7 Quick Takes (vol. 65)

January 15, 2010 | 62 comments

— 1 —

Like many of you, I’ve spent the past few days wiping tears from my eyes as I follow coverage of the devastation in Haiti. It occurred to me as I complained about little inconveniences this week that, in addition to people who lost friends and family in the earthquake and had no food or medical supplies, there were undoubtedly many people alive and trapped under collapsed buildings at that very moment. I kept thinking of Archbishops Auza’s comment in this article where he said, “Everywhere there are cries coming from under the rubble.” Perspective.

— 2 —

If you’re tight on cash but want to help, I love the idea of participating in Fast for Haiti, where you fast for one to three meals, then donate the money you saved on food to Haiti (@FastforHaiti on Twitter). It’s informally affiliated with Catholic Relief Services, which is a great charity to give to since they already have infrastructure on the ground (their Port-au-Prince headquarters were not damaged in the earthquake).

— 3 —

On a brighter note, thank you so much to all the birthday “gifts” from earlier this week. I took to heart all your incredibly kind words of wisdom, advice and encouragement, and will be thinking of them for a long time to come. Thank you!

— 4 —

If you’re a writer, I highly recommend checking out Jane Friedman’s weekly “Best Tweets for Writers” blog posts. There’s so much great content there, I don’t even need to read other writing blogs as often — all the good content is summarized there!

— 5 —

Speaking of writing, I have a new timeline set up for finishing my book. It looks like I’ll be able to be done with it by early summer, maybe even sooner. At first it was painful to start again (I’d frequently grumble “Didn’t I already do this once?!”) but now that I see how much better it is, I’m just grateful that I got this second chance.

— 6 —

Want to hear something absolutely sublime? Download Leroy Kyrie, sung by the Tallis Scholars. I often listen to their fantastic Missa Gloria Tibi Trinitas album while I’m writing, and it never fails to move me.

I love it when I discover music that makes it easy to be in a prayerful frame of mind. I’d like to know: What is the single most soul-stirring song you can think of? (I’m thinking here of classical / choral / chant type music, though feel free to recommend whatever moves you.)

— 7 —

One thing I keep meaning to mention is that I’m always open to topic suggestions for things to write about. I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to cover it, but feel free to let me know if you have any post ideas!

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Tami @ The Next Step
2. Dawn Farias @ No Heavy Lifting
3. violingirl
4. It Feels Like Chaos
5. Therese (Aussie Coffee Shop)
6. Sarah Reinhard (Words of Wisdom)
7. DebbieQ @ stophershesknitting
8. becomewhatyouare
9. EV @ Somewhat in the Air
10. Mary @ Hope Echoes
11. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time
12. Pam @ mosaicsynapse
13. Happy Geek
14. Sara @ AShowerOfRoses
15. Nadja @ Patch O’ Dirt Farm
16. old skool Jill
17. Michelle aka Catholic Lady
18. ThatMarriedCouple
19. Trena @ The Third Prayer
20. Judy@AThankful Woman’s Book of Blessings
21. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
22. Jaime @ UndertheFigTree
23. Joy@joy in the morning
24. Ridiculous happenings@ Young Mom
25. Just a Minute
26. Dymphna @ the Well
27. Janet in Toronto
28. Tracy@The Secret of Living
29. Katie@ The Baby Factory
30. Wiz’s Quick Takes
31. Jamie @ A Rough Diamond
32. Kim @talklesssaymore
33. Living with Three Hobbits and a Giant
34. suburbancorrespondent
35. Becky @Beck’s Three
36. Patty @ St. Monica’s Tears
37. Amy@firingblindly
38. Holly @ Hollison Journey
39. A Broader Mark
40. Sarah @ Fumbling Toward Grace
41. Lucy The Valiant
42. Milehimama (Mama Says)
43. Julie at Elisharose
44. Mrs Bubbles
45. annies home –
46. Rachel @ Young Catholic Mom
47. emily@Me In Life
48. Erika @ effulgence
49. Carrie@SAHM
50. Box Full of Blessings
51. Monica
52. Marie @ Filling My Family
53. The Praying Mom
54. Wendy from Zoom: squid edition
55. Barbara@Box of Chocolates
56. Lindsey @ Love is Triune
57. Melanie @ The Wine Dark Sea
58. Rachel@Testosterhome
59. Emily
60. Elena @My Domestic church My problems with hospice care
61. Kim @ Love Letter to my Kids
62. Jen @ The Short Years
63. Queen of Carrots
64. Michelle Potter
65. Petroni
66. Kerrie @ The Forgotten Kitchen
67. Marilyn @ catholicjediacademy
68. Rebecca
69. Christine@Good Company
70. Catherine @ Adventures in Domesticity
71. Kim @ Starry Sky Ranch
72. Holy Clutter
73. SoJo & Co
74. Christian H @ The Thinking Grounds

