Hildebrand’s definition of a true personality may not be what we would first assume. It is not the person with the largest following, the most cheerful greeting, or the loudest voice. It is the one who most easily recognizes objective values such as Truth, goodness, and beauty and responds appropriately and with plenitude to each of these values. We find the highest examples of true personality, regardless of their level of innate talent, charisma, or genius, in the saints.Share
Hildebrand was, himself, a true personality, and it was reverent, daily participation in the Tridentine Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours that shaped him and enabled him to write Liturgy and Personality in just 23 days. The greatest evidence of Hildebrand’s just and complete response to values may be the fact that he was sentenced to death by the Nazis in the 1930s for his clear and public work to oppose them.
A primary message of Liturgy and Personality is that we participate in the liturgy not because of what we will receive through it—even spiritual formation. (For me, a 2002 revert to Catholicism, this was a real and welcome revelation.) We participate in each liturgy with total reverence and humility, immersing ourselves completely in the worship and adoration of God, without attachment to any effect for ourselves, because that is his due. We owe Him this—not because of what He’s done for us, but simply because He’s God. We participate in Mass seeking only to honor Him as He deserves. (Read more.)