Archive for November, 2011

The Sixteen – Miserere Mei Deus – Allegri

November 27, 2011

Miserere, full name “Miserere mei, Deus” (trans: “Have mercy on me, O God”) by Italian composer Gregorio Allegri, is a setting of Psalm 51 (Greek numbering: Psalm 50), it begins Have mercy on me, O God, composed during the reign of Pope Urban VIII, probably during the 1630s, for use in the Sistine Chapel during matins, as part of the exclusive Tenebrae service on Wednesday and Friday of Holy Week. The service would start usually around 3am, and during the ritual, candles would be extinguished, one by one, until one remained alight and hidden. Allegri composed his setting of the Miserere for the final act within the first lesson of the Tenebrae service. Ash Wednesday marking Christ’s return to Jerusalem.

Miserere mei, Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hysopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne proiicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae: et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique: holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Ierusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

Gregorio Allegri (1582-1652), an Italian composer of the Roman School, priest and singer, and brother of Domenico Allegri. He is best known for Miserere mei, Deus, a setting of Vulgate Psalm 50 (Greek Psalm 51), written for two choirs, one of five voices and the other of four voices.

Performed by early music group The Sixteen, founded and directed by Harry Christophers.

Music of indescribable beauty, almost unbearable to listen to.

Sacred Music: The Story of Allegri’s Miserere
St James Cathedral – Victoria – The Sixteen
Hail, Mother of the Redeemer

What a year!

November 27, 2011
Aleph No1 in Poland

Aleph No1 in Poland

You may imagine the excitement of a writer (any writer) when she/he releases a new book. Most of them don’t show it – probably because they are shy, or they prefer to hide their emotions – but the excitement is there.

Long time ago I chose to share all my emotions, regardless the circumstances – love, enthusiasm, fear – so I can live my life fully.

It was a decision that I never regret. And that is present in all my writings.

And when 2011 knocked the door, I thought: “the next months will be very interesting, as my new title will be released worldwide”. Bingo!

What I did not expect (even if I wished and dreamt about it) was to see what I saw.

ALEPH made the bestseller lists in all countries it was published (except one). Bear in mind that I decided not to give more than 10 interviews during the year, and the success of the book is basically the word-of-mouth and the social communities.

The photo above was taken in the most important Polish chain (Empik). Poland was the final country in 2011 where ALEPH was released.

Therefore, thank you for your continuous suppport, your friendship, and your commitment.

Thank you, obrigado, gracias, merci!

Now we wait for 2012 to see the book repeating the same performance in the countries it will be published (Germany, Russia, Japan, Indonesia, etc.)

Much love

Published by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

The one country where Aleph has not reached No1 is UK.


The retail book scene in the UK is dominated by one retail book chain, Waterstone’s. For whatever perverse reason they chose not to have Aleph on display, thus other than word-of-mouth from those who are in the know, potential readers in the UK are blissfully unaware of the release of Aleph which came out in the UK in September.

Paulo Coelho in Waterstone’s and the author the publisher forgot
What’s gone wrong with our bookshops?

Paulo Coelho no Mais Você

November 26, 2011

Sobre “Aleph”

“É um momento de crise de fé, em que eu disse: ‘Ah, eu vou viajar, vou percorrer o mundo inteiro, não posso ficar aqui’. Já tinha sucesso, já tinha dinheiro, já estava casado com a mulher que eu amo e amarei o resto da minha vida, tinha tudo e estava insatisfeito. Então, resolvi viajar, entrei em um trem também, parte dessa viagem, conheci uma leitora, que provocou uma série de reações em mim”, revelou ele.

A esposa do autor, Christina, também deu sua opinião a respeito do assunto. “Olha, eu me coloco totalmente tranquila, eu sei que é uma experiência. Eu acho que todas as pessoas necessitam viver a sua vida, as suas experiências, como ele, como você, como eu, como todos. Nada pode ser forçado. Eu acho que a coisa mais importante no amor e na vida é a liberdade. Todos nós temos que ser livres”, analisou.

“O ‘Aleph’ era um livro que eu nunca pensei em escrever. Primeiro porque eu achei que não tinha capacidade, é acontece! Porque são experiências espirituais tão fortes, que você diz: ‘Eu não vou poder colocar isso em palavras'”, confessou.

