It is this blogger's hope that the more frequently Tradition-minded bloggers reach out to people of goodwill, the more likely the liturgical narrative in the Church will begin to shift toward genuine roots and thus make more likely a shift of the celebration of the Mass toward a more God-centred focus.
Given his strong and natural deference to Tradition, his Eminence Cardinal Sarah might likely contend that he is merely handing on what the Church has always taught and everywhere believed.
—H/T Catholic Herald, UKHis Eminence Robert Cardinal Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, manages to epitomize the thought of Saint Thomas Aquinas about beauty. The character and content of Cardinal Sarah's reflections bring to mind the following:
The cardinal continued by emphasising that that the liturgy is not a celebration of our own achievements but God’s love and mercy. He said: “We do not come to the Church to celebrate what we have done or who we are. Rather, we come to celebrate and give thanks for all that Almighty God has done, and continues in His love and mercy to do, for us.
“What He does in the liturgy is what is essential; what we do is to present our ‘first fruits’—the best that we can—in worship and adoration. When the modern liturgy is celebrated in the vernacular with the priest ‘facing the people’ there is a danger of man, even of the priest himself and of his personality, becoming too central.
H/T NLM Address to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka: Liturgical Life and the Priesthood.
But we must also teach our people what the Sacred Liturgy is. In recent decades in some countries the Sacred Liturgy has become too anthropocentric; man not Almighty God has often become its focus. [...] (W)e must take care to form our people that God, not ourselves, is the focus of our worship. We do not come to the Church to celebrate what we have done or who we are. Rather, we come to celebrate and give thanks for all that Almighty God has done, and continues in His love and mercy to do, for us. What He does in the liturgy is what is essential; what we do is to present our ‘first fruits’—the best that we can—in worship and adoration. When the modern liturgy is celebrated in the vernacular with the priest ‘facing the people’ there is a danger of man, even of the priest himself and of his personality, becoming too central. In every Catholic liturgy, the Church, made up of both minister and faithful, gives her complete focus – body, heart and mind – to God who is the centre of our lives and the origin of every blessing and grace. With this in mind, I wish to strongly encourage you to take time to prayerfully read and reflect the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, keeping in mind the intention and spirit of the Council Fathers.
- completeness or wholeness (integras or perfectio)
- clarity or radiance (claritas)
- consonance, harmony and proportion (consonantia, debita proportio)
ST Ia 39.8 resp: “Nam ad pulchritudinem tria requiruntur. Primo quidem, integritas sive perfectio: quae enim diminuta sunt, hoc ipso turpia sunt. Et debita proportio sive consonantia. Et iterum claritas: unde quae habent colorem nitidum, pulchra esse dicuntur”.—cf., http://www.thomasaquinas.edu/pdfs/travis-cooper-sats13.pdf, p. 14.
The focus of the Mass must shift away from what Cardinal Sarah has diagnosed as a highly problematic orientation that is, sadly, very much in vogue. That problematic orientation contradicts the mind of the Church which, any serious Catholic with a developed sense of history and revelation believes, mirrors the mind of God and God's will for His people.
The Sacraments were established by Jesus Christ. His divine will is imprinted upon the Sacraments. The question, then, for anyone interested in the actual meaning of the Mass is: Does the will of the priest (or should that be each liturgist?) conform to the design of the Sacraments willed by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity?