ASSISI, Italy, NOV. 9, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is urging a greater appreciation of the liturgy as a source of education about the “good life of the Gospel.”
The Pope made these statements in a letter sent to Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, on the occasion of the Plenary Assembly being held through Thursday in Assisi.
One focus of the assembly is the review of the Italian translation of the newest edition of the Roman Missal.
“The rites speak through their intrinsic rationality,” the Pontiff noted, “and educate to a conscious, active and fruitful participation.”
He continued, “The correspondence of the prayer of the Church (lex orandi) with the rule of the faith (lex credendi) molds the thought and the feelings of the Christian community, giving shape to the Church, Body of Christ and Temple of the Spirit.”
“No human word can do without time, even when, as in the case of the liturgy, it constitutes a window that open beyond time,” the Holy Father affirmed. “Hence, to give voice to a perennially valid reality calls for the wise balance of continuity and novelty, of tradition and actualization.”
“The Missal itself is placed within this process,” he added.
Benedict XVI affirmed that “every true reformer” is “obedient to faith.”
The reformer, he said, “does not move arbitrarily, nor does he arrogate to himself any discretion about the rite; he is not the owner but the guardian of the treasure instituted by the Lord and entrusted to us.”
The Pope affirmed, “The whole Church is present in every liturgy: to adhere to its form is the condition of the authenticity of what is celebrated.”
“May this reason drive you,” he continued, “in the changing conditions of the time, to make ever more transparent and practicable that same faith that dates back to the age of the nascent Church.”
“The genuine believer, in every age, experiences in the liturgy the presence, the primacy and the work of God,” the Pontiff said.
He continued, “It is veritatis splendor, nuptial event, foretaste of the new and definitive city and participation in it; it is a link of creation and of redemption, open heaven above the earth of men, passage from the world to God; it is Easter, in the cross and in the resurrection of Jesus Christ; it is the soul of the Christian life, called to follow, to reconciliation that moves to fraternal charity.”
The Holy Father affirmed, “The holiness of the Eucharist exacts that this mystery be celebrated and adored conscious of its greatness, importance and efficacy for Christian life, but it also calls for purity, coherence and holiness of life from each one of us, to be living witnesses of the unique sacrifice of love of Christ.”
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