Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Pope Ratzinger's Liturgical Manifesto

Sandro Magister argues that for Benedict "The Christian revolution is born in the liturgy." He then explores Benedict's Holy Thursday homily which is a commentary on the Roman Canon and his catechesis for January 7, 2009, on "spiritual" worship. This latter, in particular, dovetails well with the Pope's recent Wednesday audience on Rabanus Maurus.

The liturgy is not something solipsistic, but draws on the integrity of body and soul, the senses as well as the mind, in one integrated whole.

In particular, he presents Benedict's "catechesis for January 7, the rest of which is dedicated to illustrating Christian worship as a whole. It is that worship which the Roman Canon, following St. Paul, defines as 'rationabile.'

"The current translation of 'rationabile,' in the modern languages, is 'spiritual.' But Benedict XVI warns against thinking that Christian worship is something metaphorical, moralistic, purely interior. No, he explains, true Christian worship draws upon men and the world in their entirety, it is also bodily and material, it is the 'cosmic liturgy' in which 'the peoples united in Christ, the world, may become the glory of God.'

"It is extremely rare, in modern theological and liturgical commentary, to find an explanation of the meaning of Christian worship that is as penetrating as in these two texts of pope Ratzinger's preaching.

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