... in a pop song
A friend of mine once told me that when she listens to love songs and she thinks of God... I remember smiling politely and not really taking that very seriously, until I tried it! And I was so moved, and in fact amazed by the power of it.
I remember when I made the [Spiritual] Exercises there was one point where I listened to the Queen song "You're my best friend" and thought of Jesus as I listened to the lyrics, thinking of addressing Jesus myself with the lyrics, I had to change a couple of the words for it to fit right, but the rest of it, and certainly the essence of the song, were really there. It literally moved me to tears and it is the only time I have ever experienced tears of joy in prayer, something St Ignatius talks about in his own consolation which made that experience all the more powerful for me and I have never forgotten it.
As we get into the swing of modern day Christmas, and the non stop jingle jangle of pop songs everywhere we go, I heard Maria Carey (as you no doubt will many times in the coming weeks) but instead of letting out a groan, I listened with the same attentiveness that I have just mentioned and something different stirred in me. "I don't want a lot for Christmas... there is just one thing I need... I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree... all I want for Christmas is... you" this lit the song up, and this lit me up! What had become a routine part of the background Christmas soundtrack that plays incessantly for the whole of December became someting very different because it focused my mind in a different way focusing on the coming of Christ, and this being the only thing that matters, amongst all of these other things that now marquerade as Christmas. I felt very uplifted and connected by listening to this song and that message "all I want for Christmas is you"– Jesus. The more I listened to it in repetition (I even downloaded it onto my ipod!) the more I enjoyed it! I developed this way of prayer with pop! I dropped some lyrics and focused more and more on the ones that stood out and the energy and emotion of the song too played into building up the joy in me. As I await the coming of the saviour, Prince of peace, make my dream come true, all I want for Christmas is you.