September 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm
http://www.reverbnation.com/play_now/5297004 click this to hear the song
*a picture of my dad, who fought in the Solomon Islands during WWII; his conversion story is told in the entry entitled "Booze Blues Cruise" on this blog
This song was almost like a prediction. I will explain that in a moment. It’s a unique song in that I wrote it with no consciousness of Living Waters at all. At the time, in my mind, Living Waters was moribund as a performance group. There was not the slightest expectation I would ever do the song with them. Well, lo and behold, the 2004 Reunion happened and, while we were practicing and planning, as an afterthought, I brought out this song. Someone must have asked if I had written anything in those past few years. Well, this was it. It gelled almost instantly. I believe we were practicing in Tony’s cellar. In our more recent jams this past year, this is one we’re going to every time. We love it, and why not? It doesn’t get anymore JOYous than E-ternal life, my friend! The transition from the bracketing quiet intro and ending with that catchy, rejoicing cant in the middle alludes to both the solemnity and desperateness AND the total joy of the death experience. I left the final chord unresolved on purpose to hint at eternity.
I remember walking outside in Hudson, MA when this song dropped on me like a rock. This was a horribly stressful time when we were losing everything. In the song, I felt deeply what it must feel like to be at the dying moment, feeling my trust in my Savior being stretched and tested to the ripping point as I struggled with accepting the process of what felt like dying. It was amazingly real. And then came the blessed answer: the Heart of the Lord. The pierced Sacred Heart is the ultimate symbol of just how much we can trust Jesus. The answer: make my heart like your own Heart. As long as we give all we have in love, we are already at home with the Lord and dying is just a minor transition.
The next year my father died with great suffering. And then the following year, my mother died. I was able to be with her and it was a holy death. She had had an operation for water on the brain a few years back. It was done by the man who invented it and he had a success rate of 99% or something. Well, this was the 1%. My mother lost most of her short term memory. Do you know how bad people get worse as they age and good people get better? With her filter gone, the kindliness and sweet charity my mother had built up came flowing out, the fruit of a lifetime of virtue. All of the VA loved her so much. She was a saint. It was then in 2001, watching my mother die, that it fully struck me what the song had been about all along. It had predicted what happened with my parents. It was a perfect preparation for my experience with my mother. I eulogized her at her funeral Mass and testified to everyone there about the fact that she and my dad had PROVED that to live in the love of God is eternally worthwhile. I hope you like it!