|Reaching God through music|
John had in his hands all the features to be a musician, a composer, or a music producer of the first order. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, which almost makes him take the blues and jazz in his blood. A place where the best American musicians have lived, where they matured, or where they have had some of their best successes. Also, John studied musical production in Nashville, Tennessee, the "City of Music". However, God made him found him on a starry night, next to a lake, and made him a much more promising proposition: to follow him closely as a priest. Today, brother John Klein remains linked to the music playing in the streets of Rome, promoting his songs on social networks, recording some record and, whenever he can, and often power, playing in youth encounters, Eucharistic Adorations and there is where they want to listen to their evangelizing music.
Theology is over and, if all goes well, the priest will be ordained shortly. Klein has dedicated some time to make a brief review of the very important relationship between music and evangelization for this aspirant to the priesthood: "It is very clear to me what my vocation is: the first being holy, a religious saint and a legionary priest of Christ. This is what I most desire and look forward to. I visualize myself as a priest listening to confessions, celebrating mass, preaching... There is nothing more important than this, but it is also true that music is a tool that helps me to preach and teach others how great and exciting the love of God and the mission he invites us to."
"God has given me this gift -explains the religious- and that is why I will use it as often as I can. All of our gifts and talents must be put to the service of Christ and the mission, and that is where they meet their fulfillment and perfection".
We ask you, this is something you do now: "Well, yes. Every Thursday I play in a holy hour for young people, in English, in the center of Rome. The Holy Hour and the apostolate are called the Upper Room. And I also participate in street missions in Rome: we call them Street faith and in them the music is an opportunity to establish contact with the people, to speak about Christ and to invite them to pass to a church in which they can make a time of worship, to confess, talk to a priest... Is to bring faith to the street".
It is not something new in him, before entering the seminary in Nashville, he had a fruitful relationship with protestant music groups. At that time, still going to mass, he began to attend his Bible studies. There he began to have contact with Christian music: "Those young people had a more sincere love for Christ than I, as well as an enormous value when it comes to living their faith in public. I started writing and playing Christian music with some baptist friends I had done and even accompanied them on a tour of Nashville and Mississippi. "
It's what Dostoevsky said in his day, and what the John repeats: "I think beauty has a very powerful evangelizing force. Beauty does not force you, it's always a soft invitation. Every sunrise, every starry night, every waterfall, or snowy mountain is a kind invitation to raise our minds in search of our creator. Also, bear witness to the tenderness and goodness of God. The same applies to human arts. Through painting, sculpture, dance, music... We try to imitate and perfect the beauty that is discovered in nature".
For this religion, music is a powerful transmitter of beauty and a way to connect with God: "If you see a slideshow with the pictures of your last holiday trip, it sure brings good memories. But if you see them with music, the memories come to your mind in an exciting and completely new way". "Music adds another dimension -it explains to us with interest this religious musician- it connects us to the spiritual dimension of our nature, and there we discover God within us".
"My mission is to bring Christ to others and music is one of the tools that God has given me to carry out that mission", he points out with conviction. Something that lives especially with young people: "music helps young people. It inspires them to meet Christ and to follow him more deeply. Also, music is a great tool to break the ice with those who are farther from God. "
It is something that lives constantly: "I play in a lot of holy hours to which I am invited. I like it because music prepares the soul for prayer, relaxing it, and lifting it to God. Something wonderful happens: music mixes with vocal prayer in front of the Eucharist. It's a powerful combination that can be a catalyst to help kids experience Christ's love more deeply. "
But it's not all worship. John also composes for those who are farther away from God: "I write songs about my life and God experiences. I touch them during retreats or at a time when I am with people who are not Christians or who don't usually go to Church. Many people, after listening, open up and start talking to you, break the ice, and start the conversation. It's all a method of pre-evangelization. "
We asked him why he connects music so well with young people, and he replies that "music is something exciting, dynamic, energizing, stimulating and beautiful." And analyze something that cannot be ruled out when dealing with them: "Young people still do not know who they are and have to decide what kind of people they will become. For them, the future is still very open and the options are many. They are looking for beauty, authenticity, ideals worth living, and fighting for... In a word, they're looking for real life. That's where music adapts to their lives to offer them inspiration, new ideas, values, and beauty. "
It is usual to see the brother playing on the street, hanging his videos on social networks, and ask him about these scenarios so particular. "I don't like to sing especially on the streets because it's difficult and you have to win an audience. Winning audiences is hard. When I am on the street rather than playing music what I do is to capture the attention of the pedestrians to share a word with them about Christ after the song".
And on social networks explains that "the media are opportunities for evangelization. You need to bring positive feedback, photos, and inspiring music. We have to sow a lot of small seeds of hope in all social media. Let the Holy Spirit grow these seeds, but we must do our part to be present and freely share all the good things that God is doing in our lives".