'My' squirrels, or two or three of them, in any case...

Are getting fat, which is a good thing, I reckon, as Winter enfolds us-- not that it has dropped much below 32° (we did have ice and iciness on the pavements and streets yesterday or the day before until perhaps 0800 or so) or snowed or even sleeted yet.

I have been listening to versions of Machaut's Messe de Nôtre-Dame. The most intriguing thus far is a DG Archiv recording from 1956 featuring the ensemble Pro Musica Antiqua. Have been reading up on the Magnus liber organi and become enthused about that, too.

Was prompted to scribble here this morning by Dom Prosper's magnificent 'placing of the scene' before launching into his encomia of Saint Eusebius.

When asked to tell the names of the Saints who were foremost in defending the dogma of the Incarnation, we think at once of the intrepid Eusebius of Vercelli, as one of the glorious number. The Catholic faith, which was so violently attacked, in the fourth century, by the Arian heresy, was maintained at that time by the labours and zeal of four Sovereign Pontiffs: Sylvester, who confirmed the decrees of the Council of Nicaea; Julius, the supporter of Saint  Athanasius; Liberius, whose faith failed not, and who, when restored to his liberty, confounded the Arians; and, lastly, Damasus, who destroyed the last hopes of the heretics. One of these four Pontiffs appears on our Advent Calendar, Damasus, whose feast we kept but few days since. The four Popes have for their fellow-combatants, in this battle for the Divinity of the Incarnate Word, four great Bishops, of whom it may be said, that the defence of the dogma of the Consubstantiality of the Son of God was what they lived for, and that to say anathema to them was to say anathema to Christ himself; all four most powerful in word and work, lights of the Churches of the world, objects of the people's love, and the dauntless witnesses of Jesus. The first and greatest of the four is the Bishop of the second See of Christendom, St. Athanasius, the Patriarch of Alexandria. The second is St. Ambrose of Milan, whose feast we kept on the seventh of this month. The third is the glory of Gaul, St. Hilary, Bishop of Poitiers. The fourth is the ornament of Italy, St. Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli, whom we have to honour today. Hilary will come to us during Christmastide, and will stand at the Crib of the Word, whose Divinity he so bravely confesses; Athanasius will meet us at Easter, and help us to celebrate, in the triumphant Resurrection, Him whom he proclaimed as God in those dark times, when human wisdom hoped to destroy, by fifty years of peace, that Church which had survived the storm of three centuries of persecution. St. Eusebius' place is Advent and divine Providence has thus chosen him as one of the patrons of the faithful during this mystic season; his powerful prayers will help us to come devoutly to Bethlehem, and see in the Child, that is lying there, the eternal Word of God. So great were the sufferings which St. Eusebius had to undergo for the Divinity of Jesus, that the Church awards him the honours of Martyr, although he did not actually shed his blood....

I wonder how many martyrs are martyrs honoris causa, as it were.

Am on my way out for a walk to Sheldon Plaza; will check to see if perhaps the pharmacy has received my drug (their suppliers have been unable to supply it) and also will stop at the supermarket. A loaf of bread, a pound of butter... and there was something else. Didn't write it down in the yellow Moleskine libellum and so, alas-- I may remember once I get there. Or perhaps a quarter of a mile on the path back toward my front door.