#TuesdayTunes: Simon & Garfunkel – “Benedictus”

July 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

I grew up with the music of Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel playing in the background. My parents had the double disc Anthology album; it was quite literally the soundtrack of my childhood. I have fond memories of running about the house,  bouncing on my parents bed with my little brother and sister, singing lyrics I didn’t understand and confidently pronouncing 80% of them incorrectly. Listening to their songs now I appreciate the stories they tell, as well as having realized what those gobbledygook words I misheard actually were. I take pleasure in their music even more-so than I did as a kid, (and that’s a pretty big feet, if you knew just how much the 4 year old Gabby enjoyed them.)

Though I’ve heard a range of their material over the years I recently came across one recorded in 1964, that I had never heard before. It had, and still has, me captivated. It’s name is Benedictus.

There’s no denying that this song resembles Chant, and according to wiki (tut-tut Gabby,)  “[...]was arranged and adapted from two-part a capella motet by Orlande de Lassus”

The words sung in Latin are,

 Benedictus qui veniti in nomine Domini

which translate to:

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

It’s gorgeous; certainly invites me into a peaceful and prayerful disposition.
I hope it does for you too!

Enjoy #TuesdayTunes ~

#TuesdayTunes ~ Intro + Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

July 16, 2014 § 1 Comment

It has been a while since I’ve written on my blog. This Tuesday I got to thinking of a way to motivate myself to write here regularly, that is, getting into the habit of posting about a specific topic, on one specific day each week.  A music related post came to mind.

The plan is that I would post on twitter, tumblr, FB etc. and *hopefully* feature an in-depth version on my WordPress blog. I have decided that the name of this venture will be #TuesdayTunes.

Music & Me:
I have an eclectic taste in music. I don’t feel the need for my preferences to be based solely within a genre, era or to be swayed by popular opinion. This doesn’t mean I won’t listen to music which is considered popular, but that I will listen to what I enjoy, and not to what I am told I should enjoy by the prevalent culture. This allows me to grow a continuous anthology, enabling me to appreciate all I have come upon over the years – rather than looking back in embarrassment. I’d like to share these discoveries, as well as my old favourites.
So, without further ado, #TuesdayTunes:

#TuesdayTune: Jessie Ware – “Wildest Moments”

Today’s #TuesdayTune is Wildest Moments by Jessie Ware.  I discovered Jessie Ware earlier this year via the internet.

Previously working as a backing vocalist for a number of musical acts, Jessie emerged as a solo artist in 2011. Jessie possesses a genuine talent which can be heard not only in her studio recordings, but also in her acoustic and live performances (something which isn’t seen so often today.)

Some interesting trivia; Jessie’s song, Wildest Moments, is based upon the turbulent yet devoted relationship she shares with her best friend:

“…it came after this huge argument with my best friend [...] this song really was like a kind of love song to my best-friend, but also kind of highlighting the fact that we can be the best but we can also be terrible together. I really love that people can relate to it though, for any kind of relationship.” *

I find Jessie Ware a perfect listen, when you want to sit back after a long day and unwind.

Enjoy ~

Habemus Pappam!

March 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

We have a Pope!!!!

Viva il Papa Francisco! What a way to start the day, we are all excitement and it won’t fade. How I ❤ being Catholic!

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis, viva il Papa!

PRAYER FOR THE POPE (via xt3.com)
Almighty and Everlasting God, have mercy on Your servant Pope Francis I, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Your loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation, that with Your help he may ever desire that which is pleasing to You and accomplish it with all his strength. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father the Pope under the protection of Your Sacred Heart. Be his light, his strength and his consolation.


God Bless you all,


Conclave 2013: The excitement builds!

March 12, 2013 § 2 Comments

Yes, we are still in “Sede Vacante” but Conclave 2013 is almost here! 5:00pm Tuesday March 12 Rome time (just under 5 hours from now), the 115 cardinals will process into the Sistine Chapel as the election of our next pope will begin.  A detailed schedule has been released highlighting the happenings of the conclave. Remember, this may take a while! According to Father Lombardi, the first smoke signal at the Vatican will appear around 8:00pm Rome time. Black Smoke: “No Pope elected yet”, White Smoke: “We have a Pope!” (though he stresses it is unlikely that a pope will be elected by the end of the first round.)

@Pontifex twitter account during Sede Vacante 2013.

@Pontifex twitter account during Sede Vacante 2013.

