Monday, June 18, 2012
BOMBSHELL: POPE BENEDICT DECLARES TO IRELAND MUCH STILL REMAINS TO BE DONE ON THE PATH OF "REAL" LITURGICAL RENEWAL!
The Holy Father in His video message to the people of Ireland and the entire world at the Eucharistic Congress calls for true Liturgical Renewal, the reform of the reform, that leads to authentic reform of every individual believer! Ad Orientem, facing God and adoring God through interior reverence and adoration, especially kneeling for Holy Communion are in the works!
POPE BENEDICT'S MESSAGE TO THE EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS IN IRELAND, PRESS HERE.
My Comments at the end of these few excerpts on Pope Benedict's closing video message to not only the Irish Eucharistic Congress but to the entire Catholic World and folks, (Yes I am clairvoyant) it's about the reform of the reform, liturgical reform and personal reform of the each Catholic and thus the whole Church! Please note the bold comments in the pope's comments.
The Congress also occurs at a time when the Church throughout the world is preparing to celebrate the Year of Faith to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council, an event which launched the most extensive renewal of the Roman Rite ever known. Based upon a deepening appreciation of the sources of the liturgy, the Council promoted the full and active participation of the faithful in the Eucharistic sacrifice. At our distance today from the Council Fathers’ expressed desires regarding liturgical renewal, and in the light of the universal Church’s experience in the intervening period, it is clear that a great deal has been achieved; but it is equally clear that there have been many misunderstandings and irregularities. The renewal of external forms, desired by the Council Fathers, was intended to make it easier to enter into the inner depth of the mystery. Its true purpose was to lead people to a personal encounter with the Lord, present in the Eucharist, and thus with the living God, so that through this contact with Christ’s love, the love of his brothers and sisters for one another might also grow. Yet not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and "active participation" has been confused with external activity. Hence much still remains to be done on the path of real liturgical renewal. In a changed world, increasingly fixated on material things, we must learn to recognize anew the mysterious presence of the Risen Lord, which alone can give breadth and depth to our life.
The Eucharist is the worship of the whole Church, but it also requires the full engagement of each individual Christian in the Church’s mission; it contains a call to be the holy people of God, but also one to individual holiness; it is to be celebrated with great joy and simplicity, but also as worthily and reverently as possible; it invites us to repent of our sins, but also to forgive our brothers and sisters; it binds us together in the Spirit, but it also commands us in the same Spirit to bring the good news of salvation to others.
Our Catholic faith, imbued with a radical sense of God’s presence, caught up in the beauty of his creation all around us, and purified through personal penance and awareness of God’s forgiveness, is a legacy that is surely perfected and nourished when regularly placed on the Lord’s altar at the sacrifice of the Mass.
Thankfulness and joy at such a great history of faith and love have recently been shaken in an appalling way by the revelation of sins committed by priests and consecrated persons against people entrusted to their care.
Instead of showing them the path towards Christ, towards God, instead of bearing witness to his goodness, they abused people and undermined the credibility of the Church’s message. How are we to explain the fact that people who regularly received the Lord’s body and confessed their sins in the sacrament of Penance have offended in this way? It remains a mystery. Yet evidently, their Christianity was no longer nourished by joyful encounter with Jesus Christ: it had become merely a matter of habit.
The work of the Council was really meant to overcome this form of Christianity and to rediscover the faith as a deep personal friendship with the goodness of Jesus Christ.
The Eucharistic Congress has a similar aim. Here we wish to encounter the Risen Lord. We ask him to touch us deeply. May he who breathed on the Apostles at Easter, communicating his Spirit to them, likewise bestow upon us his breath, the power of the Holy Spirit, and so help us to become true witnesses to his love, witnesses to the truth. His truth is love. Christ’s love is truth.
MY COMMENTS: Benedict argued that the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) were intended to overcome habitual Christianity.
“The work of the Council was really meant to overcome this form of Christianity and to rediscover the faith as a deep personal friendship with the goodness of Jesus Christ,”
But in terms of the reform of the reform that goes beyond the yackity yack forms of busy external participation and external renewal that doesn't lead to internal renewal of the individual and thus the Church!
"The Eucharist is the worship of the whole Church, but it also requires the full engagement of each individual Christian in the Church’s mission; it contains a call to be the holy people of God, but also one to individual holiness; it is to be celebrated with great joy and simplicity, but also as worthily and reverently as possible; it invites us to repent of our sins, but also to forgive our brothers and sisters; it binds us together in the Spirit, but it also commands us in the same Spirit to bring the good news of salvation to others."
The most important line of the Holy Father's video is this:
"Yet not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and "active participation" has been confused with external activity. Hence much still remains to be done on the path of real liturgical renewal."
My most important final comment: The "Marshall Plan" of Pope Benedict's vision of the Liturgy that forms individual Roman Catholics in a profound awareness of the "majesty" of God and His Love for us in Jesus Christ and His Sacrifice of the Cross, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is to allow God's divine presence in the Liturgy to show forth and the reverence due to God be encouraged changing the hearts of all and leading to true charity (love) for one's brothers and sisters in the Church and in the World, but only after a profound awareness of sin and our need for repentance, penance, forgiveness and reconciliation.
So what has been the signs of this true renewal that Vatican II intended for the Liturgy and thus individuals and the Church collectively?
1. Great reverence with the reformed rites! Pray the black and observe the red!
2. The Liturgy of the Word proclaimed profoundly and preach eloquently (to the congregation!) Of all the reforms of the Mass, apart from more vernacular, my humble opinion is that the Liturgy of the Word's reform is the most profound!
3. Contemplation through profound silent meditation (after the homily and after Holy Communion have been the two places where Pope Benedict has modeled prolonged periods of silence, disconcerting to our busy liturgical style imposed on the Church by liturgists.
4. The Sacrificial nature of the Sacrifice of the Mass must be emphasized anew.
5. The Eucharistic Banquet (Meal) aspect of the Eucharist must not be modeled in the ordinary meals of the home or worse yet of the fast food experience, but the extraordinary meal of the heavenly banquet, meaning that we receive our Lord, pure and sinless, in a state of grace. We receive our Lord's Body and Blood in ADORATION, kneeling to do so and receiving on the tongue as a sign of the Lord giving and we receiving, not taking! The Food and Drink we receive is not ordinary food, but Jesus Christ's Body and Blood, which by the grace of God is made palatable through the "accidents" of the visual and sensual aspects of the Bread and Wine remaining. In addition to that, we should always be reminded that Jesus as food for the soul does not become a part of the soul and the person who eats and drinks the Body and Blood of our Lord, but rather Jesus makes the soul and the person a part of Him and His Body the Church--that's a big difference folks!
So the path to true liturgical renewal is not primarily about external liturgical reform but liturgical reform that leads to the internal reform of the sinner and avoids a rote, habitual participation that does not touch the soul of the human being.
Folks this can happen in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, if understood properly and in the reform of this Mass, if the focus isn't on the reform but on Jesus.
In other words, in either form of the Mass, the object of our worship isn't the ritual or forms of worship and the externals, but the internal reality of the real presence of Christ and our internal acknowledgement of His presence and our adoration of Him and humble reception of Him so that when the priest or deacon dismisses us with the words, "Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life" we'll do precisely that and not abuse each other or act as though Christ has not entered our souls. This should be a reminder to all of us who in the passion of our beliefs can denigrate one another in the most uncharitable ways. Let's avoid that folks!