liturgy and personality personhood

Privacy Policy

6:00:00 AMMarisa Ramos

When was the last time you checked your Facebook account? Maybe a day, a month, maybe it’s open in another window right now, just waiting to be clicked upon after the notice of a new update. While on Facebook, we are presented with a variety of self-exploited personal lives; people sharing every thought that passes through their head, every emotion they feel, every small event that happens during their day.
Often, one finds themselves cringing at how comfortable these individuals are at revealing intimate details of their personal lives on the internet. What everyone seems to be lacking lately, is a sense of discretion. A belief that the entire world does not need to know what happens at every waking moment in your life. When we speak in such a trivial way, speech can become superficial and even impersonal. We lose the ability to go deep than the surface level. It becomes very difficult to speak about truly deep subjects that demand an appropriate response.They lack the ability to go beyond simple conversations concerning trivial matters into deeper subjects that motivate people to respond. In Liturgy and Personality, Hildebrand states “a true personality has such a sense of the different levels in himself, that he approaches a good only at the depth suitable to it.” A man who is fully awakened to the world around him, who truly takes in and internalizes his experiences, would have a greater discretion as to whom he ought to talk about certain topics with. For a true personality “is incapable of speaking of deep things while preserving a peripheral attitude…”

In accordance with the first quote, a man who has experienced values and responded to them properly will have them, so to speak, stored in himself for he has been changed and affected by them. This man understands the value of the situation and is motivated to respond. Moreover, some values will motivate greater and deeper responses thus being stored deeper within himself and affecting him more. These values that he responded to more deeply are held as prized moments in his life that formed him greatly, and as such a person probably would not go around sharing that with just anyone. He would share these responses with those whom he knew would appreciate it, who can understand the goodness of something so deeply affective, for the true personality understands the delicacy with which he ought to approach topics of deep affectivity.

A true personality cannot describe a very moving event in the same way that he would talk about a good dinner. A true personality is one who understand the value of things and gives them the reverence that they deserve; he lives out his personhood on a deeper level. Such a man cannot speak of something that deeply affected them without talking of it in a manner that was suited to it.
A man that went about sharing these deeply formative events in his life so openly, like certain Facebook users, would not be using the discretion that he ought to, thus he would not really be a true personality. In light of this we ought to evaluate our use of social media and ask if we can be more reverent and more responsible, really more of a true personality.

Dietrich von Hildebrand, Liturgy and Personality (Baltimore: Helicon Press, 1960) page 89.

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