Monday, March 24, 2014

Singing the Song

"Why was there a sexual revolution? Because Christians stopped singing the Song of Songs."
- Christopher West

Sr. Cristina Scuccia is an Ursuline nun from Sicily. She is also a powerhouse vocalist and contestant on Italy's version of The Voice, a clever musical talent show where judges judge solely by what their ears are picking up. In this case, they picked a consecrated woman in full habit. 

So passion meets purity. And this seeming contradiction is the exact kind of cultural contraband the media loves to feed off of. A nun belting out an Alicia Keyes tune on stage? Scandalous. Does the Vatican know about this? 

What's sad is the age we live in which thinks that passion and purity are polar opposites. Watching Sr. Cristina sing her heart out (and boy she does) is really the purest of passions and the possible sign of an authentic and integrated self. 

There is something powerful about witnessing this kind of purified passion, one striped of all pretense and pomp. It shoots straight up and hits the clouds, leaving a tiny place through which graces can fall down. During Sr. Cristina's performance on The Voice, one hit Italian rapper J-Ax right in the eyes. As Sister brought her notes to a climactic close, it was clear he was visibly and perhaps spiritually moved. 

Perhaps her witness to the integration of passion and purity will begin a healing for him? Maybe the impressions he's always had of nuns, priests, Catholics, and Church in general have been of prohibition and prudery? Well, may this be the beginning of the end of that way of thinking. She chose him as her voice coach. And something tells me that this little sister knows something about how grace works. 

"Instead of seeming to impose new obligations, they should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but “by attraction”.
- Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel, 15

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