Sunday, November 19, 2006

Make A Joyful Noise

For those of you that are really into top notch liturgical hoe downs, I have some news for you. The wild and wooly men in the dark hooded robes have done it again. They have just released their third CD a sure number one hit climbing the charts with a bullet. The moment I received my advance copy it was in the machine and yes - let me tell you - this is no ordinary boy band.

We are of course talking about those fellows down in Oklahoma where now it is more than the wind comes whistling through the trees. Yes, it’s the choir at the Monastery Of Our Lady Of The Annunciation Of Clear Creek. Gregorian Chant never sounded so good.

If you have to choose to buy only one get the Christmas CD. All purchases go to help this wonderful place bring forth holy orthodox men into our fallen world.
Go here to order.

For those of you who like the more contemporary liturgical praise and worship music let me introduce you to Jim Cowen, Scott Hahn’s favorite musician. Modern orthodox liturgical music, how can that be? Yes it is true and you should give him a listen. The Millenium III CD is a live recording of the music he does for the Franciscan University youth conferences at Steubenville. I’ve been there many times with my Youth group and Jim can make a guitar pray.

I love both types of prayful music. It really all depends on how I am connecting to the Lord that day or where I am worshiping, in a charismatic or more traditional Mass. However, in my personal prayer life Gregorian chant goes best with the Rosary or when I’m in meditative prayer.

The other is best when I’m puttering around the house or cleaning the studio. The reason is that the contemporary Christian music does not radiate from the internal self; it attaches on the external and is absorbed, it doesn’t get in the way, but like water dripping on a rock it changes you. I once heard it said a good indication on how you feel is by the song rolling around in your head. I Know things are OK (or getting better) when one of Jim's songs is bouncing around up there.

When listening to the Chants I am helpless and I can’t do anything but think of the Lord. The only thing I don’t like about chant is I can’t sing along (my fault not theirs). But I definitely can’t walk down the street whistling a chant. But then again I don’t know anyone you whistle in Latin.
The brethren also asked Abba Agathon, "Amongst all good works, which is the virtue which requires the greatest effort?" He answered,"Forgive me, but I think there is no labor greater that that of prayer to God. For every time a man wants to pray, his enemies, the demons, want to prevent him, for they know that it is only by turning him from prayer that they can hinder his journey. Whatever good work a man undertakes, if he perseveres in it, he will attain rest. But prayer is warfare to the last breath."

Sing my friends for it is a powerful weapon. A song to God the devil can not stop.
For if the devil can’t make you bad he will make you busy. He will stop all that singing nonsence and make you a serious person.

St Therese of Lisieux said, "Prayer is, for me, an outburst from the heart; it is a simple glance darted upwards to Heaven; it is a cry of gratitude and of love in the midst of trial as in the midst of joy!"

So sing my friends an outburst from the heart.

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