Dies Domini 81: A Synthesis of the Christian Life

Today we start the conclusion of Dies Domini. Sunday informs us about our place in the march of time in creation, with the Church, under the banner of the Risen Christ, and within Western religious culture. It is more than an obligation. It is a duty to observe and to pass on to our children and to their descendants after them.

81. The spiritual and pastoral riches of Sunday, as it has been handed on to us by tradition, are truly great. When its significance and implications are understood in their entirety, Sunday in a way becomes a synthesis of the Christian life and a condition for living it well. It is clear therefore why the observance of the Lord’s Day is so close to the Church’s heart, and why in the Church’s discipline it remains a real obligation. Yet more than as a precept, the observance should be seen as a need rising from the depths of Christian life. It is crucially important that all the faithful should be convinced that they cannot live their faith or share fully in the life of the Christian community unless they take part regularly in the Sunday Eucharistic assembly. The Eucharist is the full realization of the worship which humanity owes to God, and it cannot be compared to any other religious experience. A particularly efficacious expression of this is the Sunday gathering of the entire community, obedient to the voice of the Risen Lord who calls the faithful together to give them the light of his word and the nourishment of his Body as the perennial sacramental wellspring of redemption. The grace flowing from this wellspring renews mankind, life and history.

I would agree with all this. I would add that the Eucharist is also a response to God for Creation, and for a divine intervention in the world. If Eucharist is indeed “giving thanks,” then that gift seems to be the only significant offering we can make to our God at times. On Sunday, can we say, “thank you,” and more, can we live that thanksgiving in worship, charity, and just being human beings as God intended us to be?

The Vatican site has Dies Domini in its entirety.

About catholicsensibility

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