DPPL 80: Believers Need More Emphasis on the Trinity

STA altar at night smallThe hierarchy thinks popular piety needs more emphasis on the Trinity:

80. Reference to the Most Blessed Trinity, while seminally present in popular piety, is an element requiring further emphasis. The following points offer an outline of how that might be done:
• The faithful require instruction on the character of Christian prayer, which is directed to the Father, through the mediation of the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Usually. The exorcisms of the Catechumenate are directed to Christ. But yes, this pattern, this perichoresis, does need to be drawn out in our prayer. And not just for the laity, but the clergy, as well.

What do make of this assessment?

• The formulae used in popular piety should give greater emphasis to the person and action of the Holy Spirit. The lack of a “name” for the Spirit of God and the custom of not representing him anthropomorphically have contributed to a certain absence of the Holy Spirit in the texts and formulae of popular piety, while not overlooking the role of music and gestures in expressing our relationship with the Holy Spirit. This lacuna, however, can be overcome by the evangelization of popular piety, as the Magisterium has already recommended on several occasions.

What may be missing in this narrative is a distrust of the Holy Spirit in the Church, especially in the hierarchy. How God works with people today: how do we discern this?

A balance with Good Friday is also needed, the completeness of the Paschal Mystery. Why? Not just as spectators of the crucifixion spectacle, but as adopted daughters and sons of the Father in the saving mystery of Christ’s mission:

It is also necessary for popular piety to emphasize the primary and basic importance of the Resurrection of Christ. The loving devotion for the suffering of Christ, often demonstrated by popular piety, should also be completed by setting it in the context his glorification so as to give integral expression to the salvific plan of God as revealed in Christ, and allow for its inextricable link with his Paschal mystery. Only in this manner can the authentic face of Christianity be seen with its victory over death and its celebration of him who is “God of the living and not of the dead” (Mt 22, 32), of Christ, the living one, who was dead but now lives forever (cf. Rev 1, 28) and of the Spirit “who is Lord and giver of life”(DS 150; Missale Romanum, Ordo Missae, Symbolum Nicaeno-Constantinopolitanum).
Finally, devotion to the Passion of Christ should lead the faithful to a full and conscious participation in the Eucharist, in which the Body of Christ, sacrificed for our sake (cf. 1 Cor 11, 24) is given as food; and in which the Blood of Christ, shed on the cross in the new and eternal Covenant and for the remission of sin, is given to drink. Such participation has its highest and most significant moment in the celebration of the Paschal Triduum, apex of the liturgical year, and in the Sunday celebration of the Sacred Mysteries.

The challenge is how the institution expects an imposition of piety to take root that’s not quite in alignment with the thinking and affect of the laity.

The full document, the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, is online at the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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