Desiderio Desideravi 61: The First Wellspring, and Unity

61. In this letter I have wanted simply to share some reflections which most certainly do not exhaust the immense treasure of the celebration of the holy mysteries. I ask all the bishops, priests, and deacons, the formators in seminaries, the instructors in theological faculties and schools of theology, and all catechists to help the holy people of God to draw from what is the first wellspring of Christian spirituality. We are called continually to rediscover the richness of the general principles exposed in the first numbers of Sacrosanctum Concilium, grasping the intimate bond between this first of the Council’s constitutions and all the others.

The First Wellspring is the liturgy itself. Not any one style or rite or genre. Jesus makes himself known and present in Word and Sacrament. Church teaching in the Vatican II constitutions can continue to guide us.

For this reason we cannot go back to that ritual form which the Council fathers, cum Petro et sub Petro, felt the need to reform, approving, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and following their conscience as pastors, the principles from which was born the reform. The holy pontiffs St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II, approving the reformed liturgical books ex decreto Sacrosancti Œcumenici Concilii Vaticani II, have guaranteed the fidelity of the reform of the Council.

One of the post-conciliar fulcrums is, as it always is, the acceptance of the movement of the Holy Spirit. Not doubting the movement, even when it appears to falter in mortal hands.

For this reason I wrote Traditionis custodesso that the Church may lift up, in the variety of so many languages, one and the same prayer capable of expressing her unity. [Cf. Paulus VI, Constitutio apostolica Missale Romanum (3 April 1969) in AAS 61 (1969) 222]

This note places uniformity beyond the virtue of unity, which doesn’t depend on a same language. Unity, one-ness, is a value imparted by God. 

As I have already written, I intend that this unity be re-established in the whole Church of the Roman Rite.

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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