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Ve Prasansa, the musical enlightenment

Prayer can do wonders and the same spirit of prayer can bind people in unity that cannot be destroyed or detached by any power on earth.

When people of different walks of life pray together in unity, the strength and power they experience in this collective enterprise is enormous. Such a motivated diverse crowd in unity may pray aloud and sing aloud for what they are and for what they have received from Above.

On the other hand some weep or lament when their shortcomings or offences are realized. When they are guided to leave behind their weaknesses and awaken to a new life while following the footsteps of Jesus either they praise or sing in glee because they know that 'He who sings prays twice.'

This is a widely accepted truth in which the faithful can be brought into one aim and one direction. That is why hymns of praise acclaim a pivotal position in prayers. Prayer, the dialogue between God and man, can be of different forms.

Similarly they are convinced that God Almighty is present among them, 'Where there are two or three gathered in My Name, there I am in the midst of them.'

We live in a peculiar society where most of the people are ungrateful or reluctant to praise and show their gratitude. How many of us are grateful? Are we grateful to God who is behind our success? Do we run to Him only when we are in need? When the needs are fulfilled, don't we forget the source or the entity we benefitted from?

Let us question ourselves whether it is the same spirit we have when it comes to praising human beings whom we consider our saviours or true leaders? No not at all. Can this harsh truth be ignored?

In such a social context Charles Thomas, the main figure and the guide of Ve Prasansa swims against the tide in billowy seas with a lot of vicissitudes to carry the flock to land where people adhere to the Good News offering the prominence to God alone and to praise the Lord for what He has done to the entire human race. In this spiritual endeavour we are invited to come as we are and to accept our strengths and weaknesses and to grow in Him while giving the due position to God in our lives in prayers and actions.

Ve Prasansa; conducted by Daham Pahana Movement is not just a musical prayer session that entertains people of different levels of faith but enlightens the faithful of different levels of education and social backgrounds on the hidden realities of the Good News of the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ and on how to be content in life by following the scriptures accordingly.

The thirst for the Good News that the faithful cannot stand is quenched in this holy gathering of volunteers through the Good News, prayers and hymns and songs that appropriately go along with meditation and enlightenment.

Music and effective style of smooth singing is believed to be effective in the treatments of different types of illnesses due to its effect on the psychological process of human body. Music is promoted healing and enhancing the quality of life. This is strongly prescribed in the management of stress.

Relaxing music stimulates various parts of the brain positively and reduces negative feelings that make them sick. When music and the Good News are intertwined effectively and meaningfully the diversity of participants are tranquilized. Therefore, music is accepted to be the best form of healing.

If a person is made aware of the depths of the teachings of the Holy Bible on what God expects from man and how man should live while making himself happy and God Almighty happy, he realizes completely practicing religion would not be as difficult as it seems to be. After carefully listening to the sermon based on scriptures people who may have listened to the same scriptures many a times in life, question among themselves how and why it was not explained and understood like this before. I too questioned myself why and how and where it went wrong.

I still cannot find proper answers. Bringing the Good News to the grass roots level in every nook and corner is the main intention of the well known 'Ve Prasansa.', the holy gathering of inspired faithful. Unlike in the past, the Good News should be brought to the doorstep of the faithful.

Otherwise the number of innocent lambs devoured currently by the unscrupulous fundamentalists will be innumerable and immeasurable.

Lacking the essence or core of religion in their depths is a major issue that remained unanswered but it should be remedied immediately. If not the decadence of our religion is inevitable.

You learned readers may not agree or may not like to accept the fact but it is nothing but the truth. Pooling the faithful in Jesus' name and enlightening them on the Good News cannot be done only by the clergy.

This could be a joint venture of the clergy and the laity. Catering to the spiritual and social needs of the faithful has been a challenge and that should be addressed somehow. When the victims of the socio economic and spiritual whirlpool struggle for life, they are trapped as easy prey.

This is silent yet dangerous mission of certain religions or organized religious groups that offer shoulders to the victims to weep as much as they prefer and ultimately these innocent yet ignorant people are blindly directed to their camps.

Spiritual exercises and guidance like 'Ve Prasansa' is a timely need because circumstances in society make people helpless and they are unaware of solutions and directions in order to address their problems successfully.

Even the wisest man in society becomes helpless when fatal or miserable issues like diseases or injustices crop up. He could be ignorant to his sight and in such instances the helplessness and the misery could blindly guides him to darkness where he ends up in a labyrinth.

That may be one of the reasons why the faithful needs spiritual guidance and vision. So the sessions on spiritual exercises such as meditation, retreat, enlightenment on the Good News etc. are attended by the Bishops and the clergy in order to encourage the desiring faithful.

When the Sunday Mass may be prolonged by the homily or any other activity, the faces of the participants may be drooping or they are brow beating or biting their teeth.
Some of the crowd who ease themselves in the church yard exchanging their pleasantries during the Mass may not know what exactly is happing inside the church since they are name sake or ritualistic Catholics.

What is the secret behind this? Do people prefer ritualistic activities in religion or do they like the active involvement in praise, discussions and meditation? Such questions should be answered immediately and instead of doing so if the ways and means of discouraging people attending such musical enlightenments are sought, it could undoubtedly be a futile act of hypocrisy.

If arguments break out on loud music, loud singing, clapping and aloud praise of God is absurd, Psalm 150: 3, 4, 5 will disprove and silence such arguments.

Let me conclude my note with the question once raised by the late Bishop of Chilaw Rt. Rev. Dr. Frank Marcus Fernando encouraging the Daham Pahana Movement to be strong in faith and action inspired by God Himself.


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