Have you ever heard the music of John Michael Talbot? You know the stuff. Calming and peaceful. Reflective.
A parish near us recently hosted a three evening parish mission/reflection done by him. I had the opportunity to attend two nights with Gianna and one of those nights our whole family attended.
While I had to take a crying Gianna out of the church both evenings, I was still able to enter in to the peace and prayerfulness of the message to benefit. But really, who am I kidding? His voice could pretty much soothe me to sleep and peacefulness any time of day!
I remember my dad owning cassettes of JMT's many years ago and the serenity that flowed from his music was always something I appreciated. I could have listened to him in person for hours if he kept on playing his acoustic guitar and singing. Unfortunately, he didn't sing for hours and it wasn't a concert as much as it was a teaching. I was ok with that though.
The first evening he shared his story and background singing (did you know that he's recorded over 50 albums?)with the likes of Janis Joplin in his early years. He also shared of his conversion to Catholicism and entering the Christian music scene.
The second evening he focused on the Hail Mary Prayer and the Jesus Prayer. These were his focus because his soon to be released album was written with both of these as the theme. He reminded us that Pope John Paul II has said that the Church must breathe from both lungs--the eastern and western. The western tradition began the incorporation of the Marian prayer, the Hail Mary, and the eastern tradition brought about the Jesus Prayer.
John Michael Talbot taught us the Jesus Prayer and the symbolism in it. The Jesus Prayer can also be prayed on the rosary beads as a reflective prayer as well. These are the words:
'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.'
Having sat through his explanation and teaching how to prayerfully relax and meditate on these words as they are slowly prayed, it became easier to see what a beautiful prayer it is.
I've been recalling it numerous times as a quick prayer offering during the day.
Although I would've loved to hear more of his singing, John Michael Talbot offered a short and sweet mini-retreat of sorts that my family all enjoyed.
You can downloaded his newest release, "Worship And Bow Down", through iTunes now or wait for its release June 21st. Go check out all of his music and books on his website.
Psst...stay tuned here in the coming weeks. I've got a giveaway coming and maybe you can score yourself some of his music!