Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Nativity of the Blessed Mother

R. This day was the Blessed Virgin Mary born of the lineage of David ; * The same is she through whom the salvation of the world hath been manifested before the eyes of all believers, and whose glorious life hath given light to the world.
V. With joy let us keep the Birth-day of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Traditional Roman Breviary 
Today, September 8, we celebrate the Nativity of Our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, the only person outside of her Divine Son who was born into this world without the stain of original sin.  From the time of her Immaculate Conception, Mary was formed and shaped to become the Ark of the Covenant, the one who would give birth to the Messiah.  She was born into a humble Jewish family and now reigns in heaven as Queen of heaven and earth, Queen of the Angels, who intercedes constantly for us before the throne of Her Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

There is a beautiful reading from St. Augustine in today's traditional breviary:
The Lesson is taken from a Sermon by St. Augustine the Bishop
Dearly beloved brethren, the day for which we have longed, the Feast-day of the Blessed and Worshipful and Alway-Virgin Mary, that day is come. Let our land laugh and sing with merriment, bathed in the glory of this great Virgin's rising. She is the flower of the fields on which the priceless lily of the valleys hath blossomed.
This is she whose delivery changed the nature that we draw from our first parents, and cleansed away their offence. At her that dolorous sentence which was pronounced over Eve ended its course ; to her it was never said : In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. She brought forth a Child, even the Lord, but she brought him forth, not in sorrow, but in joy.
Eve wept, but Mary laughed. Eve's womb was big with tears, but Mary's womb was big with gladness. Eve gave birth to a sinner, but Mary gave birth to the sinless One. The mother of our race brought punishment into the world, but the Mother of our Lord brought salvation into the world.
Eve was the foundress of sin, but Mary was the foundress of righteousness. Eve welcomed death, but Mary helped in life. Eve smote, but Mary healed. For Eve's disobedience, Mary offered obedience ; and for Eve's unbelief, Mary offered faith.
Mary replacing Eve
Let Mary now make a loud noise upon the organ, and between its quick notes let the rattling of the Mother's timbrel be heard. Let the gladsome choirs sing with her, and their sweet hymns mingle with the changing musick. Hearken to what a song her timbrel will make accompaniment. She saith : My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden, for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is Mighty hath magnified me. The new miracle of Mary's delivery hath effaced the curse of the frail backslider, and the singing of Mary hath silenced the wailing of Eve.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kudos to Cardinal Dolan: Prayer at the DNC

Thumbs up to
Cardinal Dolan
"We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected"
Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Prayer at the DNC 

I have been really hard on Cardinal Dolan, going after him recently for inviting Obama to the Al Smith Dinner.  But you gotta give props where they are due, and Timothy Cardinal Dolan deserves them for the great prayer he gave at the Democratic National Convention.  An exorcism would not have been out of place, given the promotion of abortion with no restrictions and same sex marriage, the omission of God from the DNC platform only to be put back in, with great reluctance, after the nation expressed its shock, and Caroline Kennedy telling us that "as a Catholic woman", it is important to her to have access to "reproductive health services", i.e., abortion, to name just a few of the atrocities committed at the 2012 DNC. 

But His Eminence closed the convention with a strong and brave prayer.  He was a wonderful witness to all who heard him.

The Huffington Post gives us the full text of both of the Cardinal's prayers at the DNC and RNC. 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan's Benedictions At RNC And DNC (FULL TEXT)

 Posted: Updated: 09/07/2012 1:07 am

Offering a benediction to close the Democratic National Convention, Cardinal Timothy Dolan largely stuck to a similar script as he did when praying in front of Republicans at their convention last week, with two notable exceptions.
Proudly supporting abortion
at the Democratic Convention

"We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected," Dolan, who as the Archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has spoken out strongly against abortion, said at the DNC.

And making what seemed to be a allusion to same-sex marriage, which President Barack Obama and the DNC have endorsed, Dolan said: "Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community."

While Dolan prayed for the "sacred and inalienable gift of life" at the Republican National Convention, he did not ask specifically for protection for the unborn. At the RNC, he said, "We ask your benediction upon those yet to be born, and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life."

