Mediator Dei 36

Liturgy is not about either/or, but both/and:

36. In the spiritual life, consequently, there can be no opposition between the action of God, who pours forth His grace into (human) hearts so that the work of the redemption may always abide, and the tireless collaboration of (people), who must not render vain the gift of God.[Cf. 2 Cor. 6:1] No more can the efficacy of the external administration of the sacraments, which comes from the rite itself (ex opere operato), be opposed to the meritorious action of their ministers of recipients, which we call the agent’s action (opus operantis). Similarly, no conflict exists between public prayer and prayers in private, between morality and contemplation, between the ascetical life and devotion to the liturgy. Finally, there is no opposition between the jurisdiction and teaching office of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and the specifically priestly power exercised in the sacred ministry.

This is a traditional series of statements. Human beings, being what they are, might emphasize one over the other from time to time. But the official Catholic position is that they need not, and in the Church’s view, do not.

Mediator Dei on the Vatican web site.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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