Today’s psalm response comes from a beautiful psalm of praise, Psalm 146. The first line of the response punctuates my day:
Praise the LORD, my soul;
I will praise the LORD all my life,
sing praise to my God while I live.
You see, at the age of 12, I started voice lessons with my second teacher. For the next 35 years, week in and week out, through junior high, high school, college, work, marriage, babies & beyond, I went to my lesson. It was like going the gym where only Verdi & Puccini could give me the proper work out. The music was hard, but I loved the challenge. Even when I hadn’t practiced too much, we just picked up where we left off the week before. No lesson was ever the same – even if the songs were. She was a great teacher and mentor.
I grew to love her much.
Singing is one of my greatest pleasures. I sing when I’m happy; I sing when I’m sad; I’ve sung my children to sleep; and, on a rare occasion when I have the chance, I still sing to wake them up. Singing allows me to express the hidden parts of me where no words suffice.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above,” (Jas 1:17) and my voice is a gift from my heavenly Father. I do not take it for granted. Since being home with my children, I have put that gift to His service in a whole bunch of ways in the Church. Before singing, I pray to Our Lady, Queen of the Angels, to let the angels sing through me and touch the hearts and minds of those who hear it so that they will be drawn closer to Jesus and give glory only to God. When someone compliments me after singing, “You sound like an angel,” I praise the Lord knowing that prayer has been answered.
Jackie was also a gift from my heavenly Father for which I will be eternally grateful. She passed away last Wednesday, and she will be buried today. A bittersweet goodbye awaits me because she is free of the Alzheimer’s disease that robbed her of herself. But now she sings in freedom with the heavenly choirs, praising and blessing God.
Rest in peace, my dear friend. Thank you for this amazing life-long gift you gave me. Every note I sing will have a part of you in it,
All you angels and saints, pray for us! Anne