MARIA, Music and Moments

WORD Becoming, Spiritual Reflections from Fr Roderick Salazar SVD (Philppines)

On this the Solemnity of your Assumption into Heaven
dear Mother Maria
I offer you three songs, chat with you about eight
recorded moments of your life
and whisper a little prayer.

The songs
are not specifically religious hymns
nor do they directly refer to you.
But they speak to me of you and lead me to you.

The first is from the 1961 American romantic musical
drama inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The setting is New York City where the leader of
the white teen-age gang, the Jets,
falls in love with the sister of
the head of the rival Latino group, the Sharks.

The movie is titled West Side Story, and the song is Maria:

“The most beautiful sound I ever heard
Maria, Maria, Maria, Maria.
Maria, say it loud and there’s music playing,
say it soft, and it’s almost like praying.
Maria, Maria, I’ll never stop saying Maria.”

Maria. Your loving name, dear Mother.

The second song, also from the 1960s,
was sung by many recording artists
but the one that I relate to i
is the version by Cliff Richard.
And it goes:

“How wonderful to know you really love me,
How wonderful to know you really care….
… How beautiful to feel sunshine and laughter,
to fill my empty heart with love divine,
to share my life with you, now and hereafter,
how wonderful to know that you are mine.”

I hope you like my singing.
You know, Mother, I discovered that this song
was originally written and composed in Italian.
And this is the third song.

The Italian perspective is different
from that of Cliff Richard’s.
Perry Como sang one such version,
with different English lyrics
but with one Italian phrase repeated,
which became the title of the song.

With Mantovani and his orchestra
providing the preface and accompaniment,
Perry Como’s version runs:

“My life I’d give to you Anema e core,
I only live for you, Anema e core.
I have but one desire and it’s to love you,
with all my heart, with all my soul, my whole life through.
From stars I’ll make a crown and kneel before you,
I pray you’ll take my hand, for I adore you.
Open up the door leading to heaven,
a heaven yours and mine, Anema e core.”

What do I sense to be the difference between the two versions?
The perspective.
Cliff Ricard says How wonderful to know you really love me.

Perry Como avers My life I’d give to you, anema e core.
I only live for you – heart and soul.

One appreciates being loved, receiving love.
The other bravely offers love, gives love.

Passive is the first, joyful, thrilled, but on the receiving end.
Active is the second, on the giving end.
Two sides of love.
Two sides of the love I have seen in you,
Dear Mother Maria.

In the Annunciation scene,
feeling blessed, being told that you are blessed,
you are passive, you allow yourself to be loved.
You give yourself as well, in grateful response
to the love you have received.
“Let it be done to me according to your word.”

In the Wedding at Cana story, you tell the waiters,
“Do whatever He tells you. “
As this is your great Feast, let me say again and sing
How wonderful to know you really love me,
My life I’d give to you, anema e core,
I only live for you, anema e core,
I have but one desire and it’s to love you,
with all my heart, with all my soul,
my whole life through.
Open up the door leading to heaven,
a heaven yours and mine.
Anema e core.

Thanks, too, for the Gospel moments that feature you.
From them I learn much about you and our loving God.
And how I am to live.
On some future date, let us talk about them singly.
But for now, let us just see the panorama:

First Moment: Annunciation. Luke 1, 26-38
Second Moment. The Visitation. Luke 1, 39-56
Third Moment. The Nativity of Jesus. Luke 2, 1-20.
Fourth Moment. The Presentation of Jesus. Luke 2, 22-40
Fifth Moment. The Loss and Finding of Jesus. Luke 2, 42-52
Sixth Moment. The Wedding at Cana. John 2, 1-11
Seventh Moment. Mary at Calvary: John 19, 25-27
Eighth Moment. Maria At Prayer. Acts of the Apostles 1, 12-1

Because of these, we celebrate a Ninth Moment
this very Feast we celebrate today,
your Assumption into Heaven.

And so with the whole Church I pray
God our Father
You crowned the Blessed Virgin Mary
on the day of her Assumption with a glory beyond compare.
You had looked on her lowliness and had made her the mother
of our Lord Jesus Christ, Your only-begotten Son.
Please grant that, by her prayers, we may be saved
by the mystery of your redemption
and share with her in the glory of eternal life.

Happy Fiesta, dear Mama Maria.
All the beautiful sounds of the world in a single word.
The most beautiful sound I ever heard.
Maria, Maria, Maria.

One comment

  1. So beautiful song coming the heart! Much more as it is for our dear Mama Mary. 💖
    Thank you so much, Fr Rod. You always inspire us with your sharing. Ang nakatatak jud nako is your style of bringing a new light to a (pop) song in a spiritual or another perspective. The one I cherish the most is the song “You must love me” when you spoke about the reality of the youth before Campus Ministers in Cebu. Although I wasn’t present at that time as I was just a student, I was privileged to help out in transcribing your talk. And I assure you, until now I carry that in my heart as I continue to work with the youth. 💞
    God bless you more, Fr Rod & keep safe. 😇

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.