I’ve been thinking for a while that I want to start posting more music. Over the last few years, I’ve found a good amount of worship music, and it’s helped me out so much. As my favorite prodigal son St. Augustine said, “He who sings prays twice.” I’ve been a singer all my life, and sometimes when prayer is difficult, I turn to hymns or worship songs as a form of prayer. Certain songs, like “How He Loves” by David Crowder Band, bring me to tears, they’re so beautiful. I feel selfish not sharing my favorites with you guys.
Tonight, I’m going to name a classic: The Prayer of St. Francis. If that doesn’t ring a bell, you’ll know it by it’s opening line, “Make me a channel of your peace.”
It’s hard to find decent choral music online, but I really like this version, sung by the children’s choir of Dragon School, Oxford.
This is a song I think every Catholic has heard in Mass, but I didn’t always pay attention to the lyrics. Chew on this a bit:
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all men that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.
Sounds like a lot of oxymoron, right? Come to think of it, the Bible is full of oxymorons that sound quite a lot like these.
“Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” – Matthew 20:16
It seems like a lot of Christ’s teachings follow the pattern, “If x, then y.” Check out the Beatitudes:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Christ teaches us that this world, and everything in it, is fleeting. In this life, we will endure suffering and injustice and persecution. That’s just part of being a Christian. It is our calling to take up our own personal crosses and follow Jesus, even when the burdens are heavy and the walk to Calvary feels unbearable. We choose to turn the other cheek and love our enemies because we know that there is a greater reward waiting for us with Him. The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi reminds us that in forgiving, we are forgiven; in giving, we receive, and in dying, we are born to eternal life. The hardships of this life prepare our souls for the promises of Christ.
I hope you’re all having a wonderful week and are excitedly preparing for Christmas. I’ve missed Mass the last two weeks, and I hate it. I’ve decided, though, that I want to start attending Mass at least twice a week. Maybe I’ll eventually end up going to near-daily Mass, which is ideal. I just know that the more time I spend in Christ’s presence, the more radiant and joyful I feel.
May God bless you all!