God uses music to not only comfort, but to whisper into our hearts. The Monks of Norcia recorded a CD that will guide you on this journey. The Benedicta: Marian Chant from Norcia is the title of the 33-tracks of the Georgian Chant recorded at the monastery in Norcia, Italy. This is a musical experience a person's soul can't miss. The Gregorian Chant is “from an experience of prayer--of receiving God's speech within the soul,” the Monks shared with Beliefnet.
BN: How does God speak to you and us through music, and singing? Our relationship with God is a mystery. God speaks to us in many different ways. I think that God speaks to us in every experience of the beautiful, since He is the source of beauty, and in this sense, we could say that God speaks to us through the beauty of music. But God is entirely spiritual and transcendent, of course, He does not "speak" as we do, much less sing.
Yet He does communicate Himself to us and speak to us, when we read the Bible, as well as in our hearts when we reflect on what we have read, in a personal and intimate way. St. Gregory the Great, the Pope for whom "Gregorian Chant" is named due to his work in consolidating the ancient chants of the Church of Rome, uses beautiful and poetic images to speak about how God speaks to us.
He says that God's Holy Spirit "breathes" into our souls. This breath of the Holy Spirit within the soul is a “hidden word” that “silently sounds”, and even though it is intimately felt, it remains nevertheless impossible to be communicated by the power of speech (cf. St. Gregory the Great; Commentary on the Book of Job; V, 50). Herein lies the power of song: it allows us to express to God and to others in melody that which cannot be communicated by words alone. Gregorian Chant is born precisely like this because it is born from an experience of prayer--of receiving God's speech within the soul.
BN: What makes this CD so special to you? This CD is special to us because it tells the life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who holds a special place in our lives as Christians and as monks. It allows us to express our love for her and for her Son, Christ.
BN: What song is you favorite on the CD and why? My favorite song is the Responsory entitled Vidi Speciosam, a chant sung for the Feast of Mary's Assumption into heaven. It is my favorite piece because in it a lovely text is combined with a beautiful melody in order to convey a sublime mystery--Mary's sacred rest in heaven, where she awaits us and prays for us.
BN: Were you reluctant to go international and public with a record deal? We were a bit reluctant as we had never done something like this before but after having seen the good work De Montfort Music had done with other groups, this encouraged us to take the step forward and make the record deal.
For more information, please visit The Monks of Norcia.