A little life lesson from the monastery- At a Saturday morning Mass some years ago, the brother assigned to read the Scripture passages forgot to recite the Responsorial Psalm after the first reading and promptly sat back down at his place in choir. Adjusting to the situation, the lead cantor speedily decided to step in and so got up to sing the Responsorial Psalm instead, but his fellow cantor whispered he was not familiar with the psalm melody. He had only been a cantor for a few months. The lead cantor said not to worry. To make a long story short, they butchered the psalm. The singing was a disaster. The presider was trying not to laugh, so he gave no homily. After the mass, the young cantor was a bit dismayed. The lead cantor, for once, did not mince words, “Well, that was awful.”
Sometimes, a moment of decision comes and we are not sure what to do. One of two things could have prevented the singing mishap: First, one of the brothers could have prompted the forgetful Mass reader to go back up and recite the psalm. Second, the cantors could have sung the Alleluia option instead and dropped the Responsorial Psalm. In the heat of the moment neither happened, but with clarity of thought, they should have.
Since the Saturday Mass in question was a Marian memorial, Mary’s own way of responding to crises can instruct us here also. When she found herself pregnant with Jesus, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, she trusted the angel’s message and believed that God would be with her. When crises happen upon us, we should do the same. Doing so can produce the peace and calm necessary to make more prudent decisions.

Blessings to all,

your brothers of New Clairvaux!