There is nothing like a beautiful Gregorian Chant or a lovely Hymn to carry us into a deeper connection to God Almighty. Beyond serving as a soothing environment for meditation, music can itself become a vehicle for prayer. Benedict XVI, a pianist in his own right, often spoke of music’s power to raise us to God and become a prayer in itself. Anyone listening to a great orchestral concert can only marvel at the inspiring melding of varied sounds into a single unified, yet varied, message. It is at this image of an orchestra that we begin our discussion here.
What is an orchestra, if not a synchronized alliance of distinct tones combining to embrace and elicit a desired message to its audience? Each instrument contributes its own, unique beauty which adds to the flavor and depth of the music while maintaining its own identity. This wonderful interaction of unity and uniqueness mirrors our role in serving God Almighty in the concert hall of life.
Just as each instrument has its special voice, so too, each of us has been given special gifts from above, which we are to use to bring greater glory to God and serve others. That service, of course, includes helping them in their needs as well as helping in the salvation of as many others as possible.
When an instrument is played well, it often melts into the melody of the entire orchestra. However, when not played well, that same instrument can call attention to itself, and detract from the efforts of the other instruments. Well-played instruments do not call attention to themselves, or seek the spotlight for their own gain. Rather, they excel when the spotlight is placed on them, as in a planned solo. There is a humble beauty in anonymous talent placed in the service of the music rather than in the service of its own glory.
Different musical arrangements call for different combinations of instruments, each ready when called upon as needed. This and other reasons highlight the need for diverse talent eager to build something much greater than any single contributor.
Are we not like the players in such an orchestra? Do not we each possess unique talents which allow us to be instruments for God and others if we so choose? Is it not true that our talents, when used for such noble purposes, rise to become true instruments of love, service, prayer and, yes, even salvation? It follows that we are each called to humbly offer our gifts in the service of God, developing and playing these talents well enough that we do not call attention to ourselves.
Given all of the above, consider what talents you possess, and see these gifts as opportunities to give God a beautiful return on His investment in you. Seek to develop these gifts in humble service of the salvation of souls and you will be a vital musician in the most beautiful orchestra possible.
Giving praise to God Almighty, honoring the Queen of Heaven, saving souls, and loving others are just some of the wonderful arrangements which we are called to perform. Follow the call of St. Francis of Assisi to be an instrument for God, and all that you do will be music to Heaven’s ears.
2016 Gabriel Garnica