The fundamental truth to which all of these churchmen are drawing our attention is that we not only pray as we believe (in the sense that the content of our faith informs our public worship), but we also believe as, and what, we pray. And this is rather more frightening if we consider that significantly changing the music, the art forms and architecture, the liturgical texts and rituals and ceremonies, the ethos and atmosphere of worship, the complex amalgamation of word and sign and silence, cannot but have the effect, over time, of changing the very content of the faith—or at very least, changing our understanding of its parts and their relative balance in the whole of the revealed mystery.
Put simply, the liturgy is the embodiment and expression of our theology. If our Catholic theology is sound and profound, the liturgy will be sacred and utterly consistent with the Word of God—and in turn, our practice of the liturgy will confirm and enrich and elevate our theology, our prayerful understanding and surrender to God. If our theology is weak, fragmented, or compromised, the liturgical expression of it will be similarly weak in its power to evangelize, fragmented in its message, compromised in its power to create a culture of divine life and undermine the culture of death.
What we need above all in our liturgies is an image of eternity.
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