While we still have one not quite out of the woods, everyone slept through the night for the first time in a week! Deo Gratias!
Sorry to be pre-occupied with this bug the past few days, but lack of sleep can do that to you. Some religious orders fast from sleep. I think it is harder than fasting from food.
Here's a thought from Furrow by St. Josemaria Escriva:
Optimism? Yes always! Even when things seem to turn out badly: perhaps that is the time to break into song, with a Gloria, because you have sought refuge in Him, and nothing but good can come to you from Him.
I used not to think much of St. Augustine's words that singing was praying twice (do I have that right?). But over the years, I have found that there is something about singing which can direct your whole being to the object of the song in a way that mere words can't. This is why lovers put their words to music, so they can express more fully their feelings. Thus it is so in praying to God. (I am not talking "Say Hey to the Carpenter" here-but true hymns of praise and thanksgiving to God). One day, out of deep distress, I spontaneously broke into song as my words couldn't express either the depth of my distress, nor my thanksgiving to our Lord for His blessings. The problem didn't go away, but after my prayer, I knew the Lord was with me, and I was able to go on.
I have also learned that God wants not only our minds (because this is what I tend to give Him), but also our hearts. Song helps us to give our hearts. This also why the restoration of singing together-whether hymns or folk songs-is important to the restoration of a Christian culture. People need to know how to give their whole being. Music helps us do this. People resist. Singing makes them self-conscious. But this is exactly why it needs to be done-to thrust aside the self in order to give your entire self in song...
From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...Oremus pro invicem!