Singing is a Lover’s Thing – Why I listen to Christian Music

“The singing of the Church comes ultimately out of love. It is the utter depth of love that produces the singing. “Cantare amantis est”, says St. Augustine, singing is a lover’s thing.” – Pope Benedict XVI

Nota Bene: “I listen to all genre’s of music. While in the Liturgy I generally tend to prefer hymns and chant’s there is a proper and extremely important place for the beautiful use of good, solid Christian music. These are my thought…

Music of all genres can inspire us to think of God. Whether it be a beautiful violin solo, a barber shop quartet, a hymn, or another form of music, we cannot really define a form of music as not having anything to do with God, unless it has qualities which go against God or the laws he has ordained. What makes us think of God or worship God is not so much the  genre of music, but the beauty behind the instrumentation, lyrics, and voice of the singer. What is beauty? That gets into things too deep than in this post, though I have blogged about it before, here.

christian-music-I-love

Beauty is what lifts our hearts and minds to God. Now, I will argue that some types of music do not have a good message behind them and they definitely do not make us think of God or have a desire to worship him. In particular there are two types of music, which people generally associate with God and with worshiping him: Christian music and hymns. Both forms of music are generally seen by the listeners as giving praise to God the creator. Some would argue that Christian music does not lead the soul to Christ, as it only pertains to those who are already believers, I would disagree and here is why:

scripture

Almost all Christian music, is scriptural based. It is basically taking the psalms and other parts of scripture to music, much like when we chant the psalms for the Liturgy of the Hours or pray using scripture. The Psalms are the original songs, written by David for praising his creator. To sing them in another way is not to say that they no longer give him praise, rather it is to say that something has touched people’s hearts in it and it is a way of reaching out to them and bringing them to the faith.

Christian Music shares the message of the Gospel. That is not to say that Christian music doesn’t have it flaws. Like any other type of music it can fail in some circumstances. Some would argue that Christian music portrays a false sense of the sacrifice or cross required to live the faith. Yes, there is no cross without the resurrection, but does it hurt to have music which doesn’t always talk about pain and suffering? No. It actually can be a nice break. Christian music shares the message of the Gospel. That is, our hope in the Resurrection even in our somewhat broken and sinful human condition. And there are plenty of christian songs which do talk about the crosses we bear, but who really wants to intentionally listen to music about our failings? We want hopeful, vibrant music which again lifts our hearts and minds to God.

Christian Music is unique in it’s own way. Where did anyone ever say that Christian music was supposed to talk “subtly” about faith in Jesus? It has his name in it’s genre type for pete’s sake. The idea behind Christian music, is not to shy away and hint around at Jesus, rather to share the message of love, mercy, forgiveness, and more that can be ours if we embrace his call.

Sure, it’s fine if you prefer to listen to other types of music and discover God. There can be beauty in it as well, remember, music of all genre’s can inspire us to think of God. That is where the role of beauty comes into play. If you desire to listen to religious music, with a somewhat “pop” flare to it, without the meter of a hymn that’s great. That is your prerogative. Our goal is not to not give glory to God, rather to give glory to him in all that we do. Remember, singing is a lover’s thing. To sing to our creator in whatever fashion we choose, deepens our relationship with him and draws us close. So the next time you think about turning off that Christian song on the radio, leave it on and think of the way in which it can guide your soul to God. There’s a reason KLove calls it the KLove Challenge. Listening to music which serves a higher purpose and expressly talks about God, rather than shying away from it can deepen your prayer life.

Come to your beloved, sing to him in song. Remember that singing is out of love. We sing to the one we love and he sings to us throughout our lives. Singing is a lover’s thing.

I think that Gungor’s song using St. Augustine’s words: “Late Have I Loved You” fit well…

Late have I loved you,
O Beauty so ancient,
so new.

late have I loved you
you were within me, but I was outside you
it was there that I searched for you
it was there that I searched for you

Late have I loved you,
O Beauty so ancient, so new.
you were here with me
but I was not with You
it was there that you found me
it was there that you found me

You called and you shouted,
you broke through my deafness.
You flashed and you shone,
dispelled my blindness.
You breathed your fragrance on me
You breathed your fragrance on me
Late have I loved you

I drew in your breath
I keep on breathing
I’ve tasted I’ve seen
And now I want more
You breathed your fragrance on me
You breathed your fragrance on me
Late have I loved you

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