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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The soul is distracted from that which is sung by a chant that is employed for the purpose of giving pleasure. But if the singer chant for the sake of devotion, he pays more attention to what he says, both because he lingers more thereon, and because, as Augustine remarks (Confess. x, 33), “each affection of our spirit, according to its variety, has its own appropriate measure in the voice, and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith it is stirred.” The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

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Letter to be read at a funeral
published 17 May 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

One of my daughters, a poet, wrote this letter to her mother-in-law for the funeral of her father-in-law, Richard, who was a military caterer in England. This daughter of mine is slowly inching her way back to the Church. I thought you aesthetes would love some of these lines:

      I saw a picture of Richard when he was young: a gloomy Heathcliff sitting on a beach, handsome as the devil. When I met him, illness had worn him down to a charming elf instead of a lonely devil: well, time and illness can do that and sometimes it is a kindness and sometimes it isn’t. No one can know at what cost another person has earned their face…
      I knew he knew he was dying when we last met. I do not think either of us knew how long or how painful it would be. I tried to pray but I don’t know how to pray. There was a channel of pain traveling all the way from England to North Carolina and I sent what little I possess of faith and hope along it, feeling it was useless.
      The day before he died, Richard visited me, stood behind my shoulder in the kitchen and commented on a meal I was making, wanted to try some. It was a whimsical moment full of warmth and it felt real. I have no right to speak of faith, but maybe this IS what it is made of: a few sunny moments strung up like rosary beads, a leap of faith, a skip of hope and finally a giant hop off the crucifixes that are prepared for us at the end of our lives. Believe in these moments because what else can you do?

Dr. Ronda Chervin 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.