By Lori Ann Watson

Stories throughout Scripture remind us that the works of the faithful continue to bear fruit long after those faithful pass into the next life. In 1933, when he wrote Liturgy and Personality, Dietrich von Hildebrand had not physically seen the totality of today’s attack on the family, the Church, and the human person. Yet, nearly a century ago, he wrote a healing prescription for the wounds we all bear.

That prescription is reverent, utterly selfless immersion in the liturgy. In Liturgy and Personality, Hildebrand highlights the formation that proper participation in the liturgy (primarily the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours) evokes in a person. In short, it forms each human being into a true personality.

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. CONTINUE READING