From a discourse on the psalms by Saint Augustine, bishop
Sing to God with songs of joy
Praise the Lord with the lyre, make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Sing to him a new song. Rid yourself of what is old and worn out, for you know a new song. A new man, a new covenant‚ – a new song. This new song does not belong to the old man. Only the new man learns it: the man restored from his fallen condition through the grace of God, and now sharing in the new covenant, that is, the kingdom of heaven. To it all our love now aspires and sings a new song. Let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives.
Sing to him a new song, sing to him with joyful melody. Every one of us tries to discover how to sing to God. You must sing to him, but you must sing well. He does not want your voice to come harshly to his ears, so sing well, brothers!
If you were asked, “Sing to please this musician,” you would not like to do so without having taken some instruction in music, because you would not like to offend an expert in the art. An untrained listener does not notice the faults a musician would point out to you. Who, then, will offer to sing well for God, the great artist whose discrimination is faultless, whose attention is on the minutest detail, whose ear nothing escapes? When will you be able to offer him a perfect performance that you will in no way displease such a supremely discerning listener?
See how he himself provides you with a way of singing. Do not search for words, as if you could find a lyric which would give God pleasure. Sing to him “with songs of joy.” This is singing well to God, just singing with songs of joy.
But how is this done? You must first understand that words cannot express the things that are sung by the heart. Take the case of people singing while harvesting in the fields or in the vineyards or when any other strenuous work is in progress. Although they begin by giving expression to their happiness in sung words, yet shortly there is a change. As if so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, they discard the restricting syllables. They burst out into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation. Such a cry of joy is a sound signifying that the heart is bringing to birth what it cannot utter in words.
Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God himself, whom all words fail to describe? If words will not serve, and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy? Your heart must rejoice beyond words, soaring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds. Sing to him with songs of joy.
The music of God is all about us. When I listen in the Spirit, my heart sings.
With these pages, I wish to share the lyric of the songs I hear in the silence of my prayer.
I just watched this again, It makes me feel so good I end up with tears in my eyes. Guess I’m a sucker for togetherness. Enjoy!
Amazing as it is Father Basil Clark, who watched the show from Broxburn, Scotland, was not surprised when Susan Boyle amazed all of England and the world . As reported by the Catholic News Service:
“He has seen the situation unfold many times before, having regularly accompanied Boyle, 47, on the annual Legion of Mary pilgrimage to the Marian shrine in Knock, Ireland. “When I watched the judges’ faces it reminded me of what I was like when I first saw Susan singing — absolutely blown away by the quality of the singing and by that fantastic voice,” said Father Clark, dean of West Lothian, the district that covers Boyle’s home village of Blackburn.”
CNS said that in a interview on CBS’s The EarlyShow, Susan said,that because her mother had encouraged her to sing, she wanted to make her performance
“a tribute to my mother.”
“I knew it was something I had to do,” she said. “I had to get on with it. That’s where the courage came from, my mother.
“The ones who made fun of me are now nice to me,” she said. “So, I think I may have won them ’round.”
Susan Boyle singing I Dreamed a Dream on “Britain’s Got Talent 2009”
The Anchoress says it so beautifully:
We are fascinated with Susan Boyle, because she reveals to us the world of possibilities we too often leave unexplored, within ourselves. We dare to think…has God kissed me, too?
Let us seek out what that kiss may have wrought, uncover it, celebrate it, thank God for it, even if the world finds those gifts less fascinating than the duckling/swan story of Susan Boyle. Small greatnesses add up, and they support whole worlds.