SadhanaOriental meditation and christian prayer

Other ways of praying

【8】Praying with masterpieces of music – A prayer of a Christian (real example)

 Let’s listen to J.S. Bach’s choral “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Cantata No. 147, BWV 147)” in a room where early summer sunlight and wind gently comes in through the window.
 We hear a tender voice from somewhere.
 “I am always, always with you, whenever you are in trouble, in difficulties, or ill in bed.”
 It seems the voice that we hear through the music is that of a man who always walks with us.  Let’s talk to him.  “Who are you?”  And you will hear his answer, “I am always with you, whether you are asleep or awake.”
When I was listening to the radio during Lent, I heard “Leçons de Ténèbres for Holy Wednesday” written by François Couperin using the text of the prophecies of Jeremiah.  At the end of each lecon appears “Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” a lamentation over ruined Jerusalem.
 Jesus is on the way from Bethany to Jerusalem to be crucified.  On top of the hill, a brilliant temple is seen.  Seeing the temple and the city, Jesus wept over them, saying “Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Luke 13:34, 19:41).”  On the way to Calvary, he urged conversion.  “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children (Luke 23:28).” 
 On Easter, “Motet de Paques: Victoria! Christo resurgenti” by François Couperin is sung.  In the singing voice of “…Alleluia, Alleluia,” I can hear “Surely, Jesus has risen!”
 Let’s start walking towards new encounters!

 Thirty years ago, I visited the world peace memorial cathedral, desperate for help because of my illness as well as difficult relationships with others.  It was the day of a regular organ concert.  The choral “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Cantata No. 147, BWV 147 by J.S. Bach)” was performed.   Listening to the performance, I followed the lyrics in German and Japanese translation, and I read, “I am always with you, when you are sick in bed, and when you are in trouble.”  I was certain of it.  My eyes were gradually filled with tears.  “Oh, God is always beside me!”  I quietly sobbed.  After the performance, I looked at the same lyrics again.  It said, “I have Jesus.  Jesus loves me and he gives himself to me…”  But it did not say that he is always with me.  I checked many times, but that was what it said.  When I was listening to the piece, the words I read were “I am always with you, when you are sick in bed, and when you are in trouble.”
On Easter in the following year, I was baptized.


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