Happy Monday to you all.
Blogger has been down most of the day. To be honest, I just didn't know what to do with myself this morning between 8:15 and 8:45! But now it's all back up and running.
I had a very busy weekend; not unlike most parish musicians and clergy. I have been playing at liturgies at Catholic Theological Union here in Chicago for their "Catholics On Call" conference. You can learn more about this program for vocational discernment aimed at Catholic young adults here.
I have been involved with this program for a number of years and it has been interesting to watch the subtle shift in piety with these young adults. A few years ago there was a request for a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament. This was not a request that we had anticipated. We celebrate Eucharist, Morning Prayer, and Evening Prayer regularly at these conferences. This year, I noticed one member of the conference praying the rosary during the various liturgies. I heard that one young adult confronted one of the vowed religious, asking her why she was not wearing a habit. One young woman wore a head-covering during the celebrations of Mass. I must admit that I haven't seen one of those since I was a teenager. These were all young adults who exhibited varying levels of a deep and committed faith. Simply attending one of these conferences is an exercise in vulnerability for them. In a world that pushes young adults into a lifestyle of consumerism, to take the time to pause and reflect on where the Lord's calling is, is a great sign of hope for the Church—and for the world!
I guess I am softening up as I grow older. The kind of pious practice I have seen with these young adults would have made me cringe several years ago. But, I have grown—I guess—in my own appreciation for how wide our Church is, as well as how wide the arms of the Lord are. I am always cautious, though. I remember reading all about Saint Faustina and this whole Divine Mercy devotion several years ago. While I thought that some of her writings exhibited—at least to me—a certain off-centeredness, I did think that the literature on the Chaplet and the cult of Divine Mercy was right on target with the emphasis on the works of mercy. The problem is that—and this is sad—for many people involved in praying the chaplet and embracing the piety, there is little commitment to the real work of mercy. And this is always the catch for me. The world needs changing and we Catholics have the power to inaugurate so much change. We have to wed prayer with action, don't we?
Well, I am usually less controversial in the mornings; my mind has been working all day so I am all juiced up; so thanks for listening today.
By the way, I have heard from a few people who have never been able successfully to post their comments on this blog. I did some snooping and I think I fixed the problem in my "settings" area on blogger. So, if you have tried before and failed to post, please try again. As always, comments welcome.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.