Saturday, December 29, 2007

A St. Stephen's Day Acrostic

Stephen means crown, and worthily
The first who bore the martyr's crown
Ever will Stephen named be
Praised by all men in every town.
He bravely told his faith in Christ
And shed his blood on Israel's sod;
Nobly his life he sacrificed;
Eternally he reigns with God.

This is an acrostic of the Greek name of St. Stephen - the word for crown.

Midnight Mass

This is late, alas! but better than never; my Christmas poem.

The incense fills the midnight air,
A scented song, a perfumed prayer;
And rich and sweet in harmony
The choir's carols rise, and flee.
This night, the dearest night of all,
When Christ was cradled in a stall,
We kneel to celebrate again
And hear once more the angel strain:
"All glory be to God on high,
And peace to good-willed men," we cry
And in the silence of the night
The angels echo from the height
To praise, to bless, to glorify,
To give thanks for God's glory high.
Blest may this night forever be
When Christ was born of Mary free!

Monday, December 17, 2007


As yesterday was Gaudete Sunday, here's the next poetical offering...

The ground is buried deep beneath the snows,
But here, within the church's golden gloom,
A flower of flame above us is in bloom -
The glowing Advent-wreath's rejoicing-rose.
It blossoms in the vestments, and it flows
Through the translucent windows of the room;
It weaves the sunlight like Our Lady's loom
Into a flaming chasuble that glows
Color of rose, lit by a flame divine,
The color of rejoicing, sweet and fair,
Calling us to be glad in Jesu's name;
And, as the Advent-candles softly shine,
We lift our hearts to Jesus with a prayer
To light them all with his Gaudete-flame.

Inés de Erausquin.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The REAL First Thanksgiving!

Father Soos gave us this link; lo and behold, the Pilgrims did not institute Thanksgiving! :)
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy feast day to me

Today is the feast of St. Lucy, patroness of eyesight. Today for some reason the Swedish and others begin their Christmas decorating (we do it on the Immaculate Conception, which you could say is when God started His); I think it is because Lucis is "of Light" in Latin, so they begin preparations for the coming of the Light of the World, by whom the blind see, as well. So she really is quite a fitting precursor. I am posting an icon of her that I made a while ago.
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Thursday, December 6, 2007

For the Star Wars fans

Your results:You are Qui-Gon Jinn

Overall, you're a pretty well balanced person. But maybe you focus a little too much on the here and now. Think about the future before it’s too late.

Qui-Gon Jinn --70%
Mace Windu --70%
Lando Calrissian --69%
Han Solo --66%
Obi-Wan Kenobi --64%
Chewbacca --63%
Darth Maul --63%
R2-D2 --59%
Emperor Palpatine --56%
Boba Fett --56%

(This list displays the top 10 results out of a possible 21 characters)

I would have said Obi-Wan, but I guess I'm not short and reckless enough.

Click here to take the "Which Star Wars character am I?" quiz...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

a new poem

I wrote this a couple of days ago, and thought the readers of the Lily might find it amusing. Here goes:

Proposal and Refusal, a dialogue.

He:My dearest dear, I'll tell you true,
I'm getting very fond of you.
Each day I love you more and more,
And better than the day before;
I love upon your face to look
And just adore the way you cook,
And so I would delighted be
If you, my dear, would marry me.

She: My dearest boy, I must confess,
I like you daily less and less!
You talk about your deeds all day
And never heed a word I say;
You eat my stews and soups and pies
But never praise my shining eyes,
So - though I hate to cause you woe -
The answer to your plea is No.

He: O love, I pray you reconsider,
My life without you will be bitter!
Your merry laugh I'll sorely miss,
Your rosy lips I fain would kiss,
Your sea-blue eyes I'd ever praise
All through our happy married days,
And looking on your golden hair
My joy would be beyond compare.

She: O go away and leave me be!
You'll nothing gain by flattering me.
My hair is red, as any fire
(Except your "burning" heart's desire),
My eyes are green, if you would look
Instead of talking like a book;
O blind and foolish, go - adieu!
Be sure I'll never marry you!

