Recently, I had a fruitful conversation with a good friend. The topic was music, and we were sharing some of our music likes and dislikes, particularly the music we grew up to. We even shared how our parents’ music was different than ours. To a degree, we both mutually agree on the point.
As the discussion continued, we were shocked to share about some of the meaning of today’s music that we’ve listened to from Linkin Park to Imagine Dragons and everything in between.
Then, it dawned on me that I was getting ready to attend a big Catholic music festival called Abbeyfest, which began in 2014 and it is still going strong after almost a decade. Since 2017, I’ve had the opportunity to attend the event, meet the community at large through the Greater Philadelphia area, and enjoy the Catholic music lineup.
Abbeyfest, held on the grounds of the Norbertine Community just a 30-minute drive outside of Philadelphia (depending on traffic), started out as an idea from a worship leader to bring together the greater community at large for fellowship and to enjoy the amazing talent put on by Catholic artists, including Matt Maher, the event’s headliner during the seven of its eight events.
Matt Maher has become a favorite of mine, especially his song, “Lord, I Need You” which really got to me. I even looked up the lyrics and was blown away that the song was more of a prayer of petition to God. It reminded me of the times that I needed God in my life as we all do. Another song that jumped out to me was "Rise Up". In it, Maher conveys the message that many of us get beaten down, yet we can rise up from our struggles and downfalls.
Looking back at the event, made me think of the stark contrast between the four artists and groups who performed during the event and that of mainstream music. Sadly, our culture says to do this, and it will help you gain fans. One example is to promote promiscuity in the album that is in the making. I remember a friend sharing about some modern artists and how they've infiltrated satanic agendas in their music. However, God wants us to use our talents for an audience of one; him.
In 1999, St. John Paul the Great wrote eight things an artist must do. This came as we were at the threshold of the new millennium. As an artist himself, he focused on the fact that artists must encounter God in their crafts. He wasn’t just gearing his message to those who draw out art, but to dancers, writers, actors/actresses, and musicians. He knew creative minds were needed. An epiphany and he gave them the ideas.
Read more about the letter here.
Today, take the first step to discovering your own epiphany when it comes to using your creative talents.
Give glory to God in the endeavor of entertaining and creating.