HEN WE STOP and consider Catholic churches with excellent music programs—and there are a good number in the United States—it is clear that what they’re engaged in is radically different from the “average” Catholic parish. Recently, my family attended Mass at a Church with a great priest. The pews were packed with good people and the homily was excellent, but the music can only be described as a “Country Music Fest.” I’m sure many Catholics approach the Pastor in a parish with authentic Sacred music asking: “How come you don’t use pleasant, easy listening music like the parish where I grew up?”
Not too long ago, something dawned on me. In all the years I lived in Texas, the Catholic Church did practically nothing to help our marriage. We had to figure out everything by ourselves and did a lot of reading. The priest who prepared us for marriage gave us a 50-minute video to watch—and that was it! What’s truly shocking is to consider how little support my parents were given for their marriage, yet they persevered and followed all the teachings of the Church.
When priests who sacrifice greatly to have an authentic Sacred music program are asked why they don’t just “give in” and allow secular styles of music (like the vast majority of USA parishes) they would probably give an answer identical to the one my parents might give: “How could we do anything else?”
I DON’T KNOW WHETHER our readers know the cartoon King of the Hill, but it chronicles the life of Hank Hill and his three friends. Hank is the only one who has a “normal” marriage. Dale Gribble’s wife is unfaithful to him. Bill Dauterive’s wife left him long ago and he misses her tremendously. Boomhauer has no wife, but commits fornication practically every night.
When we’re honest, we have to admit that King of the Hill portrays an accurate picture of society. A good marriage is rare, because we human beings—all of us—are fallen and sinful.
Therefore, it really doesn’t matter what “everyone else” is doing. We’re called to discover Christ and conform our lives to His teachings. What “everyone else” is doing is irrelevant. Fulton Sheen once said that God allows the Catholic Church to have sinful and imperfect people inside it because otherwise we—who are great sinners—would be too embarrassed and ashamed to seek membership!