Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: March 2011 Archives
Père [Cardinal] Yves Congar, OP, in 1963 quoted by Geoffrey Hull in The Banished Heart (2010):
Nothing is more educative for man in his totality than the liturgy. The Bible is certainly a marvelous teacher of prayer, of the sense of God and of the adult convictions of conscience. Used alone, the Bible might produce a Christian of the Puritan tradition, an individualist and even a visionary. The liturgy, however, is the "authentic method instituted by the Church to unite souls to Jesus" (Dom Maurice Festugière). The sort of Christian produced by an enlightened and docile participation in the liturgy is a man of peace and unified in every fibre of his human nature by the secret and powerful penetration of faith and love in his life, throughout a period of prayer and worship, during which he learned, at his mothers knee and without effort, the Church's language: her language of faith, love, hope, and fidelity. There is no better way of acquiring "the mind of the Church" in the widest and most interior interpretation of this expression.
My friend, Father Mark posted this paragraph quoting Cardinal Congar from a recently published book, The Banished Heart (Continuum, 2010 - the link above takes you to the book) on his blog and I am shamelessly posting it here because I think it fully captures what this blog is about, and more importantly, what the Christian life is exactly about.
There is no such thing as pure spirituality because there is no such thing as spirituality without reality. One needs a body to have a healing, water is required for holy water.
As Chesteron reminds us, the sacraments are both certain and incredible, both ideas are true and yet a paradox. The sacraments of the Church are solidly physical and wonderfully spiritual. The sacraments, as known by the Church, are ways of seeing (faith) the invisible. Any of the seven sacraments are philosophically the same as knowing the paradox of God: Spirit becoming flesh. Look at the greatest sacrament, the Eucharist, it is spirit and substance together, it is the Presence of the One who was crucified and risen, it's healing and food and a pledge. And all these things are true we can never exhaust the meaning of the sacrament because of its divine reality.
Sacraments coming face to face with God, and face to face with ourselves. They reveal God's face of love and mercy, and they also pull back the veils that cover our face. God comes and finds us through the sacraments.
The English speaking world will begin to pray the new translation of the Roman Missal (2002) on the First Sunday of Advent.
Various publishers are offering the opportunity--with discounts-- on a pre-order of a copy of the Roman Missal. Four US publishers are noted here: