Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Spirit Of The Liturgy: Chapter 7 (Part Two, Chapter Four)

Ratzinger is concerned here to defend eucharistic piety from charges that it is superstitious. Such a charge proceeds from the premises articulated by things said previously: if the focal point is the community, then anything which distracts from the community and its self-awareness is to be abandoned.

On the contrary; the community and its purpose is made by the self-gift of the Lord, one which is extended to the unique eucharistic mode. Ratzinger argues that to distinguish the gift from the Person diminishes the magnitude of Him, and what He offers. Though we also recall that reception of Holy Communion is not obligatory on every occasion, he makes a bold argument to the claim that adoration and Communion are opposed: he says that to eat is to adore; it is to accept the covenant it signifies.

He argues that the same liturgical primitivism (and an uncritical one, at that) that views the medieval liturgies with suspicion also cannot abide deepening eucharistic piety and architecture.

If he is correct, then we realize a profound truth: through our deepening theological reflection and piety, we understand that God has given us a new Holy of Holies with the tabernacle.

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