Dolan mentioned morality at the RNC, but not remaking "institutions [God] has given us." At the RNC, he said, "May we know the truth of your creation, respecting the laws of nature and nature’s God, and not seek to replace it with idols of our own making."

Dolan, who spoke for 700 words at the DNC and 544 at the RNC, also prayed for Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan by name at the DNC, in addition to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. At the RNC, he prayed for the Republican candidates by name and prayed for Obama and Biden when he mentioned the "president and vice-president."

Dolan also prayed for religious freedom at both conventions.

The phrase applies broadly to the constitutional freedom of religion, but it also relates more specifically to a fight Dolan and Catholic bishops have led against the Obama administration. The Archdiocese of New York is one of dozens of Catholic organizations suing federal government because of a portion of his health care overhaul that requires employers, including Catholic schools and hospitals but not houses of worship, to provide free contraception as part of employee health plans.

While it's customary for local Catholic bishops to speak at political conventions, it's rare to have someone of Dolan's stature come from out of town to speak. The most recent exception was in 1972, when Philadelphia Cardinal John Krol was president of the Catholic bishops' conference and flew to Miami to pray at the Republican convention the year Richard Nixon was nominated.

Dolan was first invited to speak at the RNC and accepted an invitation to the DNC afterwards. Through his spokesman, he has said that both benedictions were not endorsements or meant to be political. In a tweet on Thursday, Dolan said he would be in Charlotte "as a pastor. Not to endorse any party, platform, or candidate."  [And he was a wonderful pastor.]

The Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition and senior pastor of Lamb's Church in New York City, also offered an invocation to before main events on Thursday evening. In his remarks, he prayed for God to "guide this great nation" and "help us all, Republicans, independents, and Democrats, never to tire in the work of justice and mercy." Salguero also prayed for God to "help us always to be mindful of the most vulnerable among us: the child, the widow, the orphan and the stranger." 

Cardinal Dolan's Benediction at Democratic National Convention 2012

With a “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,” let us close this convention by praying for this land that we so cherish and love:

Let us Pray.

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, revealed to us so powerfully in your Son, Jesus Christ, we thank you for showering your blessings upon this our beloved nation. Bless all here present, and all across this great land, who work hard for the day when a greater portion of your justice, and a more ample measure of your care for the poor and suffering, may prevail in these United States. Help us to see that a society’s greatness is found above all in the respect it shows for the weakest and neediest among us.

We beseech you, almighty God to shed your grace on this noble experiment in ordered liberty, which began with the confident assertion of inalienable rights bestowed upon us by you: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected. Strengthen our sick and our elders waiting to see your holy face at life’s end, that they may be accompanied by true compassion and cherished with the dignity due those who are infirm and fragile.
We praise and thank you for the gift of liberty. May this land of the free never lack those brave enough to defend our basic freedoms. Renew in all our people a profound respect for religious liberty: the first, most cherished freedom bequeathed upon us at our Founding. May our liberty be in harmony with truth; freedom ordered in goodness and justice. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love. Make us ever-grateful for those who, for over two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg the protection of your mighty arm upon our men and women in uniform.

We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.

We praise and thank you for the American genius of government of the people, by the people and for the people. Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us: President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Congress, the Supreme Court, and all those, including Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself. With your grace, may all Americans choose wisely as we consider the future course of public policy.

And finally Lord, we beseech your benediction on all of us who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who yearn to conduct their lives in freedom and justice. We beg you to remember, as we pledge to remember, those who are not free; those who suffer for freedom’s cause; those who are poor, out of work, needy, sick, or alone; those who are persecuted for their religious convictions, those still ravaged by war.

And most of all, God Almighty, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.

For we are indeed “one nation under God,” and “in God we trust.”

So dear God, bless America. You who live and reign forever and ever.


Cardinal Dolan's Benediction at the Republican National Convention 2012

With firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, let us pray:

Almighty God, father of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus, we beg your continued blessings on this sanctuary of freedom, and on all of those who proudly call America home. We ask your benediction upon those yet to be born, and on those who are about to see you at the end of this life. Bless those families whose ancestors arrived on these shores generations ago, as well as those families that have come recently, to build a better future while weaving their lives into the rich tapestry of America.

