Monday, December 08, 2008

How Can I Keep From Singing?

For the last two weeks I've been attempting not to be completely taken down by the catarrh again. Seems as though everyone has it these days.

I figure it's SFC McG's fault, seeing as he's been on a mission without me -- for almost three weeks. (Might as well blame him, eh?) I mean, I've had to utilize Rent-A-Chaplain-Assistants, and while they've been great, they're not SFC McG!

Since SFC McG has been gone, I've had to go out on a lot more missions than had been the case for the past few months now, and most of them have turned out to last from eight to thirteen hours each. So, on top of having to do my office work, and attempting to care for the Catholic Community of which I'm now the "pastor" about 13 kilometers from where I live, I've been buzzing around the AO (Area of Operations) almost every day.

When I'm on top of my game, I usually hum or sing melodies as we're moving about, but lately I've noticed that I'm not doing that. Part of it, surely, is that I'm much less likely to sing or even hum when I've got a sore throat or upper respiratory congestion. I suspect part of it is just that I'm pretty wiped out.

I love singing at Mass, so it's been frustrating not to have the voice or the energy to do that as I'd like. (This is especially true at my "parish" -- the community at one of the Masses I have there is the most musically-challenged group of individuals I've ever encountered. One Sunday, while I was distributing Holy Communion, it was positively distracting how cacophonous their attempt at singing was. But I'm actually amused by it, and figure they're just following the admonition found in Psalms 66, 95, 98, and 100: "Make a joyful noise" to God! " I'd *much* rather have them doing that than sitting there in stony and disinterested silence.)

Through all this I've been reminded of a wonderful Shaker Hymn which goes:

My life goes on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing,
It sounds and echoes in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

What though the tempest round me roars,
I hear the truth it liveth.
What though the darkness 'round me close,
Songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that rock I'm clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?


Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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