Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A "cantoring crisis" at the 8:00AM mass this morning left out Music Director in a bit of a bind; the scheduled cantor had to cancel (and at the last-minute, naturally), and, with Fr. Beaven's permission, I became the replacement cantor for the mass! Hopefully the "morning modulation" that accompanied my singing wasn't too jarring for the congregation. As this nun knows all too well, however, Everything is for the greater glory of God, including my crummy singing voice. I'm just happy to do my part when I'm called to do so. That's vocation for ya!

Sometimes that's easier said than done, though. I mentioned my breakfast invite in an earlier entry - well, it started out as well as could be expected, considering that I was a guest at a party for a group of people whose "common thread" was some sort of active participation and/or leadership at St. Ben's at some point in the past. Many of them, for one reason or another, were no longer parishioners. This didn't present any obstacles to conversation and/or social improprieties, though my introversion naturally led me to being more or less a wallflower for most of the early part of the brunch. I was still managing to enjoy myself at least mildly, however, with Fr. O'Boyle, Ben, the man who had originally invited me, and Janette, a fellow choir member, doing their part to introduce me to the rest of the group. I met Ellen, a former rectory staffer, who I quickly discovered to be the comedian of the group (and a very good one at that!). I also met Kent, the host, who's quite the cook if I do say so myself. As good as the cooking was, however, things took a turn for the worst as more and more drinks were served. Apparently being the new seminarian on the block doesn't dissuade these St. Ben's vets from talking about their issues with church teaching in rather explicit terms and in very dramatic ways. I don't think they were deliberately trying to make me uncomfortable and/or get my take on the various issues, but the end result was that I was made EXTREMELY uncomfortable in a circumstance where I was, in the first place, merely content. As much as I appreciate the invitation, I really can't imagine going to a brunch with this group again, truth be told. Quite the pastoral challenge, at any rate. By the grace of God I hope I can do more than sit in silence the next time a situation like this arises again. Jesus, I trust in You!

Dinner turned out to be a far more palatable affair; I managed to hook up with the Ravenshood Catholic Young Adults Group, along with Fr. Steve and Mike, a brother seminarian and fellow Quigley alumnus. Now, THIS was a group I felt far more "at home" with. My age group? Check. Totally into defending the faith? Check. Totally interested in talking about it? Check. Totally into Jesus? Check! God Bless the whole lot of them!

Really, I don't understand why there's such a movement to "modernize" everything in the church - be it music, liturgy, doctrine, you name it - when the young, devout Catholics want nothing of the sort! They dig the "red meat" homilies chock full of deep theology; they love devotions like Eucharistic adoration and the rosary. I suspect many would assume the older crowd would be the one to fit the latter description, whilst the young would be the ones eager to berate and belabor their particular problems with the church. Well, for the upteenth time, I am discovering the REVERSE to be true. Not that it matters much in the long run; every soul that is saved gives glory to God, and EVERY soul, including my own, needs saving. Praised be Jesus Christ now and forever! AMEN!

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