We're continuing with our recording project... Hopefully today things will go a little more smoothly than they did yesterday. We spent quite a bit of time on a nice piece by King John of Portugal (1635), but just couldn't nail it. Although as a group we tend to be a tad on the sharp side, King John had us hugging the south side of the notes rather consistently. So we gave up on that song and tackled the "Stabat Mater." We figured it would be easier, because it is so consistent in its melody. By the 14th verse, we would have it nailed, right? Not quite. Besides, 14 verses is too many for any song, no matter how beloved. We did record all 14, but we'll see in the end what makes it to the finished album.
To some degree, yesterday's discouraging experiences can parallel today's first reading: the Israelite scouts had gone into the Promised Land, and even came back with some sample produce, but all they could talk about was the spectre of failure and doom. They intimidated themselves with their own report: "This is too big a project for us to tackle." It was a failure of nerve caused (among other things) by a failure of imagination. They didn't even allow themselves to fantasize about winning the land. (What would they have said to the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho?)
But God has a really wild imagination. Generations later, a descendent of those selfsame Canaanites they saw along the seacoast would bow down before a Son of Judah, as to one who had already won a great victory. And generations after that, a hill of the mighty city of Rome would be crowned with a shrine in honor of a daughter of Israel. (Today's the feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, also called "Our Lady of the Snows.")