DPPL 87-88: Word of God and Popular Piety

STA altar at night smallThe Word of God is important. “Indispensable” is how the Church puts it.:

87. The Word of God, as transmitted by Sacred Scripture, as conserved and proposed by the Magisterium of the Church, and as celebrated in the Sacred Liturgy, is the privileged and indispensable instrument of the Holy Spirit in the faithful’s worship.

Indispensable to “worship,” not just liturgy.

Since the Church is built on, and grows through, listening to the Word of God, the Christian faithful should acquire a familiarity with Sacred Scripture and be imbued with its spirit(Cf. Dei Verbum 25), so as to be able to translate the meaning of popular piety into terms worthy of, and consonant with, the data of the faith, and render a sense of that devotion that comes from God, who saves, regenerates and sanctifies.

How much does popular piety draw upon Scripture for content and, at least, inspiration> How much should it?

The Bible offers an inexhaustible source of inspiration to popular piety, as well as unrivalled forms of prayer and thematic subjects. Constant reference to Sacred Scripture is also a means and a criterion for curbing exuberant forms of piety frequently influenced by popular religion which give rise to ambiguous or even erroneous expressions of piety.

We read there’s some skepticism on exuberance. I tend to be a mild-mannered guy, but I’m thinking this bias against exuberance is more a cultural aversion, not a theological one. Should be not be fully connected with our affect, and with its expression, at least some of the time? And for those believers for whom an outward enthusiasm is just an expression of their personality, I’m good with leaving things as they are–as long as content is sound. The Bible is one way of ensuring sound content and a sense of faithfulness to Christ.

One short section:

88. Prayer should “accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that a dialogue takes place between God and (people)”(Cf. Dei Verbum 25). Thus, it is highly recommended that the various forms of popular piety normally include biblical texts, opportunely chosen and duly provided with a commentary.

Familiarity with Scripture might even begin with its insertion into pious and devotional practices. Not at all a bad thing.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s