[dropcap type=”4″]L[/dropcap]ocal Catholic singer/songwriter Chris Muglia has just released his fifth compilation of original music, challenging listeners to go deeper in their faith journey. The new CD is titled “Late Check In” and includes 10 new songs. It is Muglia’s first release since 2009 and reflects his own spiritual journey and growth during a two-year absence from music ministry.
The Catholic Sun: What does “Late Check In,” the title of the album, mean?
Chris Muglia: It’s a metaphor for being present. In our humanity, we’re all in danger of imagining a false reality for ourselves if we spend too much time dwelling on the past or too much time wanting things we think we don’t have. It leads to depression or anxiety. When we’re fully checked in and fully alert, that’s where we experience life in its fullness and the blessings God has for us. So it’s really a metaphor for being alert and being present. You can think of yourself as a victim of a circumstance or you can become too anxious because you’re too busy and you’re not where you want to be. There’s freedom and serenity in just being here, being checked in and being OK with that.
How do you come up with your songs?
I think there’s actually a misconception about how songs come to be. Songwriting is work. It’s definitely true that inspiration comes from God and the Holy Spirit, but I would consider it more of a general life inspiration. I still have to write and rewrite and tweak and rewrite until it’s where it needs to be.
How does this new album challenge listeners to grow in their faith?
I would say it challenges you on a number of levels. First, to be present, to recognize the blessing that your life is already. To check into that reality. The album tells a story. It all points to that idea that you need to take responsibility for your own faith journey and your own life circumstance. That’s really the heart of it. I hope that I can appeal to the lost sheep of this world, the broken and lost, addicts and sinners like me.
What’s the purpose of your music?
If my music opens one heart to God, or gets me into a conversation with someone who is wondering if there is something out there that’s bigger than themselves, then I’ve done my job.
What do you find most fulfilling about being a Catholic musician?
I actually don’t find fulfillment from that. I love music but it’s not where I find fulfillment. I find fulfillment in doing the will of God, in being the best husband and father I know how to be, loving my neighbor as myself and staying mindful that life is precious and short. I don’t like to be identified with what I do.