Words of wisdom to consider in these heated liturgical discussions

I offer these words, slightly edited, from a priest I know very well, and whom God has given quite a way with words. These words were addressed to me a couple of years ago after my "Jenga Mass" meltdown. I have not always abided by them nor even remembered them, but I have just come across them again, so I share them with you all, especially those who often contribute to our lively (and sometimes ill-mannered) discussions about liturgical praxis.
When we encounter people or situations that trouble us, it does require discernment as to how to proceed. As you indicated, it is good to try to work things out directly after prayer and reflection. I'm also reminded of a holy card I have with a John XXIII quote: "See everything, overlook a great deal, improve a little." I take that not as a recipe for indifference or inaction, but as a moderating and realistic approach to the fallen nature of life around us, and our own imperfect abilities and response.

As I look at some of the priests, religious, and lay people (usually of "another generation") I sometimes share some of the frustrations and observations you have made. I think I would simply offer this: it is better to deal with what is observable, than with seeking to determine motivation in others. I remember reading spiritual guidance (I forget where) that we are often more prone to speculating about or presuming motivations in others, and reluctant to examine motivations in ourselves. I think that many of the "older" ones we come in contact with were taught differently, and went through difference experiences, that shaped their approach to liturgy or theology. It is possible for us to disagree, even on substantial matters, without it meaning that the other person has a personal agenda, or disrespect for God or the Church. They can be honestly of a different opinion, and even honestly be mistaken or in error.

I guess I'd ask myself (as I sometimes do) what my goal is: to show I am right, or to lead another to conversion? It gets complicated, doesn't it?
The Cliff's Notes version comes from the blog of Father Z, from the mouth of Augustine Cardinal Mayer: "At a certain point we must stop arguing and try to open their hearts."

See everything, overlook a great deal, improve a little."Quote--good advise Japhy!!
It is like the three monkeys-see no evil,hear no evil and say no evil.Yet it can be so hard! I personally am blessed to live in a big city where I have a choice where I can go to Mass.I feel so sorry for the good salt of the earth country or isolated catholics who have to put up with liturgical abuse.I remember one time, at a church noted for its Eucharistic Adoration,I heard a priest in his sermon berating and insulting Jesus,as he said he did not believe that Jesus dwelt in "that BOX''(the tabenacle).It reminds me of a story I read recently-An Athiest in a village in Russia ,challenged the religious people in the square "I will insult your God for ten minutes out loud--see if He will kill me!He finished and said God does not exist ,as He would have finished me off!They replied-He did not kill you but we will!(Not on the thread but a good story!!)My first reaction was to get up and push him away from the mike,I was so angry.Instead I prayed for him and reflected that Jesus allowed Himself to be insulted--still it was very sad.In another parish the clever priest told the people that the devil does not exist-he cured people of their neurosis! Again I was very angry-prayer (to St Michael) was the only thing I could do to calm myself and not stand up and yell"That is a lie",my mother,whom I was visiting, told me weeks later that I was not the only one!(Do not worry ,he was made Vicar General not long after this!) I used to get really cross when people talk near me in church after Mass(usually about nothing),as I could not make my thanksgiving-now I just knee, close my eyes-remain in stillness and only start when the talkers move out of the church.I was an extraordinary eucharistic minister at a first communion Mass recently and was at the back of the church-a lady was just about to receive Jesus, but she spotted a friend and they had a great chat about two feet away "SHUT UP"I felt like saying,she then rejoined the line, came up and received communion! I just put the best case forward why she needed a chat, maybe she felt that she was being charitable,God only knows.What is even a greater shame,it is usually the "older generation" who were taught silence in Church are the worse offenders,the very few younger people who are there I find ,are usually the devout ones!!Your priest friend certainly has given out the challenge--to practise heroic charity,for the love of Jesus;it is easier to correct others than to change oneself!.Thank you Japhy and may God Bless you.You certainly got me started,I will reflect on your advise!

[quote="japhy, post:1, topic:178441"]
I offer these words, slightly edited, from a priest I know very well, and whom God has given quite a way with words. These words were addressed to me a couple of years ago after my "Jenga Mass" meltdown. I have not always abided by them nor even remembered them, but I have just come across them again, so I share them with you all, especially those who often contribute to our lively (and sometimes ill-mannered) discussions about liturgical praxis.
When we encounter people or situations that trouble us, it does require discernment as to how to proceed. As you indicated, it is good to try to work things out directly after prayer and reflection. I'm also reminded of a holy card I have with a John XXIII quote: "See everything, overlook a great deal, improve a little." I take that not as a recipe for indifference or inaction, but as a moderating and realistic approach to the fallen nature of life around us, and our own imperfect abilities and response.

As I look at some of the priests, religious, and lay people (usually of "another generation") I sometimes share some of the frustrations and observations you have made. I think I would simply offer this: it is better to deal with what is observable, than with seeking to determine motivation in others. I remember reading spiritual guidance (I forget where) that *we are often more prone to speculating about or presuming motivations in others, and reluctant to examine motivations in ourselves. * I think that many of the "older" ones we come in contact with were taught differently, and went through difference experiences, that shaped their approach to liturgy or theology. It is possible for us to disagree, even on substantial matters, without it meaning that the other person has a personal agenda, or disrespect for God or the Church. They can be honestly of a different opinion, and even honestly be mistaken or in error.

I guess I'd ask myself (as I sometimes do) what my goal is: to show I am right, or to lead another to conversion? It gets complicated, doesn't it?
The Cliff's Notes version comes from the blog of Father Z, from the mouth of Augustine Cardinal Mayer: "At a certain point we must stop arguing and try to open their hearts."

[/quote]

Every time I see someone complain about certain perceived "liturgical abuses" what you mention comes to find...

[quote="japhy, post:1, topic:178441"]
[INDENT] I'm also reminded of a holy card I have with a John XXIII quote: "See everything, overlook a great deal, improve a little."

[/quote]

I think that attitude is what has gotten the Church into the quagmire it has been experiencing for the past 40 years! :(

"think that attitude is what has gotten the Church into the quagmire it has been experiencing for the past 40 years!" QUOTE.-peary.
Dear Peary,the my previous comments about liturgical abuses and my response, that I personally experienced that Japhy triggered in me, were for the purpose to show that there is a correlation between how we react to things and people in real life and the manner we post things on the internet and forums.In one sense making a comment in a rude,abusive or judgemental manner is so easy on the internet, as we do not see the painful reactions on peoples'faces!Not that your comment is of that sort,yours is a fair comment.I personally ignore replying back to uncharitable comments in a personal manner,the truth can still be said in reply ,softly.
I think that Japhy's thread as I read it, was reflecting the manner and judgements in which some people fight against perceived liturgical abuses in the forums-have I got it right?.I reject your comment that her type of attitude have caused the present problems.She quote BLESSED Pope John the 23rd,a saintly person if ever there was one and I would not dismiss it lightly, the advise given to us through the Holy Spirit.Blessed the John 23rd,pray for us.Amen.

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