Can you hear God in the music?

Blog by Sr. Beata Tiboldi

Most of us like to listen to music, right? There are several motivations why we choose to listen to music: it can provide a good pace/rhythm for exercising, it can soothe the soul, it can help us be more creative, it can even affect an unborn baby as well, and the list could go on.

Listening to music helps me deepen my relationship with God. A few years ago, when I got very frustrated, I would get in my car, and blast the song, “Lord, I need you” by Matt Maher, until my frustration dissipated and his words became my words as well.

Other times, I heard God in the “still small voice”, like Jenna Woods sings in “Still small voice”, or in “The Wind” by Cat Stevens when he sings: “where I’ll end up, well, I think only God really knows.” Singing songs from Taizé does the same for me.

I recently heard: “Set a fire” by Will Reagan. The song says it all: “so set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain and I can’t control. I want more of you God.” To be able to preach in a way that sets the world on fire with God’s love, like St. Catherine of Siena said, starts with recognizing the fire of God’s love in us, and then, we can spread it.

Music can help us tune our ears and hearts to God. It can move us into a direction that helps us discover God’s desire with us. I asked a few sisters, “What song would you choose to describe religious life?” Here are a few responses:

  • Heal the World” by Michael Jackson, because it is about making the world a better place, and as vowed religious, we also are missioned to do so.
  • Be God’s…” by Danielle Rose, because it inspires us to bring God’s love to others.
  • Where You Lead” by Carole King, because God is calling us to follow God wherever God leads us, knowing that God will always be with us along the way.
  • Thankful” sung by Josh Groban, because religious life provides so many people and opportunities to be grateful for, especially those who call, encourage, and support me to be the person God wants me to be. 
  • The Same Love” by Paul Baloche, because the same Love, which set captives free and opened the eyes of the blind to see, called me by name and keeps calling.
  •  “Go Make a Difference” by Steve Angrisano and Tom Tomaszek, because it really speaks to what we do and what religious life is about.
  • We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, because we are family in the Dominican Order, and it’s a song that speaks of unity.
  • Every Praise” by Hezekiah Walker, because it has a lot of energy and it helps to motivate us.
  • All My Days” by Dan Schutte, because it is our deepest desire to praise God.

Do you hear God’s voice in any of these songs?

What songs do you like to listen to that help you tune your heart to God?

Posted in God Calling?, News

7 responses to “Can you hear God in the music?

  1. Sr. Beata,
    I too like listening to music that inspires me and brings me closer to God. I am so happy that you provided me with a whole bunch of new songs to try!
    Patti Herrick

  2. Thank you Bea!
    I have many instrumental – some even call ‘new age’ – music that I like to listen to – from David Nevue to Helen Jane Long and Enya to David Lang. Then, of course, I like the classical sets too – especially Barber’s Adago for Strings.

  3. Great reflection, Bea. Music, both songs and instrumental are frequently a wonderful enranceway to prayer that is contemplative. Thank you.


  4. Great reflection, Bea. Thank you! Music has always been one of my main ways of praying, hearing God’s voice, and knowing God’s presence. And there are studies that confirm that singing together in church or at worship release chemicals that bring healing and calm to the human body.

    Continue to preach it,

  5. Well done Sr. Beata. I love listening to music too, especially
    on the piano, as my uncle would play ‘Jealousy’; and we
    would listen to him play for hours!!!

    God bless you,

    Sr. Margie Millet
    Columbus, OH

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