We lift up to your loving care those afflicted by the recent storms and drought and fire. We ask for the grace to stand in solidarity with all those who suffer. May we strive to include your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, in the production and prosperity of a people so richly blessed.

Oh God of wisdom, justice, and might, we ask your guidance for those who govern us, and on those who would govern us: the president and vice-president, the Congress, the Supreme Court, and on all those who seek to serve the common good by seeking public office, especially Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan. Make them all worthy to serve you by serving our country. Help them remember that the only just government is the government that serves its citizens rather than itself.

Almighty God, who gives us the sacred and inalienable gift of life, we thank you as well for the singular gift of liberty. Renew in all of our people a respect for religious freedom in full, that first most cherished freedom. Make us truly free, by tethering freedom to truth and ordering freedom to goodness. Help us live our freedom in faith, hope, and love; prudently, and with justice; courageously, and in a spirit of moderation. Enkindle in our hearts a new sense of responsibility for freedom’s cause. And make us ever-grateful for all those who, for more than two centuries, have given their lives in freedom’s defense; we commend their noble souls to your eternal care, as even now we beg your mighty hand upon our beloved men and women in uniform.

May we know the truth of your creation, respecting the laws of nature and nature’s God, and not seek to replace it with idols of our own making. Give us the good sense not to cast aside the boundaries of righteous living you first inscribed in our hearts even before inscribing them on tablets of stone. May you mend our every flaw, confirming our soul in self-control, our liberty in law.

We pray for all those who seek honest labor, as we thank you for the spirit of generosity to those in need with which you so richly blessed this nation.

We beseech your blessing on all who depart from here this evening, and on all those, in every land, who seek to conduct their lives in freedom.

Most of all, Almighty God, we thank you for the great gift of our beloved country.

For we are indeed “one nation under God.”

And “in God we trust.”

Dear God bless America. You who live and reign, forever and ever,


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Image of Our Lady Survives Destruction of Chapel in the Phillipines

A landslide in Barangay Pagsabungan, Mandaue City
buried the coffin of a woman whose remains were still
lying in state in the small chapel (kapilya) of Sitio San Roque.
Back in June, a Catholic Church was completely destroyed in Juarez, Texas in a fire, yet miraculously an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe survived completely intact with just a little smoke damage.  This seems to have been repeated in the Philippines.  A chapel collapsed due to monsoon rains and soil erosion, with only the images of the Blessed Mother and San Roque surviving. 

This is what Wikipedia has to say about San Roque:
According to his Acta and his vita in Legenda Aurea, he was born at Montpellier, at that time "upon the border of France" as Legenda Aurea has it, the son of the noble governor of that city. Even his birth was accounted a miracle, for his noble mother had been barren until she prayed to the Virgin Mary. Miraculously marked from birth with a red cross on his breast that grew as he did, he early began to manifest strict asceticism and great devoutness; on days when his "devout mother fasted twice in the week, and the blessed child Rocke abstained him twice also, when his mother fasted in the week, and would suck his mother but once that day".
Statue of San Roque
On the death of his parents in his twentieth year he distributed all his worldly goods among the poor like Francis of Assisi— though his father on his deathbed had ordained him governor of Montpellier— and set out as a mendicant pilgrim for Rome. Coming into Italy during an epidemic of plague, he was very diligent in tending the sick in the public hospitals at Acquapendente, Cesena, Rimini, Novara and Rome, and is said to have effected many miraculous cures by prayer and the sign of the cross and the touch of his hand. At Rome, according to Legenda Aurea he preserved the "cardinal of Angleria in Lombardy" by making the mark of the cross on his forehead, which miraculously remained. Ministering at Piacenza he himself finally fell ill. He was expelled from the town; and withdrew into the forest, where he made himself a hut of boughs and leaves, which was miraculously supplied with water by a spring that arose in the place; he would have perished had not a dog belonging to a nobleman named Gothard Palastrelli supplied him with bread and licked his wounds, healing them. Count Gothard, following his hunting dog that carried the bread, discovered Saint Roch and became his acolyte.