He: Alas, alack, O woe is me!
O maiden full of cruelty!
Without you I will surely die -
She: O, you would do so by and by,
In any case! Now go away!
I'm sick of you, you popinjay!
Your suit is cold, and so are you;
Begone, you horrid thing - adieu!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I just added a very cool new feature I found, the Annunciation Scene of the Week! There are about 50 different ones altogether. SO, for context, one of my favorite songs ever:

ANGELUS ad Virginem subintrans in conclave
Virginis formidinem demulcens inquit:<>>
Ave, Regina virginum,
caeli terraeque Dominum
concipies et paries intacta
salutem hominum,
tu porta caeli facta
medela criminum.

Quomodo conciperem quae virum non cognovi?
Qualiter infringerem quod firma mente vovi?
Spiritus Sancti gratia
perficiet haec omnia;
ne timeas, sed gaudeas, secura
quod castimonia
manebit in te pura
Dei potentia.

Ad haec virgo nobilis respondens inquit ei:
Ancilla sum humilis omnipotentis Dei.
Tibi caelesti nuntio,
tanti secreti conscio
consentiens et cupiens videre
factum quod audio;
parata sum parere
Dei consilio.

Eia Mater Domini quae pacem reddidisti
Angelis et homini cum Christum genuisti:
tuum exora Filium
ut se nobis propitium
exhibeat et deleat peccata:
praestans auxilium
vita frui beata
post hoc exsilium.

Monday, October 29, 2007

For St. Michael

I know this is a month late, Michaelmas being the 29th of September; but he'll forgive me, I'm sure. Angels, laus Deo, don't hold grudges... :)

To St. Michael the Archangel

Saint Michael, Angel strong,
Leader of Heaven's host,
General of the choirs
And every Angel's boast,
Guard us against the foe
That ever hard besets;
Place us beneath your shield,
Safe from his deadly threats.

Saint Michael, Angel great,
Let the flame-sword you wield
Be every soul's defence
On the world's battlefield;
Let all embattled souls
Rally round at thy word,
Quis ut Deus their cry,
The holy Cross, their sword!

Archangel Michael dear,
Lord of the Angels bright,
Grant your protection sweet
And aid us in the fight.
Angel of Strength, we pray,
Defend us from the might
Of Satan, that someday
We may gain Heaven's light!

In honor of Christ the King

Since yesterday was the Feast of Christ the King, I took up my poetic pen and came up with these. Enjoy.

Rule us, O Lord, and let us nothing lack;
Lead us upon the narrow path and straight;
Teach us in weary times to patient wait,
And guide us forward, never looking back.
Reign in our hearts, dear King and Master sweet
Whose yoke is easy and whose burden, light;
Be Thou our guiding flame in blackest night
When foes would trample us beneath their feet.
Make us, O Sacramental Sovereign,
True bread, pure bread and holy, that we may
Be unto Thee a worthy offering
And pleasing to Thy Deity - that when
The battle ends, and comes the Judgment Day,
With saints we may acclaim Thee, Christ the King!

Laudes Regis.

Let all the angels lift their song
In praise of Him whose death and life
Have broken chains that held us long
And fettered fast the lord of strife.

His noble love has burst the bounds
Of death and demon's tyranny,
And now all Christendom resounds
With joy at Jesu's monarchy,

Our Lord, our King, our Life and Light,
Our strength, our glory and our love,
That rules all things within our sight
And all that man will ne'er know of.

Our mighty Master, great and strong,
More terrible than words can say,
Whose merciful embrace is long
As worlds have been, or worlds will stay.

In mercy infinitely kind,
For which we sing most gratefully,
There is no monarch man can find
As loving or as great as He.

Rise up on high, eternal Gate
Ye princes, lift your portals high
So that the King of Glory great
May enter as He passes by!

Who is this King of Glory, say?
The Lord most mighty in the fight!
Who is this King, O tell me, pray?
The Lord of Hosts, the Lord of Light!

