As I usually do once a month, I would like these days to answer some questions of common interest that have arisen among the listeners of the meditations. Since we had had the series of meditations with Roy Schoeman’s testimony at the end of January, this time the questions were postponed until this date, and they were not at the end of the month as usually. So, I would like to begin today by answering two questions…
- What can you do if you want to follow God, but your family doesn’t agree?
God’s call takes precedence over everything! This is the clear testimony of the Holy Scripture, and we can see it also in the history of the Church.
The family is a great good, and, especially in our times, we must protect it from many attacks that threaten its existence. However, the greatest fruit that can come from a believing family is religious vocations. In other times this was better understood than it is today, and such vocations were even the pride of the family.
Today, however, things can be different, and it happens that members of the same family are opposed to the vocation. Certainly this is especially true in families where God is not given His place or where they are not even believers.
But no one in the family – not even the father or mother – has the right to hinder a vocation.
Now, to be able to follow one’s vocation is not only a right; it is, above all, a response to a call of love.
Just as a man and woman leave their family to form a marriage, so the one who has been called leaves the family to enter into that particular spousal relationship with God. To follow the vocation means to opt for the greatest love!
When feelings of guilt or accusations arise, from which one must defend oneself, the following must be clearly understood: To follow the recognized will of God is good and fruitful in itself, and will bring blessing to the family, even if they do not understand it in that way… Moreover, a true religious vocation has in view the universal dimension, and its fruitfulness extends to the whole world.
From what has been said so far, it is clear that nothing can be preferred to a clearly discerned call from God.
If possible, it should be tried to be in unity with the family, and to pray for their consent. But if this does not happen, then the call will still have to be followed, and the fact that the dignity and importance of such a path is not understood will have to be endured.
“ You did not choose me, no, I chose you” says the Lord. (Jn 15,16)
- I would like to know your opinion about the use of protestant songs in the Holy Hour and in the Holy Mass. I am told that it is the intention that counts and that, besides, they are very beautiful songs.
In this regard, we have a clear view…
Protestant songs do not have a Eucharistic character, and therefore are not appropriate for the liturgical actions of the Holy Mass either. The songs used in the liturgy, instead, should be in accordance with her, because that is the innermost meaning of sacred music in the Holy Liturgy. One does not sing in the Holy Mass, one sings the Holy Mass.
Protestant songs, instead, however beautiful they may seem to one, speak about the religious experience with God or express the longing for Him. But this is a religious dimension, and not a spiritual-liturgical one, and therefore this music is not appropriate for the Eucharistic context. Within this framework, it has a rather banalizing effect, because it primarily addresses the emotional realm.
Therefore, it is not enough to affirm the “good intention” either. Appropriate music is also required, as the Church has actually foreseen.
Being in a prayer group or in a mission the situation changes. Here it is not a question of an Eucharistic event, so that the music could rather be chosen according to taste, without affecting the objectivity of an event with objective and liturgical character, such as Holy Mass or Eucharistic Adoration. But within these sacred events, musical genres such as rock or ballads represent a real distortion.
Unfortunately, there has been a great loss of sensitivity for music, and for perceiving which genre is suitable for which context. Thus, things get confused, and this has negative effects, even if some people do not understand and feel that!
In this context, we would like to inform you that a few weeks ago we finished the first series of our Sacred Music tutorials. We created them precisely with the intention of promoting liturgical singing in our Holy Church, which is on the edge of extinction. In this first section, we have taught the entire Missa de Angelis, that would be a good start for solemnizing the Eucharist. At the moment we are uploading them again on YouTube, but this time with English subtitles, so that they can be useful for a wider audience.
Harpa Dei accompanies the daily scriptural interpretation or spiritual teaching of Br. Elija, their spiritual father. These meditations can be heard on the following website www.en.elijamission.net