On his return incognito to Montpellier he was arrested as a spy (by orders of his own uncle) and thrown into prison, where he languished five years and died on 16 August 1327, without revealing his name, to avoid worldly glory. (Evidence suggests, as mentioned earlier, that the previous events occurred, instead at Voghera in 1370s.) After his death, according to Legenda Aurea,"anon an angel brought from heaven a table divinely written with letters of gold into the prison, which he laid under the head of S. Rocke. And in that table was written that God had granted to him his prayer, that is to wit, that who that calleth meekly to S. Rocke he shall not be hurt with any hurt of pestilence."

Below is the story from the Phillipines:

Cebu chapel collapses; Virgin Mary image saved
Posted at 09/05/2012 4:26 PM | Updated as of 09/05/2012 10:58 PM\

MANILA, Philippines – A man was injured after a small chapel in Barangay Pagsabungan, Mandaue City, Cebu collapsed on Tuesday due to continuous rains.

The injured victim, Remegio Magallanes, sustained wounds on his arms and face.

Authorities said the continuous downpour of rain caused soil erosion in some parts of Barangay Pagsabungan, triggering the collapse of the chapel.

The chapel was completely destroyed save for the images of Virgin Mary and San Roque.

The incident also damaged a casket inside a chapel.

The residents of Barangay Pagsabungan are hoping that their chapel will be rebuilt at the soonest time possible. -- Report from Reno Tallada, ABS-CBN News Central Visayas
Is this just a coincidence that once again, even though a church was completely destroyed, our Lady's image was spared, and the only other statue that survived was that of a saint who had been born as a result of prayers to her? 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Divine Mercy Taught by St. Gregory The Great

Original Divine Mercy Picture
St. Faustina, a Polish nun who lived in the 20th Century and died shortly before the beginning of WWII, is often referred to as the Apostle of Divine Mercy.  Our Lord appeared to her and gave her many visions and proclamations regarding His Divine Mercy.  She was also directed by Our Lord to have the picture painted, shown above, as an image of Christ's Divine Mercy.  The picture above is the original Divine Mercy picture.  However, St. Faustina wept when she saw this painting because it did not capture the beauty of the risen Christ. 

St. Faustina was directed by her confessor to keep a diary of everything that happened to her, and as a result we have St. Faustina's Diary entitled, "Divine Mercy in My Soul." 

Many think that the teaching of Divine Mercy is a new understanding of the church.  Far too many believe that prior to the 20th Century, the Church believed in a harsh unbending God who condemned people for the slightest infraction.  We either "toe the line" or we're out. 

While it is true that we must become perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, the Church has always recognized our God as a great God of love and mercy  That fact is amply demonstrated by the following reading from St. Gregory the Great, whose feast day is celebrated in today's contemporary calendar.  St. Gregory the Great lived from 540 to 604 A.D., and was pope from 590 to 604.  That is a long, long, long time before St. Faustina, and yet he wrote profoundly and deeply on the power of Divine Mercy in our lives. 

St. Gregory is considered one of our very greatest popes, and was immediately cannonized upon his death.  He died on March 12, 604 and was cannonized that same day.  He is the patron saint of musicians, singers, students, and teachers.  He is responsible for the development of Gregorian chant, which has been strongly promoted by our present Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who describes it "as the supreme model of sacred music."

This reading is taken from today's Magnificat, a magazine I cannot recommend highly enough whether you go to daily Mass or not.  It is specifically for the Ordinary Form of the Mass, but even if you are not a devotee of the Ordinary Form, you will still benefit greatly from this magazine and daily devotional, which is a spiritual feast.

Today's meditation from the Magnificat:

