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Monday, 24 February 2014

Humilty, and Me-mility

Yesterday in Sunday School, while discussing I can't remember what, I was moved to confess to my fifth-graders that I have an enormous head, and am full of myself and always think I'm the smartest person in the room... or at least I did.

So I disagreed with a lot of people, about a lot of things.
And there was a thing, or two, about which I simply disagreed with the Church. (I'm not talking about prudential matters.)

Well, about 20 years ago, and I don't know what occasioned this brain storm, but I somehow finally realized that over many decades, many centuries there were and had been many men and women, a whole lot wiser, and a whole lot more learned and a whole lot holier who thought differently from me, who thought with the mind of the Church.

And I realized that it was possible that they were right. Maybe probable that they were right.

Okay, they were right.

Which meant I was wrong.

And I decided that I could accept something without understanding it, I would accept it. I would simply surrender.
And I learned so much, and so many things became so much better for me, and easier for me, and more meaningful for me, and things in my life came together, and... but that's really not the point.

The point is, I need to listen to people who are wiser and more erudite and holier than I am.
And I try to.

What am I to make of this?

After having devoted nearly forty years to a worthy “reform of the reform”; after having taught and defended the Novus Ordo Missae to the best of my ability; after having composed — to a certain acclaim, even from a dean of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Liturgy — an entire monastic antiphonal in modal plainchant for the French liturgical texts; after having composed hundreds of plainchant settings for the Proper of the Mass in the vernacular; after having fought mightily for the restoration of the Proper Chants of the Mass; after having argued to the point of exhaustion for an intelligent obedience to the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani; after having poured myself out in lectures and in preaching to priests, seminarians, and religious, I am obliged to conclude that I could have better spent my time and my energy humbly carrying out the traditional liturgy such as I discovered it — and such as I so loved it — in the joy of my youth. I say this not with bitterness but with the seasoned resignation of a weary veteran lately come home from an honourable defeat in the liturgical Thirty Years War.

 (And this?)

Dom Mark made a powerful impression on me a few years ago.
I have to  think about all this.
No, I have to pray about it.

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