Desiderio Desideravi 24: Amazement

Time get back to regular, hopefully daily posts on Pope Francis’ liturgy document Desiderio Desideravi. Today, we begin a three-paragraph examination of Amazement before the Paschal Mystery: an essential part of the liturgical act. In order for amazement to take root, we have to find that encounter with the One who will amaze us. Some call it burning (Cf. Luke 24:32). One problem is that cradle Christians think of the Passion and Resurrection as routine. They are catechetical abstractions. There is no human connection behind the part of the human brain that stores information.

Pope Francis reminds us that improved quality, however much it might be an objective good, is not enough:

24. If there were lacking our astonishment at the fact that the paschal mystery is rendered present in the concreteness of sacramental signs, we would truly risk being impermeable to the ocean of grace that floods every celebration. Efforts to favor a greater quality to the celebration, even if praiseworthy, are not enough; nor is the call for a greater interiority.

The prayerfulness isn’t sufficient either:

Interiority can run the risk of reducing itself to an empty subjectivity if it has not taken on board the revelation of the Christian mystery.

We need something more:

The encounter with God is not the fruit of an individual interior searching for Him, but it is an event given. We can encounter God through the new fact of the Incarnation that reaches in the Last Supper the extreme point of his desiring to be eaten by us. How can the misfortune of distancing ourselves from the allure of the beauty of this gift happen to us?

How can we liturgists, clergy, and parishioners facilitate an encounter that many of us have not ourselves experienced? Do we go for good music and preaching, then cross our fingers and hope for the best? What is the answer?

The full document, copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana is here on the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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