About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“As liturgical art, church music is obliged to conform to ecclesiastical law. But to construct artificial polarities here, between legalistic order and a dynamic church music, demanded by the alleged needs of the day, would be to forsake the foundation of a music rooted in liturgical experience. What is in fact the pastoral value of the shoddy, the profane, the third-rate?”
— Dr. Robert Skeris (1996)

Look What God Did For You!
published 28 October 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

748 Cute AVE YOU spent any time admiring nature? Have you looked into a forest and admired the changing colors—red, orange, and brown—of the tree leaves? Have you gazed upon the sky during a beautiful sunset or sunrise? Have you looked at a corn field or apple orchard? Have you seen a peach orchard?

When we view the great outdoors, we realize how beautiful and wondrous our universe is. Moreover, we can take it to another level by considering how each molecule, atom, plant, insect, and animal lead to something higher. Think about it. Even though the outdoors is lovely, suffering and sacrifice are required for its beauty. Plants are eaten; insects devour one another; large animals eat small animals; and so forth and so on.

Have you ever wondered why God allowed this “suffering” on the part of, for example, insects? It probably isn’t fun to be eaten by another insect or animal. Why did God allow such a thing? I would suggest that God is showing us how valuable we are. Each sacrifice leads to something higher. All of this turns out to be made for our benefit … so that we can survive, and also look upon the beauty of nature, observing how God values us. But you will reply:

“Am I really that valuable? What’s so great about me? What’s so great about human beings?”

Well, when I look into the eyes of someone—for instance, my little son—the value of each human being becomes clear. That’s why it is so distressing to wake up (as I did a few days ago) and notice a homeless man collecting tin cans from a dumpster. Society thinks of that man as “garbage” yet values the tin. Can you imagine? We value TIN more than we value a human being!

Dr. Mahrt has explained that counterpoint in polyphony “shows forth the splendor, beauty, and order of the universe” and for this reason I chose to begin a 60-minute film about Sacred music with a lovely Chicago sunrise accompanying Kevin Allen’s “Tantum Ergo.” If you haven’t watched this, please click here and watch it now.