Thursday, September 10, 2009

Music Moves

Music moves us. It stirs our minds. It stirs our hearts. We fix events in our lives by the music that was playing during those times. As a college student, the music of Jimi Hendrix gave me a rush. I can pin my trips to graduate school on the music of Carol King. While I was removing the pipe organ from a Queens Village movie theatre, the music of Jerry Rafferty helped me pluck those diapasons and tibias from the old place. Yes, music has an evocative power. Even horn-honking students on their way past school have been heard singing St. Louis Jesuits music -- “Sing to the Mountains . . .” Music really does stick in our minds and hearts.

Sometimes the lyrics are mindless – “Have you heard about the bird, a-well-a everybody knows that the bird is the word” or perhaps “Wooley-Bully” or even “Rama-Lama-Ding-Dong.” But sometimes they are poignant – “Like a bridge over troubled water” or “You raise me up.”

Apologies to Family Guy Peter Griffin aside, there is another “Word” to which we dedicate our music. Of course, I refer to Jesus Christ. As aware of the emotional impact of music as we are, I wonder if we allow ourselves to take advantage of this power to deepen our relationship with our Lord and God. I allow myself to soak in the lyrics use the melodies and harmonies to weld those prayers to my heart and soul. I let the music – both old and new—strengthen my resolve to become closer to Jesus and Mary. Jesus loved a party. We know this from the gospel narrative of the wedding feast at Cana. At a wedding we let the music carry us to an exhilarating exuberance as we celebrate the love of the newly married couple. Should we not use our music to move us in a similar fashion to rejoice in our love of our God – to join our minds with our feelings and emotions, allowing ourselves to abandon ourselves to our God? As the pianist in Glad says of the refrain in “More of you and less of me,” “Sing it again – make it a prayer.”