Years ago I saw a documentary on oil wells that had been set ablaze during the Iraq War. Black smoke bellowed into the sky blotting out the sun, creating ominous darkness. Haunting sounds of roaring fires jetted out of the wells as a voice in the background quoted terrifying verses. The documentary represented the darkness of evil in our world.
It doesn’t take a dramatic documentary to experience evil. Our daily news is filled with it. Children from Syria gaze at us from their refugee camps. Enormous death sentences ring out from Egypt. North Korea, China, Russia and parts of Africa are forever fomenting dark clouds.
The Gospel of St. John speaks of Christ the “light of the world,” and yet when we seek it, it’s difficult to find. In our tumultuous times, how can we maintain a healthy balance and, more important, be the light Christ wished for?
Plato gives us one answer in writing: “Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” In Psalm 98:5, we are again pointed to the power of music, “Sing praise to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and melodious song.”
To be Christ’s light in the midst of the evil’s darkness, we need music in our heart as well as its powers of harmony. Evil spawns cacophony, discord and harshness, a cloud in the human spirit. Harmony gives it light and strength.
How well-disposed are we in desiring to be the light of Christ? Before contending with outside evils bombarding us, we need to examine our disposition toward ourselves, our neighbors and God.
Are we thankful for being who we are, or do we dislike our self-image? Do we see the good side of people, or are we always finding faults in others? When national disasters, such as tornadoes, afflict others, do we maintain the faith of Job in God or the distrust and skepticism of St. Thomas?
Like never before, the new age of the media is bombarding our human psyche with the world’s evils. This constant bombardment is causing some to be overwhelmed by darkness and to become dysfunctional. We now live in a post-postmodern age, calling for imaginative ways to create music in our hearts and be the light Christ inspires.