Let Your Heart Be Filled With Song

29 Aug

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”  ~ Plato

We all have special songs that mark certain times in our lives or evoke certain feelings.  When we want to feel happy or sad or joyful or triumphant, we know just the song to play or sing. Those songs lift us from our present state of mind and transport us somewhere else.

I am writing this reflection the morning before it is to be published.  Morning Mass has been taking place in the church with our 5th and 6th grade classes.  It is time for the recessional hymn and, over the speakers, I hear the congregation singing “Go in peace.  Go in love.  Go to seek.  Go to serve…”  It is a wondrously joyful song about continuing the mission of the Mass, the mission of the Lord.  It fills my heart with joy to sing it at Mass and it fills my heart with joy to hear it sung.

Music, indeed, gives a soul to the universe and life to everything.  Plato sure knew what he was saying.  Music has the power to bring a soul to profound peace or incredible joy.  It also has the power to express extreme sorrow, hurt, or fear.  Music is so important that there have been many a saint who have reminded us that “he who sings prays twice.”  God, it seems, has placed the music of the universe in our very hearts and souls and we cannot help but be moved by music.

I have certain friends that cannot be silenced.  Some of them are hummers and some are singers.  If the occasion arises, I can count on them to hum or sing away.  They are the sung version of chatterboxes.  And, you know what?  That is fine by me.  Because, when I hear them, I know what they are thinking or feeling.  When I hear them, the state of their mind and heart is communicated to me quite clearly.  When I hear them, I know that I am free to join in if I am so inclined.

Some people are afraid to sing at Mass or other services.  They say that their voice is no good and they do not want to embarrass themselves.  I always remind them of the necessity to sing if they are so prompted.  After all, I tell them, if God gave them a good voice, sing loud to praise Him.  If God gave them a bad voice, sing even louder and get even with Him.  Either way, let the music out.

I have other friends who are instrumental musicians.  They play music rather than sing music.  The sound of their music moves me to all sorts of levels.  Some climb to the heights, soaring to new imaginings.  Some music plunges me to the depths as the chords speak of discontent, sorrow, or unbridled grief.  All the music speaks to me, though, and remains with me for a good part of the day.

I am sure that, as you have been reading this brief reflection, a song or two has already popped into your head.  You might be humming to yourself or tapping your toes.  You know the indescribable joy of letting the music come out.  Do not stifle it.  Let your heart be filled with song.

FAITH ACTION:  Sing — out loud or to yourself — a favorite song of praise to God and let Him fill you with His joy.