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About Other / Hobbyist Emily Byrd StarrUnited States Recent Activity
Deviant for 7 Years
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Knight of Mary by Cecilia37 Knight of Mary :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 0 2 The Lost Boy by Cecilia37 The Lost Boy :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 0 2 Pegasus by Cecilia37 Pegasus :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 2 0 My Friend Through Many Dangers by Cecilia37 My Friend Through Many Dangers :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 3 0 St. Stephansdom, Vienna by Cecilia37 St. Stephansdom, Vienna :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 3 2 Sunrise in Vienna by Cecilia37 Sunrise in Vienna :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 4 0 View of Munich by Cecilia37 View of Munich :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 3 0 Munich by Cecilia37 Munich :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 2 0 Flowers and Frost by Cecilia37 Flowers and Frost :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 2 2 White Tailed Deer on Black by Cecilia37 White Tailed Deer on Black :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 3 6 Windows to the Soul Part 2 by Cecilia37 Windows to the Soul Part 2 :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 0 0 Windows to the Soul by Cecilia37 Windows to the Soul :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 0 0 It Was About The Sixth Hour by Cecilia37 It Was About The Sixth Hour :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 12 5 Allegretto by Cecilia37 Allegretto :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 1 4 Salzburg in Spring by Cecilia37 Salzburg in Spring :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 4 3 Mariathron during Holy Week by Cecilia37 Mariathron during Holy Week :iconcecilia37:Cecilia37 5 3

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Have you ever had a day where you acted upon an impulse, uncertain if maybe it was the smartest or the most sensible thing to do, only to have it actually turn out even better than you thought? I definitely had one of those days today!

After my sacred choral repertoire class today, I decided I wanted to do some window shopping. As you might expect, it turned into the usual female shopping excursion where the woman begins with no particular inclination to buy anything, but she returns home with less money in her pocket than when she left. I started by going to a couple boutiques, but not needing anything in particular clothing-wise, I decided to explore a nearby second-hand store. My mom, sisters, and I are regular thrifters, so I thought I might have better fortune there, and you never know what you might find at these odd and sometimes extraordinary shops. Sure enough, there I found and purchased two unexpected treasures that I thought were well worth the price!

As I was perusing the religious/inspirational section of the book shelves, I stumbled upon a biography of St. Dominic, a saint to whom I have a particularly strong devotion from my years in undergrad. at Franciscan University. This may seem odd: Franciscan University, Dominican saint? This is a lengthy story for another time, but to put it briefly I have come to believe that the vocation of a musician has more of a Dominican character than Franciscan. The distinct vocation of the Dominican order is to study, to preach the truth, and to share the fruits of one's contemplation. Musicians share the preaching aspect of the Dominican charism in that they are called to preach through Beauty.

But back to my story! There are precious few biographies of St. Dominic, partly because so little is known about this saint. This one, titled "St. Dominic: The Grace of the Word" is by Fr. Guy Bedouelle, O.P. In addition, they are not necessarily found even at Catholic bookstores. So imagine my surprise to find this in an ordinary little thrift shop! I knew immediately that I could not leave this for someone else to find -- even if it wasn't about St. Dominic, I almost always feel a sense of obligation to "rescue" Catholic items from thrift stores or garage sales or rummage sales, mainly because some of them are sacrementals (that is, visible signs or reminders of invisible realities) and I suppose as a Catholic I think I mighty be partially responsible for what happens to them.