The Mercy Jesus Proclaimed
What tongue can describe the heart of the divine mercy? What mind is not amazed by the riches of such great love? The psalmist was thinking of these riches of divine love when he said: My helper; I will sing a psalm to you.  It is you, O God, who are my protector; my God my mercy.  Carefully weighing the labors surrounding our humanity, he called God his helper.  He calls his "protector" the one who protects us in the midst of our present distress until we come to eternal rest.  But bearing in mind that God sees our evil deeds and bears with them, that he puts up with our sins and still preserves us for his rewards because of repentance, he could not just speak of God as being merciful but called him mercy itself, saying:  My God, my mercy.
Let us then recall before our eyes the evil deeds we have done, let us consider with how much goodness God puts up with us, let us bear in mind the depth of his love.  He is not only lenient toward our sins, but he even promises the heavenly kingdom to those who repent after sinning.  Let each of us say from the very depths of our hearts, let us all say, My God, my mercy.
St. Gregory The Great 
The Church has always taught the love and mercy of God, and don't ever let anyone tell you differently.  We need never doubt the Mercy of God.  You need only to look upon the suffering Lord on the Cross and know that if He cared that much to come and die such a terrible death that we might be saved, He is always going to be there for us.  As St. Gregory the Great wrote:

He is not only lenient toward our sins, but he even promises the heavenly kingdom to those who repent after sinning. Let each of us say from the very depths of our hearts, let us all say,
My God, my mercy. 

Karl Rove Wants Akin Put Permanently Out of Action

I have been following the Todd Akin story, absolutely fascinated at how the Republicans have turned on this 100% pro life candidate and attempted to destroy him.  I expect the Democrats to be out for blood against any one who is anti-abortion, but the Republicans are suppose to be pro life.  Why, it was even in their platform at the Republican National Convention, as CNN told us:
Republicans drafting their party's official policy platform on Tuesday ratified a call for a Constitutional ban on abortion that makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
* * * 
The CNN report came out on August 21, just two days after Rep. Todd Akin, who is running for senator in Missouri, said he was against abortion in cases of rape.  Akin was slammed on all sides for using the term "legitimate rape" and saying that pregnancy is rare in cases of rape, which is statistically true. But everyone knows that Akin's vocal faux pas was just an excuse to attack him. The real reason he was being attacked is because he is against abortion in cases of pregnancies resulting from rape. So despite Akin's admittedly stupid use of the word "legitimate", you would think Republicans would run to defend him since he is completely in line with their platform.  Well, if that is what you would think, you would be wrong. Republicans could not distance themselves from Akin fast enough, condemning him and calling for him to step down from the race and telling him they were cutting off all political funding for his senate race.

One of the main cheerleaders in the effort to dump Akin is the Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney.  The VP candidate, Paul Ryan, despite being on the record for being against abortion in cases of rape and despite having drafted a pro life bill with Todd Akin, also turned against his colleague, phoning him and telling him to get out of the race.  Loyalty has no place in politics. 

Paul Ryan and Todd Akin when they were
on friendlier terms
One of the big guns in the Republican party calling for Todd Akin to find another planet on which to live was Karl Rove.  And Rove seemingly wants Akin permanently gone, as he talked about the murder of Todd Akin.  See the story from the Washington Post below:

Karl Rove jokes, ‘We should sink Todd Akin,’ report says
Posted by Sean Sullivan on August 31, 2012 at 10:11 am
Bloomberg Businessweek reports from inside a donor briefing Karl Rove hosted in Tampa on the final day of the Republican National Convention, where the Republican reiterated his desire for embattled Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to end his Senate campaign in Missouri.
Rove explained to an audience dotted with hedge fund billionaires and investors—including John Paulson and Wilbur Ross—how his super PAC, American Crossroads, will persuade undecided voters in crucial swing states to vote against Barack Obama. He also detailed plans for Senate and House races, and joked, “We should sink Todd Akin. If he’s found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts!”
Fortunately, there are some people who are seeing that something is not right here.  Finally here is someone who has some strong words about Karl Rove
Phyllis Schlafly Calls on Karl Rove to Resign

Karl Rove has made himself toxic to Republicans by his incredibly offensive and dangerous statement suggesting the murder of Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri. Any candidate or network who hires Rove will now be tarnished with this most malicious remark ever made in Republican politics.  [Don't bet on it, Phyllis.]

Just imagine if someone had made that statement about Barack Obama. The Secret Service would go on Red Alert and you can bet that the author of that remark would be in jail by now. As quoted by a Businessweek reporter and now on the internet, Rove in Tampa told some 70 big donors to his Super PAC, American Crossroads, that every attendee should apply pressure to "sink Todd Akin" and force him out of the Senate race for which Missourians had nominated him. Then Rove said that if Akin were "found mysteriously murdered, don’t look for my whereabouts."

