I heard it again last night – the most deceptive and misleading song I’ve ever heard sung during a Lenten Mass. Here are some of the lyrics: “You gotta walk that lonesome valley. You gotta walk it by yourself.”
And the words get worse: “You must go and stand your trials. You have to stand it by yourself.”
Aaarghh! I wanted to leap to my feet in the sanctuary and cry out – “NO! NO! NO! Is anyone listening to those words? What does walking lonesome valleys alone have to do with the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist on the altar right in front of us? What does standing our trials by ourselves have to do with the unalterable promise of Christ who tells us – “I will never leave you. I will never forsake you”?
No wonder so many of my fellow Catholics walk through life with their jaw dragging on the ground. Do we call Jesus our ‘Emmanuel’ without remembering the name means, “God WITH us?
What do those loathsome lyrics have to do with God’s promise in the Shepherd Psalm? Remember the words: “Even thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (OH! Talk about a lonesome valley!) – “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, YOU ARE WITH ME!”
Oh, my fellow Catholic, please don’t let those specious, deceptive lyrics sink into your spirit. It should be stunning to us that we would sing such joy-destroying lyrics when the Mass unveils to us the eternally present Christ.
Jesus is ALWAYS with us. Every moment, every nano-second of our lives. In our cars, in our homes, while we shop, while we sleep, while we eat – every moment Emmanuel is with us. Always. Even to the end of time.
And there is yet more to His magnificent, wondrous and glorious promises: We never, never, never stand our trials alone. Oh! Where does that contemptible idea come from!
God’s unshakeable and unchangeable promise through the Scriptures and the historic teaching of the Church assures us of His ever-presence with us. Please! Never accept lying lyrics written by those who are so sadly ignorant of our God and Savior.