Second year of high school, thirteen years old, I entered St. Francis Seminary in North Andover, Ma. in pursuit of a religious vocation.
Eighteen months later I returned to Christopher Columbus High School whence, a year plus later I graduated.
That time in the seminary a period of extraordinary growth for me, physically, scholastically, emotionally, culturally, and educationally.
My first time out of the North End, that a wonderful place in grow up in a lot of ways, the least of them cosmopolitan, or open-mindedness.
The seminary provided that.
My first time away from my family and the turmoil and charged atmosphere that hung over our household.
The seminary was calm.
My first time meeting peers with different backgrounds.
My first time developing study habits.
Entering leadership roles, on the playing field and in the classroom.
And the sky! North Andover being rural at that time left the skies clear. I had never seen stars like that. Almost overwhelming. And that first fall, October, 1957 it was, we were allowed outdoors after dinner, a rare exception to our routine, to watch Sputnik 1 sail silently overhead. Silently, dreadfully, announcing that our godless enemies could whip our asses.
And becoming acquainted with the silence of rural life.
And of having 100 acres of our own to run around and play, compared to the narrow streets and sidewalks.
And a river on our border. The Huckleberry Finn moments we spent there.
And perhaps the most important, most intangible advancement for me, taking me out of the way of trouble. At an age, in an environment, and with good friends wherein I may well have veered from the straight and narrow, as several did.
That age. Thirteen. Emotionally overwhelming. I don’t know how I could have coped without those eighteen months.
What a fortunate turn for me.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
My 222nd consecutive posting.
Time is 12.01am.
Boston’s temperature will reach a high of 43* with rain and snow.
Dinner is leftover roast lamb.
Question of the Day:
What is Psalm 130?
Note that we published the Eggs, Frittata recipe today. Find it in the Recipes section of the website.
City Life: Night time views of the Greenway
A view of the Greenway along the Financial District.
Second from left:
A view of luftwerk, an art exhibit of lights installed on the Greenway.
Second from right:
A view of the Estonia Photo Museum installed on the Greenway.
A view of the harbor overlaid by a reflection of a bed.
We woke at 5.30am every morning and maintained a total silence.
We made our toilets and by 5.50am lined up by seniority at the top of the stairs.
When all movement stopped, in the dark, cold, quiet of the early morning,
The number one senior prayed loudly, “De profundis clamavi ad te Domine.”
And the rest of us joined in, “Domine exaudi vocem meam,” and, praying, we all filed down the two flights of stairs to the chapel for 6.00am Mass.
From the chapel, we filed downstairs to the Refectory for breakfast.
Silently, we stood at our places, the same for the entire year, and waited the arrival of our Prefect who led the Prayer before Meals.
He sat and signaled that we could talk.
In my life at the seminary, those two hours, from waking to after breakfast, were the most edifying for me.
Answer to Question of Day:
What is the 130th Psalm?
Psalm 130 is the 130th psalm of the Book of Psalms, one of the Penitential psalms.
The first verse is a call to God in deep sorrow, from "out of the depths" (Out of the deep), as it is translated in the King James Version of the Bible respectively in the Book of Common Prayer.
The Book of Psalms is the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, and in its Latin translation Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 129 in a slightly different numbering system. In Latin, it is known as De profundis.
The psalm is a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Anglican and Protestant liturgies. It was paraphrased in hymns.
The psalm has been set to music often, by composers such as Orlando di Lasso, Heinrich Schütz and John Rutter.
De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine;
Domine, exaudi vocem meam. Fiant aures tuæ intendentes
in vocem deprecationis meæ.
Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine, Domine, quis sustinebit?
Quia apud te propitiatio est; et propter legem tuam sustinui te, Domine.
Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus:
Speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodia matutina usque ad noctem, speret Israël in Domino.
Quia apud Dominum misericordia, et copiosa apud eum redemptio.
Et ipse redimet Israël ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.
Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Let Your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.
If You, O Lord, mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?
But with You is forgiveness, that You may be revered.
I trust in the Lord; my soul trusts in His word.
My soul waits for the Lord more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the Lord,
For with the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption;
And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.
It may also refer to:
De profundis (Pärt), a composition by Arvo Pärt for men's voices, percussion (ad lib.) and organ, 1980
De Profundis (ballet), a ballet by J. Lang (2007) to Arvo Pärt's composition
De Profundis (letter), an 1897 work written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment, in the form of a letter to Lord Alfred Douglas
De Profundis (role-playing game), a tabletop role-playing game
De Profundis (Vader album), 1995
De Profundis (After Crying album), 1996
De Profundis (PMM album), 2005
De Profundis (film), an animated film by Miguelanxo Prado
De Profundis, a 1990 Italian film directed by Luigi Cozzi, whose title was later changed to The Black Cat
De Profundis (record label), a record label
De Profundis (Pizzetti), a musical work by Ildebrando Pizzetti
De Profundis, a composition for male voice choir by Leevi Madetoja, 1925
De Profundis, a piano sonata by Boris Arapov
De Profundis, a composition by Frederic Rzewski for solo piano
"De Profundis", a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson
"De Profundis", a poem by Christina Rossetti
"De Profundis", a poem by Gyula Juhász
"De Profundis", a poem by Dámaso Alonso
"De Profundis", a poem by Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav
"De profundis clamavi", a poem by Charles Baudelaire
"De Profundis", a song by Dead Can Dance
"De Profundis", a poem by Federico García Lorca, set to music in the first movement of Symphony No. 14 (Shostakovich)
"De Profundis", a short story by Arthur Conan Doyle written in 1892
"De Profundis", a song from The Wild Hunt (Watain album) (2013)
De Profundis Stone, a recumbent stone in County Westmeath, Ireland at which funeral processions halted to recite the psalm
"De Profundis", an album by the Cracow Klezmer Band
Good morning on this
Tuesday, November 20
We talked about the impact on me of my eighteen months in the boarding St. Francis Seminary, my favorite hours there, and the impact of Psalm 130, “Out of the depths I have cried unto you, O Lord,” on our culture.
Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?
See you soon.