Rising, falling. Thunder in the depths, a piercing note from the heights. Silence, sound. A cry of sorrow, a shout of joy. Resounding base melodies and trembling harmonies, all swirling together in a wild drama which both chills and inspires all who take the time to listen. There’s something about music that causes the listener to raise his eyes to heaven and exclaim, “There must be a God!”
What is faith?
Rising, falling. Thunder in the depths, a piercing note from the heights. Silence, sound. A cry of sorrow, a shout of joy. Resounding base melodies and trembling harmonies, all swirling together in a wild drama which both humbles and lifts up all who take the time to pray. It’s what causes the believer to raise his eyes to heaven and exclaim, “There must be a God!” Maybe music and faith aren’t so different after all.
What is it that makes music what it is; what gives it its identity? It is the continuous, rolling exchange between high and low, base and treble, which allows us to distinguish and appreciate each note for what it is. At the same time we witness the miraculous masterpiece created by such drastically different notes and instruments all coming together. For what would be the drama in a song with only one note?
In the same way, our faith is shaped by all those life experiences which cause us to raise our eyes to God, whether in moments of desperate pleading and anxiety or times of joyful praise to God for his infinite blessings. The stark contrast between those experiences illustrates for us the unexpected, beautiful drama of Faith, and provokes a question in our hearts: what would life be if only joy or only sorrow governed it? If life were filled with solely sheer happiness and consolation, we would most certainly fall into pride and presumption, and forget that we are mere creatures who depend on God for everything. If our entire lives were consumed by hardships and desolations, with no rest or respite, surely we would collapse from exhaustion and despair, and give up on the idea of a God who loves us infinitely and desires our true happiness.
Thus we can see, as a friend once told me, “It takes both the treble and the base notes to create the beautiful symphony our life is meant to be.”
In my own experience here at Mater Ecclesiae College, and especially during this Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, I’ve found that music is a reflection and a profound expression of my journey of faith. I’m truly blessed to be surrounded by so many people who have extraordinary musical talent, and there are some times during daily mass when I just have to stop singing and listen, contemplating the inspiring choir of high and low voices among whom I have the grace to live! I’ve discovered that the strangely beautiful chaos of music, that constant swing between base and treble, causes me to see and recognize all those moments of crisis or elation as moments of true faith, which lift my eyes to see the God who turns every sorrow into joy.
As this Year of Faith comes to a close, I invite you to search for music which will lead you to reflect on God’s action in your life and foster an encounter of faith in prayer; and in that case, how can I not take advantage of this perfect opportunity to share with you the incredible voices of my own companions! Listen to these songs. Contemplate the psalms and sacred music which they so beautifully provide; and let the resounding melodies and breathtaking harmonies touch your hearts and lift your eyes to God.
You can discover the music of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi here.