About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“The Church, no doubt, has always kept, and wishes still to maintain everywhere, the language of her Liturgy; and, before the sad and violent changes of the sixteenth century, this eloquent and effective symbol of unity of faith and communion of the faithful was, as you know, cherished in England not less than elsewhere. But this has never been regarded by the Holy See as incompatible with the use of popular hymns in the language of each country. Such hymns, moreover, are useful to familiarize the people with the great truths of faith, and to keep alive their devotion.”
— LEO XIII, POPE (8 June 1898)

Holy Purity & Anger
published 6 December 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski

JUST RECEIVED a call from the owner of a vehicle store who cursed at me, yelled at me, and then hung up. My only offense was doing business with him in the past. I chose not to respond to his evil words with anger. I simply said, “If that’s the way you wish to conduct yourself, so be it.” Someday, this foolish and dishonest bully will be forced to answer before God for his actions.

Jesus loved His enemies, who did Him great harm. Jesus wants me to love this bully. I must confess that I don’t have that love yet—but hopefully someday I will.

Musicians tend to be sensitive people.

Very few musicians (in my experience) are foolish and dishonest like that bully.

But musicians doing the Lord’s work are often subjected to bad treatment. And because musicians tend to be sensitive, a bully can wreck our whole day. When someone acts inappropriately, our minds keep dwelling on the imbecilic behavior. It echoes in our brains, and we ask: “How could this person think it appropriate to act like that?”

Let me share something that can help:

When we were young, our seminarians and priests taught us about “captivity of the eyes.” This means that whenever you see something that can cause temptation against the holy virtue of purity, you avert your eyes. Moreover, when thoughts against the sixth commandment come into the brain, you learn to block them out.

When a foolish bully tries to ruin my day, I apply the same rules.

When his foolish voice and curse words pop into my head, I do not allow myself to think about them. It’s difficult, but that’s the only way I know how to deal with this nonsense. 1

I hope you will email me, letting me know how you deal with injustice and bad behavior.


1   It can also help to recall examples of what the Jesuit martyrs suffered. Or, it can help to laugh—my priest just laughs when people act evil toward him.