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. Dawn Farias

    I wish I had music suggestions but I don't. Maybe I'll get some ideas for myself from your commenters!

  2. Catholic Bibliophagist

    Help! I put the wrong URL in the Mr. Linky list. It's just an ordinary post in my quilting blog, not a 7 Quick Takes. Can you delete my link? I don't see any way for me to do it from my end. Thanks.


  3. Kathleen@so much to say, so little time

    Hmmmm….the most soul-stirring music. That is a very hard one for me. There are so many:

    O Magnum Mysterium by Tomas Luis de Victoria (find it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjIWwLFdI94)

    Rachmaniniov Piano Concerto #2. No doubt.

    Shostakovich Symphony #5.

    Mozart Ave Verum Corpus.

    David Maslanka's "A Child's Garden of Dreams" and his Symphony in C Major for wind ensemble.

    And I'm a sucker for movie scores, too. If I could write something like Howard Shore's score for LotR, I could die knowing I made a difference in the world.

  4. Emily

    Single most soul stirring? That is really difficult! I MIGHT come back and change this later, but, in the right circumstances, I LOVE "Amazing Grace." When I sung that on 9/11 with my classmates at the impromptu assembly, it was incredibly powerful, especially that third verse.

  5. Little M

    I have a post idea… As someone who left the Catholic church and has returned in adulthood I find myself unable to participate in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist because my husband and I are both on our second marriage -so this one is not blessed/recognized by the church. Annulment is not an option.

    I wonder if you have any experience with this -perhaps friends with similar circumstances or if you have any thoughts/advice. 🙂

  6. Christy

    In response to your question about music, I love Franz Biebl's Ave Maria, esp the version sung by Chanticleer.


    It's actually the first half of the Angelus. I love how the repetitiveness of the three verses builds up to the glorious "Sancta Maria/Amen" ending, and especially how the third verse (after "And the word was made flesh…") is so slow, subdued and reverent.

  7. SursumCorda

    Soul-stirring songs? Too many to think of! But right at the top of the list I'd put St. Patrick's Breastplate, also known as "I Bind Unto Myself Today" or the Lorica. There are several versions around, but this one is probably most common. (It's in the Episcopal Hymnal.) It's musically exciting (and I love the fact that it switches tunes twice) and about as neat a statement of faith as a hymn can be. Here you'll find some cool extra verses that are not usually sung.

    As a choir member, I've sung many glorious, inspirational anthems (though not enough, never enough!), but St. Patrick's is glorious and accessible to everyone.

  8. That Married Couple

    Great news about your book!

    And I have no music suggestions, but will be coming back to see what other people suggest.

  9. Anonymous

    My husband and I enjoy your book reviews. I currently have "Twelve Months of Monastery Soups" checked out from the library. I've made 4 so far and they are great. Even my children ask "What soup are you making today?"

    Please continue recommending books. We've read several and have enjoyed them.

    Also, I really didn't want to make another pot of soup today but after reading your QT on Fasting For Haiti, I will and earmark the money saved from dinner for them. We are planning to live off monastery soups, bread, fruits and veggies for lent. We will see….

    God bless,

  10. Emily

    I told you I"d be back….
    Can't believe I forgot "Battle Hymn of the Republic." Love that one.

