We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Monsignor Pope on Eastward facing worship.

Monsignor Charles Pope's essay at the National Catholic Register site is well worth a read for lovers of beautiful, reverent liturgy.
A Pastor Reflects on Cardinal Sarah’s Call to Face East Together
by Msgr. Charles Pope
http://www.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/a-pastor-reflects-on-cardinal-sarahs-call-to-face-east-together
In his affirming promotion of ad orientem worship (priest facing eastward together with the people), Monsignor Pope includes a useful critique of some of the problems associated with versus populum (priests facing the people) worship which is the common (dis)orientation most Catholics encounter.
So the stance of the Eucharistic prayer is outward and upward to the Father, to whom all glory and honor is directed, though, with and in Jesus and in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
But all this is cloaked and, I would argue, muddled when the priest faces the people. At best he can try to look upward as he prays the Eucharistic prayer. But it is odd and awkward to be facing people and at the same time appear to be speaking past them to Another.
So the whole stance of the Eucharistic prayer is currently awkward and backward. Everyone should be looking toward and yearning for the Father and the Lord who comes. But instead we have a closed circle, we are turned in our ourselves and not outward to God at the very moment when he (not we) are the focus of attention.
Thanks to Cardinal Sarah, the number of conversations is once again increasing regarding the renewal of the true orientation of the Sacred Liturgy.

As long as Catholics remain liturgically disoriented, the less effective evangelization will be. Evangelization requires a confident identity in Christ Jesus to support the communication of the Faith. Catholics have been acting against nature, so-to-speak, by worshipping in a way that robs us of our identity, an identity which is founded on right orientation to God. Ad orientem worship is more than outward conformity. It affirms the very nature of the relationship of creature to Creator.

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