Why I am catholic ….. it’s got soul!
Duke Ellington, Dextor Gordon, Cannonball Adderly, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker – What do all of these gentlemen have in common? Yes they are great jazz players. Yes they all play saxophone. Yes – they all have that thing we call “Soul”, that intangible, unseeable something that makes their music touch our soul!
Lately, well the last few years anyway, I have come to appreciate jazz more and more. Probably due to the interest that my son has in jazz itself and the fact that he also plays the saxophone (tenor and alto) and is looking to make his mark or career in music someday. Jazz (imo), is unscripted and yet flows like a river down a mountain, very gentle with a sudden roar, peaceful at the end. And you feel it’s soul through each instrument.
The sacred scriptures tells us that someday Jesus will come again to raise the living and the dead. Paul, I believe, also tells us that our spirit will continue to live on even after our physical bodies die. We say a prayer “Oh my Jesus, Forgive us of our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.” We pray for those who have just died(especially Margret McGrath) in this life and now await until Jesus returns in glory. All of us have soul!
Where did this soul come from you ask, well of course from the beginning from God. In Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” It’s hard to imagine that without a soul we are merely like animals without a soul and we would only be interested in survival. And at times we behave like animals, instinctively, without remorse or thought of what lies ahead for us. And since we have been created in the image of God we are all born with a good soul!
Aristotle defined the soul as the essence or definition of a living being. St. Thomas Aquinas believes the soul to be the first principal of the body. Different people including pyschologists, scienctists, medical doctors and other philosophers have tried to explain, contain and even weigh the soul. This is what I enjoy about not being a scientist or even a pyschologist, when it comes to explaining our soul or even how when came to be, they have no better explaination than the homeless standing in line at the soup kitchen. Stephen Hawking, a “great” physicist/mathamatician, explains the beginning of th universe this way ( a “new” discovery he detailed last year in a new book I believe – and this is not a quote) — because I can not explain how we came into being means that their is a God. Well Stephen since I believe that you have a good soul because you do keep searching for an answer to our existence, I will help you understand that deep in your soul you know their is a God.
So when we are giving from heart and soul we are drawn closer to God.