Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Liturgy As Teacher

"Human nature is such that it can not easily rise to the meditation of divine things without external aids"

How do we learn? Particularly, how do we learn the work of adoring the Triune God? Do we listen to lectures, jotting down each word? Do we read the Monarch Notes? Do we take an on-line course?

Consider a passage in an interview in Italian language Zenit with Don Mauro Gagliardi, a Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome and a recently appointed Consultor for the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff. Don Gagliardi discussed a book published by Don Nicola Bux on the topic of the liturgy and the debates surrounding it following the Council: La riforma di Benedetto XVI: La liturgia tra innovazione e tradizione.

Don Gagliardi said, "I want to take a clear stand with the author: I am convinced that the [academic] liturgical formation of the people of God - while necessary and recommended at least by the Council of Trent onwards - is not alone sufficient to foster the true liturgical spirit and proper form of adoration [to be characterized] in Christian worship. The Council of Trent taught that 'human nature is such that it can not easily rise to the meditation of divine things without external aids, and for this reason the Church as a loving mother has established certain rituals [...] to make more evident the majesty of a sacrifice so great and bring the minds of the faithful, with these visible signs of religion and piety, to the sublime contemplation of reality' (DS 1746). This means that the mind rises to God not only through formation, but also and above all through the sacred and the visible signs of divine worship, which are set by the Church. Don Bux may therefore welcome the fact that 'a new liturgical movement is emerging which watches the liturgies of Benedict XVI; the instructions prepared by experts are not enough, exemplary liturgies are that which bring us to God' (p. 123)."

The translation is by The New Liturgical Movement.

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