I have two Facebook pages and at times they seem like the handiwork of two different people. There’s my Composer/Author page that has regularly scheduled posts centered around daily Scripture; Catholic news of the day; a liturgical song composed either by me or one of my fellow composers; and a daily quote from Laudato Sí,Pope Francis’ recent encyclical on our call to care for God’s creation.
And then there’s my personal page, which is my forum for outrageous groan-inducing puns, head-scratching abstract art, Godzilla, pop culture, a healthy dose of rock music, and occasional wry slices of soliloquy that may or may not have some kind of spiritual meaning. I actually have a growing constituency of like-minded people who “get” me. Thank you, friends!
Bottom line: My work and ministry are important and are very much a part of who I am. But I just don’t take myself all that seriously. Hence, my seemingly random non-sequitur postings on my personal page.
There is an apparent duality in my social media content. Who am I? A Catholic composer/author? Or a secular rock musician who is very much in synch with pop culture? Why does it have to be either/or? Why can’t I be both?
I am sometimes accused of being off-message at both ends of the spectrum. My Catholic friends are puzzled when I post things about punk rock or Kurt Cobain. My followers who enjoy my jokes and puns scratch their heads when I occasionally post something spiritual or overtly Catholic.
Re: my seemingly incongruous blending of sacred and secular – I am a committed Roman Catholic but I’m not going to hit my friends on their heads with all things religious. I prefer to share my faith by example. If friends ask me about my faith, I am happy to talk about it but I won’t force it on them. And I enjoy finding the sacred in the non-sacred, even in punk rock.
(I played bass guitar in punk bands in the 1990s. One of the marvelous mysteries in my life is how I transformed from being a punker to a pastoral musician and composer of sacred music. Another blog for another day.)
So that’s why I write about contemporary Catholic music, that strange and wonderful experiment of blending the sacred with the secular. It’s a fascinating 60-year history. Read all about it in my books, Keep the Fire Burning and From Mountains High (to be released in May 2018).