Bailout the people, not the banks!

November 26, 2011
Bail out the people not the banks

Bail out the people not the banks

Bail out the people not the banks

Bail out the people not the banks

Bail out the people not the banks

Bail out the people not the banks

Occupy London Shut Down the City

Occupy London Shut Down the City

strike while the iron is hot

strike while the iron is hot

Yesterday, I heard from the BBC not balanced reporting, as their charter requires, but histrionics. The end of the world is nigh, the country is about to be hit by an all out nuclear attack or a gigantic tsunami or a hurricane of unknown magnitude, or at least that was the impression given, not that public servants, most who will not be noticed one way or another, are to take the day off work in a national strike.

I did not notice this histrionics when the country shut down for the day during the summer for the Royal Wedding, though I did notice a completely over-the-top reaction to a handful of protests.

I did not notice this hysteria when Heathrow was closed for several days last winter due to snow or last spring when volcanic ash closed down flights.

It is the norm in Europe for airports and ports to be closed during strikes, and yet the countries manage to cope.

We are told foreigners will not wish to come here, that inward investment will dry up.

All total tosh!

What’s up then?

What has got the hated ConDem governement worried is the numbers who are going to take to the streets.

The despised ConDem govermenment has been using a hyped budget deficit to justify slash and burn of public services. Shock doctrine. Class warfare is being waged against the poor, the disadvantaged and the elderly

Not a day seems to go by without some statement or other being issued by the obscene ConDem government which will hit one or more of these groups.

The rise in fuel duty on petrol and diesel to be offset by not paying in full the increase in benefits in line with inflation. The poorest to pay for the rich to drive their gas guzzling cars. We all pay through climate chaos and deaths and ill-health due to air pollution.

Petrol and diesel are actually lower in real terms.

Even if the poor were compensated in full for the increase in inflation, they would still be out of pocket. Most of their income goes on fuel and food, both of which have risen much faster than inflation. In the case of fuel, 20% increase over the last year. More and more poor households are sinking into fuel poverty, faced with a stark choice between heating and eating.

Unemployment pay from when it was introduced retained its value as half the average wage, even under Margaret Thatcher. It halved under neoLabour.

Train fares are due to rise in January by far more than inflation. In October the ConDem government removed the scheme that gave elderly and disabled half price coach travel.

The ConDem government is wishing to lower the minimum wage, remove employment protection from at least a million workers.

The latest wheeze to hit the poor is to remove tax credits from the working poor to introduce an employment scheme for the young. Remember YTS, Youth Training Scheme of the 1980s? It was a total failure, it was hated by the young, its only purpose to provide cheap labour. Well it is about to be dusted down, reintroduced under another name.

Last year we saw brutal crackdown on student protests when they tried to march on Parliament. Student fees tripled, EMA abolished (a lifeline for students from poor households).

We do not have democracy, at least not in the neo-Gothic Palace of Westminster where we have childish public schoolboy slanging matches.

Well actually we do have democracy, it is taking place every day at St Paul’s in-the-Camp, the Bank of Ideas and at least two dozen occupy sites across the country. That is why the ConDem government and Mayor Boris the bankers friend have done everything possible to smear the camps, but their smears have spectacularly backfired, the public has seen through their lies.

And when the smears do not work send in the paramilitary thugs as we have seen in the US and Tahrir Square.

Paramilitary policing and police brutality from Seattle to Occupy Wall Street

When the banks were bailed out, which we all paid for both directly through our taxes and indirectly through the impact on the economy, no strings were attached.

The ConDem government say they have levied a bank levy. The amount raised will be dwarfed by this autumn’s obscene round of bank bonuses. How about a 50% tax on bank bonuses?

Dave Hartnett head of HMRC the most wined and dined public servant. Vodafone, Goldman Sachs and other tax dodgers are delighted. How about going after the taxes Vodafone and others owe?

Collect the evaded tax, avoid the cuts

Occupy London Shut Down the city is what scares the ConDem government witless, that we are going to see the greatest street protests yet against this obscene government, the 99% versus the 1%!

Happy Birthday Christina

November 26, 2011
Christina in her outside studio El Camino de Santiago

Christina in her outside studio El Camino de Santiago

Paulo and Christina - Juan Jimenez

Paulo and Christina - Juan Jimenez

My lovely friend artist Christina Oiticica celebrated her birthday a few days ago in Madrid.

