These are troubling times in the Catholic Church. These are troubling times in the world, as a matter of fact. These may be troubling times in our personal lives too. How do we cope with these difficulties in our lives? Of course there are several non-healthy ways to deal with our difficulties, but for today let us meditate on one way to help us cope with the troubles in our lives and the church–music.
What songs do you think of when you are suffering heartbreak or loss? When I was younger I would listen to love songs when a relationship ended; oftentimes I would turn to those sappy love songs from the 70’s and 80’s to help ease the pain. To this day, I enjoy listening to those songs, not because of heartbreak, but more nostalgia for days gone by.
In these days of scandal in the church, music, especially sacred music, can help us pray through our heartbreak, our sadness, our anger and hurt. What are some of your favorite songs from Mass? What genre of sacred music speaks to your heart? Chant, polyphony, classical sacred music, praise and worship, traditional hymns, or something in between? Whatever speaks to your heart, allow that music to offer the words that your heart and soul may find difficulty expressing.
Here are some sacred songs that help me in these troubling times.
There are so many different songs that speak to our hearts and souls, please take the time to listen and pray with them. Share them with others who are struggling and needing guidance and encouragement. When you come to church, pray the music with mindfulness and dedicate them to those you know are struggling, and allow them to fill you with hope and love and light.
May God be with you always. May God guide you through your dark times into the sunshine and warmth of God’s love and the love of those around you. If we remembered that and allowed God’s love and the many songs of healing to take root in our hearts and lives and in the hearts and lives of those around us, imagine what kind of world we would live in. May that come to be for all of us–a world of peace, love, respect, kindness–a world which works for everyone.
God bless each and every one of you.
We sing for those whose song is silent,
whose hidden hurt no tune could bear—
children whose innocence of loving
has long since gone beyond repair.
God, who conceived and gave us birth,
listen for those who’ve lost their worth.
We sing for those whose lives were mangled
when friendship turned to vile abuse,
as those they trusted traded kindness
for cruelty beyond excuse.
God, in whose image all were made,
feel for the ones who’ve been betrayed.
We sing for those who bear within them
scars in the body, mind, and soul,
fears from the past and, for tomorrow,
yearnings that they might yet be whole.
God, who in Christ was touched by pain,
make your hurt children whole again.
We pray for those who know temptation
worse than our earnest words can tell,
who covet pow’r, who lie in waiting
with evil lusts designed in hell.
Jesus, through whom the world is saved,
conquer the sin, heal the depraved.
We sing that through believing people
lives may be hallowed and made good,
and ask that God in ev’ry victim
shall see faith, hope, and love renewed.
This is our prayer, this is our song
to God, to whom we all belong.
Text: John L. Bell, b.1949; © 2017, WGRG, c/o Iona Community, GIA Publications, Inc., agent. Permission for use granted gratis through November 1, 2018