Wednesday has dawned beautifully here in the windy city. Crisp and cool. After my morning spin class, got stuck in lots of traffic, but arrived here safely to my desk.
I'm at St. Edna's parish tonight in Arlington Heights, IL, to give a talk on living the word of God (exterior of St. Edna's shown above). This is a great parish with lots of activity. I'll be speaking to those in music and liturgy ministry there. I'm planning on giving them a good dose of some inspiring church documents, including snippets from Vatican II's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass, a bit from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and even something from the General Directory for Catechesis. I find that most Catholics do not even know of the existence of some of these documents. As a liturgist, I find that both the General Directory for Catechesis (the document that guides and inspires catechesis in the Catholic Church worldwide), and the National Directory for Catechesis (the document that guides and inspires catechesis here in the United States) are well worth reading. There has been a general dissolution of the wall that has existed between catechesis and liturgy over the past few decades, due mainly, I believe, to the restoration of the catechumenate worldwide. This has been one of the major gifts that the restoration has been to the Church.
My plan for tonight is to do a little adjustment to this section from the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy:
"Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy."
"Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active listening in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy."
My hope is to talk to these ministers about what active listening is in the liturgy; and not necessarily just listening to the readings. I'll share some stories about how active listening has shaped my own experience of the liturgy and how that has helped transform my own life. I think Catholics in general need to shake off the malaise that can creep into the worship experience. There is such rich fare every single time we celebrate the Eucharist. Please say a prayer for the dedicated ministers at St. Edna's tonight.
Gotta sing. Gotta Pray.