Tuesday, March 7, 2017


This past Sunday was the first time I had heard or sung this particular hymn. It was our recessional. It has a wonderful and singable melody. But by the second time I sang it, it didn't sit well with me. I wonder if my negative reaction to it is sound or not. I asked our DM not to use it again after this past Sunday.

What are your feelings about it and what do you think was my problem with this hymn?

In these days of Lenten Journey,
We have seeen and we have heard
The call to sow justice in the lives of those we serve.
We reach out to those who are homeless,
To those who live without warmth.
In the coolness of evening,
We'll shelter their dreams,
We will clothe them in mercy and peace.
We open our eyes to the hungry,
And see the faces of Christ.
As we nourish all people
Who hunger for food,
May their faith in our God be renewed.
We open our eyes to the weary,
And hear the cry of the poor.
To the voices that echo the song of despair,
We will show our compassion and care.

We call on the Spirit of Justice,
And pray for righteousness' sake.
We will sing for the freedom
Of all the oppressed.
We will loosen the bonds of distress.


rcg said...

Does not seem very humble. Here are some similar lyrics.

O Lord I thank you
For this burden of the poor,
And the weak and lame and homless,
And others at the door.

I will gather them in
And set them right
And tell them how to color
And avoid the plight of the publican
Who sits back by the choir.

I will hand out all of your justice
And reap your wheat for food
With this hammer and this sickle
It makes me feel so good!

TJM said...

Is this song asking the Pope to be nice to Faithful Catholics?

Gene said...

It is garbage.

Gene said...

You don't need mod crap like this. There are some wonderful hymns in the protestant hymnals that should be brought into the Catholic Church...we might start with "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross." Sounds like a monk or a nun could have written it.

Gene said...

1. Jesus, keep me near the cross;
there a precious fountain,
free to all, a healing stream,
flows from Calvary's mountain.
In the cross, in the cross,
be my glory ever,
till my raptured soul shall find
rest beyond the river.

2. Near the cross, a trembling soul,
love and mercy found me;
there the bright and morning star
sheds its beams around me.

3. Near the cross! O Lamb of God,
bring its scenes before me;
help me walk from day to day
with its shadow o'er me.

4. Near the cross I'll watch and wait,
hoping, trusting ever,
till I reach the golden strand
just beyond the river.

Anonymous said...

Ok for use at Mass? Well, no. However sacred (or, alternatively, trivia) its intent might be, it simply is not liturgical--that is, does not pertain directly to the liturgy--and therefore has no place in liturgical use. It's music is no greater than its superficial theology, and many of the musically wonderful and profoundly theological and/or scriptural hymns in the traditional treasury of sacred hymns are for the same not liturgical, however deserving of use in non-liturgical contexts. (Admittedly, such a distinction is lost on most of today's Catholics, who have lost any proper sense of the nature and shape of the liturgy.)

Servimus Unum Deum said...

This song is woefully imbalanced. Too much corporal works of mercy, none or little of the spiritual. Good call telling your choir director to stop it.

Anonymous said...

If one is engaged in the corporal works of mercy, one is, by definition, moved to do so by grace.

That is spiritual.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My biggest problem with the song isn't the sentiments expressed but using it at Mass where hymn should express praise and thanksgiving to God. This hymn like We are the Light of the world is all about us and both are Kumbaya oriented. Substitute I for we and the braggadocio of the hymn becomes even more evident. Aren't just so wonderful? No humilty here!

Unknown said...

The music and the words are hopelessly sentimental. The mass should reflect the dignity and nobility of the infinite.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Praise and thanksgiving, yes. But also supplication and gratitude for what God has done and is doing through us. There's nothing unhumble about acknowledging how God has used is to feed the hungry, house the homeless, care for the needy, etc.

TJM said...

"supplication" is too hard! Please don't use those big words! You're violating Vatican II!!!

Anonymous said...

TJM - You have, as we know, a strange understanding of Vatican II......

Dan said...

I have different issues with this song. Most of us are living paycheck to paycheck trying to raise families at a time when it is difficult to do so. Now I go to Mass and sing that I am to spend Lent doing social work, when I am already burning the candle at both ends. This song, written by a religious, seems very apropos for a full-time religious doing social work. I commend such as these. But I resent the subtle insinuation that living my own vocation is less than acceptable to the songwriter. And that is the pride, the hubris I see in this song, and why I would not sing it. This is not to say I do care not for the needy. I just can't do it as this dreamy song requires.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Dan, when you provide for your family by housing, feeding, clothing, caring for and everything else parents do for their children, who without you would be poor, you do what this song praises. But music in the Catholic Mass is not meant to praise our accomplishments but to praise God from whom all graces and blessings flow.

Gene said...

Dan, Social work is the new salvation. The Pelagian elements inherent in Catholic theology were unleashed by Vat II and are now running rampant. I expect, any day now, the Church to offer a reward to whoever finds the mouldering bones of Jesus of Nazareth in some unmarked grave in Palestine somewhere. They will know it is Jesus because his bony fingers will be clutching dog-eared copies of Rules for Radicals and Das Kapital. Then, we can drop the pretense and get on with making the Church one big UN/DFCS.

Anonymous said...

Too polemical.

Anonymous said...

