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Catholicism is the default faith for music graduates
Posted By Eric Sammons On January 19, 2010 @ 8:49 am In Protestantism,The Church | Comments Disabled
It seems like the past 25 years has produced a rash of conversions to the Catholic Faith. Everyone, apparently, is a convert or is married to a convert. What I find interesting is that, although all the conversion stories have certain similarities, they are all also very different. I never get tired of reading how others have found their way, through God’s grace, to the Catholic Church. What often happens is that God draws people through what they already love, or, as the scholastics would say, “grace perfects nature”.
Fellow blogger, professional pianist and reader of this blog Andy Lee is in the process of becoming Catholic, and he details his journey in three parts:
I was especially moved by how the Catholic tradition of beautiful music helped draw him to the Church. Here are some excerpts:
First, as a point of clarification, let me explain what I mean when I say “returning to Catholicism,” as this is both true and untrue. I was actually baptized as an infant in the Catholic church, though, to my memory, we never attended mass regularly growing up. So technically speaking, I am returning to the faith into which I was baptized (but never confirmed), but for the most part am seriously coming to Catholicism for the first time. And yet, despite this, it really does feel to me as though I am returning to Catholicism, even if I was never really there in the first place.
…I had a friend say once that Catholicism is the default faith for music graduates, and I could hardly agree more. After learning about early music (which is largely the music of the Church), and brushing up on it for doctoral comprehensive exams, I felt like I knew about as most Catholics about what was going on in Mass. This ties into my appreciation of contemporary Christian music because the more I was exposed to these traditions and the stunning music behind them, the less satisfying the music at our church became. Again, this was just laying the groundwork for my eventual move to Catholicism, because at the time it simply felt like something that wasn’t clicking right.
…That summer, I also traveled with the Avila choir to Italy, which included a stay in Rome and tours of Vatican City. I experienced somewhat conflicting feelings concerning Catholicism while I was there. On one hand, it was hard not to have a strong sense of spirituality entering these beautiful churches, but at the same time I was turned off by the display of wealth and power that I also saw. We attended several Masses, including a Latin mass in St. Peter’s and a small, intimate Mass at St. Mark’s in Venice (I should add that I studied Latin in college, translating sections of St. Augustine’s and St. Patrick’s writings at different times, so that Latin mass was very moving). These were amazing experiences, and I once again found myself being drawn to the beauty of the Mass. Then again, I also found all the statues and veneration of relics to be a little disconcerting.
Immediately after the trip, I probably would have said that I felt a stronger conviction that certain aspects of the Catholic faith were wrong, and that I could never be Catholic. In hindsight, though, being further exposed to the profound beauty of the Mass in such houses of worship sparked in me an almost irresistible desire to be a part of it on a regular basis. It was hard participate in the Mass (even if I could not do so fully) and then return to a church were contemporary music and video screens were the norm.
Try to find some time to read all three parts today.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2010/01/19/catholicism-is-the-default-faith-for-music-graduates/
URLs in this post:
 Returning to Catholicism – the Early Years: http://andy-lee.com/blog/2009/12/returning-to-catholicism---the.html
 Returning to Catholicism – Part II: http://andy-lee.com/blog/2010/01/returning-to-catholicism-part.html
 Returning to Catholicism – Part III: http://andy-lee.com/blog/2010/01/returning-to-catholicism-part-1.html
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