Let the Master Play The Divine Music!
Striving to stay in key with the Symphony of Sanctity begins with a simple, sincere 'Yes.'
"The ultimate goal of any true Catholic should be the salvation of souls, ours and those of others, Anything we do which takes us closer to God is good music, and anything we do which pulls us away from God is poor music."
She does not ask us to do anything She has not already done a thousand fold. Already a Model of obedience, simplicity, and humility, our Blessed Mother took a role, which is the true path to holiness and God Almighty when She responded in affirmative faith to the Angel Gabriel's message. Many years later, one of our Faith's greatest saints took a similar role when he accepted a request from God Almighty to rebuild His Church. What is this role, which both Our Blessed Mother and our dear St. Francis took from the Hand of The Almighty? It is found in their words and offerings of thanks to their God!
To Be An Instrument of the Lord
Our Heavenly Mother's words to the angel and her subsequent Magnificat reveal Her awareness and acceptance that it is the ultimate role, the highest purpose of God's creatures to serve as instruments of The Lord, through which The Almighty may play His chosen music to a world sorely in need of divine rhythm and heavenly harmony. It is our first responsibility to be open and receptive to God's call and direction, so that the Divine Conductor of The Orchestra of Creation may guide our pitch and notes. It is our second responsibility to then use our God-given abilities and talents to interpret that direction into compositions of salvation which echo through the halls and ears of an increasingly tone deaf world.
It is through this second duty that we become living instruments of The Lord, serving Him in thought, act, and word and holding Him in our soul, mind, body, and lips at all times. Thus our Heavenly Mother reminds us at The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Nativity, The Finding in The Temple, Cana, Calvary, and beyond that our purpose on this earth and our highest calling is to serve as instruments of God, playing His music to all who will hear His notes of salvation. Do we not properly see our Blessed Mother as an instrument of salvation? Blessed are we that our Divine Mother should serve as our guide and model for the greatest of honors, to be instruments of God!
Did not our brother Francis likewise serve as such an instrument? Were not his most famous words pleas to be graced with such a holy and blessed purpose and mission in this life? St. Francis is commonly associated with music and rhythmic prayer, and rightly so, for his life was a pulsating symphony of service and charity, an ode to the Creator of all things! Despite the fact that his own father did not appreciate his choice of music, Francis took to his role, to his purpose, to his mission with legendary fervor and dedication. He made it clear that to follow Christ is to dance to a different drum, to listen to a unique kind of music, and to be but a mere instrument to a much grander scheme.
Surrender Over Control
We live in a world where everyone seeks to control, to direct, to manage, to supervise but few seek to surrender, to trust, to follow, to obey, to be humble, to serve, to worship, to praise, to appreciate, to play the music of God. Everyone wants to be the operator, the director, the conductor, the supervisor just so that he or she will not have to be concerned with following orders, with being controlled, supervised, ordered around. We pretend that classes, workshops, and books can help us to "take control of our lives" and "manage our careers".
The more we place our trust in the ways of this world, the less we trust the ways of God. The more we seek to control, the less we look to serve as instruments of God. The more we play this society's music, the less we will hear the notes of God's song to us. Throughout history the greatest saints and holiest people have been those who used their abilities and talents as instruments to serve God and His Will, not to serve themselves and the lyrics of this world.
We cannot be instruments of God unless we surrender in faith and trust to His purpose and call for our lives. We cannot surrender in such faith and trust unless we humbly and obediently seek God and His Will. We cannot so seek God unless we keep God in our souls, hearts, and minds at all times. Finally, we cannot keep God within us unless we invite Him there within a world where there is still no room at the inn of people's souls and minds.
Do Not Hide Your Portion but Increase it Tenfold
We recall the parable of the servants given portions by their master. While the first ones invested their portion wisely and multiplied its value, the last servant only hid his portion out of fear, mistrust, and lack of faith in his master's kindness, charity, and direction. While the first servants were praised and rewarded for their resourcefulness, courage, and faith, our last servant was punished for wasting his portion by not putting that portion to productive, holy, rightful use. Given a golden opportunity to spread the wealth of his master, this servant merely hid his master's treasure and did nothing to increase it! Likewise, it is only when we put our talents to use as instruments playing the music of God's Truth that we will multiply the blessings God has given us by sharing them with others.
We recall how a simple, poor, humble, peasant girl obeyed God's Will, used the treasures she had been given to do even greater things, and accepted a role as an instrument of God. We also recall how a rich young man heard God's call and changed his musical taste, opting for heavenly ballads over earthly ditties, for notes of charity and sacrifice over loud blasts of conceit, arrogance, and pomp, and how both that simple peasant girl and that rich nobleman became beautiful instruments of God in this world.
The ultimate goal of any true Catholic should be the salvation of souls, ours and those of others, Anything we do which takes us closer to God is good music, and anything we do which pulls us away from God is poor music.
As we seek to find God and invite Him into our homes and lives, we will be more likely to find our spiritual music, our Heavenly role in playing God's music. It is only when we apply our talents and Heavenly gifts in the service of this world for God that our ultimate, true purpose on earth will be realized and we will be admitted to the Symphony of the Saints.
As The Blessed Mother and St. Francis have shown us through their example, unless we become instruments playing God's music for this world, we will be merely wasting our talents, abilities, purpose, mission and lives playing for the wrong band, singing off-key in the wrong orchestra.
Editor's Note: We are pleased to announce Gabriel Garnica will be contributing many articles in 2004. Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, will submit regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes will be music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.