Best Ignatian Songs: Ripple

This week’s song selection is “Ripple” by the Grateful Dead.  It was recommended by John Montag, SJ, who wrote on the Ignatian Spirituality Facebook page that the chorus of the song aptly describes “consolation without cause.”

“Consolation without cause” is a sense of peace and joy that suddenly appears without a reason.  Most of our good feelings are caused by something: a job well done, an encounter with a friend, a splendid work of art.  But sometimes joy just descends on us.  When that happens, Ignatius says, the consolation has likely come directly from God.

Here’s the chorus:

Ripple in still water

When there is no pebble tossed

Nor wind to blow

That’s a lovely image.  It evokes God’s grace.

Alert readers will notice that the verse is in the 17-syllable form of haiku poetry.  (Actually I didn’t notice this.  I read it on this page of the Annotated Grateful Dead lyrics.)   “Still water” suggests Psalm 23, as do other words in the lyrics.

Here’s a performance from the Dead’s heyday, with Jerry Garcia in fine form:


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