Lift up your voices, Angels all,
Mankind arise and gladly sing
Til vales arise and mountains fall
To honor Christ, our Lord and King!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hair and the Fall of Man

Rocio (looking at Lucia's little braids in her sum, like Legolas sort of): I like your hair.
Lucia: I bet the elves knew-how some way to make their hair not static when they make it into thin braids.
Rocio: Maybe.
Lucia: No, maybe their hair grease spread down through all their hair and made it stay smooth.
Rocio: Like hairspray, yeah.
Lucia: Yeah, like gel. That's what hair grease is supposed to do, not stay up and make your top hair look all greasy. Like Like Adam and Eve before they sinned, that's probably what theirs did.
Rocio: We have to be the craziest people in the world.
Lucia: ....
Rocio: We're talking about Original Sin and its effects on HAIR!

Monday, October 22, 2007

This is Awesome!!!!!

The Napoleon of Notting Hill, coming soon to a college near you. This is a game designed by some college students, which allows you and all your residential college to fight for Campus domination. A map of your campus is divided into zones, you have a certain amount of time to recruit fellow students (because the number of your armies depends on the number of real people playing) and everybody takes about two minutes a day to move their armies in accordance with a strategy determined by the team as a whole or by elected generals. The best thing about it is the philosophy of the creators:
Sadly, I will no longer be here when it is available to non-rescollege students of Wash-U!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wow, have we been lazy

Not really, just busy. Gloria is running her own business, and Stephanie, Ines and I are juggling school (teaching) and college (studying), though for Stephanie the former is full-time and the latter part time, whereas Ines and I have the inverse. Anyway, I just remembered this morning what an awesome morning prayer St. Patrick wrote, and I thought I'd post it and maybe start using it. You can't have a really bad day after praying the "Deer's cry".

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me,Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

About Us

About Us Saturday, Jun 17 2006
Misc. Gloria 6:12 pm
This blog is run by Lucia, Ines, Stephanie and Gloria, and we are a group of Trad girls living in St. Louis Missouri. Our name comes from a title given to Eowyn in the Lord of the Rings. The phrase “Steel Lily” was perfect since Steel stands for strength and Lily stands for purity. We mainly just blog about life as seen by Trad girls, and also write poems and essays when we think of them.

