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Can Josh Groban's music be catholic after all!?!

Ampatamia's picture
on May 7, 2007 - 7:03pm

Dear Josh - Four years ago, when I began to subscribe to FOJG.com, I wrote a few entries where I was angry with you about how you were marketing your music. I discovered that your music was being sold by Ignatius Press - a publishing and sales company that caters to orthodox Catholics. I was angry because they put your albums in the category of Catholic music. How can your music be called Catholic if you are not a Catholic, you are not living as a Catholic, and only you know if you have a vibrant and personal relationship with Jesus Christ? But everyone who sees you in the Ignatius Press catalogues will think that your are Catholic when you are not. I felt like you were preying on Catholic psyche just to make a God-Almighty dollar. That was unethical to me.

But about a year later. I heard the president of Ignatius Press speak on my favorite Catholic talk show called Catholic Answers. He spoke primarily about the antics of Charlotte Church. He spoke about how Ingatius Press chooses to support musical artist whose music is GOOD, BEAUTIFUL AND TRUE. Well, that definitely described you and your music. So your won the fight, hands down. Now Ignatius Press advertises ALL THREE ALBUMS in a section along with Andrea Bocelli titled TOWERING TENORS. By the way, what's up with this tenor thing - I thought that you were a baritone? Well I guess only you would know. LOL.

The reason that I chose to revisit this topic is because of the Grobie friend that I wrote about in my last entry. She did write me back and she said that she wanted to continue the correspondence. I replied once again, but I have not heard from her since then. This is a bit unusual because even if she is busy, she does email me a short paragraph letting me know when she will write back. Not a word from her for at least a week. I wonder what is up.

Maybe she decided to slip away so that she would not have to deal with my endless jibber-jabber about the theology and spirituality of your music. She would not be the first Grobie to run away from such a topic. I seem to have that effect on people around here. And who knows? If by some profound miracle of fate, YOU TOO are reading my journal, you are probably screaming and running as far away from your computer as fast as you can until I disappear. I do not think that you want to know about the theology and spirituality that I hear every day in your music. I think that you just want to make romantic music that sells.

Well, if I am wrong and she decides to return, I am going to have to be more precise in how I explain what I am hearing in your music, and that is why I am returning to this old topic of Catholic music.

Josh, the word Catholic comes from the Greek word catholicos meaning "universal" Please forgive my incorrect spelling of the abovementioned word - my Greek is pretty lousy these days. When this word is written with a capital C, it refers to the Roman Catholic Church. When it is written with a lower case c it is a word that means universal.

Josh, your music is catholic - with a lowercase c. When you sing a love song with that beautiful voice, you touch an experience that is universal for the thousands of people in your audience. We all hunger to be loved by another. Ultimately, that hunger can only be satisfied in the presence of God. In the timeless words of St. Augustine: "Our hearts are restless until they rest in You O Lord."

The romantic union of the Lover and the Beloved has traditionally been the backdrop for the spiritual journey. The God who is Love pusues us tirelessly and we are always searching to find him. If you do not believe me, go to the Bible and read the Song of Songs which is in the Old Testament. You will then know what I am talking about.

The great Catholic mystics like St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila and St. Catherine of Siena also speak about their spiritual journey in this manner as well. The relationship between God and His people is like a relationship between a Lover and His Beloved. Traditional Christian music does not touch on this relationship. It focuses mostly on salvation and Scripture. I like Christian music, but I would rather hear music that resonates with my spiritual journey because this journey is so difficult, and I need any consolation that I can find in this side of the veil. Your music has given me that consolation Josh, and you have given me a priceless gift. Thank you so much. Please,please never change.

It is getting late and I must end my ramblings for the night. You can return to your computer once again, Josh Groban. I will not bother you any more. All that I ask is that God may continue to bless you abundantly wherever you are.

Sincerely,

Ampatamia, the least of the Grobanites.

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