  11. Jess

    A SINGLE song? Not a chance – but two that come to mind at this particular moment are:

    Rachmaninoff's "Khvalitye Imya Gospodnye (Praise the Name of the Lord)" – a teeny Amazon clip may be found here:


    Also, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" is a truly beautiful hymn – though I prefer it when it is sung to the tune of, "The Water Is Wide," and that version is always harder to find!

  12. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, oh, I really miss contributing to this, but I've ended up having too many ideas for my Faith Fridays lately. Someday I'll hop on board again. I always love hearing your thoughts from the week before. Thanks for the writing blog recommendation. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  13. Jamie

    This changes for me, but my "soul-stirring" hymn of the moment is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh1FTBfDnHg

    I wish you could hear the alto part. It really adds so much more soul. And if the piece is done slowly, and a cappella, it's just amazing. I wrote a whole post about it last week.

  14. Suburban Correspondent

    "Spirit in the Sky" – I can't help it.

  15. Young Mom

    Growing up Assemblies of God, I've always loved John Starnes Gospel Singing record albums. Even now some of the songs make me cry. "A very special grace" "Whisper Jesus" "The King of who I am"

  16. Amy

    Hi. It's Amy, Reese's mom. 🙂 I just did my first 7 Quick Takes. For some reason, I linked to your December 18th post. Oops. I can't seem to delete it. Anyway, this was fun…now off to get Mara out of the dog's water bowl.

  17. Patty

    Thank you for hosting 7 Quick Takes. I have been doing something similar on Sundays called Sunday Snippets at http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/ and this is all rather fun.

    I hope I can keep up with this along with my regular blog posts, because I really enjoy it.

    God bless you.

  18. abroadermark

    Thanks for the music recommendation. I'm looking forward to seeing what others suggest.

  19. Monnie

    One of my all-time FAVORITE albums for moving choral music is "Voices of Light" by Anonymous Four. They recount the story of St. Joan of Arc through quotes from other saints and through Scripture. It's in Old French and Latin and it never fails to sweep me away.

    HIGHLY recommend it!!

    (It looks like all or almost all of the tracks are on YouTube – with the lyrics! 🙂 – through "gingerdots".)

    Just listening to it again now on YouTube, it is a physical effort to hit pause. I am completely drawn in!



  20. Anonymous

    Other than a few Xmas carols that get me right there (like "Little Drummer Boy"), I'd say… Tantum Ergo (in Latin, and with this melody). To get the full impact, you need to have a devotion to the Eucharist and at least a rudimentary understanding of the Latin lyrics (the English translations I've seen don't do St. Thomas Aquinas' Latin poetry justice). Different but perhaps equal is Schubert's "Ave Maria," which ironically was not written as a religious song—it was co-opted by Catholics and the Latin words of the "Hail Mary" added.

    OK, something in English… many of the older hymns, as well as a few of the newer ones. I'm thinking in particular of a contemporary Communion song that I can't remember the name of (and extensive Googling is not helping me, sorry).

    As for secular music? Largely depends on the mood I'm in and what I've been listening to lately. R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" and Jason Mraz's "Absolutely Zero" tend to put a lump in my throat.

  21. Robyn/Ginkgo100

    And I'm not trying to spam you with comments, LOL… but here's the chorus: Living Bread of God

  22. Bob

    I love songs using a different language, which is probably why I really like Taize chants.

    However, the most soul-stirring music – lately for me – has been from Ladysmith Black Mambazo's "Baba Wethu Singenile" from the album "South African Gospel According to Earthworks" (you can find this on iTunes). This is a South African song with a lively beat. The first part of the lyrics is roughly translated as:

    Our Father,
    we have entered into the holy place as you have invited us.
    Open our hearts to understand your word.
    Remove the darkness that surrounds us and give us your light.

  23. Karyn

    Ave Maria sung by Barbara Bonney.

  24. Monique in TX

    I second the nomination of Biebel's Ave Maria. Biebel did the whole angelus, and you can hear Chanticleer sing it on the Our Hearts' Joy album, but for some reason it's performed in an abbreviated version on others of their albums and DVDs. Don't know why as the end is more beautiful than the beginning!

    Close second is Victoria's Sacrum Convivium. Wonderful.

