“The liturgy is what makes God present among us”

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I’m a big fan of Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Forget about the caricatures – just read his writings. I did, and he became a spiritual father to me! Here’s an example of why I rate him so highly:

“While there are many motives that might have led a great number of people to seek refuge in the traditional liturgy, the chief one is that they find the dignity of the sacred preserved there… We ought to get back the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what makes the Thrice-Holy God present among us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director.”

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 13 July 1988

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