Thursday, April 26, 2012

Prayer to Jacinta

And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it." And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.
 – Mark 10:13-16
Happy Easter to everyone!

You may recall that Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco were the three children that saw the Virgin Mary appear at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. We are approaching the anniversary date on May 13 of the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin.

I was reading an account that Sister Lucia wrote about her cousin Jacinta. In the usual style of saintly people she begins very humbly to tell the story. She was writing at the request of a bishop and begins by insisting that she is not a good writer and so on, but the account is fascinating to read. Lucia has a fine memory for small details which gives real life to her small intimate portrait of her good friend and cousin.

At the top of the story is a poem. I was touched by it and wondered who wrote it. I don't know why I was surprised to find out that it was Lucia herself who was the poetess.

I had been working on a song earlier. I had some chords that I liked and some ideas for a melody. I had been searching for some words that might fit. It may seem like a strange fit to have a bossa nova style song with saintly lyrics. But as I listened to it repeatedly, it began to feel right. I did the first version using Lucia's original words in Portuguese, and then I did a second version with English words that I translated myself. I didn't do a literal translation because I needed the words to fit the song. I think the meaning and sense of what Lucia is saying is conveyed in my translation. But of the two versions, I much prefer the original Portuguese one.

I apologize to Portuguese speakers for my pronunciation. I can understand Portuguese, but don't really speak it properly. I tend to mix in some Spanish pronunciation.

Here is a video of the song which I call "Prayer to Jacinta".



When I was doing the recording, I found that I couldn't sing and play at the same time as I usually do. I just found there was too much syncopation in both the guitar part and the vocals for me to get it right. So I recorded the guitar first and then added the vocals.

I decided to try adding a bass part. I had no idea what it should sound like. I was amazed that I came up with this wonderful bass line. I consider this a minor miracle. At times when I was playing it was as if my fingers had a mind of their own. I've only been playing bass for a few months, so I consider this bass part to be a tiny gift from God. I take it as a bit of encouragement to keep working on songs like this which I feel are inspired by the Holy Spirit.

 + + +

Prece à Jacinta (a poem by Lucía to Jacinta)
[Music by Michael of PublicVigil  © 2011]

Ó tu que a terra
Passaste voando,
Jacinta querida,
Numa dor intensa,
Jesus amando.

Não esqueças a prece
Que eu te pedia.
Sê minha amiga
Junto do trono
Da Virgem Maria.

Lírio de candura,
Pérola brilhante
Oh! lá no Céu
Onde vives triunfante,
Serafim de amor.

Com teu Irmãozinho
Roga por mim
Aos pés do Senhor.

 +++

Prayer to Jacinta
(This is my own, slightly liberal translation. But I think it captures the intent of Lucia.)

You flew through this life
Like a  little bird
My dear friend Jacinta

You sacrificed everything
For love of Christ

Please grant me this favor
I humbly beg of you
Remember our friendship
As you kneel in adoration
Before Our Lady’s throne

O lily of candor

O shining pearl

Now you’re in Heaven
Living eternally 

O Angel of love

With your brother Francisco
My dear friend Jacinta

Pray for me

At Our Lord’s feet

 + + +

Links for more information:
Related Posts:

10 comments:

  1. This is a nice song - it has a good flow to it and a cool bass line, as you said.

    You should definitely keep working at what you are doing. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks LVB. That's high praise coming from you. I know you're a serious music lover.

      I'm trying to get back into blogging after a long break. Hopefully some people are still subscribed and will read these new posts.

      I have a special devotion to Blessed Jacinta. I echo the sentiments of Sister Lucia when she asks of her good friend, "pray for me".

      Delete
  2. I added some links at the bottom of the post. There are links to Sister Lucia's memoirs in English and Portuguese as well as other related information.

    I'm hoping to write some new posts soon. Please give me feedback so that I know if anyone is still reading. I want to write more about Jacinta before the May 13 anniversary of the first Marian apparition at Fatima.

    And I have some other ideas for posts. I have been reading St. Teresa of Avila and have been greatly inspired by her. With her help and that of Blessed Jacinta and the Holy Spirit I hope to revive this blog.

    Also, please let me know of any prayer intentions that you may have. I will be happy to offer my personal prayers or pray a rosary or offer a Mass. May God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Michael, it has been so long since you have updated, I hope we can see a post of yours telling us how you are doing, and your opinion in current affairs.
    Have you read this:
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/religion
    what do you think?

    Ride- :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Ride. Where have you been? I haven't heard from you in so long. I started a new job and haven't had time to keep up my posts.

    I have "written" many articles in my mind over the past few months and just never put them down in words. Part of my confusion is that it's hard to discern what is good Christian writing and what is falling into the diabolical trap of criticizing and protesting.

    So with that said, I looked at the webpage you linked to. It uses one of the typical tactics of the humanists/atheists when attacking a target -- in this case Christianity. Those tactics take the form of criticism and protests. The particular form of criticism used here is "ridicule".

    Just think how easy it is to ridicule anything. It doesn't prove anything from a intellectual debate point of view, but it gives the appearance of making a point. In fact if your opponent attacks you with ridicule it usually indicates that they are desperate and don't want to hear what you are saying. So they resort to ridicule and mockery which are weapons of the weak and ignorant.

    The Romans resorted to ridicule and mockery when they placed the crown of thorns on Our Lord's head. They could not respond to the Truth that He is the Son of God. Later when the centurion witnessed the manner of the death of Jesus he proclaimed, "Truly this was the Son of God!"

