Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fight or Flight

When your local parish has problems - I'm thinking about liturgical problems right now, but this is applicable to any serious issues - what do you do? Assuming you aren't the Music Director or otherwise in a position of "official" or semi-official leadership- what should you do? Try to fix things? Suffer through and "offer it up?" Go find another parish to worship with?

And, let's be clear: I mean REAL problems. I don't mean that they do some P&W songs at another scheduled Mass you don't attend. I don't mean they sometimes replace one of the Propers with a hymn instead or that the choir isn't as good as it could be. I mean (liturgically, in this case) that things are so bad that it is truly difficult to attend Mass.

This is a question that comes up for most people at some time. There are no perfect answers. I recently shared my own thoughts about this on the MusicaSacra Forum, and thought I would repost them here.

Some people are called to "stay and work" in parishes, communities, etc where something wrong is going on, where change can be effected.

Some people are called to "leave and pray," moving to other parishes or communities where they can look after their own sanity and spiritual needs.

And most people, I imagine, are called at different times in their life to do one and at another time to do the other- particularly, I would think, when children are a factor, and one must consider the environment they are to be raised and formed in.

We should, none of us, judge anyone else for their decision to do one or other.

We also, each of us, should take very seriously the discernment of which path is the right one for ourselves and for our families. God often calls us to work and to places which seem to us not to be our natural inclination: it may be that many "fighters" are called away to prayer, while many "prayers" are called onward to the fight.