I remember way back when I started all is love.... This is before the mixtapes and the tours... Before leading retreats and being an official youth minister in a parish.
I remember this time where I had been asked to share my Pro-Life story at an event and I was introduced as having a Hip Hop "Music ministry". I remember it clearly because I was still a baby in my faith at the time, and I remember being bothered by the word "ministry". I didn't correct the person, but internally I battled with this word and it started a sort of journey of prayer and reflection for me. I was recently reminded of this moment because if you know me now - everything is about the ministry!
If I think back however, I can remember some of my issues with the word.
1) I didn't have a full understanding of what "being a minister was"
2) Because of my cultural context as a young American this is a word that was associated with being "religious" and I really was conditioned to be against organized religion(although I was still technically Catholic at this time)
3) Also because of the cultural context, I felt that the word would separate me from my peers and I was afraid of that. I did have this new found relationship with Jesus and his Church, but for most people I knew this wasn't the case and I was afraid of being separated from them.
4) For me it was still very much about the art (music, film, poetry, etc) and not so much about really the teaching or the instructing of the faith.... Although I knew this was a gateway to that relationship that I had found with God for me at the time I was still very much in a place where I thought my only place to focus was really on the art that was relatable and culturally competent (Even though I didn't know this term at the time).
There are probably a whole other list of reasons, but I think all could be summed up in this way.... I still had a sense of selfishness and ego - I wanted my art, and all of my works to be centered in how "good I was" rather than having it really and truly point to Jesus. I wanted that in itself to be the wow factor. I still saw a separation with "my story" and "my testimony"... The word "testimony" itself still scared me because of the cultural implications of the church being separate from the people.
I would "talk about Jesus" but he still hadn't fully become "my entire world"... I knew that down the road I wanted to do more than just music and art, and lead things like conferences/write books, etc. but the picture was still not clear. I still had the idea of this "big business" that was forming, rather than this "life changing ministry".
To be completely honest.... It was really around the time of the Golden EP where things started becoming more clear. The process of its creation, along with the continued meetings with my spiritual director; plus learning more of the charism of the Idente Missionaries continued to draw me deeper. The mere concept that "I could be a SAINT" was still new but as I explored that journey in creating the Golden EP, as well as being involved in my local parish and traveling more I interacted with people who over time revealed to me that the true focus had to be just that.... Sanctity, and everything else just a means to getting there.
It was in this time that the Golden City Tour launched, and as we went from Parish to Parish, event to event, and Youth group to Youth group, I would have people break down to me asking for guidance after shows. I was asked to pray and intercede for people, and I saw how much more solid teaching was important. As I started to have people follow me online and dialogue with them about scripture, as well as being asked to sponsor people as they received their Sacraments this new level of responsibility emerged. I started then to get frustrated with my peers who could not see this vision of truly serving the people of God, and were so caught up in the art and to be honest some of that frustration continues today..... People who are so caught up in internet music releases, and "performances" but don't even serve at their local church community and are not involved in discipling people for the sake of the Body of Christ. I even had a conversation with a relatively successful Catholic artist who stated the words "music is not spiritual to me" which not only confused me, but made me angry about how dis-ingenuine everything was.
This could easily be a multiple part post, and it may be in the future but for now I would simply like to point you towards Matthew 25:14-30 and Matthew 28:16-20.
The use of our talents should always be for the purpose of discipleship. Not only artistic talents, but even those talents of our character and personalities... These natural abilities we have that others struggle with. As Christians we are to teach and guide as inspired by the Holy Spirit; always pointing towards Christ (who points towards our Heavenly Father) and never should it be about ourselves.... We can share our stories, and be honest in our places of struggle as well as our places of success, but if we are not bringing people the church who have not been before (or are there physically, but have not fully formed that relationship) then we are doing nothing - helping them not only to be "saved", but to also walk in the path of "sanctity".
Pray with me that many more may experience this truth, and walk in this reality.
- The Symbol
- All is Love
The Symbol's MUSIC :
These are my thoughts . . . My Beliefs . . . My Actions . . . Everything I do. This is the documentation of my quest towards creating more unity in the community by authentic #LOVE.
This blog was started at:
and continued at:
But now, as I have matured in my understanding as "The Symbol" and no longer Brandon Feel-X Morel you can continue my journey with me here.
(click above images to get download link)