Alan Hommerding has been with World Library Publications (WLP) since 1991, most recently as Liturgical Publications Editor for the WLP division of GIA Publications. He is also a composer of numerous published choral and instrumental works, and is well-known as an author of hymn texts. Alan has served the North American Academy of Liturgy as convener of the liturgical music seminar, and as a member of the executive group for the Catholic Academy of Liturgy. He has been a regular contributor to the PrayTell blog since 2016.

Liturgy and Chastity: The Pure-heartedness of Ministry

In both Joseph and Mary we see a single-heartedness, a purity of intent, a devotion to their child Yeshua bar Yussef, even before his birth. It is the very stuff that covenants, and vows, and ministries are made of. Their living of the beatitude “blessed are the pure in heart” does not mean that they were never confused, or were never afraid, or never doubted. Certainly they each had moments that we would all recognize as frail humanity in action. But in their love—of God, of their child, of each other—they also knew the fullness of Emmanuel, the God-with-them.

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Team Spirit . . . and Spiritual Teams

I believe that the pervasiveness of the team/pack mentality, along with its inappropriate or disproportionate responses, qualifies as a “sign of our times” and, therefore, we can be guided by the wisdom of the Spirit, assess it critically, and live it out carefully, as Vatican II called us to:

[. . .] the Church seeks but a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ under the lead of the befriending Spirit. And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to be served. To carry out such a task, the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel. (Gaudium et Spes 3, 4)

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