With a voice as smooth as honey and a phenomenal guitar style, Luke Spehar is the complete Catholic songwriting package.
What do I have that has not been given to me?This faith I hold and believeThis gift was withheld until my hands wearied of graspingSlowly opened to fully receive
Luke Spehar has been on our radar ever since his wonderful album The Pilgrim, which he wrote after treading the pilgrim’s path of the Camino de Santiago. A cradle Catholic who spent some time discerning a clerical vocation before ultimately choosing married life, his music is deeply introspective to the Catholic lifestyle, with a prowess on the guitar that’s borderline supernatural.
We recently stumbled upon his 2015 release, “All Is Gift,” and we were blown away. The song exhibits gentle yet thrilling guitar work under his soft baritone voice, which keeps a compassionate timbre. The instrumental intro alone had our ears hooked for the whole song, and it amazed us that he was able to continue the intricate riff even while singing.
While the music is beautiful, Spehar’s lasting value as a Catholic artist comes from his excellent lyrics, which praise the Lord without belaboring it or by relying on long choruses of “Hallelujah.” He writes about the perspective of a Catholic living in the secular world, who identifies that God is responsible for his life’s fortune, as well as his life in general.
This style of religious music has a vast potential for evangelism in that it can reach an audience which, while religiously minded, may not be as interested in blatant faith anthems. Spehar’s music is as accessible as any secular work, but it is driven by Catholic values, which he finds a way to express in terms we all understand, but many of us may not have considered.
An excellent example of this can be found in the first verse of “All Is Gift”:
Now from my mother, my body was takenMy father too, that’s how I was madeCreator’s breath blew into this dustWithdraw your love, Lord, I would go away
The revelations are not new, but he has phrased it in such a fashion that it makes the listener think about it in a different way than they might if it were just relayed as a biblical quote. This is what we mean when we talk about Catholic introspection. Faith music should serve to deepen our spiritual awareness and open us up to God’s love in a way that we previously had not imagined, and Luke Spehar has shown repeatedly he’s up to the task.