    You might also want to check out Hadyn's masses, especially the Missa Brevis in F. Pure joy!

  25. Anonymous

    I thought I would leave a blog post idea, something that has been kicking around in my head for the past few months. "Using NFP with a contraceptive mentality". I think many of us NFP users fall into that, myself definitely included.

    Also- (dont know if you have covered this already) but what about headcovering/veiling. Does it have a place in our modern church?

  26. Frances

    I highly recommend another Tallis song, Spem in Alium. If my memory serves me correctly, it is written for 8 groups of 5 voices…that's right, 40 lines of music! It's a really long piece, but there's such awesomeness in the moments all the voices converge.

  27. Anonymous

    I love, love, love Hail Mary, Gentle Woman. I try to remember to sing it when things get hectic around my house. It always sets a more 'gentle' and peaceful tone for our family.

  28. Charlotte

    I STILL want you to talk about why you think you have so many Protestant followers of your blog.

  29. DM

    The Tallis Scholars are probably one of the best choral groups out there right now (as are The Sixteen, and New York's Pomerium). For a few years now, I've also been listening to the Scholars' recording of Antoine Brumel's 'Earthquake mass' ("Missa Et ecce terrae motus"; (first five tracks of):


    Their rendition of Thomas Tallis' "Spem in allium" is also extraordinary (first track of):


    I see some suggestions for Orthodox stuff, and recommend Rachmaninov's "Vespers", especially this particular recording (a lot of emotion in the performance, a metaphorical roller coaster of ups and downs):


    If you do get Orthodox music I recommend looking at the performer's name on the CD and generally sticking to Greek or eastern Europeans. While the English and American groups are talented, there's something "lost in the translation" when they sing eastern-based music for some reason.

  30. Monica

    Just did my first 7 quick takes. Thanks for hosting!

  31. Anonymous

    There are oh-so-many pieces of music that touch me deeply, but very high on my list is Ralph Vaughan Williams's "Mass in G minor."

  32. Stefanie

    Little M:
    Don't give up so readily; it's worth pursuing a better resolution. I've seen many Catholic-to-Catholic marriages (of people VERY involved in parish ministries throughout those marriages) who have since divorced and been able to have their 2nd marriages blessed and to be restored to the sacrament of Eucharist (I am surprised you are keeping yourself from the sacrament of Reconciliation.) It helps to have a pastor who knows how to properly submit the paperwork and can get it to a good Advocate who will shepherd your case at the marriage tribunal. Miracles happen — keep praying for our Lord to intercede on your behalf.

  33. Anonymous

    The Orthodox Divine Liturgy is far and above the best music in the world.

  34. DM

    One more work comes to mind, Henryk Gorecki's "Symphony No. 3". It is the only song in which I start weeping regularly (during the second part):


    The story behind the lyrics leaves me speechless:

    Without the use of contrast to offset this song, the second song – Tranquillissimo – uses a prayer that was found scratched on a wall in cell no.3 in the basement of the Gestapo's headquarters in Zakopane alongside the signature, "Helena Wanda Blazusiakówna 18 years old, imprisoned since 26 September 1944" and which ends with the words, "Support me always / Zdrowas Mario (Ave Maria)." Again, the song is of the loss of life and the relationship between a mother and her child but unlike the first and third songs, this takes the point of view of the child who has been separated from her mother and who knows they will never seen her alive again.


    The full (translated from Polish) lyrics of Part II are at:


  35. Pam Elmore

    I'm excited to read your book — thanks so much for pressing ahead, even though it's been tough!

    (By the way, I linked twice to my 7 Quick Takes post by mistake — once on this post, and once on the one you posted the week before Christmas. I'm sorry!)

  36. Joanne

    a post idea: I wonder if you have a Catholic perspective on giving money to the Church/tithing? Some protestant groups focus strongly on tithing, but I'm not sure how I feel about this since it is a "regressive tax" (harder for low-income people to do than for wealthy people).

    I go back and forth between thinking it would be the right thing to do to tithe, but on the other hand my family has a modest income and I feel that tithing would hamper my ability to provide adequate housing/food/clothing for my family. Or maybe I'm just making excuses?

