There is so much to make you sad out there, so much that really matters. The anger at the Mohammad video, the ongoing bloodshed in Syria, the upcoming Presidential elections, my end of semester thesis.
Yet, I can’t shake this reluctance acceptance that the only things that really “matter” are beautiful things, because there is truth is in beauty. Beauty disqualifies rationalisations and opinions, it simply is.
Beauty exposes, it doesn’t just decorate: it points me to my deepest needs and to my highest function, the worship of God. Beauty is rare, when words are cheap and plentiful.
So please, humour me, because today, just today, I see to my peace, I protect it, I hide it from harsh notions of ‘should have’ and ‘not enough’ and prize peace above strivings or achievement.
Here I offer my favourite stuff. You’re about to hear the most wonderful, sacred music in my collection- it paralyses every discontentment and points me to Christ,
- Salve Mater Misericordiae, “Hail Mother of mercy” The Cathedral Singers, Richard Proulx (conductor) – Salve Mater Misericordiae and the same by the Moines de Santo Domingo de Silos.
Latin lyrics here and a scant English translation below,
Holy Mary, O Mother merciful
God’s own Mother, O Mother bountiful,
Mother of hope, O Mother beautiful,
Joyous Mother, our gladness plentiful,
1 Virgin Mother, immaculate thou art,
O sinless Maid, most dear to Jesus’ heart,
O Heaven’s Queen, thou hast alone remained
Of all mankind, unsullied and unstained,
2 Mary, fairest flower that e’er the world has seen;
Thou heaven’s joy, O angels’ lovely Queen;
All heart be thine, O Mother of all grace;
Bring them to God, O blessed of our race,
- The Pange Lingua, (meaning, “Sing, my tongue”) see it in Latin and English courtesy of wikipedia- here. This Eucharistic hymn shows the real presence with real reverence.
“On the night of that Last Supper, seated with His chosen band, He, the Paschal Victim eating,first fulfills the Law’s command;then as Food to His Apostles gives Himself with His own Hand.”
- Wa Habibi (“My Beloved”) a stunning Maronite hymn, courtesy of the Lebanese songstress, Fairuz. Here’s a rough approximation of the Arabic, taken from a certain youtuber who has set the tune to images of the stations of the cross,
My beloved, my beloved
What state are you in?
He who sees you, for you would cry
You are the one and only sacrifice
When in the dark orchard at night
The God Creater kneeled and prayed
Life was praying with the One
Who gave life hope and prayer
The olive trees are crying
Be sure to check out more Maronite perfection with this CD: Fairuz – Good Friday – Eastern Sacred Songs
- This entrancing Hindi hymn, “Akash Mandal Ishwar Ki Mahima Karta Hai,” lyrics and meaning unknown. Just go with it, it’s perfect.
- And finally, the incomparable, “Oh Sacred Head once wounded”- sung by Fernando Ortega. It’s old, and rich and haunting. See the English lyrics here
….How art thou pale with anguish, with sore abuse and scorn!
How doth Thy visage languish that once was bright as morn!
My choices are a bit solemn, perhaps, and there certainly could have been many more, but I’m sure that they’ll transport you as they have me.