While I am on about memory these final days of Advent, I remember a conversation several years ago with somebody, a sort of friend (to use the word in the most generous sense), a musician who has written and even recorded what can only be described as contemporary Christian music. We were talking about music and I mentioned a Michael Card song that I liked a great deal. He told me that he just didn't like contemporary Christian music, insisting that all of it basically sucked. I readily admit to feeling the same way about a lot of contemporary Christian music, but he meant his remarks as a blanket statement, an indication of his hard-line stance that he would not allow to be brooked by any argument to the contrary. He went on to adamantly express an equally stupid opinion about all blogs and all bloggers. In all fairness he did not know that I was a blogger, but being an advocate of honesty, I am glad he didn't.
Of course, at times I am equally as ridiculous and when I catch myself saying such stupid things I immediately recognize it as my pride. Life forces us to make judgments, even if it is only about what to eat for lunch, but all this means is that we have to be judicious, which means judging things by reasonable and truthful criteria.
It is precisely to counteract the judgment above- not my friend's about contemporary Christian music or blogging, but my judgment of him- that Fr. Carrón reminds us of Don Giussani's words in Living Is Memory of Me, namely that "there is no stronger sign of dishonesty than to note first of all the flaws inside the companionship." After all, he continues quoting Don Gius, "[o]ne perceives what is similar to himself." So, "[i]f evil is predominant in you, you will complain about evil; if the search for truth is predominant in you, you will discover truth.' How simple, keen, attentive, available we need to be in order to catch Him at work! It doesn’t mean that the flaws are not there, but what kind of discovery is it to realize that they are there? We are not here because we are perfect." Maybe this is something to think about when you attend Mass today, which just might be your only hope of catching Him at work!
All remembrances aside, I am very grateful that Hannah Wohlenhaus, who made this video as her final semester project, gratuitously shared it by posting it on Youtube. As St. Paul exhorted the church at Philippi, "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Phil. 4:8). It seems to me that this applies both to that which is meant to be sacred in some sense, as well as to that which could easily be dismissed as profane, but when judged properly, proves praiseworthy.
Since I mentioned blogging, I am quite content to remain on the margins of the so-called Catholic blogosphere, writing when and what I will for whomever finds it worth their while to read it; an endeavor driven neither by ideology nor activism. I also remember the original name of my blog, which I started back in August of 2005: Scott Dodge for Nobody, which arose both from a long since gone local radio program called Tom Waits for Nobody and Ron Seitz's book on Pater Tom, Song for Nobody: A Memory Vision of Thomas Merton, which is by far the best book about (as opposed to by) Pater Tom I have read.
"O root of Jesse...[c]ome and deliver us, and delay no longer."
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare