I headed up to the retreat house this past weekend for the annual Chapel Choir retreat. As always, it was a wonderful weekend of music and love and fellowship. This year, our theme was "Into the Heart of Mercy." And let me tell you, I was shown a lot of mercy this weekend, something all of us so desperately need.
Technically, the worldly reason for this retreat is so that we can have more rehearsal time for Lessons & Carols, which is Friday, December 9th at 5:00pm (Mark your calendars!!!). But spiritually, it's a chance for the members of Chapel Choir to build a community and talk about our faith journeys and our struggles.
While I'm not going to talk about the specifics of retreat, I would like to dive into the songs from this weekend, since music is such a large part of my faith.
"I Will Lift My Eyes" by Tony Alonso
Favorite Lyric: "And I will not fear the storm, though it rages around me, for slowly I am learning to place my trust in you."
Trust is definitely a big part of any faith. We have to rely on God, whom we can not see or perceive physically. So we have to practice trusting God and relying on His strength to get us through the highs and lows of our lives.
"Take Me As I Am" by John Bell
Favorite Lyric: "Take, O Take me as I am, summon out what I shall be. Send your seal upon my heart and live in me."
God already loves us for who we are, we don't have to change for Him. And with Him, we can continue to grow as individuals in love.
"Just Be Held" by Casting Crown
Favorite Lyric: "And when you're tired of fighting/ Chained by your control/ There's freedom in surrender/ Lay it down and let it go."
This song in particular has a special place in my heart. It's about surrendering to God, which is very difficult, but also very rewarding.
"How Can I Keep From Singing" by Robert Lowry
Favorite Lyric: "Through all the tumult and the strife,/ I hear that music ringing./ It finds an echo in my soul./ How can I keep from singing?"
Chapel Choir prays through song, praising God with our harmonies and asking for help. What better song for this retreat than this?
"Mercy" by Amanda Howard
Favorite Lyric: "Cause You delight in showing mercy/ And mercy triumphs over judgment."
This song has been stuck in my head since I first heard it and its lyrics really speak to me. If there's anything that I've learned at this Jesuit Institution, it's the power of God's love and mercy. God encourages us to be merciful instead of judgmental, to care for the less fortunate and those experiencing homelessness. It's our duty as Christians and as human beings to care for those who cannot care for themselves in whatever way we can.
For more information about retreats through Campus Ministry, click here! You won't regret it!