Sunday, December 04, 2005

Musical Meditation

There have been some feathers flying at Catholic Pillow Fight over the appropriateness of certain styles of liturgical music, and specific songs in particular. One specific song that someone in the com box mentioned has always held a very special place in my heart, and I have been thinking about it a lot today, because they were supposed to sing it for the Rite of Welcome at my parish this morning, but more on that in a minute.

I have been pregnant seven times. The first five times I had what could only be termed near death experiences with hyper emesis (which means that I up-chucked all day every day for the first four months of every pregnancy). I spent over two weeks in the hospital during two of my pregnancies trying to keep from getting dehydrated, and find a way to keep some food and water down, so that I could maintain pregnancies.

Two of those first five pregnancies ended in miscarriage, which had nothing to do with the hyper emesis, but still added to my tension around being in the early stages of pregnancy.

I was always trying to find ways to get any kind of food to stay down in those early months without being sick. I finally had to give in and take anti nausea drugs, but even getting those down was a struggle. I came up with a solution when I found that if I took them with Country Time Lemonade, for some reason they seemed to stay down. So I would get up every morning and take an anti nausea pill with a glass of Country Time Lemonade and then go back to bed for a half hour, praying to St. Gerard that it would stay down, so that I could get up and live a sort of normal life for the rest of the day.

After the pill began to work, I could eat a little bit, and food tasted wonderful. I began to understand what the Israelites must have felt like in the wilderness when they ate the manna that God sent them. They could taste and see that the Lord was good.

After those experiences, when I would hear that song in Church it always had a special place in my heart because I had been without food, and knew what the psalmist meant.

I suppose that what I am trying to say is that just because you don't like a particular song, doesn't mean that it doesn't have some very deeply spiritual meaning for someone else. Only a real snob would say that her or his type or style of music is the only one that is suitable with which one can praise God.

We are many parts, but we are all one body. We all have gifts to share, if you don't like a particular song, don't sing along.



Suzanne said...

I am in complete agreement with you here. I heard that one of the cardinals...I think Arinze...and I love him dearly, believes there need to be serious changes. I will agree that we should not use popular music the way we have a weddings, perhaps, or something like that. I agree that we should use more of the Latin hymns much more often and all of the beautiful other hymns, however,
praise music happens to be something I NEED every so often...and there is nothing wrong with it. I think it is okay to feel happy about our love for Jesus and joyful! If you cut this and that out...that is nothing but sad. One of my favorites is so child-like that most would giggle at me, I suppose, but it really really helps me to come closer to Christ..."Child of the Light!"
Don't you worry angelmeg...God knows when we feel close to Him and as long as it is not disrespectful or trying to send a confused message, then it just can't be wrong. AMEN? AMEN!
(With all due respect to the Cardinal!)

Suzanne said...

OH, angelmeg...I just went to the Pillow Fight sight and read just what Cardinal Arinze said...this just goes to show you that one should not listen to "parts" of anything, because I now see that what he says is fine. So sorry that I made it seem that he was trying to mess things up a bit.
So, it is actually people like "Gerald" who need to get a life...beautiful life out of all sorts of music. Just don't dump the beautiful, tried, and true and
add in that which touches the heart and brings one closer to Christ in various ways. God bless and thanks still for sharing this blog.

Anonymous said...

One of the biggest pitfalls in my Catholic life has been the two words "I prefer".

It isn't about what I prefer. If the Church deems that a certain style of music is appropriate, and there is a desire or need in my parish for it, I'll do it. I may not do it happily, but I'll try and do it prayerfully.

Until I'm music director, and I can choose the music with the help of the Holy Spirit, I guess I'll just have to follow along after my musical shepherd.

Repeat after me...

"Baaaaaaa" :)