Music & Spirituality

From the Archives A Dominican friar plays the organ. Province of Saint Joseph ©
From the Archives
A Dominican friar plays the organ.
Province of Saint Joseph ©

Music & Spirituality

 

“Listening to beautiful music may dispose one to the contemplation of faith, since it mirrors the infinite beauty of God himself. Could it not be the case that the strife and struggle to fasten onto ideas “by reason of the weakness of the intellect” is eased somewhat by a love and appreciation of all the fine arts, which in turn strengthen the natural power of concentration on spiritual things? Might listening to the inner relationships of a work by a Bach or a Mozart, to use some classic examples, exercise and strengthen the intellect to more easily contemplate divine things? Likewise, might not the beautiful as contemplated dispose one to realize that there is more to life than simply or exclusively the material goods of the senses? Could not a sonata or concerto, or Benny Goodman’s big band music of the 1940s suggest, through the intricacies of a well skilled melody joined in a deep relationship to harmony and rhythm, that one desire a life of more virtuous perfection? These questions flow from the whole idea of contemplation as seen by Aquinas. — Rev. Basil Cole, O.P., STD

 

Please enjoy the video below of Br. Peter Joseph Gautsch, O.P. playing the organ in the beautiful chapel at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Also, you can read the entire essay by Fr. Basil Cole, O.P. here.