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Jeanne Noriega wrote:

Hi, guys —

Hello my name is Jeanne. I was listening to a Catholic radio show and the guy was talking about giving into Christ and stuff like that.

I play flute and practice often, sometimes an hour a day in addition to playing in a Church youth choir so my question is:

  • In order to give myself to God, dedicate myself to Him, and surrender into Him, do I have to give up playing the flute?
  • Will this get in the way of my path to Christ?

Jeanne Noriega

  { In order to give myself to God and dedicate myself to Him, do I have to give up playing the flute? }

Paul replied:

Dear Jeanne,

I'm not sure why you think playing flute would get in the way of your relationship with Christ.

Flute is a beautiful instrument. You could bring joy to people and give glory to God in playing it.

Only:

  • if you think it's becoming an obsession or addiction, or
  • in cases that you are asked to play music with immoral messages, should you stop.

That is my opinion. Yours is the more important one.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi Jeanne,

I just wanted to add to what Paul has said.

You said:
I was listening to a Catholic radio show and the guy was talking about giving into Christ and stuff like that.

I play flute and practice often, sometimes an hour a day in addition to playing in a Church youth choir so my question is:

  • In order to give myself to God, dedicate myself to Him, and surrender into Him, do I have to give up playing the flute?
  • Will this get in the way of my path to Christ?

I sense, in your mind, that dedicating yourself to Him and surrendering yourself to Him may involve a religious vocation.

Not necessarily. What it comes down to is vocation and our calling. We were all created for a specific purpose in life. Our job is to discern that vocation. Some are called to one vocation; others are called to different vocations.

For 2,000 years, Catholic Christians have been passing the full Gospel Message of Jesus from one generation to the next.

Let me ask you a question:

  • If all the road construction people in the world, who are responsible for our highways and streets, left for the monastic life, what would happen to our highway infrastructure?
  • If all the airplane mechanics left for the monastic life, how would the Holy Father make World Youth Day around the world on an annual basis?
  • If all the fire fighters left for the monastic life, how would society exist if weather conditions brought danger to people’s homes?
  • If all the police officers left for the monastic life, how would society function in an orderly Christian manner?
  • If all the professional drummers, violinists, and flutists left the major orchestras around the world that people hear on special days like:
    • The 4th of July
    • Christmas
    • Holy Seasons at the Vatican, and
    • On New Years Day

      and left for the monastic or religious life:


  • What would happen to the sound of this beautiful music?

When we discover our true vocation and dedicate our life to that vocation, we are dedicating our lives to God Himself because, as Christians, by Baptism, Jesus is working through us and therefore through His Body on earth.

This is why Christian Baptism for any non-Christian reading this answer is so important. Once we are baptized, our good works are done, In Christ, not apart from Him, and are therefore become meritorious.

  • When we exercise our vocation poorly, we are seen as poor witnesses of the Gospel Message.
  • When we exercise our vocation the best we can, we are witnessing the Gospel Message as it should be.

I hope this helps,

Mike Humphrey

Jeanne replied:

Dear Paul and Mike,

Thank you very much for taking your time on this question.

Can you address one more question please:

  • How do we Catholics do penance without hurting ourselves like self-harm?

Thanks,

Jeanne

Mike replied:

Hi Jeanne,

You said in your follow-up:

  • How do we Catholics do penance without hurting ourselves like self-harm?

While our Church does have a history of saints performing harsh acts of penance on themselves for their own sins and the sins of others, we should balance this with a spiritual director, meaning a faithful Catholic priest who can guide us appropriately in this area. I believe many of the saints had their own spiritual directors. St. Paul supplies the reason for this advice in the Scriptures.

  • For we are the temple of the living God. (2 Corinthians 6:16)
  • . . . Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)

So Penance Yes, but done, keeping in mind that though we have broken sinful bodies, they are still Temples of the Lord in which He wishes for us to carry our true vocational calling.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Jeanne replied:


Thank you! : )

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