Music and the Gospel: “Guiding Light,” Mumford & Sons

This week’s SPIRIT talks about the expectations we place on ourselves and that others place upon us. High school is a stressful time that challenges us to balance academics, social lives, work obligations, and activities like sports or music. At times, all these responsibilities can feel like weight of the world on our shoulders and get in the way of making good decisions about grades, relationships, or even physical/mental health. The song “Guiding Light” is about paying attention to the expectations that guide us and those around us. It’s about recognizing that we aren’t perfect, but that we can also serve as beacons of light to our family and friends.

Key Lyrics: If we come back and we’re broken / Unworthy and ashamed / Give us something to believe in / And you know we’ll go your way / ‘Cause I know I had it all on the line / But don’t just sit with folded hands and become blind / ‘Cause even when there is no star in sight / You’ll always be my only guiding light

Questions: What expectations do you have of yourself? What expectations do others have for you? When have these expectations clashed? How do they influence the way you make decisions? How do you balance them out? Who guides you? Who can you guide?

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Music and the Gospel: “High Hopes,” Panic! At The Disco

This week’s SPIRIT celebrates the Starry Night Prom that students at De La Salle High School host for people who are disabled. The prom has become a favorite event for both the hosts and the guests as both delight in friendship and happiness. The song “High Hopes” reflects optimism and celebrates what makes each of us unique and beautiful.

Key lines: Had to have high, high hopes for a living / Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing / Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision / Always had high, high hopes / Had to have high, high hopes for a living / Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling / I was gonna be that one in a million / Always had high, high hopes

Questions: How do differently-abled students fit in at your school and community? What have you learned from volunteering with people unlike you? How does volunteering build relationships and understanding?

Music and the Gospel: “Love Someone,” Lukas Graham

Relationships with others become more complex as we mature. Some friendships end, some deepen. We develop crushes, pair up, break up, figure out how to make relationships work. This week’s SPIRIT discusses what it means to have healthy, strong relationships and, eventually, marriage. The song “Love Someone” is about what it means to open your heart and love.

Key Lyrics: ‘Cause you still look perfect as days go by / Even the worst ones, you make me smile / I’d stop the world if it gave us time / ‘Cause when you love someone / You open up your heart / When you love someone / You may grow / If you love someone

Questions: What does being in a relationship mean to you? What qualities are important in a relationship? What makes for a healthy relationship? What warns you a relationship isn’t healthy? What does “love” mean to you?

Music and the Gospel: “Rescue,” Lauren Daigle, 1st Sunday of Advent

This week’s SPIRIT is about walking a mile in another person’s shoes. Every year, the students of St. Paul High School walk 26 miles to raise money for a local soup kitchen.  They walk through different communities and meet new people, wealthy and poor.  Their journey also gives the students time to reflect and change their perspectives on how the less fortunate exist in our communities or what the caravan of migrants walking to the U.S. border experience as they seek a better life.  Lauren Daigle’s song “Rescue” is about hearing someone’s call of need and answering them, whether it’s by listening, walking, or simply volunteering time and resources.

Key Lyrics: I hear you whisper underneath your breath / I hear your SOS, your SOS / I will send out an army to find you / In the middle of the darkest night / It’s true, I will rescue you / I will never stop marching to reach you / In the middle of the hardest fight / It’s true, I will rescue you
 
Questions: Who like those in the migrant caravan are on a journey in our world? How can you learn more about why migrants or immigrants are walking and help them? When have you taken a difficult journey? What did you learn from this experience? What can you do to help people rebuild their lives?

Music and the Gospel: “Growing Pains,” Alessia Cara

Most of us use social media to express ourselves, keep up with family and friends, and see what’s going on in the wider world. However, some people use social media to spread ideas and opinions that are hurtful to others. A comment that starts off as a joke can be picked up and taken out of context, becoming hurtful to others and reflecting badly on ourselves. The song “Growing Pains” is about learning from our mistakes and moving forward with understanding and compassion.

Key lines: Try to mend what’s left of my content incomprehension / As I take on the stress of the mess that I’ve made / Don’t know if I even care for “grown” / If it’s just alone / And I guess the bad can get better / Gotta be wrong before it’s right / Every happy phrase engraved in my mind / I’ve always been a go-getter / There’s truth in every word I write / But still the growing pains, growing pains / They’re keeping me up at night 

Questions: What, if any, difference is there between teasing and bullying? How do you draw the line between the two? Is there a line? When have you inadvertently stepped over the line? How did you make something hurtful right? How do teasing and bullying words impact you or people you know?

Music and the Gospel: “I’ll Be there,” Jess Glynne

Spirit explores friendship this week. What makes a good friend? In their teens human being develop the brain power to see ourselves the ways others see us, making high school a time to try out who we want to be, to develop new interests, and to take on responsibilities. Our friendships can be fluid. Friends from last year may keep a distance this year. Someone we get to know better shows us what true friendship is: kind, forgiving, and supportive. Jess Glynne’s song “I’ll Be There” is about being there for one another, whether it’s to save someone a seat at the table or to help a friend through a difficult time.

Key lines: When all the tears are rolling down your face / And it feels like yours was the only heart to break / When you come back home and all the lights are out, ooh / And you’re getting used to no one else being around / Oh, oh, I’ll be there / When you need a little love, I got a little love to share / Yeah, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna come through / You’ll never be alone, I’ll be there for you

Questions: What does it mean to be popular in your school? When has this influenced your behavior and how you treat others? What does being a good friend mean to you? Who has been a good friend in your life? How is God a friend to you?