Thursday, March 8, 2018

I THOUGHT AS I READ THIS ARTICLE THAT IT WAS RATHER GOOD UNTIL I REALIZED IT WAS MOSTLY NEO-PELAGIANISM AND TOO ME ORIENTED AND WHAT I DO


This caught my fancy and made me realize why I so dislike the idea that I am processing to Jesus so that I can self actualize what I am allowing Jesus to do. Press this paragraph for the full NEO-Pelagian article:

While processing to Communion, do I realize that I am journeying toward the “Jerusalem above” to feast with angels and saints, with deceased friends and loved ones, with the entire mystical Body of Christ?

My comment on this author's NEO-Plagiaism: When the communicant actually kneels at the altar railing in the ultimate act of reverence, submission and humility before the Sacramental and transubstantially real presence of the sacrificed, crucified and Risen Lord Jesus, it is Jesus processing to me and all gathered at the altar railing to make me and all those on either side of me a part of Him, His Holy Body, the Church, which He is the Head and Bridegroom. My very presence at Mass and kneeling at the altar railing is in fact an act of God's initiative in our lives by His sanctifying and actual graces! It is all about Jesus processing to me first and all those kneeling in humble adoration and Thanksgiving and as a little child completely reliant on Holy Mother Church to feed me/us by hand, I open my mouth and roll out my tongue as I did when my mom fed me as her precious child!

While the scola chants and the faithful may join in sung prayer, IT IS NOT THE COMMUNION SONG THAT UNITES US, NO MATTER HOW INSPIRING, BUT JESUS CHRIST WHO PROCESSES TO US AND OFFERS HIMSELF TO US AS THE ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE WHO UNITES US! Jesus does, not our communal chant!

14 comments:

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

While processing to Communion, do I realize that I am journeying toward the “Jerusalem above” to feast with angels and saints, with deceased friends and loved ones, with the entire mystical Body of Christ?

VS

"...it is Jesus processing to me..."

I suspect it is both.

Yes, God's initiative moves us toward attending mass, but I have to allow that initiative to become realized.

The presence of Christ AND the communal singing work to unify us with 1) Jesus and 2) the community of believers.

None of this is "either/or" but "both/and."

Grace Builds On Nature

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

There is nothing essential about the congregation or the schola singing at communion time except to make the reception of Holy Communion profoundly inspiring. It isn't what we do, like our singing at Holy Communion that unties us to Christ and thus His Holy Body the Church, but what Jesus is doing in offering Himself to us in the Holy Sacrifice first and in our worthy reception of Him secondly. The song is superfluous but nice.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Singing unifies the community of singers on the human level, the level of nature. Anyone who has sung in a schola or chorus knows this.

People in, generally, the same posture, with the same words/thoughts in their minds and on their lips, breathing in a shared pattern - all of this ties a community together whenever it sings.

Being unified in mind and voice is also profoundly inspiring and can lay the human groundwork - nature - for the action of grace because Grace Builds On Nature.

You might say "Reading the Bible isn't the "essential" element in understanding God's revelation to us," it is, rather, God acting through the inspired words. But where does that revelation get in if the words are not read?

Victor said...

"IT IS NOT THE COMMUNION SONG THAT UNITES US, NO MATTER HOW INSPIRING, BUT JESUS CHRIST..."
What you are saying here is very important because it challenges the nature of the entire liturgical reform after the Council. The reform was based on the idea of "assembly" or "community," as a defining characteristic of the Mass thought of as a public act of worship. The Consilium, through Jopseph Gelineau's musical theories, thought of congregational singing as giving unity to that assembly, ignoring, as you point out, the grace of God working in each individual in that assembly to give it a spiritual unity.

rcg said...

If music doesn’t help, it hurts. True admission of Poverty, Poverty of Spirit, confesses we can’t make the trip but will definately try. Then we are grateful when Our Lord comes to lift us in his arms.

Victor said...

Fr. K:
"Being unified in mind and voice is also profoundly inspiring...". Exactly what is so inspiring about that? Listening to beautiful sacred music is very inspiring, even more so than singing because it allows more space for God to enter the heart of the listener. Grace perfects nature, and listening to beautiful sacred sound is also the human groundwork for grace. The community you are speaking about is that of human fellowship, not the spiritual community that arises from union with God in each individual. What is more important is to take to heart what is being sung so as to follow up on this with actions.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Being unified in mind and voice is also profoundly inspiring...". Exactly what is so inspiring about that?"

I sang in choir in grade school, chorus in college, scholas in seminary. I was inspired in all those situations by teachers, chorus masters, choir directors who devoted themselves to music. I as inspired by the semi-professionals who sang with us in college. I was inspired by our seminary classmate who was and is a composer of hymns. I was inspired by the compositions we sang, both in terms of the quality of the music and the texts set to that music.

