Liturgy & Personality
A precursor to the “Liturgical Movement” of the twentieth century, Hildebrand’s Liturgy and Personality is an awe-filled appreciation of mass and its role in personal formation. Written by a philosopher who had recently converted to Catholicism, the book awakens us to see with fresh eyes the true beauty of the liturgy.
The principal point of the book you are about to read is that the liturgy of the Church decisively shapes a healthy personality. Hildebrand insists throughout the text that the primary purpose of the liturgy is not to form the personality but to give proper praise to God, the supreme value. Nevertheless, precisely by ordering human beings thoroughly to God, the liturgy does in fact, as a derivative effect, contribute to their flourishing.Bishop Robert Barron | From the Foreword
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Dietrich von Hildebrand spent a life rich in wonder, and he invites us here to marvel with him as he considers the ways that liturgy shapes us as persons. Liturgy is our key to understanding God, ourselves, and the whole world. It uniquely prepares us to approach life with a workable hierarchy of values — true to creation because it is true to the Creator. Liturgy makes us fully human, reconciled with the past and with eternity. Liturgy leads us to our true selves. Here is truth and wisdom, profound and practical.
For those who share in Hildebrand’s belief in the Liturgy as the summit and source of Christian living, the work serves as a profound reflection on how we can arrive at a greater “spiritual awakedness” by learning the language of love that is the heart of the spirit of the Liturgy.
Rebekah Lambin Convivium
This is a life-changing book. It shows, in totally convincing ways, the incomparable power of the Catholic liturgy to form our personalities into those of saints—which is the whole meaning of life—and with a minimum of struggle and a maximum of joy on our part to boot. Reading this book inevitably elicits the ‘value response’ von Hildebrand speaks of more than almost any other, viz. gratitude—gratitude as a thinking as well as a feeling. (Thinking and thanking are as interpenetratingly close to each other as Adam and Eve.) As the liturgy thanks and praises God and von Hildebrand thanks and praises the liturgy, we thank and praise von Hildebrand for this tremendous gift.
This new and definitive edition of what many consider to be a classic work of the Liturgical Movement deserves a wide readership, not only amongst liturgical scholars, or those with an interest in the Catholic personalism of Hildebrand, but of people of all walks of life seeking a deeply Catholic and liturgical spirituality.
Tom Gourlayin The Downside Review
At a time when so many have lost a feel for the Mass, this reissue of Liturgy and Personality will prove of inestimable value.
Bishop Robert BarronArchdiocese of LA / Word on Fire
In this book, Dietrich von Hildebrand shows how the Liturgy (when it is approached with the proper attitude and prayed reverently) brings about a profound development, transforming even a modest personality into a great one.
Alice von HildebrandWidow of Dietrich von Hildebrand
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