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PopeWatch: Theophany

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa brings us some comments made by Pope Francis on the liturgy:

But on Monday, February 10, with no forewarning Jorge Mario Bergoglio broke the silence and dedicated to the liturgy the entire homily of the morning Mass in the chapel of Santa Marta. Saying things he has never said before, since he became pope.

That morning the passage was read from the first book of Kings in which during the reign of Solomon the cloud, the divine glory, filled the temple and “the Lord decided to dwell in the cloud.”

Taking his cue from that “theophany,” pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio said that “in the Eucharistic liturgy God is present” in a way even “closer” than in the cloud in the temple, his “is a real presence.”

And he continued:

“When I speak of the liturgy I am mainly referring to the holy Mass. The Mass is not a representation, it is something else. It is living once again the redemptive passion and death of the Lord. It is a theophany: the Lord makes himself present on the altar in order to be offered to the Father for the salvation of the world.”

Further on the pope said:

“The liturgy is the time of God and space of God, and we must put ourselves there in the time of God, in the space of God, and not look at our watches. The liturgy is nothing less than entering into the mystery of God, allowing ourselves to be carried to the mystery and to be in the mystery. It is the cloud of God that envelops us all.”

And looking back on one of his childhood memories:

“I recall that as a child, when they were preparing us for first communion, they had us sing: ‘O holy altar guarded by the angels,’ and this made us understand that the altar was truly guarded by the angels, it gave us the sense of the glory of God, of the space of God, of the time of God.”

Coming to the conclusion, Francis invited those present to “ask the Lord today to give all of us this sense of the sacred, this sense that makes us understand that it is one thing to pray at home, to pray the rosary, to pray many beautiful prayers, make the way of the cross, read the bible, and the Eucharistic celebration is another thing. In the celebration we enter into the mystery of God, into that path which we cannot control. He alone is the one, he is the glory, he is the power. Let us ask for this grace: that the Lord may teach us to enter into the mystery of God.”

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch finds these comments of the Pope very encouraging.  Most of the problems within the Church stem from the cavalier manner in which too many Catholics treat the Mass, where the sacrifice of Calvary is enacted again for us, as the Council of Trent proclaimed.  I suspect that if we truly could comprehend the wonder that we are witnessing at each Mass, neither our human minds nor hearts could bear it.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

6 Comments

  1. I can relate to this:
    “The liturgy is the time of God and space of God, and we must put ourselves there in the time of God, in the space of God, and not look at our watches.”
    Some times during mass I really do wonder, “when is this thing going to be over.” The pope is right, that ought not be what I am thinking during mass.

  2. Many years ago, a good priest told me and others, ” we should not take our watches to Mass – the Mass is where heaven comes down to earth, and there is no time in Heaven – the Mass is timeless.”
    Since that time, I have not worn a watch in Mass, and nowadays, leave my cell phone in the car. The Mass is indeed timeless. And I re-iterate this fact each year to the RCIA candidates that I have assisted in instructing now for over 20 years.

  3. Amen Brother’s! Thus another example of “Dying for one’s faith”. And I might add it would be good if this had been taught to many of our “fallen religious angels”. Had they known this truly, while holding the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord in their hands, or while having in their care the blood of innocents to teach and mold as the clay of the “Potter’s Wheel” we may have the monies we need to further the spreading of the good news that have been lost in lawsuits and diocesan bankruptcies. We may be able to feel proud of our deep faith instead of the dread that every nasty newscast brings. How did this very basic teaching get lost? Sorry, but I think I just saw the nun’s on the bus go by some wearing purple? If you want to be a Catholic then be a Catholic. If you don’t want that or at if you don’t want to give it your best shot then you better go somewhere else. We are all sinners. Where did our consciences go that let us think otherwise? Time, the blink of an eye.

  4. I have two sets of questions:

    1) Are we to believe these words and this translation of PF’s words to be accurate? Not like the others?

    2) He is referring to the Traditional Latin Mass—not the “free-for-all” ad libitum Novus Ordo Mass, correct? The New Mass which permits one who is celebrant to make it as pious or as clownish as he wishes?

    Just for example, as one impish Italian blogger has constructed some examples of the Loutus Ordo, here is what I mean:

    http://www.conciliovaticanosecondo.it/foto/#gallery/1358/515/0

    Whenever you have a circus, you have GOT to have clowns!

  5. “… And looking back on one of his childhood memories:
    “I recall that as a child, when they were preparing us for first communion, they had us sing: ‘O holy altar guarded by the angels,’ and this made us understand that the altar was truly guarded by the angels, it gave us the sense of the glory of God, of the space of God, of the time of God….”

    How blessed he is to have childhood memories like that!
    My grandchildren’s childhood memories will not in any way compare. We hope that they will somehow come away from Mass with the ” sense of the glory of God” too..
    Wish we had some songs about angels for them to remember– if there are some I’m not remembering right now, remind me, please.

  6. The Catholic Church has always taught that reading the Holy Bible must be done with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and through the Catholic Church.
    .
    Some people say that the reading of the Holy Bible was prohibited by the Catholic Church before Vatican II and that the new Mass, after Vatican II, with the readings from the Holy Bible proclaimed at Mass, is sufficient and replaces the reading of the Holy Bible, privately, and therefore, the Mass after Vatican II is the only Mass that must be allowed.
    .
    The reading of the Holy Bible, privately, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Catholic Church was prohibited by the Catholic Church before Vatican II.
    .
    In all cases, the Holy Scripture must be read with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and only through the teaching of the Catholic Church. To say otherwise would not only be imprudent but unholy. This would remove from the Latin Mass before Vatican II the charge that The Latin Mass in the Extraordinary form was insufficient and without proper reading from the Holy Scripture.

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