Stories

by Melodius Monk  

I borrow again from Madeleine L’Engle. She writes, “It is not easy for me to be a Christian, to believe twenty-four hours a day all that I want to believe. I stray, and then my stories pull me back if I listen to them carefully. I have often been asked if my Christianity affects my stories, and surely it is the other way around; my stories affect my Christianity, restore me, shake me by the scruff of the neck, and pull this straying sinner into an awed faith.”

This helps me explain to myself why I need creative arts. I’m not a writer, but the “stories” that “pull me back” often come through learning music. These stories could be in preparing a Mass by one of the great masters, like Mozart, or in studying how the harmonic language of Herbert Howells can work so beautifully to paint poetry in sound.  An “awed faith” is a good description for the moments in singing that move me deeply, rattling something in my inner core that I can neither articulate, nor conjure up on my own, yet I know has happened.  I’m often scared at the power of these sporadic, unknown emotions which I don’t know what to do with; but these gifted moments are awe-inspiring enough to change my mood, to let me believe, and to send me back to the practice room to listen and hope for more.

This entry was posted in Church, Faith, Gloriae Dei Cantores, God's Call, Hope, Practicing, Praise by Melodius Monk. Bookmark the permalink.


About Melodius Monk

I'm 30 years old, and I grew up at the Community of Jesus. My parents moved from Ohio to live at the Community two years before I was born, so with the exception of a few years at college, I’ve lived in the Community my whole life. I became a Novice Brother in 2003, and made my profession as a brother in 2005. Currently I have a pretty varied life as a brother. In addition to daily responsibilities in our liturgies, I cook, sing, play trumpet, and am responsible for various cleaning and maintenance needs in the church building (my favorite jobs is changing the light bulbs at 45 feet!) I also arrange transportation for brothers to various appointments, work on repairing musical instruments, clean the barn, give tours of the church, make the weekly food menu for the Friary, and help out with various other needs as they arise around the Community. Growing up, I was not particularly interested in the religious life, but I met Jesus at an inter-varsity fellowship meeting my second year in college, and that re-directed my life drastically. I feel very fortunate to have found my life’s calling, and the hope for more wholeness is what keeps me on my monastic journey on difficult days.

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