Her husband Paulo Coelho threw a party at which he sang this beautiful love song ‘Ne me quitte pas’ to Christina.

Ne me quitte pas Il faut oublier
Tout peut s’oublier Qui s’enfuit déjà
Oublier le temps Des malentendus
Et le temps perdu A savoir comment
Oublier ces heures Qui tuaient parfois
A coups de pourquoi Le cœur du bonheur
Ne me quitte pas

Moi je t’offrirai Des perles de pluie
Venues de pays Où il ne pleut pas
Je creuserai la terre Jusqu’après ma mort
Pour couvrir ton corps D’or et de lumière
Je ferai un domaine Où l’amour sera roi
Où l’amour sera loi Où tu seras reine
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas Je t’inventerai
Des mots insensés Que tu comprendras
Je te parlerai De ces amants-là
Qui ont vu deux fois Leurs cœurs s’embraser
Je te raconterai L’histoire de ce roi
Mort de n’avoir pas Pu te rencontrer
Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent Rejaillir le feu
D’un ancien volcan Qu’on croyait trop vieux
Il est paraît-il Des terres brûlées
Donnant plus de blé Qu’un meilleur avril
Et quand vient le soir Pour qu’un ciel flamboie
Le rouge et le noir Ne s’épousent-ils pas
Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas Je ne vais plus pleurer
Je ne vais plus parler Je me cacherai là
A te regarder Danser et sourire
Et à t’écouter Chanter et puis rire
Laisse-moi devenir L’ombre de ton ombre
L’ombre de ta main L’ombre de ton chien
Ne me quitte pas

Top story The Digital Mission Daily (Saturday 26 November 2011).

My birthday gift / meu presente de aniversário
Aniversario de Christina Oiticica
Segundo Albúm Aniversario Christina Oiticica
A festa do mago Paulo Coelho para sua mulher, Christina
Paulo Coelho’s St Joseph’s Day Party at Pera Palace Hotel

Canon Andrew White at Holy Trinity Clapham

November 24, 2011

Canon Andrew White speaking at Holy Trinity Clapham, 23 May 2010.

Canon Andrew White talking about St George’s, his church in Iraq. A church that used to be at $600 a year, one of the cheapest churches in the world to run. May 2010, it was costing $170,000 a month to run.

St George’s has an associated clinic.

At 3 o’clock in the afternoon the doctors go home. Canon Andrew White then takes over.

Strange things happen at St George’s. People are healed through prayer, even raised from the dead. Strange apartitions appear, thought to be angels.

Subjects discussed in more detail in Faith Under Fire.

Canon Andrew White at Guildford Baptist Church

Christianity A History: The Crusades

November 24, 2011

An accursed race. A race absolutely alien to God has invaded the land of Christians. — Pope Urban II, 1095 AD

Holy men do not posses those cities, nay base and bastard Turks hold sway over our brothers. — Pope Urban II, 1095 AD

Pope Urban II launched the Crusades with a speech in the French town of Clermont Ferrand. The Christians of Europe were to go to the occupied lands, seize them back and kill any Muslims they found there. It was to be a Holy War. The Knights were offered salvation through slaughter.

Chroniclers of the Crusades were chronicling God’s work, a continuation of God’s work as recorded in the Bible. Jerusalem had to be cleansed of Muslim pollution

To the West, the Crusades are history. Islamists believe they are still fighting the Crusades today.

Of Gods and Men

November 23, 2011
Of Gods and Men

Of Gods and Men

scene from the film

scene from the film

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. — Psalm 82:6-7

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. — Pascal

A deeply moving French film of a group of monks living in an isolated monastery in Algeria at the height of Islamic terrorist atrocities.

What sense is there when teenage girls are killed for not wearing a veil, their bodies dumped by the roadside? This is not the Koran.

When Croations are killed working on a nearby road the monks are offered protection by the army, but this is declined by the Abbot as he will not allow weapons in the monastery, nor will he depart and abandon the poor villagers who are dependent on the monastery. They were called by God to serve.

Each monk struggles with his faith and his God. Does he leave or does he stay?

All they have to protect them is their faith.

Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux) by the French director Xavier Beauvois is based on the kidnapping and murder of monks in Algeria in 1996. Who killed them, fundamentalists or the state, and the circumstances of their death is not known.

The film has a faded appearence, not the rich colours one would normally expect. This serves to resonate with the simple and austere lifestyle of the monks. Having a new laptop and this being the first DVD I had watched, I thought maybe something wrong and downloaded two new media players.

The film captures beautifully the sounds you hear up in the mountains, in the distance a neighbour’s dog barking, a cock crowing.

Des hommes et des dieux premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix.

Des hommes et des dieux was shot on location at an abandoned monastery in Azrou, Morocco.

The monastery in Algeria lies abandoned, a ghost monastery.

Brutal crackdown by US-backed military on Tahrir Square

November 22, 2011
Bikes waiting to ferry the wounded to field hospitals

Bikes waiting to ferry the wounded to field hospitals

Tear gas manufacturer is 'Combined Tactical Systems' based in Pennsylvania

Tear gas manufacturer is 'Combined Tactical Systems' based in Pennsylvania

By using military courts to try thousands of civilians, cracking down on peaceful protests and expanding the remit of Mubarak’s emergency law, the military council has continued the tradition of repressive rule which the January 25th demonstrators fought so hard to get rid of. — Philip Luther, Amnesty International

I may be mistaken but I believe this is the biggest protest in Tahrir since the revolution began without the Muslim Brotherhood. — Sharif Kouddous

It started at the weekend when the US-backed military decided to remove a small encampment of protesters in Tahrir Square. According to reports on Eygyptian TV they had been enboldened to act by the police brutality against demonstrators in the US. Since the weekend it has escalated with dozens killed, many hundreds if not thousands seriously injured. Live ammunition is being used.

The tear gas fired has Made in USA stamped on the side. Other tear gas in unmarked canisters appears to be much more potent than regular tear gas, causing the death of at least three people.

People are going to the front line, get injured, are taken to field hospitals set up in Tahrir Square, then once patched up, are back on the front line.

Rubber-coated shotgun pellets are being fired into the eyes. Several people have lost an eye. One man who lost an eye in the January uprising, has now lost a second eye.

The Egyptian people are calling for the US-backed military junta to stand down and for an interim civilian administration to take charge until elections can be held.

A deafening silence from the houseboy in the White House.

photos from Sharif Kouddous
film footage from mosireen video collective

Paramilitary policing and police brutality from Seattle to Occupy Wall Street
Egyptian Revolution Enters New Phase As Thousands Brave Violence to Protest Military Rule
Egypt military pledges faster power transfer
Volunteer clinics tend to Egyptian protesters
How the West is already intervening in Egypt’s second Tahrir revolution

Rev Four, Foot To Floor

November 22, 2011
Meta Taute

Meta Taute

Rev four –
foot to floor
I feel the pull
of the open door.

Rev four –
foot to floor
Trump voice speaks
“Come up and soar”

Foot to floor
right through the door
The pull, the yank
gripped through my tank.

Rev four –
foot to floor
A burning, churning
within my core.

Rev four –
A thundering rumbling
Symphony sounding
Now I’m crumbling.

Dive to floor
break into sweat
All because
His Presence met.

Rev four –
light beyond burning
Holy One sparks up
my heart’s yearning.

Stay on floor –
in saline puddle
The glory realm is
not so subtle.

Rev four –
back to my feet.
Grace to stand
and not retreat.

Rev four –
watch to see
Twenty four crowns
On elderly.

Rev four –
all bowed down
Arms extended
offering crowns.

Count’em four
blazing creatures.
Eyes and wings
as primary features.

Rev four –
What are they
Eyes on me
without a blinking.

Waves of praise
in call and response
He fills all desires
and all wants.

Rev four
onto the next
to watch a lamb
crack open a text

Rev five –
I’m still alive.

— Tony Mujica

The inspiration Revelation Chapter Four. The sketch is one variation out of twenty five or more. Canon Andrew White owns a painted version of this which hangs in his office in Baghdad, Iraq.

Tony Mujica writes some interesting poetry, some dire, some brilliant. This is a lovely example of his work.

Tony Mujica loves to paint and his paintings are his prayers.

For more of his work visit his blog, Notes from the Fortress of Solitude.

A Cannon In God’s Canon