Monday, December 1, 2014
The primary carrier and guardian of the faith. . .
Scripture is not just with the liturgy. The liturgy is sung and said Scripture. While I might have phrased it slightly differently, the Cardinal has his finger on the key. The Word and the liturgy are the twin poles that hold up the Church and each of us as Christians. We are not merely sustained but kept in the true faith by the daily and weekly rehearsal of the same story of God's redemption and the mystery of our salvation which we hear and to which we respond within the vibrant liturgical tradition.
One of the most remarkable consequences of such a liturgical life is that we are literally saturated with Scripture within the lectionary and the Divine Service. In contrast to many of our Protestant kin whose worship life is replete with words about God's Word, the liturgical tradition overwhelms us with the Word of God both spoken and sung -- a gift whose summit is the Word "incarnated" in the bread and cup of His testament so that we may eat it and drink it -- both symbolically and literally as the sign conveys that which it signifies.
Sadly, we who live within the liturgy and liturgical year so often shrug off this as mere man made structures and patterns. We dismiss the very real and powerful presence of the Word of God that unfolds both within the liturgical drama of the Mass and the liturgical year of the lectionary. It is often as if we have have been fed so often and so deeply of this rich and lavish food supplied by the Lord that we count it all as ordinary. Often it requires a time of deep hunger and want for this in the Word and Sacrament of Christ before we realize what daily and richly God supplies us to keep us holy and blameless even to eternal life.
Further, we forget how important the liturgy is with the Word to guard us against the very loss of this faith to the great and manifold temptations of this mortal life, to the speculation of the mind and to the distractions of a heart consumed with lust and desire. George is speaking of the effects of Vatican II upon the Roman Catholic Church. What might be said long term effects of the envy of things evangelical and its abandonment of the liturgy and the lectionary in pursuit of a more modern and relevant form of Christianity? Christ was surely speaking with painful honestly when He asked if there would be faith on earth when the Son of Man returned in His glory!