Perfectae Caritatis 6

We continue examining Vatican II’s decree on the renewal of religious life, still uncommented-upon by our commentariat:

Let those who make profession of the evangelical counsels seek and love above all else God who has first loved us (cf. 1 John 4:10) and let them strive to foster in all circumstances a life hidden with Christ in God (cf. Col. 3:3). This love of God both excites and energizes that love of one’s neighbor which contributes to the salvation of the world and the building up of the Church. This love, in addition, quickens and directs the actual practice of the evangelical counsels.

That relationship with God, especially in prayer, becomes the energy for the Christian life. Where should religious turn in prayer? Here:

Drawing therefore upon the authentic sources of Christian spirituality, members of religious communities should resolutely cultivate both the spirit and practice of prayer. In the first place they should have recourse daily to the Holy Scriptures in order that, by reading and meditating on Holy Writ, they may learn “the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:8). They should celebrate the sacred liturgy, especially the holy sacrifice of the Mass, with both lips and heart as the Church desires and so nourish their spiritual life from this richest of sources.

The importance of Word and Sacrament, mentioned side by side.

So refreshed at the table of divine law and the sacred altar of God, they will love Christ’s members as (sisters and) brothers, honor and love their pastors as (daughters and) sons should do, and living and thinking ever more in union with the Church, dedicate themselves wholly to its mission.

In essence, these paragraphs give us a congruent rewording of Sacrosanctum Concilium 10, speaking of liturgy as source and summit of the Christian life. You can’t get away from the liturgy in most any of the council documents. These other references give us an important insight into what the bishops really thought of liturgy and its reform during these great years.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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