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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“We know that originally the offertories of the repertoire included a series of verses, just like the introit and the communion, but generally more ornate. Many of these are musical compositions of great beauty. They quickly fell into disuse, and we find them only in the most ancient manuscripts. The only remaining trace of this older arrangement in our present-day liturgy is that of the offertory of the Requiem Mass.”
— Dom Joseph Gajard (1956)

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Redeemed Pain
published 21 March 2013 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

More Excerpts from a Journal written in 2004:

My daughter Diana has a friend living with her, a woman who used to live in a Hindu ashram but is interested in becoming a Catholic. She wants me to be her godmother. While looking for a suitable nearby Church, I am writing for her a pre-catechumenate contemplative approach booklet. Here is the first part:

THE DIVINE LONGING FOR THE HUMAN HEART A Contemplative Introduction to the Catholic Faith

The Center of Reality


A spinning ball of earth in a void of space.
A huge heart with myriad rays of love – one ray beaming into a heart with your name on it.


“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Trial, or distress, or persecution, or hunger, of nakedness, or danger, or the sword? …For I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor powers, neither height nor depth nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God that comes to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”


Go some place where you can be alone with the phone shut off. Ask God to take you into the place in your heart of the deepest longing for love.

Dwell in the pain for as long as you can.

Then cry out, interiorily or out loud, “If you are a God of love, fill this place in my heart.”

Wait as long as you can. If you don’t feel anything, repeat this meditation every day along with the others suggested.


From JP II: The Way of the Cross “The cross is raw crudeness and horror, barbarity and ignominy, the place on which, atrociously, dies the Incarnate Son of God. Let no one dare to violate or cover up the atrocity of pain, the place in which love reveals itself and life gushes forth in abundance, the icon of mercy without limit, and beyond all human expectation.

O cross of Christ, which shines out tragic and brilliant in the night of human agony. By your light is illumined every dark step of sorrow….You lead humanity back to its original splendor…our one hope, the safe anchor in the storms of life.”

I have been thinking about how some angry people are more angry at strangers and some at those who are close – but behind the anger it is the same false perfectionist stance and flight from the cross of the limitations and sins of others. “Except for you, my life could be great, so I want to annihilate you with my anger.”

Seeing THE PASSION – it felt not like a film but like an intervention of God forcing the world to come to grips with what Jesus suffered for us. My grandson Nicholas was very impressed. I thought it was terrific in terms of apologetics in the sense that no one could think that without the Resurrection the disciples would risk such a death.

From Michael O’Brien’s novel A Cry of Stone, regarding the death of a beloved: “He was alive, he had not gone out of existence, he had merely been carried to another station of the journey, beyond the reach of the eyes but not beyond the reach of the heart. In her heart she carried him still, and her love for him continued and grew. So the heart’s loss was also, strangely, the heart’s gain.”

About Walker Percy, Paul Elie writes “His faith, he insisted, was not about order or community or permanence. It was an act of desperation, made true by his stubbornness in maintaining it. Why believe? ‘what else is there?’ Why not scientific humanism? ‘It’s not good enough.” Why isn’t it? “This life is too much trouble, far too strange, to arrive at the end of it and have to answer, ‘Scientific humanism.’ That won’t do. A poor show. Life is a mystery, love is a delight. Therefore I take it as axiomatic that one should settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and the infinite delight, i.e., God. In fact I demand it. I refuse to settle for anything else.”