Sept 30 – The St Louis Jesuits – a sacred and hope-drenched concert

Monday, September 30 – Rabindranath Tagore  # 2

“Drunk with the joy of singing
I forget myself . . . ”

About 2700 women and men settled into St. Louis’ Powell Hall yesterday afternoon with the subtle play and excitement of a long-anticipated event, The Goodbye Concert of The St. Louis Jesuits.  5 immensely creative composers and performers of 50 years of sacred music have awakened and restored joy and hope, over and over. The sheer elegant wonder of fresh music that has touched the collective inner life of several generations of people hungry for compositions emerged from the disciplined listening of these five artists to scriptural language and to the hopes and wounds of women and men, just waiting. It seemed in Powell Hall yesterday, to pick up each song and carry it live even as each song carried the packed orchestra hall.   I found myself wishing that everyone I know could have been with us.

When I sought a poem for today’s post, it may be no surprise that Rabindranath Tagore caught my attention.  Best to read the poet out loud, with pauses.   When I finish this post, I will pack 4 weeks of sabbatical travel back in some luggage, and get ready to fly home to Motown for a few days before I head out to the second month of my sabbatical, this time to New England for some prayer time.

john st sj


Tagore # 2

When Thou commandest me to sing

it seems that my heart would break with pride

and I look to Thy face

and tears come to my eyes.


All that is harsh and dissonant in my life

melts into one sweet harmony

and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird

on its flight across the sea.


I know Thou takest pleasure in my singing

I know that only as a singer I come before Thy presence

I touch by the edge of the far spreading wing of my song

Thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.


Drunk with the joy of singing

I forget myself

and call Thee friend

who art my lord.


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