Sunday, June 24, 2007

Prince of Peace, Moral Theology, and Scott Hahn

While visiting family and friends near to the city of Oceanside, CA, we made a couple of visits to the Prince of Peace Benedictine Abbey for daily mass and adventure. I had been there a few times in the past, but never for mass. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi there on June 7th with Abbot Charles Wright, OSB, presiding -- complete with mitre and crozier!

While at the abbey, I popped in to the used book shelf where I was able to snag a copy of the 34th edition of the Compendium Theologiae Moralis by Aloysius Sabetti, SJ (with added codex by Timothy Barrett, SJ), published in 1939, for only $10.

I also picked up a copy of one of Scott Hahn's latest books, Letter and Spirit, which I had desired to read, as it treats a subject very dear to my heart -- the formulation of the canon of scripture and its integral role within the Jewish and Christian liturgy. We tend to focus quite a bit on the who and the what involved in the formulation of the canon, but, in my experience, we tend to skim over the why, and thus we miss the point of the issue.

The scriptures were canonized precisely for the purpose of proclamation within the context of the liturgy. Liturgy is naturally the primary context through which Christians have always encountered the scriptures. And, of course, the liturgy would not be what it is without the scriptures. Because it is already so much a part of our worship, we sometimes take this for granted, but let us not lose sight of this treasure and its importance! The Second Vatican Council reaffirmed the importance of Scripture to the celebration of the liturgy in Sacrosanctum Concilium (24), which asserted, Sacred scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the liturgy... Thus to achieve the restoration, progress, and adaptation of the sacred liturgy, it is essential to promote that warm and living love for scripture to which the venerable tradition of both eastern and western rites gives testimony.

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