Here’s a little low-down on what we Catholics believe about the Pope: As Catholics we believe that the pope IS the successor of St. Peter; the apostle of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Bible we see Simon-Peter as a man who struggled continuously, but ultimately stayed true to Our Lord and His Church. Jesus himself established Peter as head of the church in Matthew 16:18. Something to get straight is that the pope is a human like you and I, he IS NOT God, therefore the pope is not perfect. As Catholics we believe he is only infallible in matters of faith & morals. In these areas he is under protection of the Holy Spirit, as it is the pope who serves as a guide to the Church on earth. We believe that God IS our Almighty Father, but just as we each have a dad here on earth so too does the pope serve as an earthly dad to the Church. :D

Like many young people this will be the second conclave in my lifetime, and it is terribly exciting! Last time around I remember being upset because our beloved Pope John Paul II had passed away. He had been a constant figure in my life, the only Vicar of Christ I had known, so at 10 years old I couldn’t believe that he had passed from this life. The conclave was completely new to me, black smoke, white smoke and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in the Cardinals’ decision. The wait seemed so long, but when it finally concluded it was Cardinal Ratzinger, who took the name of Benedict XVI, emerging to greet us – it was beautiful to watch.

As so many have said over the past weeks, Papa Benedict’s resignation was a shock, (even now.) We have been witnesses to the humility he has displayed in doing so, in understanding his limitations and ultimately God’s will for him – it’s that which, along with the immense contributions he has made for our faith, will remain with us . Papa Benedetto XVI Emeritus is a great man who did a great deal for the church, and he will always be in our prayers.

We are also reminded in this time that Our Lord Jesus is the head of the church, and that we are but His unworthy instruments.

As a baby I was present at Blessed Pope John Paul II’s beatification of St Mary Mackillop of the Cross (I actually don’t remember it, though I have seen the photos.)  I was also fortunate to have seen Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI when I was 14, at World Youth Day 2008. I pray to one day have the chance see our new pope! Oh, how I’d love to be there at the Vatican to hear and see the new pope emerge, but I know God intends me to join the members of the church in spirit as we wait for our new papa!

Vatican City

Remember to keep Papa Benedict XVI in your prayers. Pray for the cardinals. If you haven’t done so already spiritually adopt a cardinal here!

There’s a heap of fun things to do online as we wait and pray together for the proclamation “Habemus Papam!” (like the Pope Name Predictor Competition, Conclave App etc. ^.^ ) You can watch live coverage on EWTN at ewtn.com or on xt3.com, receive live updates at various Catholic websites. Be sure to join the #TeamCatholic peeps on Twitter, we’re pretty awesome. Do some exploring and be sure to share what you find!

God Bless you all and let’s keep praying!

Gabby x

Downton Abbey – A review (queue theme music)

January 18, 2013 § 4 Comments

I love period dramas, good period dramas. Give me a good Jane Austen or Dickens adaptation and I will sit entertained for hours on end. I find the eras of the past so fascinating, sometimes I wish I lived during those times…but then I wake myself up and thank God for the blessings of this day and age. There is quite a large fan-base of others, like myself, who have a great appreciation for the classics and for the quality period dramas being produced over the past decades. This fan-base has expanded greatly with the arrival of the now  acclaimed drama series Downton Abbey.

DA3_SigDownton Abbey is a television production by Julian Fellowes currently in its 3rd season. The series centres around the Crawleys, an aristocratic family who reside in Downton Abbey and their downstairs staff , as they live life through Edwardian England and beyond. The lives of those who reside in the village of Downton and the Abbey serves as a depiction of society during the early 20th century, portraying the highest and lowest classes.

When I first heard mention of Downton I couldn’t help but look forward to it. An “Upstairs Downstairs” like series will no doubt be quite entertaining, and it isn’t too often that Edwardian England in addressed in period drama – well not quite as often as the Regency and Victorian eras. Also by being created season-by-season there is an assurance of uncertainty in the plot. This program will be without debates as to whether the “original work” has been done justice because this drama remains in the hands its makers. There is no book to adapt; with every episode absolutely anything could happen. This intrigued me.

Downton AbbeyWhen the series finally came to air it was only a matter of time for the whole world to come to know of it. It wasn’t just the average period drama fanatics who were glued to their television sets; there was an even larger of audience worldwide, even those who were not otherwise interested in period films. Something about the series caught the eye of the public, and they wanted more.

