Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Romance of Salvation, again

One of the difficulties in church life today is that we have lost the innate sense of acting our part in the drama of salvation. For example, as a monk and a priest, I have a certain character role to play. People expect certain things of me to make their lives make sense. If I try to be too orginal or 'interesting', I can really mess things up.
To many people, this sounds like a road to inauthenticity. But this presupposes two things to which I would not give assent. First of all, that we can know who we are 'authentically' without reference to God's plans for us. We discover these plans in our contacts with God in prayer, in Scripture and in the Church.
Secondly, there is an idea that if we try to act according to script, then our uniqueness will be lost. This is simply not my experience. As a composer, I have found over and over that the impasses I experience have to do with my inability to put on paper a musical idea I have. This problem is most easily resolved by constant honing of technique, in other words, writing music acoording to a pre-planned script. What comes out either way could only have been composed by me but would not have been composed at all if I had paid more attention to my own invidual voice.

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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