You made find listening more inspiring than singing, but that's your experience. It is not universal.

The human fellowship is the nature upon which grace can build. Without that human fellowship there is no spiritual community on this side of the tombstone.

John Nolan said...

When going up to receive Communion you will have to stand in line to await your place at the rail. You might have to hold back to allow someone to join the queue in front of you. The idea that this is some sort of solemn procession is one of the daftest conceits of the last few years; it is in the great post-V2 tradition of abolishing venerable traditions and inventing bogus new ones.

Nor have I ever come across people shuffling forward and singing at the same time. Another modern conceit. Since nowadays virtually everyone comes forward to receive (there is no fast, and the idea of being in a state of grace is alien to modern Catholics) there is likely to be some musical accompaniment, if only to relieve the boredom.

Henry said...

Isn't all this talk about what inspires . . . Well, just it's all-about-me stuff? As though the purpose of worship of God is to inspire ME. And as though worship were not an act of will but of emotion.

Victor said...

Fr K:
"You [may] find listening more inspiring than singing, but that's your experience. It is not universal."
If that were true, then 99% of the people in this world would be singers and not listeners to music that they are.

"The human fellowship is the nature upon which grace can build. Without that human fellowship there is no spiritual community on this side of the tombstone."

I let go the idea of grace building on nature, but I see now it is problematic. Grace does not build on nature, it perfects it. The former seems like a kind of Pelagian heresy. Human fellowship is not particularly a nature, but the result of God's grace already working in each individual in the first place. Look at all the wars and selfish society around us. Grace specifically perfects the individual to act on what is already natural to him, and this specifically in the context of his Beatific vision, which is the natural end of man for which he was made. The Christian community itself is the result of God's grace working in each individual in the first place, not of man's efforts as through singing in a united group of voices.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"You [may] find listening more inspiring than singing, but that's your experience. It is not universal." If that were true, then 99% of the people in this world would be singers and not listeners to music that they are."

No, because 99% of the people in the world don't have voices or the talent needed to sing in choirs, choruses, or scholas. You think any Tom, Dick, or Harry can walk onto the stage and join the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, or Chanticleer, or the Westminster Cathedral Choir?

There's nothing problematic about Grace Building On Nature. That's how God designed it. The problem is us, not the grace. The problem is we reject the offer.



RSC+ said...

It seems to me that the assembly isn't nearly so passive. Certainly they are part of the Eucharistic sacrifice, inasmuch as they offer themselves, their souls and bodies, their sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, their alms and oblations, etc. There's enough potential self-absorption to go around. Just as God seeks after His people, Israel, rather than an individual person, we must remember that Christ gave himself up for the whole world, and that our redemption is both cosmological and individual. Yes, of course, I have my role to play, but it is always in the context of an organ (or even a cell of an organ) within the wider Body of Christ, rather than as an individual feeling the warm fuzzy. One consumes the sacrificial victim as part of the gathered assembly, just as one offers sacrifice in the same assembly.

Let us have less "how does this make me feel" and more "how is the creator and sustainer of the universe, who became incarnate that the universe might be redeemed and reconciled anew to Himself, being properly venerated?" Even the seraphim veil their faces to that presence in Isaiah, no doubt because they understand the implications.

Victor said...

Fr K:
I do not see how Westminster choir denies my point. Precisely because 1% of the population has beautiful singing voices is why 99% of the population are listeners, and not singers, so that listening is universal, not singing. That does note speak well of congregational singing which the Novus Ordo emphasises, by the way.
As for talk of grace and nature, God gives grace to human beings because they are fallen, and need God's grace to reach their end of the beatific vision. The point is that grace specifically perfects human nature, and it would be odd to talk about God giving grace to a rock, cat, or dog.
But all this is in a way moot. Talking about nature in our Nominalist world, that same Nominalism that fueled the Protestant Reformation, is an uphill battle. Essentialism is generally denied in our society as the current human gender controversies exemplify. Even if people do accept that there is such a thing as nature or essence, they can deny that it is static. That is to say, human nature has changed since the time of Jesus so that whatever he said no longer applies today.
As for the communion antiphon, this is another example of how the Novus Ordo is based on fake liturgical scholarship and should be withdrawn or reformed. The antiphon with its psalm was originally sung at papal Masses to accompany the sacred ministers processing to distribute communion, not to accompany the faithful going to receive communion.

TJM said...

I had been in CHurch music (trained volunteer) for over 40 years beginning prior to Vatican Disaster II and I always felt that encouraging singing while heading up to the Communion Rail was a HUGE mistake. Folks should be contemplating receiving our Lord, not making Looney Liturgists happy.