What I believe strikes us about this series, is that we viewers were born in the same century that the world of Downton existed. Edwardian England may seem so distant, with expectations and etiquette much the same as those of the Jane Austen’s time, but in actual fact this period is in much closer proximity (in years) to the world we live in now. Though Downton Abbey depicts an almost fairy-tale-like world of Lords and Ladies with glittering gowns, parties, and a staff of servants larger than the household itself, we are constantly reminded of how close we are to that world. We see the use of electricity, telephones, automobiles, curling irons and evenitem0.rendition.slideshowWideHorizontal.l-downton-abbey toasters all of which are still in constant use to this day. We are introduced to characters each with different backgrounds and temperaments, like our own. We see the human struggle, during times of hardship and loss, the joyous moments that life has in store and how those living in this period dealt with an ever-changing world. There are many similarities we of the 2000s share with the 1900s, Downton Abbey has really shed a light on that.

Naturally being a drama, the program is peppered with adult concepts and at times can be shocking even to me (I’m quite delicate/old fashioned in these areas.) Not that there is anything explicit, especially considering what is out there today, but allusions to sex, adulterous affairs, homosexuality (i.e. men seenormal_s3_cast_prromo2_31n kissing on two occasions) are present and may not be for the eyes and ears of little ones – even I have the fastforward button ready. ;) Though there are deeds of the characters I don’t agree with, the program doesn’t ask you to side with the individual in their decisions. There are times were you feel disappointment in a character and then there are times when you feel so utterly sorry for them. Every character has their faults and their virtues no matter how central they are to the storyline. Yes, even the cunning lady’s maid Miss O’Brien and conniving Footman/Valet Thomas have their share of goodness. That is what makes the show present so well, the fact that every character is human.

Sisters-Edith-Mary-and-Sybil-downton-abbey-15932497-570-364An aspect of the Downton Abbey that I personally enjoy (besides the soundtrack – I do love a good soundtrack) is the femininity of the gowns, and overall style of the women. There is even a sense of wear-ability in the trends of the era that can definitely adapted by us today. It is undeniable that Downton has made it’s mark on today’s fashion world, there have been several inspired gowns; even Ralph Lauren was officially influenced.  This is one wonderful mark Downton has made on our culture; I hope it continues to do so for the better.

Mary-and-Matthew-Crawley-Wedding-downton-abbey-32428311-2000-3000This past weekend I finished watching the 3rd season online (I couldn’t wait any longer for its return to Australia.) I must say I enjoyed this season a great deal more than the past two. Season 1 for me was an introduction, and a very good introduction, but I still needed to grow in familiarity with each character. Season 2 was very good too but I felt it lacking in certain areas. Season 3 met my expectations ^.^ I did have my disappointments, especially in the killing off of my two favourite characters – but I dare not say any more. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t reached the conclusion.

Discussions about S3 will have to wait. For now we can only hope for what Season 4 has in storeDowntonAbbey3_2353968b and see then whether Julian Fellowes is able to live up to the high standards he has set for himself.

Long live Downton!

God Bless,

The Year of Faith

January 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

A great short video about the Year of Faith, created by LifeTeen.
Check it out:

Christmas draws nigh…

December 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

In Australia today is Christmas Eve. We had very hot summer’s day yesterday (38 degrees Celsius+) so the Christmas cooking and last minute shopping was moved to today. With the hustle and bustle caused by preparations, the truth of Christmas can often slip the radar.

Yesterday was the final Sunday of Advent. Last night our family lit the fourth Advent candle as we wait for the coming of Christ.

Yesterday was the final Sunday of Advent. Last night our family lit the fourth Advent candle.

On the first eve of Christmas, over 2000 years ago Our Lady who was 15 to 17 years of age, sat on a donkey exhausted after extensive traveling. She was about to give birth to Jesus, Our Lord. His foster father St. Joseph, with every plea was rejected by all the inns in Bethlehem – and so Christ was born in a stable and placed in a manger from which animals ate.  6a00d8341bffb053ef017d3e2a4e51970c-800wi

Taking time to Meditate on the lowly state that God the Son entered this earth awakens me (and all of us) to the way God wants us to live, in humility.

I pray that my heart does not reject Him as the inn’s of Bethlehem but rather, that I offer it entirely to Him; though it is  lowlier than the stable where He first entered the world.

I hope you and your families all have a blessed Christmas(remember there are 12 days to celebrate!)
God Bless you!

Gabby x

Thank You Jesus for coming amongst us, to save us!

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