Self-defining…

October 18, 2006 § 2 Comments

Wow, long day. God help me. Can I do this for another two months?

Anyway.

Ever listened to a song that really defined you as a person? That song, for me, is “Unafraid” from Joy Williams’ 2005 CD, Genesis. Here are the lyrics: 

They say I’m too young to really understand
They say I’m too old to be where I am
They say just fit in, you’ll be just fine
But I can’t buy the lie
The voices of the crowd always try to keep me down
But I’ve had enough and now I’m stepping out
Unafraid
‘Cause I know who You are
Unafraid
Staring life in the face
‘Cause I know who I am is who You made
So here I stand
Unafraid
You say I’m Your own, an orphan found
You say I am home, those lies are lonely now
You’re proud of me, and I am safe
And my fears begin to fade
Your voice is drowning everybody out
I’m gonna live my life (unashamed)
Living my life (untamed)
For the sake of Your Name
I’m living my life, I’m living my life

§ 2 Responses to Self-defining…

  • Father Joe says:

    The song is illustrative of a religious romanticism, and that is okay, as long as we do not shut out the voices of those who love us. As Catholics we define ourselves, not simply in a personal faith and encounter with God, but also in a corporate way in the believing community. There are many voices that call to us, and some would lead us in the wrong direction, others in what they might think is right, and sometimes hidden among them, the soft whisper of God. There are also our own voices. We can ask who is calling us, we can respond no, or we can say, speak Lord, your servant is listening. The song is right, we have to step forward and stand our ground. But knowing God and knowing ourselves is very much a process. That is the whole basis of maturation and faith formation. We are not angels, but temporal and mortal creatures of spirit, flesh, blood and bone. We should not be afraid, because we walk with the Lord. But we should also be open to good counsel and guidance. Pride can deafen the ears and it numbs both the heart and the mind. Humility is the posture we assume as we seek the road that God will give us to walk. We read all the signposts and take direction from those whom God has given us to do so. God has given us his living Word and the sacraments of life. From baptism to the grave, none of us comes to God alone. Sometimes we are carried, and for a while we walk. Everything about this life is a preparation for the next. When we fail or sin we endure correction and then from under the sweet shade of repentance we seek out again the light. When we have proven our discipleship, we take no honor for ourselves, for each us of should say, “Greater is he who lives in me than he who lives in the world.”

    And yet dear Genna, I can say that I am very proud of you…not because of schoolwork and grades and volunteer activities…but because of who you are, as a young Christian woman filled with grace and a love for the Lord. Live your life, untamed, not like the hedonists of our age, but in terms of the freedom that the Gospel gives you as a child of God. The tragedy of our times is that many people think they are liberated and yet they are actually in bondage to the flesh, the world and the devil. God does not want us to remain slaves to sin and overwhelmed by the many pressing anxieties of the day. He wants us to be tabernacles for Christ’s presence, carrying something of the Easter mystery of eternal life wherever we go in the here-and-now. Despair and pessimism come from the dark spirit. We are given our vocations as expressions of joy and hope. More important than the estimation of men is how God loves and judges us. Oh how much we should yearn to hear the Master’s voice say to us, “Come hither oh good and faithful servant, for I am well-pleased.”

    Know the ark of safety and remain at peace in Christ.

    And Genna, whatever God calls you to in this life, all I want for you is happiness and his divine favor.

    Hodie, nolite obdurare corda vestra, sed vocem Domini audite.

    Father Joe

  • Father Joe says:

    I saw Genna yesterday and when I asked if she read my comments above, she responded…

    “I know you did not like the song.”

    I objected to this and asked what I said. She added…

    “You said something about romanticism and then blah blah blah, blah blah blah,” and maybe one more, “blah,” heavily accented for dramatic effect.

    Actually, it is a very nice song. As for the rest, yes I do often prove to be rather wordy.

    Am I just “full of,” well, um jargon? Hum.

    Just thinking out loud, no incrimination intended, peace!

    Father Joe

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