seven and a half by eleven feet, but as you can see, there's enough space for all my stuff...

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