“Praise & Worship” Music – Part II

Encountering the Lord through music

Part II of III

If worshipping God is the most important thing we can do, why is it that we get so distracted while doing it?  For example, think about the Mass.  Mass demands a sort of focus of our minds that is not typical of this world.  Now think about all the noise we hear and see in ordinary life; hours of TV, movies, video games, pop music, parties, carousing, sports, etc. affect us significantly. When we are so used to this noise, we become dependent on it without even knowing it. Try driving without the radio on.  Notice the silence? Our faculties start craving the noise, and it is likely we become antsy, almost anxious, because nothing is distracting us from reality. Without a doubt, Mass is different than the world, as it should be. It requires our senses to be at rest so that we can use our mind and will to focus on loving, adoring and worshipping God.  But because they are bored, they desire that noise we are so used to. This causes us to be distracted while attempting devotion to God. When this happens, church becomes boring. Then you have, of course, the present-day crisis: empty pews. The solution? Christians, instead of preaching to become less like the world, have decided to make the Church more like the world. P&W brings worldly music into Church to seemingly solve this common distraction. This “solution” originated with Protestants, was later adopted by Roman Catholics, and has now tumbled into the Chaldean Church. Is this really all we can come up with?

More people coming to Church is good, but at what cost? Compromising the very core and purpose of prayer? One blogger online wrote “An encounter with the Lord is a powerful experience.  Often times our youth are distracted at Mass or their hearts are not present.  Praise and worship can help open their hearts to the Lord, so they can prepare for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass”2.  This man’s view and intentions of using P&W, I think, is fairly representative of most people in support of listening to this type of music. So, it is obvious people do get distracted while Jesus Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament. And to help “open their hearts”, according to this view, there is a need to use emotionally-driven music. That is not a solution, but just another distraction to Christ, just more deceiving in nature. It presumes that this type of music is helping you see and feel Christ (physically present or not).  But dig one layer deeper and one will notice that it is the melody that is the cause of this “powerful experience” as they claim. This becomes unhealthy for the soul because the fact that God the Son is physically present should be more than enough for people to open their hearts to him. And instead of educating and guiding people to see this reality with eyes of faith, a large amount of Christians are choosing a cheap and deceiving route: P&W music. Keep in mind that the Eucharist doesn’t need to be present for this music to still be harmful. It just makes it worse. When we encounter God in worship, our minds should be directed towards virtues such as awe and wonder. We should be reflecting on his majestic Trinity, infinite power, knowledge and presence. Instead of this, people are receiving more noise, typical of the world that becomes addictive because it appeases the appetite, not the soul.