Spiritual Forces Against The Sacred Liturgy
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    Spiritual Forces Against The Liturgy

    I made a statement about my friend (who was an archdiocesan priest) in another post here on this board. It was this:

    "The demons love to hang out in two places in particular: one, the rectory kitchen, and two, the choir loft."

    It occurred to me that I should probably clarify his observation since some may think it of themselves which is not the case at all. Let us not think WE are the demons in the kitchen, choir loft, or anywhere in the community. We are not!

    We, as musicians of the liturgy, are the instruments, (so to speak) of God's incredible action in the Mass, called upon and gifted to provide the 'highest' form of art to be married to the liturgical action and spoken (and chanted) word. The evil ones (those demons) hate us with an unmatched passion and put forth every extra effort to destroy and tear us apart in every and any way possible... physically, emotionally, spiritually and even bodily.

    Almost always, their (the demons) overall scheming is undetectable and resembles the undertoe of a riptide. You can never see it, but you will always feel it, and usually when it's too late and has run the course of some type of destruction, even if it only be a 'rift'.

    The particular offender of those terrible seven that I speak of is the demon of Envy, one of the primary foot soldiers of Pride, (but be assurred, the other six will not remain inactive in our activities of music.) Envy is out to incite gossip and slander among everyone including the DM's whenever possible. They will provoke any weak or unguarded soul and/or mind to "hate, strife, contention, quarreling, persecution, backbiting, jealousy, contempt, uncharitableness, malice and ill-will. We desire to be superior to the one we envy, so we are grieved over any good qualities s/he has and belittle them; we rejoice when some misfortune befalls them. We put an evil construction on what s/he says and does and expose any defects we observe in him/her. Envy destroys charity in our heart, keeps us from advancing in perfection and renders us hateful to God. It makes us ungrateful, so that we do not give thanks for benefits shown us, but may even depreciate them." (taken from 'The Seven Capital Sins by the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration).

    I have often seen it always inciting jealousy among the 'trained' (oftentimes paid) singers, organists, musicians, directors, section leaders or soloists. When money is part of any musical endeavor, and especially liturgical, the recipients of any funds are well noted targets of this dark spirit. The musician's greatest gift can easily become their downfall if their tongue and their hands are not closely guarded. Some of the favorite hosts of these wicked forces are those who are 'hired' to provide liturigcal music, and greater danger often accompanies those who don't believe in God and especially not in devils.

    The type of music selected for the liturgy (style, such as chant vrs. folk) is one of the easiest contentions that can be conjured up from Envy's arsenal and deployed almost instantaeously like tear gas in a crowd. It is also turned out over the congregation and exerts every effort to create a spiritual divide right down the center of the worshipping community, and masks itself in the dual-gods of reason, diversity, and other duo-philosophical mental gymnastics.

    There are other subtle and not so subtle ways envy operates. With that said, I leave you with the remedies as found in 'The Seven Capital Sins by the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration.

    "There is nothing more difficult to cure than envy, nothing that causes the soul more suffering, vexation and torment of mind. It gnaws at the heart like a worm. The chief remedies against it are fervent prayer, the practice of humility and reflection on the grievousness of this sin, the difficulty of its cure and the evils that flow from it. The lives of Saints will offer many inspirations.

    The virtue opposed to envy is charity or brotherly love. Brotherly love causes us to consider our neighbor's interests as our own. It makes us willing to act and suffer for others, inspires a hearty sympathy in another's trials and sorrows and a willingness to assist him. It fills us with sincere joy in his successes and represses any feelings of rancor or ill-will that arise.

    Envy is a tool of the devil, who goes about the world seeking the ruin of souls because he envies their good and wants to revenge himself against Good by destroying them. If we do not want to be his tool, we must strive to make peace and love the fundamental rule of our relationship with others."

    We as musicians of the liturgy must especially be on guard against this demon, Envy.
  • Francis,
    I have been reading the forums here at musicasacra for a while, among other blogs, sites, etc. This is my first post. Your post here is a very important one that all MD should read.

    MD: Remember, your soul is the most important thing in this journey we are on.

    The things that have happened in my short 12 years as a MD in various parishes would blow your minds. Thankfully I am at a church where the priest is supportive and knows right vs. wrong. The devil is on a mission just as much as we are on a mission. He may come to you in an obvious form (can anyone say 'liturgy meeting'?), he may come to you in a not so obvious form. In my personal experience, just when you think things are calm, something/someone comes out of nowhere.

    A spiritual advisor made a comment to me when things were rough: when we suffer, we get a glimpse of what Christ went through. When the going gets tough, remember the cross.

    Anyone interested in starting a link on the unbelievable and evil things that occur within Catholic church music?

    Pray, keep yourself in a proper spiritual place, and be on guard.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    Hi pipesnposaune:

    I share this info because too often we don't realize what is overtaking us at times. Half the battle is to "know your enemy"-- the other half is to examine one's conscience often in relation to the Seven Deadly Sins, hit the confessional, and then practice the seven virtues that neutralize those tendencies in us all.

    I will post an age old prayer (which I have composed as a five part canon) very soon that helps us all in this ongoing battle.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    I posted the prayer here as I promised.

    Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti

    :-)
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    Ah, part of the acrostic that appears on the St. Benedict medal!

    There's a whole lot more to that powerful medal than just this. Check it out!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,129
    David:

    Did you mean to post a link? Now I am curious!
  • I thought maybe we had another trombone player on the boards, but then I realized that "pipesnposaune" is most likely referring to organ stops... Well, I like organists too.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    I'm sorry, Francis, I didn't. I just looked at your post of the piece based on the medal and see that you've already provided alot of info. (Here's the full address with color pics: www.osb.org/gen/medal.html).

    I've just recently picked up a book from Loreto Publications that is a reprint translation of Dom Gueranger's book, "The Medal or Cross of St. Benedict: Its Origin, Meaning and Privileges." He recounts some pretty amazing accounts of healings and othe miracles associated with the medal.

    PS - Don't know what it's doing in anyone else's neck of the woods, but it's snowing here! Now, how are we supposed to talk about spring, resurrection and rebirth when it looks like we're still "In the Bleak Midwinter"?
  • john m
    Posts: 134
    The same way that they sing "In The Bleak Midwinter" in the middle of summer in Australia :-)
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    This is even better than sinking the thread ...
  • Thanks Francis and David! I keep meaning to buy some St. Benedict medals and hide a few under choir chairs, in the organ bench, etc. It cannot hurt.
    Michael: You do have a trombonist (and organist) here!
    Blessings for a peaceful and.......warm (?) Easter.

    Snow here, too.....

    Colleen
    -a new poster who shamefully admits she has not joined musicasacra yet!
  • Colleen,

    Join us... join us...

    a fellow saqueboutier