Thursday, July 28, 2016

“The Sacrifice of Praise and the Ecstatic Orientation of Man” — Lecture at Silverstream Priory

This week my family and I have been visiting Silverstream Priory in Ireland for a time of rest and prayer. At the invitation of the prior, Dom Mark Kirby, I gave a conference to monks, clergy, and seminarians this afternoon, the full text of which is available at Rorate; the audio has also been posted by the monks.

A few excerpts:
We are steeped in a world of pragmatism, utilitarianism, and activism, where we place such a high premium on doing and making, where we ask “what good is it” and “what’s in it for me,” where we look for results, the bottom line, the cash value, the pay-off. ...
In modern times we have lost the sense of sacred liturgy as an activity worth doing for its own sake, as an action whose justification lies in itself rather than in its usefulness as a tool or an instrument. Correctly understood, the liturgy is something we do for God, because He is glorious, deserving of all our love, our adoration, our devotion, our self-forgetful attention. ...
When, and to the extent that, we act as if we were ordering God to ourselves instead [of ordering ourselves to God], He will allow us to suffer the just penalties of restlessness, boredom, dryness, disbelief, and even despair. Nor should we underestimate the perceptiveness of the faithful in the pews, many of whom can readily sense the difference between a liturgy that is done for God’s sake, with His honor and glory as the motivating force, and a liturgy that is designed and conducted for the people, so as to involve, stimulate, affirm, entertain, or otherwise engage them.
Read more here.

Later, I intend to share some photos and impressions of my time at Silverstream. It is a wonderful place, well worth the inquiries of young men who are serious about the Benedictine monastic life, or simply of a visit to share in their richly Eucharistic and Marian liturgical life.

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