Sunday, May 03, 2009
Ignore this post, at your peril; and mine as well most likely.
I'm at a loss to know whether nearly 40 years of efforting to help others praise the Lord God through the miraculous gift of music has simply left me bewildered among a swamp of an exponentially burgeoning atmosphere of indifference, repugnant stasis, and, worst of all, a sort of Piaget curve self-regard that whispers, ala Larry the Cable Guy, "You're done." The swamp, of course, is the people- as in "the work of THE PEOPLE." One caveat, "the people" I speak of are not those who, with me, choose to hone our craft and art week in, year out. As I discover more and more about discipline and discipleship, they endure and work like the postman of yore- neither rain, sleet, hail or snow shall deter us from our cause.
But, where else are the other "true believers," the zealots, the die-hards, the "once more into the breach" folk who know enough and care enough to say to anyone who will listen: "This is Mass, but as worship?"- we offer unto the Lord half-hearts, hedged bets, lukewarm, rote and dazed, eyes-glazed packaged response to the Cosmic Lord's Supper.
In the temple at twelve, in the desert at 30, in Gethsemene at 33, and finally on the cross, Emmanuel risked everything to stay the course as both man and God, knowing that death was an inevitable outcome, but one that had to be freely chosen.
And the best we can muster is half or less of any given congregation singing the words He sang and spoke: "Amen.....Hosanna.....Alleluia."
A church spilling over, SRO, at a Confirmation that wantonly chatters incessantly and who likely bristles with self-righteous indignation should anyone chastise such blatant disresepct with even a charitable reminder that they're already in His Living Presence before the shindig, I mean, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, actually goes on the clock! True worshippers seem to be the interlopers, the inconvenient souls whose quiet presence and demeanor can no longer prove an effective witness to others of the "faithful" to "be still and know I AM."
OTOH, one of our vicars relayed an encounter with a 6/7 year old first communicant yesterday wherein the little boy could not help himself from keeping his hand raised while the priest was spinning out his homily. Finally, the vicar acknowledged the boy's hand, and provided him the opportunity to ask his burning question, which was "Father, how can we become more like God?"
Keep raising your hand, Kid, never stop asking, never stop trying to discover what that question means and how God will answer it for you throughout your life. As Father told him, "Don't grow up, son."
Still tired I am. Tired of many tyrannies that I can't enumerate: tired of time signatures; tired of satisfying so many folks' tastes in order to justify (to whom? Me?) the programming of chanted Propers and Ordinaries or what the Holy Father would deem "Real Beauty."
My ax doesn't fall upon "Eagles' Wings" necessarily. But, if some of "the people" would yield just a small wall of their comfort zones and conventional wisdom, they could actually experience soaring and gliding as if part of those wings, would they accept and move within the vehicle of chanted prayer.
And Excellency, Reverend Fathers, even less than diligent deacons- People look East, the time is near....then we can rightly crown the year.
And then be transfigured each Lord's Day, be in the fullest Communion in every human expression.
I want to not be tired anymore.