It’s amazing how often music and song are intertwined with the Christian journey generally and with the work of Cross International Catholic Outreach specifically. The precedent for this is found in the Bible, of course. Music and song are described as part of worship in several cases, including most prominently in Revelation:
“Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.’”
Mothers at a health fair in Haiti sing about the proper way to hold and feed a baby.
Most of the psalms of David were also believed to be songs used to praise the Lord. And do you remember this from the Exodus story:
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”
In Cross Catholic’s case, music and songs also play an important role. They have become part of both our overseas mission and our educational efforts in the U.S.
Overseas, songs are sometimes used to help the poor by providing them with a method of learning important nutritional information or about topics related to health care. Unable to read or write, they can learn easy-to-remember songs. One of these teaches the warning signs of dehydration. Another gives the ingredients of a nutritional blend of foods that can help battle malnutrition.
Spiritual songs are also one of the ways our field staff share and celebrate with those who receive our support. Our meetings with these partners often begin with songs of thanks and praise.
In the U.S., music has an important role too. It is a wonderful source of inspiration for the faithful. With this in mind, Cross looks for ways to support those song writers and musicians who use their talents to express Christ’s compassion and his call to serve the poor. For example, we recently honored “Leeland,” a band that highlighted those themes in their song “Follow You.” Check out the video below:
As a ministry serving the poor, we were delighted that Follow You included the lyrics:
You lived among the least of these, the weary and the weak. And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away. All my needs you have supplied – when I was dead you gave me life. How could I not give it away so freely? And I’ll follow you into the homes that are broken. Follow you into the world. Meet the needs for the poor and the needy, God. Follow you into the World. Use my hands, use my feet to make your kingdom come through the corners of the earth, until your work is done.
It’s thrilling to hear this challenging message proclaimed so passionately and emotionally! Frankly, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.