Julia Swist, Youth Speak News

Pope Francis has his own pop album

By  Julia Swist, Youth Speak News
  • October 16, 2015

God is calling us. Jesus is calling us. Now, Pope Francis is calling us, except this time he isn’t only using his words, he’s using music.

Coming out on Nov. 27, the Vatican is collaborating with Believe Digital to release a prog-rock-infused album containing a sample of the Pope’ homilies and speeches, titled Wake Up!

There are few things more powerful than the strength music brings to us. Do you ever remember a time when all you felt was pain, tears strolling down your face when you fell into despair? How it was music that eased the pain and taught you to hope? Music motivates many of us and I think it’s amazing Pope Francis has found a way to tie it with our faith.

Thanks to the release of this album I’ll be able to connect to the Pope’s messages on a more personal level. It almost feels like the Pope isn’t talking to a crowd of people but to you alone. Instead of spending hours reading through his words, this album highlights all his most important messages in a way most of us have never heard before.

I don’t think this album is a gimmick used to evangelize, but an effective way to reach out to people. This album shows how Pope Francis is aware of what a modern-day Catholic needs and is more than willing to adjust his methods of speaking out in order to better connect with his audience.

Which makes his words seem even more earnest as he’s willing to do more to get God’s teachings across. After all, it isn’t every day we hear a Pope record an album of what he preaches.

With contemporary music like pop and rock, he shares his fear, his concerns and his beliefs and unashamedly connects to us on a more human level. He talks about his own concerns about global warming, about world peace and the dignity and needs of people worldwide.

Listening to his words from the first single of the album is a whole new experience to me. He calls us all to “Wake Up! Go! Go! Forward!” and tells us, “The Lord speaks of a responsibility that the Lord gives you / It is a duty to be vigilant / Not to allow the pressures, the temptations and the sins to dull our sensibility of the beauty of holiness.” Reminding us that we are all God’s children and we must be careful to never fall into any temptations. A beautiful message one hardly finds in today’s secular pop culture.

There is always a chance that with his recorded speeches being mixed with instrumentation, people might lose sight of the Pope’s message. But on the other hand, there is always a chance this will motivate people to take action. Even if only a few become inspired, it should be considered a success because ultimately the Pope’s goal to reach out to others has been reached.

Sometimes it’s music like this that speaks to us more than anything else in this world. That’s why I must applaud Pope Francis on his ability to come up with such an ingenious way to reach out to people. Instead of using an evangelization gimmick, he tries to connect with us all by the beautiful sound of music.

Now go forth and spread the word.

(Swist, 16, is a Grade 11 student at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto.)

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