Andante                            L. Beethoven (1785-1827) [PIANO] Improvisation Thomas Merton was a 20th-century Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, and poet, best known for his exploration of spirituality and social justice. Born in 1915, Merton entered the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky in 1941, where…

The Way, the Truth and the Life

Autumn Rain                             W. Zeitler [PIANO] Improvisation One of Jesus’ more famous sayings is  “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). The Greek word for ‘way’ is hODOS (pronounced “hah-DAHS”), and it has a lovely depth of meaning. The…

The Holes

“All Glory, Laud and Honor”                           J.S.Bach (1685-1750) (Note: the hymn tune is played by the tuba & organ pedals, in slow motion.) Toccata                                         …

Wild Beasts

Fugue in E minor (BWV 548), “The Wedge” In many ways I think Lent is when the rubber meets the road, spiritually speaking. That is, religion and spirituality are all well and good when things are going well. But it can be challenging to feel their necessity in sunny times. However, when we face adversity,…

Whoever Loses His Life for My Sake…

Prelude in Fm            J.S. Bach (1685-1750)   [PIANO] This week’s Gospel contains the enigmatic and impossible “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake and the gospel’s sake will save it.” (Mark 8:35) Like “Zen masters” everywhere, Jesus is superb at blowing…

“Lenten Prelude”      C. Callahan Susan Addington, Flute Fugue in Bm, WTC I          J. S. Bach (1685-1750) At age 20, a bright German young man, Georg Neumark (1621-1681), packed his few belongings and left his home in the Thuringian forests. By hard work and frugality, he had saved enough for…

Thomas Aquinas and Aurora Consurgens

“Vision”                                      W. Zeitler [ORGAN] Order of Chivalry: Truth & the Knight’s Lance     W. Zeitler   In former Music Boxes I’ve discussed the idea of ‘spiritual alchemy’. This is an idea pioneered by Carl Jung (1875-1961) —…

Robert Lowry “Shall We Gather at the River”

“Shall We Gather at the River” — both lyrics and music — was written by Robert Lowry (1826–1899). The text refers to Revelation chapter 22 in which a crystal clear river with water of Life is described, issuing from the throne of heaven, all presented by an angel of God. Lowry was born in Philadelphia….

Two Monks

“Two Monks” (See the Music Box)                          W. Zeitler Improvisation Once upon a time there were two monks on a long journey from one monastery to another — an older veteran monk and a new novice. The road took them to a river. No…

William Williams “Guide Me Oh Thou Great Jehovah”

“Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Jehovah” William Williams (1717-1791) is generally considered to be Wales’ most famous hymn writer. As a writer of both poetry and prose, Williams is today considered one of Wale’s greatest literary figures. He was equally distinguished as one of the key leaders of the 18th century Welsh Methodist revival. Williams…