Sunday, October 02, 2011

Save the Liturgy, Save the World

How we celebrate the liturgy in our parish communities is of utmost importance. With the disintegration of the liturgy comes a disintegration of Catholic identity, and with that, a community that tears itself apart. Fortunately, proper celebration of the liturgy was and is something very close to the pope's heart. From Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI), from "Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977":
I am convinced that the crisis in the [Roman] Church that we are experiencing today is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy, which at times has even come to be conceived of "etsi Deus non daretur": in that it is a matter of indifference whether or not God exists and whether or not He speaks to us and hears us. But when the community of faith, the world-wide unity of the Church and her history, and the mystery of the living Christ are no longer visible in the liturgy, where else, then, is the Church to become visible in her spiritual essence? Then the community is celebrating only itself, an activity that is utterly fruitless. And, because the ecclesial community cannot have its origin from itself but emerges as a unity only from the Lord, through faith, such circumstances will inexorably result in a disintegration into sectarian parties of all kinds - partisan opposition within a Church tearing herself apart. This is why we need a new Liturgical Movement, which will call to life the real heritage of the Second Vatican Council.
Have I been a witness to this? Absolutely, yes. I am utterly humbled that I am now a witness to this liturgical renewal and new Liturgical Movement about which the pope speaks - to see the real heritage of the Second Vatican Council blossom.


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