As musicians, we're creatives. As Catholics, we have the Holy Spirit – through which God the Father created the world (Genesis 1:1) – on our side. Yet how often do we invite the Holy Spirit into the creative work that we do, especially when we're experiencing a creative block, or when we're unsure how to handle a tricky situation in our work?
Integrating our music and our faith is so important to living an integrated life. Sometimes it's crystal clear as to how we're being asked to integrate the two. Other times, it's considerably less clear for various reasons. There are many moments and experiences that we could integrate the two but don't that we overlook simply because we don't take enough time to ask ourselves how we can incorporate our faith into our profession.
For many of us, one overlooked opportunity to integrate these two areas of our lives is experiencing creative blocks. While creative blocks are incredibly frustrating and disheartening (especially when a deadline is approaching!), they can actually become an incredible opportunity to integrate these two important components of our lives. How? By learning to co-create and co-operate with the Holy Spirit. When a creative block strikes, create a habit of entrusting that moment and your work to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to shine His light into your work and help you find the way forward.
Another instance of overlooked opportunities can be difficult situations in our workplaces. For example, if you're a music educator, you've probably had to deal with at least one irritated (or worse, irate) parent, or maybe you've had a delicate situation to navigate with some of your students. Those situations can be really stressful. What's the right thing to say? What's the right course of action here? Taking a moment to invite the Holy Spirit into the situation before going into it can be incredibly helpful before you begin to look for a solution.
Remember the gifts of the Holy Spirit? These are given to us at Baptism and brought to fullness in the Sacrament of Confirmation. These seven gifts – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord – are what enabled the early Church to grow so quickly, and they've fueled the saints throughout history.
Yet, for most Catholics today, these gifts never cross our minds. It's time to change that! The gifts of wisdom, fortitude, and understanding might be just what you need when facing a tough situation at work. Or the gifts of understanding and knowledge might be precisely how the Holy Spirit wants to help you overcome your creative block and shine His light into the situation.
Because here's the thing – the Holy Spirit wants to help you! The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us this:
"When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the "Paraclete," literally, "he who is called to one's side," ad-vocatus. "Paraclete" is commonly translated by "consoler," and Jesus is the first consoler. The Lord also called the Holy Spirit "the Spirit of truth."" – CCC 692
The Holy Spirit is your advocate and your consoler. He is the Spirit of truth. What an incredible gift He is to us! The next time you're facing a tough situation or you're struggling with a creative block, try going to the Holy Spirit for help first. You might just find that it's a game changer. And far better yet – you may end up developing a beautiful relationship with the third Person of the Trinity. God allows us to experience trials only because there is some good that we need in order to grow in holiness that cannot be gotten otherwise. Ultimately we are called to relationship & intimacy with God. And if trials are the means to developing a closer relationship with Him, then let's lean in and give our fiat.