You would think that I spent my entire time away in Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Believe it or not…I spent some time in Walt Disney World as well.
When my friends and I arrived at the front entrance of Magic Kingdom, we heard that well-known song from Pinnochio, When you wish upon a Star.
Confession: till recently, I rolled my eyes every time I heard that song. Part of it was because I didn’t think it Christian, really, to wish upon stars. It sounded so…wonky. At the time, it sounded like a song about dreamers dreaming dreams and not doing anything. Like the girl who is sitting outside her balcony window waiting for her prince despite the fact that no one knows that she is event there. I’ve never been one to be content with complacency, and I felt, for a very long time, that this song promoted such things.
Now, I’m not saying that I’ve converted. I don’t see myself throwing a smoking thurible filled with incense at Mickey anytime soon. However…this is not a song about being complacent. Actually, it’s a song about hope.
The song is about hoping against hope about the greatest dreams that we have. For Pinocchio, it’s becoming a real boy. But for any of us, it’s about sainthood. My ultimate dream is getting myself a stained-glass window. With me dressed in my habit, Nikes, and my Hogwarts schoolrobes. (Okay, maybe not the Nikes.)
Perhaps a better way to say it is that we can always wish (pray) upon the DayStar that we may obtain our ultimate dream of becoming the saints that we are called to be.
I’ve thought of something else while walking around Magic Kingdom. Between Space Mountain and Cinderella’s Castle, it occurred to me that it is easy for us to wish upon our stars and leave it at that. So many times, we would say in our hearts, “Oh, I want a job promotion” or “I want to get married” or “I want success”. But we don’t do anything about it. We talk about. Whine about it. Complain. Yet do nothing.
When you wish upon a star, you are not simply wishing that someone else will do the work for you. Eventually, we have to investigate and ask what it takes to get a promotion. It means screwing up the courage to ask someone out on a date. It means emulating the successful and see how it can apply to our daily lives. Though our sanctification is a gift, it is a gift that would taste better if we did works of charity, utilized our charisms and got involved in our life with Christ.
Cannot say that I am a fan of the song. But it teaches us to hope, to dream, to follow the DayStar towards greater and amazing things.
Holy Father Dominic, pray for us!
Beautifully written. I actually have had the same experience many times. Singing opera professionally, we sing thousands of words strung together to tell the story. Your mind is constantly checking in on all the technical aspects 99.6% of the time. “How’s the breath? Line? Tamber? Tempo? Blend? Am I with/ahead/behind the conductor?” In that every great once in a show moment, you can relax and just be. You can let a phrase infiltrate your personal and private being. Unfortunately it happens usually at the most trite of times. Times you honestly could care less if you “felt” that music or not. But, I had the great honor of one of the latest concert I sang in Beijing with their National symphony to have that beautiful moment. I sang for an audience in Italian an aria Iv’e sung 1,000 times (“Nessun Dorma!” No one will sleep tonight – TURANDOT) I had the blessed moment of just “being” in two lines. -“look at the stars as they tremble with love, and of hope.” After this line there is a choral interlude that is breathtaking. I don’t know why but, as I said, I was blessed with the “simply being” moment. What did my mind and heart do? I said the “Hail Mary”! I’m singing live, with an audience of 5,000 + in the hall, a possible 560,000,000 live televised and I’m praying the “Hail Mary” in the interlude. The Aria continues but, now I’m not singing to princess Turandot. I’m singing for something higher. The final 3 words are “Vincero! Vincero! Vincero!” -“I’ll be victorious. I’ll be victorious! I’ll be victorious!” Those last 3 words took on a new meaning, much as “When you wish upon a star”… I don’t think I’ll look at either tune in the same way again. Thank you.