First Reading: Acts 16:22-34; Psalm: 138. R. v. 7c; Gospel: Jn 16:5-11
THE POWER OF HYMNS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The common axiom “Music is food for the soul” is very true. But to be more precise, it is preferable to say “Good music is food for the soul.” A good music can help us in a way that a human being cannot. For instance, the words of a sympathiser may not be enough to comfort us in our moments of grief but the voice of music can. The experience of being moved to tears at times while singing or listening to good music goes to show how deep music can go in penetrating our soul and affecting our feelings and emotions. Even secular music can brighten up our dull moments.
The affective potency of good music lies both in its melody and lyrics. The melody should uplift the soul and the lyrics should connect or address situations in life. A good music possesses both features. Whenever we praise God through songs, the melody of our music is like an elevator uplifting our thanksgiving, praises, concerns, petitions, burdens and pains in the form of prayer to God. Prayer is communicating with God. But when we do so through songs, our prayerful words are conveyed faster to God by the melody that accompanies it. Little wonder St Augustine said “Whoever sings well, prays twice.”
In the first reading of today, Paul and Silas prayed and sang hymns to God while in prison and the prisons doors miraculously opened. This is a taste of the power of hymns. Singing of hymns and praises to God is a very powerful way to pray. Sometimes we don’t really need to complain of having no time to pray or searching for too many words to talk to God. Singing praises to God is enough. It is even a faster way to pray. Whatever be our situation in life, we can offer it to God through praises. And even though we may not physically see things changing in our favour; something great happens whenever we sing praises to God
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, bless us as we praise you in songs. Amen.