The Marriage Tribunal Director for the Diocese of Gaylord, John Amos JCD, lists Barry Manilow as his inspiration for his writing of Marriage Tribunal deliberations.  This is in no way meant to be a judgement on John Amos’ musical taste, nor is it meant to be an indictment on pop music artist Barry Manilow’s music or nose.

On the professional website LinkedIn, Mr. Amos states the following in an article titled “Writing Sentences for Causes of Marital Nullity”:

Do you remember Barry Manilow’s song entitled “I Write the Songs”? It begins with these words:

I’ve been alive forever

And I wrote the very first song

I put the words and the melodies together

I am music and I write the songs

This popular song recognizes that composers of great music do not work alone; there is a muse living within them who expresses itself as they put notes on paper. 

For a long time, I have thought that this process well-describes canonical sentence-writing. I have come to believe that each of us has a canonical muse within us to whom we can allow expression in the written word. One of the aims of this talk is to help each of us get in touch with this muse to which I believe these words from Manilow’s song also apply:

My home lies deep within you

And I’ve got my own place in your soul

Now, when I look out through your eyes

I’m young again, even though I’m very old

When I hear Manilow’s song, I feel moved by that last line. The words “very old” make me think of the Church whose centuries of wisdom we are called to apply in sentence-writing, an activity by which we make the wisdom “young again.”