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Speech: Reflections on the Liturgical Reform

November 22, 2007

Professor Roberto de Mattei (tip to Real Clear Religion):

It does not seem excessive to affirm that the participatio actuosa of the community appears to be the ultimate criterion of the liturgical reform from the perspective of a radical secularization of the liturgy. Such a secularization consists of the extinction of the Sacrifice, the sacred action par excellence, which will be replaced by the profane action of the community that glories in itself, or, according to the words of Urs von Balthasar, aims to respond to the praise of the Grace of God with a “counter-glory” purely human.

(…)

Today secularism is in crisis. However, the new forms of the sacred, whether it be New Age religiosity, or that of Islam prospering in the West, eliminate the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ and with it the idea that man can be saved solely by the gratuitous Love of God, by His Sacrifice, and that to such a gift, man must respond by also embracing the Cross of redemption. So one must approach with love of the sublime mystery of the Cross and of the idea of sacrifice that follows from it. The sacrifice, of which the model is martyrdom and of which the expression is Christian combat, is before all the renouncement of a legitimate good in the name of a higher good. Sacrifice supposes a mortification of the intelligence which must bend itself to the Truth, on a line exactly contrary to that of the self-glorification of the human thought that characterizes the last centuries.

But how are we to imagine a reconquest of the idea of sacrifice, which is at the heart of the Catholic vision of history and of society, without this idea being lived? It is necessary, it seems to me, that the idea of sacrifice impregnate society in the form, today extremely abandoned, of the spirit of sacrifice and penitence. This, and no other, is the “experience of the sacred” of which our society has an urgent need.

Full speech here.

See also:
Oriens: Ratzinger speaks at Fontgombault

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