September 7, 2018

The power of music: Young adults share soul-lifting soundtrack that inspires, shapes their lives of faith

Catholic musicians Matt Maher and Audrey Assad perform on July 3, 2017, during the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” in Orlando, Fla. Both artists are among the musicians whose songs inspire young people’s lives of faith. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Catholic musicians Matt Maher and Audrey Assad perform on July 3, 2017, during the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” in Orlando, Fla. Both artists are among the musicians whose songs inspire young people’s lives of faith. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

By John Shaughnessy

Think of the power that music has in your life—how songs can touch you, motivate you and lift you.

Now consider the power that your faith has in your life—how it can inspire you, comfort you and fill you with joy.

Then there is the impact that can result when the powers of music and faith are combined.

With that impact in mind, The Criterion posed a question to several young adults whose love of music and the Catholic faith marks their lives: “If you were asked to help put together a playlist of faith-related songs that you think would inspire, connect with and draw youths and young adults closer to God and their Catholic faith, what would you put on the playlist?”

The song choices of these five young adults have been put together to create a soul-lifting soundtrack of 15 songs.

Here is a list of the songs they have chosen, the artists who perform them, and the reasons each young adult gave for adding their choices to the playlist. (See the directions for hearing this playlist of songs on Spotify at the end of this story.)

Song choices from Matt Faley, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Young Adult and College Campus Ministry. He’s also a musician, singer, songwriter and father of three.

  • “The Voice of Jesus” by Andrew Peterson. “I love the simple and poetic way this song speaks to the longing we all have for Jesus. This song speaks to me, especially since becoming a father.”
  • “I Shall Not Want” by Audrey Assad. “This is a song that beautifully depicts the prayer of humility.”
  • “Let It Happen” by United Pursuit. “This song speaks to the innocence we are all longing to return to. Working in ministry with young adults, I feel this song represents how we try to frame our message.”

Song choices from Madison Kinast, assistant director of the archdiocese’s Office of Young Adult and College Campus Ministry.

  • “Everything Changes” by Judah & the Lion. “This song relates to me as a young person because sometimes I feel like I live in a constant state of transition. This song hits home the fact that ‘everything changes,’ but references the one thing and person who always stays the same.”
  • “A Man Named Job” by Ryan Proudfoot. “This song beautifully tells the story of Job and his ultimate trust in and faithfulness to the Lord and his goodness.”
  • “Please Come Home” by Dustin Kensure. “This tells the story of the Prodigal Son from the perspective of the father. So well done.”

Song choices from Rebecca Kovert, event and volunteer coordinator in the archdiocese’s Office of Young Adult and College Campus Ministry.

  • “Wonder” by Bethel Music and Amanda Cook. “I love this song because I think it is important to remember to have the wonder of a child. I often complicate things by trying to make sense of them. This song is especially powerful when contemplating the beauty of Christ in the Eucharist.”
  • “Wake” by Hillsong Young & Free. “It breaks outside of what I think a lot of people think of when they think of Christian music. It’s a great song to jump around and dance to, and to shout your thankfulness to Jesus.”
  • “O Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship. “It is such a beautiful song to meditate on the gravity of what Christ did for us. The sacrifice of the Mass is so powerful, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in the motions of Mass and forget about the reality of what it means for us: salvation and new life.”

Song choices from Scott Williams, director of the archdiocese’s Office of Youth Ministry.

  • “Ave Maria” by Matt Faley. “Matt brings the joy of Christ in his songs. This version of ‘Ave Maria’ leads me deep into the mystery of Mary’s love for us.”
  • “Fear Is a Liar” by Zach Williams. “This song just reminds me to be fearless and helps bring courage during difficult times.”
  • “What a Friend” by Matt Maher. “I like the lyrics in this song, ‘For ever and ever, His heart is my home.’ ”

Song choices from Mary Kate Shanahan, assistant director of the archdiocese’s Office of Youth Ministry.

  • “Blessed Are The Ones” by Audrey Assad. “I love how this song provokes a yearning to live out the Corporal Works of Mercy and living a life in service to others.”
  • “Brother” by Needtobreathe featuring Gavin DeGraw. “‘Brother’ is a great song that reminds us of our need for the love, support and protection of others, and also how God calls us to be a ‘brother’ for others.”
  • “The Breakup Song” by Francesca Battistelli. “I love how empowering this song is. Through the lyrics, we hear how we are called to go out and live boldly and authentically as the person that we were created to be.”

(There are two ways to hear this playlist of songs. Both require an account with Spotify, which can be set up free of charge. The first way is to search “Young Adult & College Campus Ministry” on Spotify and follow the playlist, “Playlist ft. in The Criterion.” The second option is to go to www.indycatholic.org/get-involved.html and then find the playlist link under “ways to grow”.)

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