About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modern: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

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"I have Called you by Name." (Isaiah 43:1)
published 19 March 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

One of my all time favorite Scriptures is “I have called you by name, you are mine.” This passage got linked up in a surprising way with the much more enigmatic one in Revelations (2:17) about finding a new name on a white stone.

I was visiting the Sisters of the Cross in Mexico. This is an order founded by the great grandmother saint, Conchita, who will, one day, we hope, be a doctor of the Church. She wrote more than 100 books and founded more than 4 communities in the first half of the 20th century. If you don’t know her, check her out under her longer name Concepcion Cabrera de Armida.

Anyhow, I watched a relay of nuns coming into the chapel for Adoration. Once at the Adoration prie-dieu they never moved an inch so rapt were they in contemplative prayer. I went into envious grief. “Dear Jesus, I moaned, look at those saints. You must be so disgusted with me, this awful, fidgetty, loud-mouthed, swinish woman who pretends to be spiritual and can’t sit still for 10 minutes even.” (Of course, all my directors have been after me not for being jumpy but for self-flagellation!)

Jesus spoke in my heart in this consoling manner. “In the Church your name is not silence and serenity but, in the image of your Jewish ancestors, your name is YEARNING!”

I was so consoled that decided that I was called by name into the Church as Ronda, but that my new name on the white stone was “yearning.”

As a result, at spirituality workshops, I like to tell this anecdote to the participants, and then ask them to pray until they can “hear” what is their own new name on the white stone. When they think they know, they put it up on the blackboard for others to see.

Want to try?

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.