Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The intention of the Council

Time and again the Holy Father has spoken about the Liturgy and its reform with such clarity that the intention of the Council might be clearly appreciated by all, and so that we today might be led to enter into and the Liturgy more fully. During his address at the closing of the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin he again defined with great clarity the heart of the Liturgical reform. I will do no more than simply paste his words here:
  "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.
 ...   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." 

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