Music and Spirituality: Message At the Top

I've often found inspiration and meaning in songs that aren't normally classified as "spiritual." There are many songs that speak truth to me about my relationship with the Divine and the Spirit, but very few could be considered liturgical, gospel, or even Christian. I've tried to collect these songs, assuming no one else would understand such inspiration.

Fortunately, friars such as Fr. Mike Scully of St. Fidelis Church here in Victoria, KS does. He's a great guy, but here's his bio from his website:

Father Michael Scully has spent most of his 40-plus years of ministry working with youth as a religion teacher, high school administrator, youth pastor, and parish pastor. In talks and retreats for high school and college youth, his presentation, "Rock Music and Leadership," has been presented to over 30,000 young people. He also has given many parish retreats and recollection days.
Father Mike Scully is currently serving as Pastor of St. Fidelis Church, the "Cathedral of the Plains" in Victoria, KS, pastor of St. Ann Church, Walker, KS, and pastor of St. Boniface Church, Vincent, KS. His radio show Message at the Top is aired on KJLS-FM, Mix 103 (103.3) in Hays, KS.

Fr. Scully's show Message At the Top takes the top ten songs of the week and breaks down the actual message behind some of these songs. Songs like: You Found Me by The Fray, If Today Were Your Last Day by Nickelback, and even older songs from John Mayer, Sara Bareilles, and Gavin DeGraw. The biggest surprise: this is all done on the local radio station in Kansas...not on public access or on an AM station. Fr. Mike's show airs on the biggest and most popular station in this part of Kansas.

His show brings a unique twist to songs not always found from older people or even clergy. He recognizes the power and the messages that are contained in songs, and he sees that all music can teach - the question is what does it teach. Even when one of the angrier or more sexually based songs make it onto the list, he does not hesitate to find some good from what is being sung. He admits he has his favorites and a list of songs he doesn't like to hear played, but he feels that too many people dismiss the message of music...rather than recognizing how it works with in us - especially the youth.

Fr. Mike's show Message At the Top, a ministry of the Mid-America Capuchins, verified a lot of what I felt about music and it's affect on my spirituality. I dropped the Music and Spirituality aspect of my blog for a time, simply because I didn't feel people were connecting with that form of contemplation as opposed to more traditional methods (devotions, Lexio Devina, etc).

Last week I had the opportunity to "guest host" his show. I may ask to join him again, and perhaps submit one of my song reflections to his list. If I go again, I will be sure to get pictures.

If you are anywhere near Hays, Kansas on Sundays between 10-12 (the station is too small to have live streaming of their broadcasts), be sure to tune in to 103.3. It may not be the ordinary ministry of the Capuchin Franciscans, but it's uniqueness and popularity tell me that someone is listening.

Transcripts of his last show can be found at his site for Message At the Top.

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