If you're living paycheck to paycheck, wait till the Republican's American Health Care Act kicks in. You'll be every so glad you voted for .......

TJM said...


Loudmouth Howard Dean, former Democratic Party Chair, said on Joe Scarborough's program that there is NO place in the Democratic Party for pro-life voters. What are YOU going to do? What will the USCCB going to do? Ignore evil?

TJM said...

Anonymous at 1:52,

ObozoCare converted a lot of full-time jobs to part-time jobs to avoid the taxes and mandates. Do you really want to go there?

John Nolan said...

I would fire your DM if he (or more likely she) thinks this has any musical merit whatsoever, quite apart from the trite and predictable lyrics. A wonderful melody? You must be joking. It doesn't even qualify as elevator muzak.

Using it as a recessional at least means that those with any taste or discernment can rush out to throw up in the parking lot without missing Mass.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Je concur!

Gene said...

Well, I like this one:

"Drop kick me, Jesus,
Through the goal posts of life,
End over end, neither left nor to right,
Straight thru the heart
Of them righteous uprights,
Drop kick me, Jesus, through the goal posts of life."

It is a solemn plea for Christ's guidance, and even chastisement, on the part of struggling souls. Minimally self-referential, it acknowledges both man's need and Christ's initiative in the process of salvation/sanctification. It implies a plea for temperance, moral rectitude, and the humility of a simple and honest understanding of the plan of salvation. The perfect communion hymn...played softly, of course.

Anonymous said...

"I would fire your DM if he (or more likely she) thinks this has any musical merit whatsoever, quite apart from the trite and predictable lyrics. A wonderful melody? You must be joking. It doesn't even qualify as elevator muzak.

Using it as a recessional at least means that those with any taste or discernment can rush out to throw up in the parking lot without missing Mass."

Ah, condescension at it's finest. (We call it snobbery on this side of the pond.)

TJM said...


But is it a "supplication?"

TJM said...

Anonymous at 9:23

No, on this side of the pond we call it an intelligent comment, a concept you are obviously unfamiliar with.

John Nolan said...

Anonymous, making use of one's critical faculties is neither condescension nor snobbery (which actually don't mean quite the same thing). If, say, a film or theatre critic writes a negative review he is not necessarily being either snobbish or condescending - he is doing what he is paid for. The same applies to music.

Now were I to criticize you for putting an apostrophe in the possessive 'its' that would indeed imply a measure of condescension, since I can charitably infer that it was a typographical error.

Anonymous said...

It's condescension and snobbery.

YOUR judgment of what is trite, YOUR judgment of what is melodious, YOUR opinion of what has musical merit is what matters.

You don't like it, therefore, it is trash. It matters not to you that what you find so objectionable might, for others, be a source of inspiration and uplift.

But, if that is the case, then they are self-deluded and don't know what REALLY good music is to begin with.

Anyone who disagrees with you is ignorant or untutored.

Condescension and snobbery in spades.

John Nolan said...


I perceive that you (whoever you are) are uncomfortable in the presence of those who might be more intelligent and cultured than yourself. I know enough about music, liturgical and otherwise, to be able to distinguish what is objectively good from what is objectively bad. Informed criticism is not a question of imposing one's own opinions on other people. Are you suggesting that Mozart is a greater composer than (say) Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf simply because I believe him to be so? Can anyone seriously contend that the oeuvre of Marty Haugen can stand alongside that of Tomas Luiz de Victoria in terms of musical merit, let alone liturgical suitability?

We don't all inhabit the swamp of cultural relativism which would appear to be your natural habitat. The late, great Hans Keller, again referring to music, once said 'art has nothing to do with taste'.

You have a massive inferiority complex, but were you to take it to a psychiatrist he would no doubt say 'Don't worry about it. You ARE inferior.' Toodle-pip!

TJM said...

John Nolan,

I think you are trying to argue with an Obama supporter, not worth it!

Anonymous said...

"... might be more intelligent and cultured than yourself."

In your inflated self-perception. Condescension.

"...objectively good from what is objectively bad."

According to you. More condescension.

"We don't all inhabit the swamp of cultural relativism..."

No, some people inhabit delusions of grandeur.

"The late, great Hans Keller, again referring to music, once said 'art has nothing to do with taste'.":

Indeed, it does. But, of course, Keller agrees with you or you with him, so that opinion must be correct. It's not.

"You have a massive inferiority complex."

Nope. Comparisons are odious. Those who need, really need, to see themselves as superior to others are the ones so suffering.


TJM said...

Anonymous at 7:43,

John Nolan - 1, Anonymous - 0

Now go collect your pay from George Soros

John Nolan said...


Hans Keller was making the point that there are objective standards in music (and indeed in all art forms) which are independent of fashion or opinion. Mozart and Haydn stand head and shoulders above their contemporaries, something that was recognized at the time, and is even more obvious now. It can be demonstrated by using standard critical and analytical methods.

I'm not sure whether you concur with Keller or not. 'Indeed, it does' signifies agreement, but later on you say 'It's not [correct].' If Keller is wrong, then there is no such thing as informed judgement or objective criticism, an extreme view which few would support.

Perhaps you might desist from ad hominem attacks and engage with the argument. And stop hiding behind 'Anonymous' - it's cowardly and dishonest.