ALLELUIA IN MY TOES
At our Easter Vigil I once again had the joy of singing with the St. Mary’s Parish Choir in the abbey church as I do for the major feasts. Their music reflects the African and African-American makeup of the parish, using some African, some Caribbean, some traditional Catholic and Protestant hymns. The accompaniment is provided by organ, piano, guitar, drums and other African percussion instruments. What characterizes this choir’s style is ebullient joy and an energy that keeps on pouring out in exuberant song for ten minutes even after the recessional hymn is over. This year as we were singing the recessional, “The Strife is O’er” I felt as if every cell in my body were shouting "Alleluia!". It reminded me of a saying attributed to St. Augustine, “A Christian is an Alleluia from head to toe.” That was me!
GOD'S FAVORITE TUNE
Then a couple of days ago I was thumbing through an old copy of Conversions: Reflections on Life and Faith by Rev. James Turro (Tabor Publishing, Allen TX, 1993) which I hadn’t looked at in years. Almost immediately I came across the following passage:
I’ve always loved to sing, so this passage was particularly meaningful for me: I’m called not just to SING God’s song but to actually BE a song that will “soften and beautify life here on earth” for my brothers and sisters. God wants to use the melody of my life to lighten the load and brighten the path of my brother monks, my students, my Sunday parishioners, my friends and family and others who meet me.
AN INVISIBLE DRAWING?
Later in Fr. Turro’s book I read this:
|My sketch of Sacre Coeur|
This one, too, struck me. As someone who enjoys sketch- ing I tried to imagine show- ing someone my sketchbook filled with blank pages and explaining to them “My draw- ings are all invisible.” My life is supposed to be God’s sketchbook in which people can see the Lord’s beauty, goodness and truth. For me the issue may not be so much that I do ugly or horrible sketches, but rather that I don't do any that are visible to other people.
|The great Caruso|
Part of the point of being a Christian is to act like one. To say you’re a follower of Christ, to say you’re a child of the light or an Easter person or an “Alleluia from head to toe” is all very nice, but it means nothing. You have to do what Caruso did; you take a couple of steps back and prove beyond a doubt who you are by your actions, your beautiful Easter actions, calling people to life, washing their feet, lightening their load, and brightening their darkness.
|..........This is us, from head to toe!|