Thursday, April 15, 2010

Benedict XVI to Brazilian Bishops on the Liturgy

In his ad limina address today to Northern Brazilian prelates, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI commented [the following is a quick NLM translation]:

"The lack of attention which is sometimes provided for the cult of the Blessed Sacrament is a sign and cause of the darkening of the Christian sense of mystery, as when at Mass, Jesus no longer appears as central, but [instead] a community busy with many things rather than being recollected and drawn to their unique need: Our Lord. However, the primary and essential attitude of the Christian faithful who participate in liturgical celebration is not to do, but to listen, open up, receive... Obviously, in this case to receive does not mean to be passive or indifferent to what happens there, but to cooperate... If from the liturgy the figure of Christ does not emerge... we would not have the Christian liturgy..."

The Holy Father continues:

"How are distant from all this are those who, in the name of inculturation, fall into syncretism by introducing rites borrowed from other religions or cultural particularities into the celebration of Holy Mass (cf. Redemptionis Sacramentum 79)! The Eucharistic mystery is 'too great a gift' -- wrote my venerable predecessor, Pope John Paul II -- 'to tolerate ambiguities or reductions,' above all when, 'stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet.'"

Concluding, the Pope noted that "...worship cannot be born from our imagination, which would be a cry in the darkness or a simple self-affirmation. True liturgy presupposes that God responds and shows us how we can worship Him."

See the entire address: here or also see the synopsis and partial translation provided by the VIS blog.