I typically don't drink, but I allowed myself A beer and a glass of something spiked. I still don't know what that something is. Or is it that I can't remember?
Take Blessed Carlos M. Rodrigues, a Puerto Rican lay person who was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 29, 2001. Rodriguez was heavily involved in restoring liturgical costumes that had gradually been abandoned over the years in Puerto Rico. He was a catechist for high school students, he organized choirs, and was a member of a number of lay organizations. When I look at this man's picture I see a kind, gentle and benevolent soul free of hatred and aggression. I see someone who took little to no offense at the transgressions of others. Perhaps one might justifiably come to the conclusion that I'm judging a book by its cover. I, however, would argue that the opposite is true. We know very well the content of Carlos' life, since many people still alive had the good fortune of knowing him personally. My belief is that the kindness and gentility that dwelled in him made its way out, so that others might know the One he labored for and dedicated his life to.
Allegri's Miserere is infused with a palpable sense of mysticism. And by mysticism I don't mean magic, or tarot cards or crystal prisms, or anything like that. I'm referring to the most traditional definition of the word itself: mystery of God. It brings your mind and your senses into a sacred space, and makes you aware that an infinite, boundless, and unfathomable Being exists.
There is a great deal about this piece that I am omitting from this posting, simply because it does have a lengthy and somewhat intricate history. This includes the contribution of another composer by the name of Tommaso Bai, and several different transcriptions that differ from the original version Allegri composed. That, however, takes nothing away from the beautiful resonance of this piece, or the accomplished creativity of its composer.