10 years ago, I composed “Vencerá el Amor” (Love Shall Overcome) for the XX anniversary of the Jesuits’ martyrdom. Read here NPR’s article.
This piece takes its inspiration from Romans 12:21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” It was written to commemorate the martyrdom of six Jesuit priests and two women on the campus of Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in El Salvador in 1989. It may be sung entirely in Spanish or English, or by alternating the two languages. The music moves through a sense of lament and ends with a gentle proclamation of the victory of good over evil.
Here’s a rehearsal in San Salvador, 10 years ago.
Let say it outright, I don’t know why grace is so amazing. The concept is so overwhelming that we prefer sing about, and not just theorize about it. This choral arrangement by Roger Ames opened a window to heaven for me, specially when the arranger brings the text of the Kyrie Eleison, Lord have mercy, during the piece. Please get your headphones out and listen, or better, sing along and let God heal your heart. We all need this healing.
Listen to it. There’s also another version at this link.
A few years ago, Dr. Randall Bradley and I led a Baylor Church Music trip to El Salvador. By an act of grace, we ended up singing this song “Esto Les Digo” (This I Tell You) at the crypt of Saint Oscar Romero. It was May 23, 2015, the very day Romero was beatified – the last step toward sainthood. You can see the tears in our group and in the faces of the faithful.