Music has the capacity to speak the language of the heart, to plunge into the depths of one’s being and pinpoint the innermost truths of one’s experience. By it, truth can permeate and resonate in our lives and what was previously unexplained can be brought to light. A stark tune, a delicate melody, a racing drumbeat, can draw us out from ourselves and elevate us toward something greater.
The Body of Christ is made up of many incredible and irreplaceable members–each of whom reveal a unique side of God that no other is capable of. The Church is both personal and communal, drawing us into intimacy with Christ as well as building up the Communion of Saints, the Kingdom of God.
There is an imperceptible number of unrepeatable individuals in this world, and each has a heart that is impacted in a unique way. Music not only highlights and accentuates that profoundly remarkable individualism, but it also has a communal aspect–bridging the gap between people of different cultural and social norms, people from across the globe. In other words, music allows us to be uniquely ourselves, and at the same time, music unites us.
I propose that music can be a transcendental–that is, something that surpasses the constrictions of this world and points us toward God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines Goodness, Truth, and Beauty as transcendentals because God’s essence is the perfection of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find good music that evokes transcendence these days. Many Christians decide to give up music for Lent–some to draw out that inner silence and be alone with the Lord through that, which is wonderful. Others see music as a distraction, as harmful to their relationship with the Lord and one another. And, sadly, it can be. Something so sweet, holding such potential to move us beyond ourselves, is bound to be attacked. Like anything that is good, true and beautiful, the evil one can warp it or prevent it from reaching its potential.
For this reason, I offer you my favorite songs right here. Regard it this way: I’m your sister in Christ, sharing my iTunes playlist with you. Though the songs I share here will not always be explicitly Christian, each is one I consider worthy to bear the title of a (lower-case) transcendental, evoking authentic human experiences from our hearts and guiding us deeper into truth, goodness, and beauty.
To be honest, the songs I prefer to share with you are secular, because we live in a very flavorful world, and I want to direct you toward some solid music choices outside the realms of strictly Christian music.
I hope you enjoy!
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