This stunning attack on Akin is now reported as a joke. Sorry, Karl, it isn’t funny to joke about murdering a Congressman.  [Let's hope he was joking.]

Rove has disliked Akin ever since Akin was one of the principled members of the U.S. House who voted against George W. Bush’s extravagant expansion of Medicare when the vote was called at 5:53 am in November 2003. Akin is a man of principle who doesn’t cave in to political pressure, so he’s not Rove’s kind of politician.

Rove tried to excuse his obscene joke by saying he would not have said it if he had known a reporter was in the room. That makes his statement worse! Is murder the kind of secret political advice Rove gives to Republican donors and candidates who hire him?  [Your guess is as good as mine.]

A private phone call by Rove to Akin to sort of apologize does not erase the public offense. At the very least Rove should make a public apology. But even that can’t wipe out his gross political mistake.

Karl Rove is an embarrassment to the Republican Party. [Phyllis, here is a news flash:  Rove IS the Republican Party.]  We don’t want any more of his advice in secret briefings or publicly on Fox News. Missourians don’t want politicians from other states telling us who to run for the Senate.

Rove has been calling on Todd Akin to resign, but the one who should resign because he made an embarrassing, malicious, and downright stupid remark is Karl Rove. 
Sigh.   Hey Phyllis, have you or anyone else noticed that Romney hasn't said a word about Rove's "joke?"  We have seen Mike Huckabee and, amazingly, Newt Gingrich criticize Rove for the remark.  But everyone else is remaining completely silent on this issue.

Karl Rove will suffer no political repercussions as the result of his hateful remark and everyone will continue to tell me that I must vote for the Republicans because it's the only way to stop the Democrats.  Will someone just tell me the difference between the two parties?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hal David of Bacharach/David Songwriting Team Dies

Burt Bacharach and Hal David
Hal David, who wrote the beautiful lyrics to Burt Bacharach's great melodies in the 1960's and 70's, has died at the age of 91.  I grew up with this music and can remember loving it when I was as young as 9 and 10 years old, and the fact that I still love this music all these many decades later is a testament to just how great these songs are.

From the Washington Post:
Bacharach and David were among the most successful teams in modern history, with top 40 hits including “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” ‘’(They Long to Be) Close to You” and “That’s What Friends Are For.” Although most associated with Dionne Warwick, their music was recorded by many of the top acts of their time, from the Beatles and Barbra Streisand to Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin. They won an Oscar for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (from the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”), Grammys and Tonys for the songs from the hit Broadway musical “Promises, Promises.”

David and Bacharach met when both worked in the Brill Building, New York’s legendary Tin Pan Alley song factory where writers cranked out songs and attempted to sell them to music publishers. They scored their first big hit with “Magic Moments,” a million-selling record for Perry Como.

In 1962 they began writing for a young singer named Dionne Warwick, whose versatile voice conveyed the emotion of David’s lyrics and easily handled the changing patterns of Bacharach’s melodies. Together the trio created a succession of popular songs including “Don’t Make Me Over,” ‘’Walk On By,” ‘’I Say a Little Prayer,” ‘’Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” ‘’Trains and Boats and Planes,” ‘’Anyone Who Has a Heart,” ‘’You’ll Never Get to Heaven” and “Always Something There to Remind Me,” a hit in the 1980s for the synth pop band Naked Eyes. 
I stopped listening to contemporary pop music about 20 years ago because there were no longer any melodies, only beats, and it was all explicitly sexual.  No one writes love songs anymore, just sex songs.  Burt Bacharach and Hal David were among those who wrote truly romantic love songs that talked about commitment and caring, not just a few moments of physical passion and then on to the next one.  And the melodies were beautiful and singable, and you felt good just listening to them.

Below is a Youtube video of one of the best Bacharach/David songs ever.  It's hard for me to listen to this without tears in my eyes.

Thank you, Hal David, for this and all the other beautiful music you gave us.  God bless you, and may you rest in peace.

Here is one more video of Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach doing a medley of some of those great songs.  You will see Hal David at the end of the video.

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