More rescued posts

The Steel Lily
A PMS: Post-Modernist Sorority
Romae sumus… Ines Saturday, Jul 29 2006
Travel Lucia 3:33 am
Now we are in Rome and we saw St. Peter’s and climbed its dome (the girls climbed up to the very top but I had an unusual fit of dizziness that morning and couldn’t), St. Mary Major, Santa Croce, St. John Lateran, and St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls. Also St. Peter in Chains, and we climbed the Sancta Scala! On our knees, of course, and praying at every step. ouch… But it was worth it, most definitely. A shame that most of the relics of the Sancta Sanctorum are no longer there; they are scattered all over Rome. We also went (yesterday it was) to the Catacombs of St. Priscilla and the Spanish Stairs, and then we split up. Colleen, Christine and Stephanie wanted to see the U.S. Embassy (it turned out they didn’t, but they went to the Trevi Fountain.) Lucia and I went to Sta. Agnese fuora dei Muri, to see my patroness’tomb, and we discovered that she shares it with St. Emerentiana! St. Agnes’ head is not there, though, it is at Sta Agnese in Agone in Piazza Navona, but that is under restoration so we couldn’t go in, boohoo… We touched our scapulars to the coffin, so now we have third-class relics of both saints! And then we went through the Catacomb of St. Agnes. It was really neat.
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Guaranteed strictly untrue… Friday, Jul 28 2006
poetry Lucia 2:29 pm
The most movynge and delyghtfull tale of the loves of the fair Christine and the handsome guarde, the whyche happeneth in the Eternale Citye, he beinge a membre of that illustrious bodye of Swiss in the servyse of His Holynesse, and she a pilgryme to that citye. The whyche moreover is a most apt example of constancie and prudence in maydens, and of manlie fortitude and courage in men.
A Swiss Guard was guarding in St Peter’s SquareWhen his eye chanced to fall on a maiden so fair.
Her soft hair was brown and her bright eyes were greenAnd her name (as the Guard told me once) was Christine.
With her veil on her head and her Rosary in handThe Guard thought this lady did look simply grand.
And she, as her gentle gaze fell on the Guard,Thought “Here is perfection of manhood, unmarred!”
He was just six feet five, and his hair was dark brown,What a picture he made as he paced up and down!
As she passed the Guard, her Rosary did drop,And he in his pacing did suddenly stop;
As they both bent to lift it, their two hands did meet,And each thought the other was perfectly sweet.
O goodness! O gracious! O heavens above!The handsome Swiss Guard and Christine were in love!
When the Guard was off duty they made rendezvousAnd asked of each other what they were to do;
“We’re in love, my dear Guard, that is plain to be seen;Let’s marry quite soon!” cried the lovely Christine.
“But I’ve just begun serving! I cannot be wedTill my five years are over,” the handsome Guard said.
“How dreadful! How cruel! How terribly hard!”Said the lovely Christine to her handsome Swiss Guard.
“But I’ll wait, then, for you. Write a letter each day;Be faithful and true!” the fair maiden did say.
So five years he worked hard and daily he wrote -In bold, dashing writing - a little love note.
And lovely Christine, with a heartbreaking sigh,A perfumed epistle would send in reply.
(He’d send all his letters to her through her DadFor fear that the Captain of Guard would get mad,)
And sometimes in Piazza Navona they’d meetAnd scrumptious tartuffo together would eat.
When five years were past - on his very last day -The Guard gaily wrote, “Let’s be married in May!”
But lovely Christine planned a terrible jest,She wanted to put her true love to the test.
She sent him her answer, a terrible one -“I think my vocation is that of a nun.”
He read the dread note and in awful despairHe tore at his coat and his darkest-brown hair,
But settling down in a very short whileHe decided to patiently bear with the trial.
And in a short time he received a short letter:“I like not the convent; I love you much better.”
And so they were wed on a fair day in JuneAnd went to Australia for their honeymoon.
Wryttene by Mystresse Inés de Erausquin, Anno Domini MMVI. Singe ye itt, if ye wylle, to the tune of “I’m a Rambler, I’m a Gambler,” the whyche fittethe it welle enoughe.
