Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on MUSIC/SINGING, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 22 November – Sing to God with Songs of Joy

Thought for the Day – 22 November – The Memorial of St Cecilia (died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr – Patron of Musicians

Sing to God with Songs of Joy

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Bishop and Great Western Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Discourse on Psalm 32

Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to Him with the harp of ten strings!   Sing to Him a new song.   Rid yourself of what is old and worn out, for you know a new song.   A new man, a new covenant—a new song.   This new song does not belong to the old man. Only the new man learns it, the man restored from his fallen condition through the grace of God and now sharing in the new covenant, that is, the kingdom of heaven.   To it all our love now aspires and sings a new song.   Let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives.

Sing to Him a new song, sing to Him with joyful melody.   Everyone of us tries to discover how to sing to God.   You must sing to Him but you must sing well.   He does not want your voice to come harshly to His ears, so sing well, brothers!

If you were asked, “Sing to please this musician,” you would not like to do so without having taken some instruction in music, because you would not like to offend an expert in the art.   An untrained listener does not notice the faults a musician would point out to you.   Who, then, will offer to sing well for God, the great artist whose discrimination is faultless, whose attention is on the minutest detail, whose ear nothing escapes?   When will you be able to offer Him a perfect performance that you will in no way displease such a supremely discerning listener?

See how He Himself provides you with a way of singing.   Do not search for words, as if you could find a lyric which would give God pleasure.   Sing to Him “with songs of joy.” This is singing well to God, just singing with songs of joy.

But how is this done?   You must first understand that words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart.   Take the case of people singing while harvesting in the fields or in the vineyards or when any other strenuous work is in progress.   Although they begin by giving expression to their happiness in sung words, yet shortly there is a change.   As if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, they discard the restricting syllables.   They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation.   Such a cry of joy is a sound signifying that the heart is bringing to birth what it cannot utter in words.

Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God Himself, whom all words fail to describe?   If words will not serve and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy?   Your heart must rejoice beyond words, soaring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds.   Sing to Him with jubilation.

Saint Cecilia, Pray for Us!let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives - st cecilia 22 nov 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MUSIC/SINGING, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Thought for the Day – 29 August – St Bede -Precursor of Christ in Birth and Death

Thought for the Day – 29 August – The Beheading of St John the Baptist

Precursor of Christ in Birth and Death

Saint Bede (673-735)
Priest, Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from Homily 23

As forerunner of our Lord’s birth, preaching and death, the blessed John showed in his struggle, a goodness worthy of the sight of heaven.   In the words of Scripture:  Though in the sight of men he suffered torments, his hope is full of immortality.   We justly commemorate the day of his birth with a joyful celebration, a day which he himself made festive for us through his suffering and which he adorned with the crimson splendour of his own blood.   We do rightly revere his memory with joyful hearts, for he stamped with the seal of martyrdom, the testimony, which he delivered, on behalf of our Lord.

There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was and gave his life for Him.   His persecutor had demanded, not that he should deny Christ but only, that he should keep silent about the truth.   Nevertheless, he died for Christ.   Does Christ not say – I am the truth? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.

Through his birth, preaching and baptising, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ and by his own suffering, he showed, that Christ also would suffer.

Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment.   He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men, he was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ.  John was baptised in his own blood, though he had been privileged to baptise the Redeemer of the world, to hear the voice of the Father above him and to see the grace of the Holy Spirit descending upon him.   But to endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John, rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.he preached the freedom of heavenly peace - st john the baptist - by st bede 29 aug 2019.jpg

Since death was ever near at hand through the inescapable necessity of nature, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name.   Hence the apostle Paul rightly says:  You have been granted the privilege, not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake.   He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for Him:  The sufferings of this present time, are not worthy, to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.

St John the Baptist, Pray for us!st john the baptist - pray for us - 24 june 2018.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MUSIC/SINGING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote of the Day – 22 November – St Augustine – Let us sing to the Lord, a song of love!

Quote of the Day – 22 November – The Memorial of St Cecilia (died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr – Patron of Musicians

Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful!…Psalm 149:1

Let us sing to the Lord, a song of love!

“Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise is in the assembly of the saints.   We are urged to sing a new song to the Lord, as new men who have learned a new song.   A song is a thing of joy, more profoundly, it is a thing of love.   Anyone, therefore, who has learned to love the new life has learned to sing a new song and the new song reminds us of our new life.   The new man, the new song, the new covenant, all belong to the one kingdom of God and so the new man will sing a new song and will belong to the new covenant.

There is not one who does not love something, but the question is, what to love.   The psalms do not tell us not to love but to choose the object of our love.   But how can we choose unless we are first chosen?   We cannot love unless someone has loved us first. Listen to the apostle John:  We love Him, because He first loved us.   The source of man’s love for God can only be found in the fact that God loved him first.   He has given us Himself as the object of our love and He has also given us its source.   What this source is you may learn more clearly from the apostle Paul who tells us:  The love of God has been poured into our hearts.   This love is not something we generate ourselves, it comes to us through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Since we have such an assurance, then, let us love God with the love He has given us.   As John tells us more fully.   God is love and whoever dwells in love dwells in God and God in him.   It is not enough to say, Love is from God.   Which of us would dare to pronounce the words of Scripture – God is love?   He alone could say it who knew what it was to have God dwelling within him.   God offers us a short route to the possession of Himself. He cries out – Love me and you will have me, for you would be unable to love me if you did not possess me already.

My dear brothers and sons, fruit of the true faith, holy seed of heaven, all you who have been born again in Christ and whose life is from above, listen to me, or rather, listen to the Holy Spirit saying through me:  Sing to the Lord a new song.   Look, you tell me, I am singing.   Yes indeed, you are singing, you are singing clearly, I can hear you.   But make sure that your life does not contradict your words.   Sing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives – Sing to the Lord a new song!

Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him whom you love but you ask me how to sing His praises.   You have heard the words – Sing to the Lord a new song and you wish to know what praises to sing.   The answer is – His praise is in the assembly of the saints, it is in the singers themselves .   lf you desire to praise Him, then live what you express. Live good lives and you yourselves, will be His praise.”

From a sermon by Saint  Augustine (354-430), Father & Doctor – (Sermo 34.1-3, 5-6; CCL 41, 424-426) …Vatican.vasing with your voices, your hearts, your lips and your lives - st augustine - 22 november 2018his praise is in the assembly of the saints - st augustine - 22 nov 2018 mem of st cecilia