18 September 2003

Confessions of a Recovering Choir Director points us to this article about a conference on sacred music held at the Franciscan University at Steubenville.

The following paragraph really struck me:

"The sweetness of the music — the Mass setting by Victoria and the contemporary motets of Robert Kreutz and Charles Callahan — left a silence so reverent that many of the hundreds of students, instead of rushing off after Mass, took advantage of the moment to kneel in prayer as if reluctant to leave the presence of their Beloved."

Now, I have to admit, references to Christ as the Beloved have always fascinated me, but they've always been a little bit foreign. It was a lovely phrase, but I had no feelings associated with it. Since meeting my sweetheart, it has taken on new meaning. I guess I have a "reference point" now. I know what it's like when I say goodbye to my sweetheart. It's hard to leave. I don't want to walk out that door and drive away, but I know I have to. I also know that I can come back soon, and that I'm thinking about the next time I'll see him even before I leave the room.

However true this is of my sweetheart, it is so much more true of my Beloved. We are together at Mass in such an intimate way, and I am often (though to my shame, not always) reluctant to leave the chapel afterwards. I would probably rather fall asleep in the pew and stay all night than leave, but I know I need to go home, finish my homework, and sleep in my own bed.

I'm not always reluctant to leave because, even though I love Him, sometimes I get frustrated. My intellect is so limited that I don't always understand what's going on. What am I supposed to do with my life? Why did I have the stomach flu for almost a whole week? Why won't my posters stay on the wall like they're supposed to? Where am I going with this post?

I suppose that these might be strange thoughts to stem from reading an article on a music conference, but, as it says above, I am a Catholic and a Musician. They're both crucial to my identity, and they're always intertwined in my own imagination. I can't think about one without thinking about the other. When I play, I think of God. When I'm reading for my religion class, I'm thinking about a musical setting of this passage, or where this theory fits in my very musical view of the world. So, if I start talking about music and end talking about God, or vice-versa, try not to be surprised.

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