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France Monday, Jul 24 2006
Travel Lucia 3:24 pm
One of the first things we learned about the French: they use annoying keyboards with all the letters scrambled! We visited Carcassone on the 13th and 14th…we walked on the walls of the old city and saw barriers set up for the Tour de France in the new. Arriving in Toulouse, late in the afternoon of the 14th, we walked down to the river to see the Bastille day fireworks. Mrs. Michaux afterwards remarked that they never go to those celebrations because Bastille day was the beginning of the Masonic revolution, but hey, we missed the fourth and we needed our midsummer fireworks. They were very pretty, over the river and with live background music (Porgy and Bess!!!) The next day we visited the basilica of St Sernin, bishop of Toulouse, who was dragged down the street we were living on by a bull for his martyrdom. Afterwards we went to Les Jacobins to visit St. Thomas Aquinas. The church had the pillars up the center (because the monks had their choir stalls on the sides facing the middle?) and a beautiful cloister. Other highlights in France were a visit to Mont St. Michel, seeing our Lady’s veil in Chartres, trying to pronounce Chartres, discussing French vs. English onomatopoeia, Notre Dame, the story of the taking of St. Nicholas de Chardonnet (tell you later) , and hearing that French trad children also read in the bathroom when they are supposed to be asleep.
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Ines here .. forgot my password Monday, Jul 24 2006
Misc. Lucia 3:10 pm
So. Here is the true story of one of our (mis)adventures in Spain.
There is shrieking in the shower and shouting in the hall,
Lucia from the shower gives a terrifying call,
“A centipede has bitten me - it’s bitten my big toe!”
And Stephie shrieks, “It’s poisonous, and to your grave you’ll go!”
And all the girls unto her run and someone grabs the broom,
And all determine then to bring the critter to his doom.
Lucia with a flashlight the shower entereth,
To find the evil Centipede and crush it unto death,
“Suspect identified!” she cries in tones of triumph gay,
Then “Oh! I lost it!” she exclaims, in accents of dismay.
Lucia’s Spansh Centipede is crawling up the wall
And some girls shriek in horror and others fainting fall*,
And as into a corner the deadly beast doth crawl,
Our valiant Lu the broom doth seize and drags it to the hall!
With camera in hand the fearless Stephanie advances
And “shoots” the fascinating foe before it flees our glances.
Then Lu attacks it with the broom and strikes with dreadful cries,
Until the Spanish Centipede has met its last demise.
And then, the wounds of battle healed, we all retire to bed,
Quite certain that Lucia’s foe, the Centipede, is dead!
*a slight exaggeration
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cont… Friday, Jul 7 2006
Travel Lucia 12:21 pm
I’m running out of I´’ll just mention that Madrid, being a newer city, has less evidence of this.
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Steel Lilies in Spain Friday, Jul 7 2006
Travel Lucia 12:20 pm
Well, here we are, five traditional girls in Europe. We have played and danced to Irish music in Cork and discussed modesty in dress at midnight in a sidewalk cafe in Salamanca, and now we are in Madrid almost ready to go to Mass. We have seen more of Spain than of Ireland, and the impression we got was of an unbelievably rich Catholic heritage–there was a church, convent or monastery on almost every block in Madrid [edited Sept. 2007: I meant Salamanca].
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New Idea Tuesday, Jul 4 2006
Misc. Gloria 3:21 pm
So I’m in CA visiting my family, and my sisters show me this really funny series of videos some guy made called “Ask A Ninja”. Once I saw them, I thought it’d be really cool to do an “Ask A Trad” series. But I can’t seem to think of any good questions we could answer-besides the obvious “Do Trad Girls have to wear shapeless plaid jumpers to be modest?”
Take a look at the videos and let me know what you all think-comments are definitely welcome…
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Posts Google saved for us

