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.

Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.—St. Francis of Assisi.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ad orientem worship summarized.

  1. Ad orientem worship acknowledges the primacy of God.
  2. Ad orientem worship establishes right relationship between the congregation and God. "The liturgy is the “door” to God, who calls us to be instruments of his divine action. The priest, the celebrant, draws us into the beating heart of the Holy Trinity as we join him, facing the East."
  3. Ad orientem worship, by rightly orienting man to His Creator, affirms the dignity of man by orienting him to his Creator, the true and living God, in Whose image man has been created.
  4. Ad orientem worship upholds the dignity of the Mass and fosters a spirit of reverence for and adoration of God.
  5. Ad orientem worship affirms "the Church’s relationship to its past, present, and future, to its identity across time".
  6. Ad orientem worship enables right conduct. "It is only when we celebrate all the sacraments, especially holy Mass, according to the mind of God that we are then able to do the things of God."
  7. Ad orientem worship is a conduit of grace and blessing.
  8. Ad orientem worship is the way in which the saints have worshipped God.
The then Cardinal Ratzinger, in his book Spirit of the Liturgy, identifies the nature of true worship of God:
(A) common turning to the East during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. It is not now a question of dialogue, but of common worship, of setting off towards the One who is to come. What corresponds with the reality of what is happening is not the closed circle, but the common movement forward expressed in a common direction for prayer.
That common direction of which Cardinal Ratzinger spoke is ad orientem, toward the East, or liturgical East which is signified by the crucifix in the apse or upon/above the altar.
“There is nothing in the (Second Vatican) Council text about turning altars towards the people; that point is raised only in post-conciliar instructions,” explained the future Pope Benedict XVI, in his foreword to the second edition of U.M. Lang’s volume Turning Towards the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer."—Editors, National Catholic Register.

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