Les hele pave Benedikts forord til første bind av hans salmede verk

Nå er hele forordet til første bind av pave Benedikts samlede verk over satt til engelsk, og kan leses på www.chiesa – og med ekstra kommentarer hos Father Z.

Her sier paven at han helt fra barndommen av opplevde liturgien som det viktigste, og som voksen teolog ønsket han også å fokusere på fundamentalteologiske spørsmålet, som liturgien egentlig handler om. Hans forslag i boka om liturgien (som er hoveddelen av dette første bind) om å vende seg mot Gud når man ber, førte til så mye snever diskusjon, at man kom i fare for å diskutere viktige spørsmål om gudsforholdet på en helt upassende måte. Les selv hva han skriver:

Preface to the initial volume of my writings
by Joseph Ratzinger

Vatican Council II began its work with a discussion of the draft document on the sacred liturgy, which was later solemnly approved on December 4, 1963, as the first result of the great Church assembly, with the rank of constitution. …

When I decided, after some hesitation, to accept the project of an edition of all of my works, it was immediately clear to me that the order of priorities at the Council also needed to be applied to it, and that therefore the first volume to be published had to be the one containing my writings on the liturgy.

Ever since my childhood, the Church’s liturgy has been the central activity of my life, and it also became, under the theological instruction of masters like Schmaus, Söhngen, Pascher, and Guardini, the center of my theological work. I chose fundamental theology as my specific topic, because I wanted above all to go to the heart of the question: why do we believe? But right from the beginning, this question included the other one about the proper response to to God, and therefore also the question about the divine service. It is on this basis that my work on the liturgy must be understood. I was not interested in the specific problems of liturgical study, but in the anchoring of the liturgy in the fundamental act of our faith, and therefore also its place in our entire human existence. …

… with this I may have said too much on this point, which represents just one particular of my book, and I could have left it out. The fundamental intention of the work is that of placing the liturgy above the often frivolous questions about this or that form, in its important relationship, which I have sought to describe in three areas that are present in all of the individual themes. In the first place, [1] there is the intimate relationship between the Old and New Testament; without the relationship with the Old Testament heritage, the Christian liturgy is absolutely incomprehensible. The second [2] area is the relationship with the world religions. And finally, there is a third area: [3] the cosmic nature of the liturgy, which represents something beyond a simple meeting of a larger or smaller circle of human beings; the liturgy is celebrated within the vastness of the cosmos, it embraces creation and history at the same time.

This is what was intended in the orientation of prayer: that the Redeemer to whom we pray is also the Creator, and so there always remains in the liturgy love for creation and responsibility toward it.

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