During this week before Easter at a time of uncertainty and social distancing, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity share Gracias a la vida-Thank You to Life by Mercedes Sosa, I Will Not Fear by Mary Castner, Hello in There by John Prine and Jesus Was a Crossmaker by the Hollies. May the music offer moments of closer calling upon the Lord and respect for the gift of each other.
Mercedes Sosa – Gracias a la vida-Thank You to Life
As I listened to this calm peaceful singing and tried to catch a translation at the same time, I glanced at my Christmas bulletin board. At that point I stopped trying to follow the printed translation and thought about the deep meaning. I know that “Gracias a la vida” translates to “Thank you to life.” Just add two little words to title and you have the deep, true meaning. What’s the word to change?
Try listening to the song thinking “Thank you to God for life. My “Christmas” bulletin board, with the Holy Family scene as central, is somewhat cluttered with pictures of my family, religious community, friends and work scenes from a long, happy life. It succeeds in reminding me to thank our loving God for all he has given me. The board will not be changed just because Christmas celebrations are over!
We are in a different world in these days of “stay safe at home.” Pope Francis hopes and prays that a strengthening of family life might come as a result of these day of forced togetherness. Perhaps listening to this song and letting happy memories of your family, and indeed of your life, run through your mind. That might even result in nice “Remember this … ?“ conversations that would be fun! May you find yourself bringing happiness to your family. Together may you become closer to God, our friend and creator. All of you are in our Franciscan prayers daily; may you stay truly safe! The song ends with these thoughts:
Thanks to life, which has given me so much.
It gave me laughter and it gave me tears.
With them I distinguish happiness from pain
The two elements that make up my song,
And your song, as well, which is the same song.
And everyone’s song, which is my very song.
-Sister Catherine Gilles, OSF
Haydée Mercedes Sosa was an Argentine singer who was popular throughout Latin America and many countries outside the region. Her music made people hail her as the “voice of the voiceless ones”.
Mary Castner – I Will Not Fear
“I Will Not Fear” is a great song for our present moment situation,n but when you hear the lyrics you can understand that this song pertains to God’s calling us, which the Lord does every moment of our life. God is almighty and there is no fear because the Almighty is always with us. Truly we must love and adore and make a home for God in our heart. I visited her site: https://www.marycastnermusic.com/music and enjoyed her other albums. Thanks Mary Castner for sharing your song with us.
-Sister Elena Gonzales, OSF
John Prine – Hello in There
My experience with elderly has been so positive and rich. They have so much to share.
I think of my own parents. Dad died ten years ago but Mom is well
and very much at the center of our lives. I have deep gratitude for both of them.
I think of our elderly Sisters who contribute so much through
the power of their prayers and their sufferings, as well as the profound wisdom that they share.
It is sad to think of the elderly that do not have family or Community,
that feel all alone and forgotten.
I am reminded of the importance of noticing each person, regardless of their age, and recognizing their value and their goodness. A greeting, a smile or a few minutes to listen can cost very little but could make a big difference in someone’s life.
-Sister Theresa Feldkamp, OSF
(Regretfully John is currently in critical condition from complications of Covid 19) Website.
The Hollies-Jesus Was a Crossmaker
Judee Sill’s thoughtful song draws on a relationship with Jesus as a metaphor for all our relationships: Jesus as a ‘hero’ who may not save you in the way you think He should. The Hollies superlative harmonies balance the lyrics with an almost preternatural calm. Judee Sill lived a difficult, tumultuous life, including problems with addiction and troubled relationships. But she never lost her sense of faith and the yearning, sometimes even celebratory, spirituality that informed many of her songs. She once said that she wrote songs that “were aimed at persuading Jesus to give people a break”.