Monday, April 08, 2013

The Sacred Liturgy and the Apostolate

There has been a great deal of discussion in recent weeks about the matter of the sacred liturgy in relation to good works like the service of the poor and so on. I mention this because I was rather interested to be pointed to an article by Roland Millare on the HLI Truth and Charity Forum, The Forgotten Eucharist Vision of Virgil Michel.

Here are a few excerpts:

Father Paul Marx O.S.B., the founder of Human Life International, wrote his dissertation on the life and work of Virgil Michel O.S.B. (1888-1938), who was one of the leaders of the liturgical movement in the United States. Michel is famous in some circles for a syllogism that summarizes the focus of the papacies of the early 20th century:

"Pius X tells us that the liturgy is the indispensable source of the true Christian spirit; Pius XI says that the true Christian spirit is indispensable for social regeneration. Hence the conclusion: The liturgy is the indispensable basis of social regeneration."

For Michel and many of the leaders of the liturgical movement, the foundation for the renewal of Christian culture is the celebration of the liturgy. The liturgy helps individual members of the Church realize their call to be a part of Mystical Body of Christ.

According to Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est, the “Eucharist draws us into Jesus’ act of self-oblation. More than just statically receiving the incarnate Logos, we enter into the very dynamic of self-giving” (no. 13). Each communicant enters into a union with Christ and “all those [to] whom He gives Himself” (no. 14). The liturgy unites the love of God and love of neighbor, which forms the greatest commandment given unto us (cf. Matthew 22:38-40).

[...] action or social justice need the liturgy in the same way that nature needs the gift of supernatural grace. Social justice divorced from the liturgy easily becomes ideology. Liturgy, which does not pass over into social action, can become narrowly focused on ritualism...

You can read the entire article here.

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