Wednesday, October 1, 2014

St. Augustine on Music

I have recently been reading through a delightful little volume titled Augustine Day by Day (hence the recent post from his Confessions).  One of the joys found in reading these daily selections is that you start to notice certain recurrent themes and topics, such as these passages on music:
Dear friends, sing the Psalm with human reason, not like birds.  Thrushes, parrots, ravens, magpies, and the like are often taught to say what they do not understand.  However, to know what we are saying was granted by God's will to human nature.  Hence, we who have learned in the Church to sing God's words should be eager to do so.  We should know and see with a clear mind what we have all sung together with one voice. (Commentary on Psalm 18, 2) 
Indeed, Lord, the days were not long enough as I found wonderful delight in meditating upon the depth of Your design for the salvation of the human race.  I wept at the beauty of Your hymns, and I was powerfully moved at the sweet sound of Your Church's singing.  Those sounds flowed into my ears, and the truth streamed into my heart.  My feeling of devotion overflowed, and the tears ran from my eyes, and I was happy in them. (Confessions IX, 6)
Today's icon of St. Augustine comes from Monastery Icons.

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