It’s been my premise that the norm of organic development in Vatican II liturgical reform (Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium 23) is overused as a principle with wide application. The reality is that so many saints, even those who lived objectively good lives before making a radical commitment to God that often disrupted their lives, broke with the past in definitive ways. Saul, then Paul on the way to Damascus. Katharine Drexel, responding to the Pope Leo XIII’s challenge, “Why not my child, yourself become a missionary?” She didn’t immediately leap at that suggestion. But she eventually fulfilled that call.
Even ordinary people leave behind the life of single adults to become religious or priests committed to chastity, obedience, and in some cases, poverty. As missionaries they move to new places. As married persons they leave behind most aspects of the single life. Parents bear and raise children. Life, even Christian commitment, is full of rupture. We might dislike it, but I would suggest continuity is great for a time of rest. But not the ordinary experience of Christianity.
The Blessed Virgin suggests as much in Scripture, that God’s plan often involves disruption. Making messes. Turning things upside down. She recognizes this in her own future:
For he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. (Luke 1:48)
And later, upsetting the status quo of politics and the economy are part of the Divine plan for the human race:
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. (Luke 1:52-53)