The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Fear, love, and presumption

Canisius | 23 February, 2006 05:19

In IV, 164, Dom Gueranger connects the reading of the Fall in Genesis 3 with meditation on the effects of original sin in us, while he connects the subsequent story of the deluge in Genesis 6 with meditation on the seriousness of actual sin.

Very, very nicely done. Homilists, take note!

In the meditation on pp. 165-6, he stresses greatly the necessity for fear in our relationship with God, both to convert us from sin and to keep us converted. I expect that this is one area where many moderns would dislike Gueranger: nowadays the idea is that perfect love casts out fear, and we're all supposed to act as though we have perfect love. I'm not sure exactly how to put it, but it seems to me that many oddities in modern practice come from a desire to hurry people into a state of perfection without giving them time to grow there--the American practice of everyone receiving communion all the time, for example, or the push to cast aside corporal mortifications in favor of more interior, spiritual mortifications, when the truth is that the latter are more difficult than the former.

Perhaps Gueranger's idea is right that it's best to avoid presumption, and assume that we are not entirely beyond the stage where fear is necessary. At the very least, we can all tremble at the very real possibility that we could fall back into sin!


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