Best Ignatian Songs: Jesus Was an Only Son

“Some people pray, some people play music,” Bruce Springsteen once said, but it’s pretty obvious that Bruce prays with much of the music he makes. He went to St. Rose of Lima Elementary School in Freehold, New Jersey.  Catholic imagery often appears in his music.  One critic calls him the greatest Catholic poet of our time. But there’s more to it than imagery.  Springsteen appears to be a man of real spiritual depth.  This comes across powerfully in his great meditative ballad “Jesus Was an Only Son.”  The song is about the relationship of mother and son and it flows from Springsteen’s feelings about his children. The lyrics are here. I also hear it as a imaginative contemplation on the scriptures of the kind Ignatius practiced.   Here is a concert performance with Portuguese subtitles. I was very struck by what Bruce says to introduce the song.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. Bruce, of course, speaks the truth. This past weekend, I helped my oldest child, a six-year-old boy, ride his bike for the first time without training wheels. A good athlete and student, he took to it right away. On the fourth try within the first 10 minutes, he took off on his own. I recorded it on my iPhone–I’ve watched it some 10 times now because it says something about my son, and lot about me. We begin with my helping catch his balance, then we run with my hand on the seat, firm at first, then light, then letting go. And then he takes off, on his own. As Bruce say, it was moment we both realized he has his own destiny apart from me. But, I was there to help it happen. That is grace.


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