    So we have this example from the Gospel that eventually the Truth will be revealed which should increase our faith in God and His Plan -- especially when we are tested as is happening constantly in the times in which we live.

    The purpose of those comics is to destroy our faith in Christianity. It is based on a materialistic outlook of the world, which is of course an incomplete understanding of reality. There is undeniably a greater reality than that which we can perceive -- even when using the most sophisticated scientific instruments. And in response, we see all the New Age spirituality. How easy would it be to ridicule those ideas? Or how easy would it be to ridicule the atheist perspective that there is no God? Did the physical universe just create itself? Did it appear out of nothing? Did life in all its complexity just design itself? Evolution does not answer this question. How is it that we live in a universe that follows certain physical laws that allows the particular combination of atoms and molecules to form that result in the creation of life?

    We don't know the ultimate answer to these questions -- perhaps in the next life we will understand. But we have the revelation of the prophets and of Jesus Christ and of the saints to guide us in these matters. And we have the interpretation of those revelations by the Church over the centuries. I prefer to trust the accumulated wisdom of the Church rather than the latest modern ideas that come along.

    Sadly it is these false modern ideas that are taught to our children in the schools while ignoring the real Truth. This is done sometimes in subtle ways through the choice of literature that is studied. Notice that the classics are ignored while modern (humanist) authors are emphasized. This is certainly no coincidence. This is an attempt to create a "new man" -- not the one that St. Paul speaks of -- that is indoctrinated with humanist ideas. The purpose is to replace the "old man" which is Christian culture. This is done through erasing the culture that Christianity created -- its literature, music, values.

    It has been so successful that we now have parents teaching their children humanist ideas while thinking that they are passing on Christian values. A whole generation has been corrupted by these false ideas and they continue to spread. Christianity itself has been corrupted and weakened. But somehow the Body of Christ will respond. There will always be a faithful remnant to rekindle the flame. The prophets remind us of this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. P.S. One thing I should let you know is that I'm planning on removing a large number of older posts that I don't feel now are reflective of my understanding of Christianity and Catholicism.

    BTW, did you like the song to Jacinta?

    ReplyDelete
  6. I understand your position, I'm in college and that has taken most of my time. :) Christian blogs can sometimes be judgmental, maybe because we are in a constant need to define morality in this world. I think the best thing you can do is to talk about ideas more than people. To inspire. Even though I always like to know your opinion about current affairs or people.
    The song is lovely, the rhythm reminded me of Brazilian music. Well done!
    It is easy to ridicule faith, that's why we need to know where we stand and why.

    P.S. Your blog changed a lot, so it's natural that you decided to erase some of your posts and I support it. Although I like a lot your film analysis, in special Gattaca.
    Also, what do you think about Melinda Gates providing birth control?

    God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ride, I started to write a long reply to your question about Melinda Gates. But I think we need to be careful not to blame others for the state of the world. We have to realize the part that we play.

    I think we need to avoid getting trapped into arguments about the latest humanist attack on the Church. We just need to practice our faith. If we did that then the rest of the problems would take care of themselves. The Church has taught us well about contraception and abortion, but many Catholics do not follow the Church's teachings. It's not an easy thing, but we are called to sacrifice as Christ sacrificed for us.

    I hope you noticed that I began posting again. I appreciate very much your comments. Please drop a line whenever you get a chance. I just don't think I will be writing about current events the way I used to.

    Right now there is the new Obama controversy going on. I have no interest in writing about it, or even learning about it. I have written already on problems within the Church hierarchy, so I'm not at all surprised by this latest turn of events. Some of our bishops seem to say one thing but do something else.

    Michael Voris has been doing an excellent job of covering some of these issues. He's changed the name of his website. It is now ChurchMilitant.TV. His YouTube channel is:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/ChurchMilitantTV

    I have been watching it every day. I have to say that I find myself agreeing more and more with Michael's positions.

    God bless you too! Please say a prayer for me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "I think we need to avoid getting trapped into arguments about the latest humanist attack on the Church. We just need to practice our faith."

    Amen. There is so much wisdom in these words. If we seek and follow God the best we can every day of our lives, everything else will go exactly the way it is supposed to - whether we understand or like it is never really the issue. We must put our trust in God completely. Period.

    God's ways are not our ways, and His plan is not something we can even begin to understand, so faith is the only answer to our fear and sadness for the many crimes and injustices we see around us.

    Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's - and we are definitely living under a similar tyranny as in Roman times, which can only become worse as human vanity and hubris increases with our "leaders" all believing that they are gods, but denying the one true God that created all of us and everything we have ever known.

    God bless you. I pray for you and appreciate your prayers for me, as well. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear LVB. It is so good to hear from you. We've come a long way haven't we? I will pray for you.

    Temptation comes in many forms. There is the temptation you speak of to try to solve things on our own without God's help.

    Blessed Jacinta was transformed by a vision of Hell which the Virgin revealed to her. Today was the 13th, the day of the month that the Virgin appeared for 6 months beginning in May and ending in the Miracle of the Sun on October 13.

    Jacinta prayed for the conversion of sinners so they would not go to the Hell which she saw. God in His mercy wants us all to share in His glory, but it is up to us to hear the call of the Good Shepherd.

    I pray that we may allow God's will to work in our lives. I pray that we may all be one as Christ desired. I pray that we may receive Christ, the bread of life that nourishes and heals not just the body but more importantly the soul.

    I give thanks for all the blessings that God has poured out on us and I pray that God will make us living vessels that he can pour his graces into. So that we can be shining examples of Christ's love in the world.

    ReplyDelete