Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chanting Hope

Suzannah Lessard's essay The Luxury of Order, taken from the House Beautiful book If These Walls Could Talk, Thoughts of Home -- particularly her comments about “Gregorian chant sung on a dark morning in Lent” -- reminds me of how easily appearances can deceive.
What a grounding thing it is to sing or listen to Gregorian chant, both ethereal and earthy at the same time. How does that happen? Is it a combination of words and music? Expectation? The juxtaposition of experience and hope?
Some things don't take to language easily, and sometimes reality is one of them. We see something we are sure is true, and it turns out not to be.
Autumn comes, and trees are stripped bare of everything that looks alive. Winter comes, and death glitters with icy chill. From every appearance, life is overcome by death.
But even then, underneath the chill of death, there is life waiting.
If we rely only on our impressions, on what we think we see, we can be deceived.
We need to be sure we understand; we need to listen to what the music is telling us: our hope is not in what we can see or hear, but in what God does.
Our hope is in Him.

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