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What is this strange power, this vibration, this energy, this movement of the heart that music reveals and invites us to participate in? Perhaps music is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

Creation is dynamic, living, acting out the paschal mystery as it moves forward through crisis and conflict to greater life. It has moments of great silence as well as great crescendos of sound and momentum. We call it progress and it evolves toward greater complexity and eventual fulfillment in the Omega Christ.

One can listen to the Spirit in the singing of the trees as they bend and give. One can hear the Spirit laughing in the chirping of the birds soaring on the wind. One can feel the evolution of the universe moving forward as the Spirit sings through the earth. We can only hear, rejoice, and let ourselves be in tune with the dynamic force of the sound of it all. We wonder and marvel at the great crescendos and quiet movements of tiny streams.

The human species is capable of producing great music. Perhaps human life is like a great orchestra. Each of the instruments needs to be played in rhythm with all the others. Each has a place. The string instruments sit with the strings. The reeds gather at the center. The percussion stands in the back, ready and waiting. All gather, anticipating the sheer fun of it all. At the downbeat of the conductor everyone goes into action, in union and in tune with all the other players. All are “doing their thing” but only according to the score and the direction of the music director. This one person sees, is aware, and knows the total score. The director does not “lord it over” the players but allows each to play as part of the whole. The heart of the music is the individual player dying to him/her self for the sheer beauty of what the music is asking. The Holy Spirit is the conductor, allowing each to participate according to their gifts.

What an important role each of us has in bringing forth the music of creation and the music of humanity. Yes, we can play Bach flawlessly by computer. It is perfection but is it music? Music is of the heart of humanity and in the heart of the Divine. It is sounded in the respect and harmony for one another and for creation or it is noise.

Just pondering,

Sister Mary Joan Grisez