Desiderio Desideravi 34: The First Practical Task

If Pentecost restores our full humanity (the premise of the previous paragraph) how do we “relate”?

34. In this is posed the decisive question of liturgical formation. Romano Guardini says, “Here too the first practical task is indicated: carried along by this inner transformation of our time, we must learn anew how to relate religiously as fully human beings.” [R. Guardini Liturgische Bildung (1923) in Liturgie und liturgische Bildung (Mainz 1992) p. 43] 

What is relation? Is it just about liturgy? Is it merely a relationship with God, or does the Pentecost possibility have any place in our relationships with one another as sisters and brothers sharing a common worship? Pope Francis takes us along with two questions, how a Christian is formed for liturgy, and how a believer will be formed by it:

This is what the Liturgy makes possible. For this we must be formed. Guardini does not hesitate to declare that without liturgical formation “then ritual and textual reforms won’t help much.” [R. Guardini Der Kultakt und die gegenwärtige Aufgabe der Liturgischen Bildung (1964) in Liturgie und liturgische Bildung (Mainz 1992) p. 14] I do not intend to treat here in an exhaustive way the very rich theme of liturgical formation. I only want to offer some starting points for reflection. I think two aspects can be distinguished: formation for the Liturgy and formation by the Liturgy. The first depends upon the second which is essential.

This is essentially mystagogical. The first experience is the liturgy itself: how does it move us, change us, convert us? Once we have experienced the liturgy, then we can move along to looking at our lives to prepare ourselves for that encounter with the Lord and with one another in worship.

Remember that you can find the full document here on the Vatican site. Desiderio Desideravi is copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Desiderio Desideravi 34: The First Practical Task

  1. Liam says:

    “The first experience is the liturgy itself: how does it move us, change us, convert us?”

    And do our assumptions about this question mean we expect such to be manifest in the moment?

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