The Steel Lily
A PMS: Post-Modernist Sorority
Adventures in Spain — Pars Secunda Sunday, Jul 29 2007
Misc. Ines 11:01 am
Well, my friends! Now that the Lily’s up again… I’ve got some catching up to do!
The wedding in Compostela (July 7) was a blast; it looked like the UN, with people from Iceland, Spain, Ireland, and Argentina (us and a couple of others), as Pilar (the bride) works in translations and is currently doing an Icelandic-Spanish dictionary. We mostly talked with the only ones near our age, a pair of Icelandic kids, who both spoke English well and Spanish fairly. The Mass was Novus Ordo and was… interesting, to say the least… but the music, four-part polyphony by several different composers, including T.L. de Victoria, was magnificent. The party was really fun, though tiring — we were dancing till five in the morning!
On the morning of the 11th I saw the Clerecía, the old Jesuit church, which is very beautiful but unfortunately is only open for tours, and you have to take the guided tour, which goes too quickly to really take in the details. Then on the 12th I went to see about renting a studio with a piano to practice, and from that day on I’ve been going three hours a week, for €3 an hour, which is pretty good. The next day Lucia and I were working together at the library of the old University, and while I searched the catalog for books that might help us she copied an old Mass of the Immaculate Conception out of a 17th century manuscript whose covers were tied shut with a large red ribbon because they wouldn’t stay on any other way!
That Saturday we spent the afternoon at the Prado museum in Madrid, admiring all the beautiful paintings. Lucia really liked the El Greco paintings, though it took me a while to get used to the style, which I did end up liking. There was one painting (by Goya, I believe) of a young woman called Maria Teresa de Villabriga y Rozas who looked so like me it was hilarious! Lu made me stand in profile beside it (it was a profile portrait) and she said it was unbelievably like, and even I saw the resemblance in features; though her skin was fairer than mine her eyes and hair were the same color. This is the picture we saw. The image is bad but you can still sort of tell… You can click on it to get a bigger image, which helps. Then after Mass that evening we met Ignacio’s ex-housefather, Santiago Lorenzo, and his father. We exchanged phone numbers with them, and then went to call the friend who was supposed to put us up, since we didn’t know his address, but he didn’t answer, although we tried several times. So we called home for assistance and Mami and Tata directed us to a hotel run by some Argentinians where they had stayed before. Unfortunately it was full, but Mami and Tata had already called the owners and asked them to help us find a place. Thus, they called a couple of other hotels and found us a room in another hotel on the same street, where we stayed the night comfortably enough for a pretty decent price.
The next morning we went to the bus station to reserve our seats on the bus for Salamanca for later that evening. This done, we went to the chapel, and asked the choir if we could sing with them. They welcomed us with open arms. It was wonderful being able to sing at Mass! We practiced in unison, as they don’t sing in parts, but at Offertory the hymn was O Sanctissima and the arrangement in two parts was too tempting to resist and at the third verse I went full-voice into the harmony and didn’t make a single mistake, thanks be to St. Cecilia. After Mass Santiago Lorenzo complimented us on our singing and asked us what our plans were. While Lu talked to him, a lady came up to me and said, “Are you one of the Americans? What is your name?” I answered, “De Erausquin.” She exclaimed, “I was wondering all through Mass, ‘Who do these girls remind me of?´and I finally realized you had to be Gabriel and Maria Laura’s daughters! You look like Gabriel, and your sister looks like Maria Laura… I’m Lisi Rubio, Father Rubio’s sister. I’ve known your parents since before they were engaged.”
You can imagine my amazement! Mami and Tata had told us to say hello to her if we ever met her, but we had no idea we ever would, since we didn’t know what she looked like, and we certainly didn’t expect her to recognize us at sight! Then Lu came up and I introduced her, and she gave us her phone number, promised help in any problem, and asked us what our plans were for the following weekends. She said she would look for a place for us, (which the Lorenzos were also doing,) and introduced us to a couple of other friends who were also willing to help. After which Lisi Rubio piled us into her van with her seven children, and dropped us off near the Prado museum, from which we walked up to the Puerta del Sol, where we had some lunch and then headed for the Royal Palace and the Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Almudena, which was closed! So we walked about the city for a while, but everything was closed, since it was the hottest part of the day, which is always siesta time, and Sunday besides, so at last we went to the Parque del Retiro (which is immense; it’s a bit like Forest Park), and had our siesta there in the shade of the big trees, and then went to catch our bus back home. After several vain attempts to call home (which, we later learned, was because the family was over at the Kokenges’ watching a soccer game!), we went to bed.
