Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dom Mark Kirby on “The Liturgical Providence of God”

Many people have noted that the current sessions of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family began on the OF the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, on which the Gospel was Mark, 10, 2-16, in which Christ declares, “Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” On the same day, the Office of Readings has a passage from the Pastoral Rule of St Gregory the Great, in which he writes “Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favour of men. As the voice of truth tells us, such leaders are not zealous pastors who protect their flocks, rather they are like mercenaries who flee by taking refuge in silence when the wolf appears.” Two more appropriate texts for the current synod could hardly be found.

In this excellent article on his blog Vultus Christi, Dom Mark Kirby of Silverstream Priory writes about the “liturgical providence of God.” In these days of uncertainty, and, as the Pope himself has said at today’s general audience, days of scandal, the texts of the liturgy seem to be particularly chosen to console and encourage us, even those that have been in their place and, so to speak, scheduled to arrive on these days for centuries.
The XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops opens today in an atmosphere of confusion, wrangling, and disquiet that, far from being confined to the New Synod Hall in Rome, seems to have spread throughout the Church, principally, we must admit, through the social media. Before going down to Vespers last evening, I remarked to Father Benedict that I was far more interested in what the Magnificat Antiphon would be than in the latest tweets about the Synod. I was not disappointed. When we opened our antiphonals to the Magnificat Antiphon last evening, what did we see?
Adaperiat Dominus cor vestrum in lege sua, et in praeceptis suis, et faciat pacem Dominus Deus noster.
The Lord open your hearts in His law and commandments, and may the Lord our God send peace. (2 Machabees 1:4)
This antiphon, given us on the eve of the opening of the Synod, is the very prayer that the Holy Ghost would have us say for the Synod and, indeed, for the whole Church: “The Lord open your hearts in His law and commandments, and may the Lord our God send peace”.
There is, I have always believed, a liturgical providence of God. By this I mean that “amidst the changes and chances of this mortal life” we can be certain of finding in the liturgy of the Church the word that casts a divine light over what is happening, the word that makes sense of what to us appears inscrutable and obscure, the word by which we can be certain of praying the prayer that God wants to hear and intends to answer.
Read the rest over there.

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