    Anyway, I have wondered if you had feelings on the issue 🙂

  37. Super Doula Mom

    What gets me every time is Shubert's Ave Maria. Andrea Bocelli especially. Kelly Clarkson didn't do so bad when she sang it for the Pope. We have a very operatic soloist in our Parish's choir, and he sang it at midnight mass this year… I cried.

    Also Panis Angelicus… again, Boccelli or Cloe Angnew (sp?) from Celtic Women. Lovely.

    And a while back I saw this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0i-wupPJZIk, which is a song by secular band Evanescense. It's really powerful when put against Mary's scenes in The Passion of The Christ.

  38. Dustmite

    I had a moment last night where I realized that although I thought it was terrible, I had accepted the news and moved on with life. Last night I had to stop and pray for all those families suffering over in Haiti and for forgiveness.

    Forgiveness because like many people I think all too often we think because stuff like this happens else where, very, very, very far away, we digest the news, think its sad and then move on with life. After all, it doesn't impact us.

    I realized last night that my life really didn't compare to the devastation and damage to people families and lives over in Haiti. Last night I had one of those moments where I realized that this planet and it's inhabitants so need Christs soon return.

  39. Stephanie

    You have so many good suggestions for music – ones that I thought of as well. Especially Ave Maria and Hail Mary, Gentle Woman. One that wasn't listed already is Hymn by Jars of Clay. The poetry stirs my soul.

  40. Marilyn@catholicjediacademy

    I love Marie Bellet's music, especially "One Heroic Moment" and "Will You, Too, Go Away?"

  41. B.

    Palestrina's [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nsw1kdLqfec]Sicut Cervus[/url]

    And his popule meus. It's sung during the veneration of the cross on Good Friday. I cry every time.
    Unfortuately the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MxIUc1VyPQ]only recording I could find[/url] is not so good.

    Both the music and the text is beyond comparison for these.

  42. Sarah

    The tragic events in Haiti are so painful to watch.

    My favourite piece of choral music has to be Agnus Dei to Samuel Barber's Adagio for strings. See here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkObnNQCMtM performed by The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, England.

  43. Anonymous

    My husband and I love to listen to the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah right after we go to Easter Mass….

  44. samcarter

    It's not a religious song per se, but The Proclaimers have a song called "Believe in Me" (or "believe in Thee"), but it's lovely. It inspires me.

    "The less I believe in me, the more I believe in thee!"

  45. Maria

    I love anything by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. My favorite…He's Been Faithful. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

  46. Katie A.

    "O Holy Night" and "Ave Maria"…

    Also, "The Rainbow Connection" sung by Sarh McLachlan; "Oh My God" by Jars of Clay; and "Gravity" by Sara Bareilles.

  47. Peter and Nancy

    I have a question for a potential post — how did your husband come to faith in Christ? It seems so common that one spouse undergoes a conversion, but the other doesn't.

    Perhaps you addressed this queston before I discovered your blog, but I'm curious! :o)

  48. Anne@Rosydreamer

    Chopin's nocturnes. Debussy's "The Sea."

  49. elizabethe

    Hi Jen,

    I want to thank you for spotlighting Like Mother Like Daughter, I've been searching through that site since you did and it's EXACTLY what I need right now.

    Thank you so much.

    Anything else you want to share about finding time to write with little ones would be very appreciated.

  50. emily

    Can you write about your husband more?! I can picture you and your kids but don't read very much about him! (I can't remember if you've ever written on whether or not that is intentional).

  51. Jet

    Pachelbel's Canon in D.

    One thing I forgot to mention in your b'day note was to delegate responsibilities to the children. They need to learn to help while very young. I struggle with this still (13, 10.5, 4.5, 8 mos.) Have you read Good Families Don't Just Happen by the Garcia-Pratts? They have 10 sons, the oldest is a physician like Dad and the youngest is in (a Jesuit) high school. I have heard Cathy speak and need to take her advice to heart. Hope this helps you, too!

  52. RMJaNY5CinXt

    210422 160893Thank you for your extremely great info and respond to you. 449716

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