I think a week per installment is enough and this post is getting fearfully long, so I will publish it and plunge into installment three!
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Update on Technical Difficulties Friday, Jul 27 2007
Misc. Gloria 10:14 am
As you probably noticed, there’s been some technical difficulties with the Steel Lily lately. It seems to work sporadically, and right now, I got in long enough to post this. There’s been a lot of comment spam coming in (some posts got hit with 50+ spam comments), and in order to test a hunch, I’ve disabled comments for the time being to see if that helps. My hunch is that the spam was flooding the server and causing the site to go down. Anyways, keep trying to post-it helps to see when people are able to get in.
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Adventures in Spain: Pars Prima Wednesday, Jul 4 2007
Travel Ines 8:15 am
Well, y´all, we´re in Spain again!
The flight from Chicago went smoothly. Other than the fact that I pulled an all-nighter it was okay. And about… oh, maybe midnight St. Louis time, we heard the two gentlemen behind us saying… no way, but way… Compline???
Lucia leaned over the back of her seat and asked them, “Are you saying Compline?”
They said, “Yes…are you Sisters?” I answered, “Sisters as in related, but not as in religious, no.”
“Then how do you know about the Office?” They were stunned. I answered (perhaps too) matter-of-factly, “Well, we´re Catholics…”
Promptly two large hands were extended over the seat, and both expressed their delight at “meeting two good strong Catholics,” and asked us to join them for the rest of the Office, which we did (it was actually Vespers not Compline, they were on the Magnificat.) Then we shut our eyes while they were saying “night prayer” (Compline) and were awoken again when they asked us to lead the Salve Regina, which we sang with them. They complimented our voices and then I asked them,”Are you priests?” One of them was; the other is his brother, we found, and they were going over with the brother´s wife and family (four or five kids) to spend ten days in Ireland. We told them about our family, and when they heard Mami is expecting #11, Father said “Ah, she´s well on her way to heaven!” Wasn´t it great of him! He and his brother are two out of twelve, they told us.
Then the famous quote “There are two kinds of people on earth, those who are Irish and those who wish they were!” came up… Lu told them our great-grandfather was a Toomey, and Father came out with the most original compliment on our ancestry that I´ll ever hear: “Ah, God rest him, and bless him for giving you that beautiful [Irish] blood.” I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.
Later when they, too, fell asleep, I sat for a while and then pulled out my notebook and began to write a poem “In Praise of Ireland.” (yes, yes, there I go again…) In the morning I gave it to them, and they were so pleased with it that Father gave me a holy card, and his brother, “Danny boy” as Father called him, asked me for my email address, to write back, which I gave him. They promised to pray for us at the shrine of Our Lady of Knock, and I countered it with a promise to pray for them at Compostela. A pretty good deal, overall…
Today Lucia and I (after pulling an almost-all-nighter, as we couldn’t sleep), went to the University - or she did, I went first to the Casa de las Conchas, the public library, and read a bit, and then headed out to the Plaza Mayor where Juan Matias had told me there was a music store where they could point out a place where I could practice piano (I cannot go into Webster with two months’ lack of practice on my hands!). They told me the way to a music school which (as it turns out) does have piano rooms for rent, but the price wasn’t posted and nobody was in to tell me anything about details, so I’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.
Then I went up to the Clerecía, the Jesuit seminary church, and they had a guided tour at noon, so I decided to wait for it. I had about half-an-hour which I spent strolling around, and I also did a bit of shopping… try and guess whose fan I bought, Gloria and Michelle? :p Then I went back to the Clerecía but since I was the only one there they cancelled the tour, unfortunately! So I went out to the New Cathedral (begun 1513, and they call that new?) and drafted this post sitting in the Plaza Anaya, in front of the Puerta de las Palmas (over which is a gorgeous carving of Our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.) After which I went into the Cathedral and once again admired the beautiful side-altars and had a good look at the cupola over the high altar, carved all round with scenes from the Life of Christ. Underneath it is a great mirror and you can look down into that and see everything reflected, so you don’t have to break your neck looking up!
This computer is running out of time… the disadvantages of cyber-cafe computers! And so, farewell!
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The Steel Lily Wednesday, Jun 27 2007
Misc. Lucia 11:25 pm

