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Keep hymn in mind, keep Him in mind

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Keep hymn in mind, keep Him in mind
You keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on you.             (Is 26:3)

We know this to be true, but we know, too that the mind is prone to wander (and we’re not alone – the Saints of God often allude to this).  So how do we keep our minds fixed on the Lord?   

The Snakebite Letters, by Peter Kreeft is a book of what he calls a specimen in the genre which came into being through CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.  In Letter 8, Snakebite the tempter is advising his nephew Braintwister on the use of Liturgical Music.  Here’s a snippet:

 ‘There’s a danger in the old hymns.  I once lost – I mean, I know a demon who lost – a soul through the prayers of his mother, who had developed the dangerous habit of continual prayer only because she kept a hymn tune in her head all day.  And a tune brings the words as a whistle brings a dog.’

We all have our favourite hymns and no doubt we know many ‘off by heart’.  This is especially true with Carols, so at the moment, as we enter into the last week of Advent, let us make a little effort each day to sing hymns mentally, so that we may happily achieve what St Paul asked of the Thessalonians: to pray always.

Tuesday 18th December 2012

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