Monday 25th December, 2017
Monday morning dawned cool and wet, a contrast from the heat of the last couple of days. Despite the weather, a few brave people met at 6am for exercise. At 7am the young people met with their respective mentor groups, followed by worship, which was taken by Br Larry Ah-ching. Worship was entitled “Shine the Light,” and we were reminded that ALL who receive the light of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men. We need to be a mirror that reflects Christ’s light to others. This must start in the home. Unity in the home will flow into unity in the church, and unity in the church will spread its light to the world. No one will enter heaven who does not labour together with God. The work cannot be finished unless we each do our part.
Our first lecture for the day was taken by Sr Barbara Montrose and entitled “Understanding Sacred Music”, the Sacred vs the Profane; Building up, not Tearing down. This was a deeply interesting and enlightening lecture, as she showed us from science the effects that music, good or bad, has on the brain and the emotions. Classical music, such as that from the Baroque era, relaxes the pulse and heartbeat and increases learning ability. We were shown results from a study where rats had to work their way through a maze to find the cheese. Classical music helped them solve the maze much faster, but after listening to rock music, they took at least twice as long as they had in the beginning. Certain rhythms cause memory and learning problems, and it has been shown that rock music causes frontal lobe shrinkage. Sr Barbara went on to share with us the Seven Principles of Sacred Music, and these are:
- Cheerful, yet Solemn Melodies
- Beauty, Pathos, Power
- Clear, Distinct, with Solemnity and Awe
- Not to be Ill-Prepared
- Simple, Natural Sounding
- Free from Fleshly Sensuality
- Not to resemble Worldly Music
After a delicious lunch we had choir rehearsal. All those from the orchestra who would be joining us in singing certain pieces, took part in this rehearsal. After a short break the choir continued practicing alone while the orchestra returned to practicing their pieces.
Tea followed, after which we had the second lecture of the day, “The Gospel of Jonah” taken by Br Liviu Tudoroiu. Br Tudoroiu titled the four chapters of Jonah this way:
- An Angry Prophet in the Hands of a Merciful God
- Jonah’s Night of Trouble
- Jonah’s Loud Cry
- A Merciful Father in the Eyes of an Angry Prophet
Yesterday we covered the first two chapters of Jonah; today we covered the last two. We are shown in Jonah that those we consider hopeless, the worst sinners imaginable, God still draws to Himself. In fact, Sr White tells us that they are the very ones He is drawing to Himself by His mercy and love; and if they turn to God with repentance and give their heart to Him, they will be nearest the throne in heaven. “The Lord Jesus imparts all the powers, all the grace, all the penitence, all the inclination, all the pardon of sins, in presenting His righteousness for man to grasp by living faith–which is also the gift of God. If you would gather together everything that is good and holy and noble and lovely in man and then present the subject to the angels of God as acting a part in the salvation of the human soul or in merit, the proposition would be rejected as treason.” Faith and Works, p. 24.