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Wednesday, Jun 6 2007
Misc. Lucia 4:13 pm
Ines and I are going to Spain in less than a month, so hopefully there will be some interesting stuff posted in the travel category soon. I will try to think of something in the meantime, though.
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Villanelle to Our Lady Saturday, May 19 2007
poetry and Literature Ines 1:06 pm
I fell in love with this form of poetry when I read some villanelles by Oscar Wilde; so, using his as models I came up with some of my own. This one is to Our Lady.
O Mary, Queen of Heaven high,
Thou matchless maiden without stain,
Hark to thy children as they cry!
The dusk is falling, night is nigh,
Darkness descends upon the plain,
O Mary, Queen of Heaven high,
And we affrighted to thee fly
Lest by sin’s darkness we be ta’en;
Hark to thy children as they cry!
We pray, protect us where we lie
At rest, or toss upon the main,
O Mary, Queen of Heaven high!
For if thou heed us not we die,
And all our struggles are in vain;
Hark to thy children as they cry!
Help us, sweet maiden motherly,
That heaven’s halls we thus may gain;
O Mary, Queen of Heaven high,
Hark to thy children as they cry!
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another poem Thursday, May 10 2007
poetry and Literature Ines 12:21 pm
I came up with this after Father came down the hall, on a sick-call; the sudden, absolute silence, after a few thuds as everyone dropped to their knees, was awe-filling. I thought of the last line first, actually (amusingly,) and scribbled down the poem when I was supervising a class about half-an-hour later.
Any suggestions for a title are welcome!
The buzz of study is the only sound
That breaks the sunlit silence of the halls;
The gentle breezes blowing all around
Echo the hum of voices through the walls.
But then a little bell’s light silver trill
Makes sudden silence, like a leaden weight,
Fall on the classrooms, and in reverence still
All swiftly kneel — the King comes by in state,
Borne on the bosom of His holy priest
To one that was not able to draw nigh
To take into his heart the Eucharist,
Before whose presence all hearts silent cry,
“Let us in all eternity adore
The Holy Sacrament of Christ the King…”
As the bell’s trill fades out the distant door
All rise and go on with their studying,
But for a while there lingers in the air
An echo of the silence that did fall
Over the students at their labor there
When Christ the King came silent down the hall.
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Another Steel Lily Monday, Apr 30 2007
Misc. Lucia 8:59 pm
I just finished writing a paper on St. Hildegard of Bingen and how she became a saint by following her vocation. It’s here.
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Confused thoughts on “Becket” Monday, Apr 30 2007
Misc. Lucia 8:57 pm
A lot of us Steel Lilies went to see Becket, which was being re-released at the Tivoli here in St. Louis. I thought I would write a little about it.
Of course, it was pure Hollywood, though ‘the girl,’ as Ig would say, dies near the beginning. The trouble is that according to most of Becket’s contemporaries, there never was a girl. Other historical inaccuracies include its portrayal of Becket as a Saxon (he was actually a Norman, albeit of a tradesman’s family) and the absence of his greatest line: If all the swords in England were pointed at my head, your threats should not move me. Apparently the man who wrote the original play read the chapter on Henry II in an outdated history of England and threw off the play in a few days. It isn’t rated, but I feel pretty confident in giving it an R. Actually I didn’t know all these things when I was watching it, but the real reason I liked it (besides the Dies Irae and Te Deum in surround sound) was the way they showed St. Thomas as a phlegmatic saint. I mean, they show him as far from a saint at the beginning (by the way, it is true that he pushed the tax on Church lands while chancellor) but the way he explains it is a very good portrayal of the phlegmatic temperament, or of as much as I know of it from having it. He doesn’t care about anything enough to take trouble for it, but he is a hard worker towards the goals he has set for himself–to help the king in strengthening England. He won’t speak his love, ever, and he might even believe he has none. But when he gets a new job, he has to set new goals (being intelligent and conscientious) and he works toward them as doggedly as he did for the old. The way he prays looks pretty phlegmatic too: Dear Lord, I don’t know how to love but I will do everything for you (of course that is love). And his prayer in the monastery, though it has some Hollywood misconceptions about the monastic life, sounds pretty convincing in that a phlegmatic would really rather stay there the rest of his life (we hate unnecessary fuss and fighting). By the way, the pope at that time was a great guy and very favorable to Becket. Not what they show at all. But enough of this rambling; the short and the long of it is that I don’t know whether to recommend it or not. For me, the bad parts were worth it for the inspiration, but then strong inspiration for a phlegmatic is rare and some other things don’t bother us as much.
PS After all that, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, he doesn’t seem to have been a phlegmatic either.
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The old Steel Lily at is down--whether temporarily or permanently we have yet to find out--so I'm putting this up in the meantime. Enjoy!