My second treasure was a CD I found titled "Music from the Vatican: Alma Mater" featuring the voice of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI. I had seen this at the Franciscan University bookstore a couple times. It seemed particularly appropriate to bring this home with me for a couple reasons.  First of all, it seemed even more valuable now that he is no longer the Holy Father, though he is still very much with us in prayer and in spirit. Secondly, it is a CD consisting largely of Gregorian chants. Benedict XVI is a great lover of music: he plays the piano and his favorite composer is Mozart, which makes me appreciate him immensely. He was also pope at a significant time in my life when I was discovering the wealth of sacred music which belongs to the Catholic Church, from Gregorian chant to Palestrina and so much more! These are things which the pope also prized immensely, as seen during his pontificate both in the liturgies at the Vatican and in his actions as pope. These actions for the promotion of beautiful music and beautiful liturgy together accomplished so much for us sacred musicians, from his motu proprio on the extraordinary form of the Roman liturgy to his canonization of St. Hildegard von Bingen, patroness of sacred musicians, to name two of the most significant events. Having the combination of chant and his voice on this CD seemed like an ideal combination, as well as a comfort in these times of uncertainty as the Church awaits the selection of a new Holy Father. It seems ironic, or perhaps meant to be, that one of Benedict XVI's final actions as pope was to call the year of faith and now we -- or at least I am called to grow in faith that  the Lord will provide us with a capable shepherd. It was an immense comfort to know that I had a kindred spirit on the papal throne (did I mention he also was a cat person, and an introvert), thus making it very difficult to say good-bye. However, I pray for the cardinals as the conclave approaches and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  I also continue to pray for Benedict, as even though he is stepping down from the papal throne, he is still going to have his health problems to bear.

I'll conclude with a beautiful quote from our beloved Benedict XVI.

"I am convinced that music really is the universal language of beauty which can bring together all people of good will on earth."

-- Pope Benedict XVI, Paul VI Audience Hall, Vatican City, 16 April 2007.

We love you, Benedict XVI, and we miss you!

(source: Program notes for the CD "Music from the Vatican: Alma Mater, featuring the voice of Pope Benedict XVI")
  • Listening to: Beethoven's Emperor Concerto, second movement
  • Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Watching: Once Upon a Time
  • Playing: Buxtehude Praeludium in f# minor
  • Eating: Oatmeal
  • Drinking: French roast coffee

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Cecilia37's Profile Picture
Cecilia37
Emily Byrd Starr
Artist | Hobbyist | Other
United States
I am first and foremost a Catholic, heart, mind, body and soul, a defender of Catholicism and a pursuer of all that is true, good, and beautiful. St. Catherine of Siena said, "If you are who you should be, you will set the world on fire." God has called me to serve Him through music - particularly in the divine liturgy - to help heal the souls just as a physician heals the body. As a wise man once told me, music isn't just "pretty stuff, but a matter of life and death." A bit much, you might say? I disagree. True beauty has the ability to sooth and heal the soul. Just as a doctor is charged with healing the body, the artist is charged with healing the soul through the creation of beauty. Beauty also helps awaken the heart to the truth. Truth speaks to the mind, but beauty speaks to the heart, thus they must be presented together, especially in the liturgy. As the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI once said, "I think that the great music born within the Church is an audible and perceptible rendering of the truth of our faith. In listening to sacred music -suddenly we feel: it is true!" For this reason, it is my responsibility to perfect my talents as a musician, not for myself, but for what I can give to others through my music. Thus do I hope to bring about the salvation of souls for His honor and glory.
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:icongynvaelaine:
Gynvaelaine Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for fav' :)
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:iconindianrain:
IndianRain Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014   Photographer
thanks for the +fav :) (Smile)
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:iconneoconvoy:
Neoconvoy Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Student General Artist
Happy Birthday!

God Bless you!
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:iconcecilia37:
Cecilia37 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you!
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:iconmommymoggie:
MommyMoggie Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013
Oops! I forgot to add that I think you have a lovely gallery, too.:D
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:iconmommymoggie:
MommyMoggie Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013
Thank you for +fav my Nativity. I also love thrift stores and rescue sacramentals and I love old prayer books. I also love Pope Benedict XVI. My daughter wrote him a letter right before he retired and he answered her! It's one of her treasures. She's 11 and it really meant a lot to her. God bless you and have a wonderful Christmas!Hug 
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:iconcloudstreaker:
Cloudstreaker Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you so much for the fav! Glad you liked Window Above the Trumpets cloudstreaker.deviantart.com/a…
God bless!
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:iconcecilia37:
Cecilia37 Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
You're welcome! I hope I can visit that chapel sometime! It looks like a beautiful space! I'm an organist as well, maybe they'll let me play around on the instrument a little, too!
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:iconcloudstreaker:
Cloudstreaker Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
It's part of Princeton University :) My husband wants to play it badly too lol.
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:icontorkhelle:
Torkhelle Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Hi! :wave: Thank you very much for your :+fav:! It's very much appreciated! :thanks:
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