A big inspiration for me lately has been music -- my old music collection, to be exact. I went digging around looking for something last week and subsequently unearthed some great tunes that once were very much the soundtrack of my life. As such, these songs bring me something now. I want to use some gardening image here, but I'm not sure if it is more like the rich soil you find in spring where all the dead leaves were before, or if it is more like turning over the fresh dirt at planting time, or if it like a tender sprout or a beautiful, full-grown flower. Let's just say its something good, earthy, and full of life.
Here's what was in my box. Mostly Christian rock stuff: Don Francisco's The Power, The 77's Ping Pong Over the Abyss (here's a tune from it), AD's Lead Me To Reason, Carmen's Revival in the Land, Keith Green, Petra, lots of Monkees, more tapes of myself than I care to count, oh and lots of others.
One tape deserving special mention was made for me by my old friend Mike Bogdanovich. Some of his songs became standards of worship at Risen Savior Fellowship (of my pre-Catholic days), especially one setting he wrote of Ps. 103.
Bless the Lord, oh my soulThis song coursed through my veins for about five years, so when I went to Japan I made sure I had a recording of this song with me. The wonderful thing about listening to Mike's worshipful songs again was that they struck me as richer and even better now than they had before, in terms of their ability to lift my soul to God in prayer. Even after I became a Catholic I used to go to the Bogdanovich's home for a Saturday night worship gathering. Just friends getting together to sing and praise God. At the time, our previously mutual fellowship had dwindled to a very small membership. Yet we "joked" (wasn't, really) that we knew there would be an area in heaven for all former members of that church to get together and praise. RSF was all about powerful worship music.
Let all that is within me bless His holy Name.
Bless the Lord, oh my soul
And forget not all His benefits
He forgives all my sins
And He heals all my diseases
He redeems my life from the pit
And He crowns me with love and compassion
He satisfies my desires with good things
So that my youth is renewed like the eagle's
I realize this isn't just about reminiscing, though it is that to be sure. My children are listening. Yes, there is a doctrinal or theological foible here or there in my box (including in the songs I wrote myself), but I've already had some interesting conversations with my son as I try to explain concepts like "revival" or some Biblical stories that aren't common parlance. For that matter, at Mass this morning I sang what I hope is the last truly scary hymn to be allowed into missalettes. Something to the effect of "when I look at a flower, I've seen Jesus Christ." (Um... very uncomfortable... Maybe I'm just not in the mood to intellectualize that into something acceptable.)
Christian unity is a constant prayer of mine. We Christians are not perfect, and we don't always agree with each other, but the language we should all share in common is simple: Love. The love of Jesus Christ, our love for Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ's love that binds us as one.
Addendum: check out the video!