Today's Favorite Carol is a favorite year round.
When my oldest was a tiny baby we played classical music to help him fall asleep. He was born premature and had health problems as a result. He had to be fed via syringe, one ounce at a time at extremely regular intervals. He woke constantly night and day, desperately hungry but unable to eat. I knew he was uncomfortable, even pained, and likely even more frustrated than I was. We endured hour-by-hour, both exhausted and worn down. Though it didn't take away his struggles, classical music soothed him.
We first played "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" for him some time in his first month of life. As he generally did when soft, soothing music played, he quieted down. But after a moment, I noticed that he was crying. He made no noise, this wasn't a pained cry or a hungry cry or a frustrated cry. Silent, tears rolled down his sweet little face as he listened, and for the first time in the short time he'd been with us, he looked truly at peace.
Over that first year he overcame many of the difficulties he was born with and grew strong and healthy. We still put on classical music, mostly because my husband and I love listening to orchestras and chamber choirs and such. Whenever "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" played, our little boy stopped whatever he was doing and just listened, and every time he cried silent tears. Every single time.
Ten years have passed since that difficult first year. Though he still likes the song, it doesn't impact him the way it once did.
I am convinced in my heart of hearts that this music touched his soul and brought him the peace he'd known in his Heavenly home before joining us here, helping him endure those earliest earthly trials. I cannot listen to it without being moved and feeling deep gratitude for the gift of music.
Here is the exact version we used to play for him.