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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Music for the Soul--An Ash Wednesday Reflection

  I am at home this week at St. Anthony Friary as we begin Lent. I presided at the community Mass this morning and this afternoon took a quiet walk, thinking of many things.  We have yet another sex abuse bombshell, this time in Philadelphia, and we have many examples of Church leaders that are just out of touch.  Yes, there are many wonderful ones as well.  I wonder, "What keeps me going as a priest and friar?"  "What keeps good people coming to Church?" Why are so many joining the Church?"--Yes, RCIA programs in recent years report significant numbers.  Last year the diocese of Atlanta had to hire an auditorium to accomodate the rite of election. Why?  The answer of course is the great Mystery of Faith on which the Church is grounded and that no human follies can destroy.
  I was pondering all of this as my IPod meditative music playlist brought me to one of my favorite religious classical pieces, Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus.  In many ways Mozart himself was a microcosm of the Church, an extremely gifted man who enjoyed the good things of life, who is certainly not a candidate for canonization, yet who had a deeply Catholic soul which is expressed in much of his music.  This piece reaches deep into my heart and soul, raises me to heaven, and brings me back to earth renewed and ready to move ahead.  It has done so ever since I was a student in formation.  It did not fail me today--I listened three times. Even if you do not understand the Latin I invite you to let the music take hold of you. If you do understand the Latin it is a beautiful summary of the essentials of our faith.  Just click on:
Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus 

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