The Personalist Project

Comments (13)

Helvi Moore

#1, Dec 4, 2011 5:26am

Thank you, Katie and Jules, for the warm trans-Atlantic welcome on your podcast, which made me gasp with delight!

I, too, was utterly bowled over by Chapter 4.  The analysis of values as a unifying force and hedonism as essentially isolating is powerful and timely.  I am going to sneak this insight into my next essay and see how my course tutor responds!

One thought: VH had the old rite of the Mass in mind when he was writing this book, so much of which is celebrated in silence (at least on the part of the congregants).  If the utterance of the prayers enables the kind of transformation he describes, we should now revel in our good fortune in being able to speak so much of the Novus Ordo Mass, no? (Forgive me, if this was actually discussed during the meeting, as my podcast cut out just when Jules finished his introduction - I had a signal failure on the internet at that moment - aargh!) 

Ronda Chervin

#2, Dec 4, 2011 9:32am

Dear Katie and Jules, Listening to the pod-cast with the lovely photo of your living room, I experienced the "I" of the wonderful solidarity with the Von Hildebrand circle. Thank you, thank you. Also having studied this book first with Von Hildebrand himself, I never had the opportunity of experiencing your, Jules, great way of presenting it in your own mode, linking the themes to our contemporary scene. Since it is the last week of my semester I couldn't reread Liturgy and Personality but it explained to me once again why I have been a daily Mass Catholic for the 54 years since my conversion.

A person much too much twirling around my own personal "agenda" I desperately need this time kneeling before the ultimate objective truth of the Person of Jesus and Salvation. 

Katie van Schaijik

#3, Dec 4, 2011 9:44am

Helvi Moore, Dec. 4 at 5:26am

(Forgive me, if this was actually discussed during the meeting, as my podcast cut out just when Jules finished his introduction - I had a signal failure on the internet at that moment - aargh!) 

We deliberately cut the recording off at that moment, because we wanted to make sure the members physically present would feel free to speak and share their thoughts without worrying about being broadcast all over creation.

The discussion ranged far and wide, but your point about silence didn't come up.  I'm glad you've raised it here.

Rhett Segall

#4, Dec 4, 2011 12:42pm

I too would like to thank Katie and Jules for inviting us into your home; the audio was fine.

Jules' analogy of the smile as an example of organic response to value is clarifying. Yet, isn't it appropriate at times to "will" a smile? 

It's a marvelious insight that verbalizing one's praise of God draws us more deeply into the Being of God and reverberates back on and enriches our hearts.

I think there is a psychological dynamic here of utmost importance. I am reminded of the confirmation hearing of Chief Justice John Roberts when he talked about the significance of the Justice writing up his viewpoint. The writing, Roberts said, draws the Justice deeper into the judgment and clarifies its ramifications. I suspect something similar happens in verbalizing our praise of God.

Helvi's important question about the "silent" Mass might be responded to by saying that it was hoped then (Vh wrote this in the 30's) that the worshipers would unite their voices with the voice of the celebrant by following along in the missle and perhaps going to a "High Mass".

Again, thank you for an enriching session!  I plan to listen to the next.

Rhett Segal!

Jules van Schaijik

#5, Dec 4, 2011 2:05pm

Thanks Helvi, Ronda and Rhett. It's really nice and encouraging to know you listened to the podcast and found it worthwhile.

Rhett Segall, Dec. 4 at 12:42pm

Jules' analogy of the smile as an example of organic response to value is clarifying. Yet, isn't it appropriate at times to "will" a smile? 

Yes, I agree that a willed smile is often called for. And for many different reasons. We smile for a picture, or at a child when we would rather be left alone. A queen smiles because it is her role to do so. A politician does it for political reasons, and an actress to portray a character, etc. But the point remains. None of these deliberate smiles are organic in the sense of von Hildebrand. (How forced and unnatural they appear depends, I suppose, on how talented a person is at faking it.)

Nevertheless, I'm very glad you mentioned it. I would not want to leave the impression that willed acts are less important or less perfect than spontaneous responses. They are the indispensible backbone of our moral and spiritual lives.

Jules van Schaijik

#6, Dec 4, 2011 2:15pm

Ronda Chervin, Dec. 4 at 9:32am

I experienced ... the wonderful solidarity with the Von Hildebrand circle. 

Loved to hear that especially. We are all so spread apart that the occasions to reconnect are much too rare. One of our hopes is to be able to recreate in a virtual but still very real way the fellowship and conversations we experience when we are actually together.

Katie van Schaijik

#7, Dec 4, 2011 4:23pm

During the discussion about the way the Liturgy mysteriously opens up in us a sense of solidarity with all human beings, even those who know nothing of the graces of the Liturgy, I mentioned an article I wrote once about a vivid experience of just that phenomenon.  Here it is, in case anyone's interested.

Teresa Manidis

#8, Dec 5, 2011 6:21pm

I thoroughly enjoyed both Katie's picturesque essay (linked above) and Jules' concise yet illuminating summary of the first four chapters of Liturgy and Personality.  Thank you for offering this convenient podcast format - with four children, I am already used to multi-tasking, and I found myself smiling or nodding at Jules' insights while simultaneously making butternut squash soup, or driving my kids to practice (in the car, you sound very impressive, Jules, in surround sound ;)

Two points which struck me (one of which was already alluded to in the previous comments) were the 'organic' nature of a smile (how true); and the importance of the spoken word, as demonstrated by how 'public' or even 'official' one's affection becomes when we utter those (fateful) words, 'I love you.'  Analogies like these make von Hildebrand 'accessible' to everyone.

Coming as it does during my semester break (today, incidentally, being my first day off in 48 straight weeks of school) I may try to make the trek to your home for the next Reading Circle gathering; but I thank you again for this user-friendly and engaging feature for Personalist Project members.

Katie van Schaijik

#9, Dec 5, 2011 6:25pm

Say, Teresa: How did that exam go?

Katie van Schaijik

#10, Dec 5, 2011 6:26pm

P.S.  I made butternut squash soup on Saturday. 

Teresa Manidis

#11, Dec 5, 2011 6:30pm

Thank you for inquiring, Katie, they just posted final grades 27 minutes ago. I got a 4.0 in Anatomy and Physiology, with a special notation made by my professor, 'You got every muscle and nerve right on the practical.'  

My soup was pretty good, too.

Katie van Schaijik

#12, Dec 5, 2011 10:35pm

That's great, Teresa--congratulations!

Jules van Schaijik

#13, Dec 5, 2011 10:55pm

Teresa Manidis, Dec. 5 at 6:21pm

...you sound very impressive, Jules, in surround sound.

I do? Thanks Teresa, now I know what I want for Christmas.

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