I have thought for many years how amazing it is to find individual men and women and families who persevere amidst great affliction in parishes with minimal or no reverence, multitudes of liturgical abuses, romper room music, and those whom George Weigel calls (in the latest issue of Adoremus Bulletin), the "chattering [before & after Mass] classes." It's amazing. Perhaps you know some of these folks -- women in their fifties or sixties who are the mother of 8-12 children, with disheveled hair getting up from their kneelers after a prayer of thanksgiving after a bongo Mass and then coming up to greet you and raving about the BLESSING of it all, how they sensed the ANGELS all around them praising the Lord with the Seraphim of Heaven ... Fathers who persevere in holding fast to the Faith and keeping a close oversight of their family's devotional life, getting up at 3:00am to take their turn at Holy Hour in a chapel with the Blessed Sacrament, serving as Grand Knights in the local K of C Council, leading an annual bus load of people from area parishes to the January March for Life in DC.[Hat tip to Roger Lessa]
How do they do it? Of course it's the Lord's grace -- pure, beautiful divine grace that takes these rather "humble, ordinary vessels," as they would surely see themselves, and makes them into shining examples of saints that will surely reign in high places in Heaven. Compared to these, I sometimes feel like a spiritual cripple. I feel inadequate, like a diabetic who needs good and sacred traditional liturgy as his dialysis. I feel like a refugee orphan who has not long ago escaped the concentration camps of bongo Masses and We-Are-Church parishes of St. Narcissus. I drink deeply from the liturgical Oasis granted to us in the Lord's Providence, but I stand in amazement at how the Lord raises up saints like the magnificent Lotus flower from a pond of sludge and mud.