Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Meaning Series: Deep Inside

When I heard the readings at Mass this morning, I knew I had to write about the song "Deep Inside" today. The first line of the first reading, in another translation, posted by a Facebook friend one morning, was this song's initial inspiration. Here's that reading from Jeremiah as we heard it:
You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me.

Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
violence and outrage is my message;
the word of the LORD has brought me
derision and reproach all the day.

I say to myself, I will not mention him,
I will speak in his name no more.
But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.
The alternate translation which my friend posted gives an entirely different feel to the reading: "You seduced me, Lord, and I allowed myself to be led astray."

The second major influence for this song is a homily by St. Peter Chrysologus which is found in the Office of Readings during Advent. (You can read it here, Sermon 147.)

This was the one song that I wrote in the early part of this year, knowing that I would record it. Most songs I finish in a matter of hours, but this one evolved over a few months and with much wrestling, both with the music and the words. That is fitting, because it really reflects the spiritual evolution in my heart over the last few years. I don't relate to the portions of the Jeremiah reading that speak of his persecution, and seems to reflect anger. Rather, I see it as more a triumph of passion, both of God's and of Jeremiah's: God's to make His Word known and Jeremiah to stay with God in that mission, despite what felt like destruction and confusion and basic bad stuff in his life. Passion gives staying power through bad stuff, and an experience of God's passion in one's soul is at times the only thing that will preserve one on a path that seems filled with contradiction.

St. Peter spells out clearly how God draws, or seduces the soul. God doesn't just give commands for us to "do," He works side by side with us, calling us into a sharing of His own work. In this way God intoxicates us with the fire of His love, and we are consumed with the desire to see God everywhere. Latin scholars tell me this love that St. Peter speaks of reshaping our lives is the Eros of God:

Love refuses to be consoled when its goal proves impossible, despises all hindrances to the attainment of its object. Love destroys the lover if he cannot obtain what he loves; love follows its own promptings, and does not think of right and wrong. Love inflames desire which impels it toward things that are forbidden. But why continue?

It is intolerable for love not to see the object of its longing. That is why whatever reward they merited was nothing to the saints if they could not see the Lord. A love that desires to see God may not have reasonableness on its side, but it is the evidence of filial love. 
The refrain of this song is my testimony to what God has done in my life as a result of the strange fires He lights, and in a way it summarizes the whole message of the CD: "Deep inside my heart you broke away the chains."

As I write, the recording of this song is not finished yet, but I do hope when someday it is you will give it a listen.
Marie Hosdil: Unleashed

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