januar 2011

Ikke alle engelske katolikker er positive til Ordinariatet

Tina Beattie underviser i ‘Katolske studier’ ved Roehampton University og svarer på spørsmål om hvorfor enkelte engelske katolikker har reservasjonen overfor pave Benedikts generøse tilbud til tradisjonelle anglikanere. Hun sa i går i et program på BBC Radio 4:

… I don’t want to call it a problem, but I think many of us are perplexed about what this means in terms of the Catholic Communion, and indeed obviously for relations between our two Churches. The Catholic Church has a unity that’s not based on likemindedness or sameness, and it’s very puzzling to know how this very homogenous, small group of likeminded people, offered a quasi-independent place within the Catholic Communion, is going to fit in and become part of us.

And is your objection partly to do with the fact that you don’t like what they stand for? Particularly on the question of women’s role in the Church?

I’m not happy about that, no. …

… shouldn’t you just welcome them into your Church?’

We should. And I think we…

You’re not really doing that… You’re saying you’d rather not have them.

That’s why I’m not saying it’s a problem, I think we’re perplexed. We don’t know yet what this welcome means. If I go to a mass of the Ordinariate, is that..? Obviously it’s part of the same Eucharistic Communion, but then, why does there need to be this separation? I welcome the riches of the Anglican liturgy coming into the Roman Catholic Church. There’s a lot to celebrate. They can bring with them enormous wealth that maybe we’ve lost in our rather more watered-down traditions. I think they’ll find that the Roman Catholic Church is a lot less aesthetic in its worship than High Anglicanism. So, there’s a big process of adjustment ahead, and of course we want them to do that. But I think many of us would feel happier if we were welcoming individuals, who’d come in – I’m a convert; I know what it feels like to make that change – if it was individuals coming in with a more open and positive attitude to why they were coming, maybe. …

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Hvordan feirer en prest best messen?

Jeg leser nå Michael Davies’ bok ‘Pope Paul’s New Mass’. der han helt i starten av boka siterer hva en prest skriver i 1974. Det er veldig interessant å lese om hvordan presetne før 1970 lærte å feire messen, hvor forskjellig det er fra måten de fleste prester tenker på i dag (men kanskje det er bare oss prester som er interesserte i slike spørsmål):

I remember how, when, as a young priest, I was preparing to say my first Mass, I was drilled most strictly and told to drill myself in such a way that every word and gesture of mine at the altar of sacrifice would be exactly correct.

Everything – tone of voice, blessings, bows, genuflections, turn-rounds to the people, height and breadth at which one held extended arms–had to be as laid down in the rubrics, exactly correct. Why? Because, at the altar, one was performing the noblest action open to a human being; the sacrifice of God’s Son to God. It followed, both logically and theologically, that one had to bring to it every ounce of reverence of which a human being was capable.

And because human beings are made up of body and soul, it followed further that every word spoken, every bodily gesture undertaken, had to be tuned in with the utmost reverence to this supreme act of worship, the highest to which any man could ever aspire. Human nature being what it is, individual idiosyncrasies would come out to take from reverence, if priests were left to themselves in the matter of words and gestures at Mass.

It followed that idiosyncrasies had to be cut to a minimum. Hence, the rubrics, which bound all priests at Mass; depersonalizing them, so to say, in the interests of the reverence which men had to put forth when they offered sacrifice to God. How else could they acknowledge adequately in their hearts their total dependence on Him Who had made them from nothing, except that they manifested it in every bodily gesture that was theirs at Mass? If the mouth speaks out of the fullness of the heart, the converse is also true; the heart is filled with reverence if the mouth of the celebrating priest is trained to speak with a reverential tone and the body to express itself in a whole series of dignified gestures. I do not think I need press the point.

Man is not a desiccated calculating machine. He is a human being made up of body and soul. He worships with the whole of himself. Precisely for that reason the celebrating priest was never left to himself in the Old Mass. He was made to conform to a celebrating code; depersonalized in the interests of the dignity that had to surround the supreme sacrifice. It has always been that way wherever men have offered sacrifice, paid honor where honor is due. After all, one does not go to see the Queen in an old pair of jeans and tatty tennis shoes. I think the point is made. (Fr. Paul Crane, SJ. Christian Order. April 1974; 240-241)

Å knele i kirken viser vår åndelige holdning

Hos zenit.org kunne vi lese følgende fredag – om feiringen av liturgien – de skrev også noe lignende for noen få dager siden:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reads: «In the liturgy of the New Covenant every liturgical action, especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments, is an encounter between Christ and the Church» (CCC, No. 1097). … In this encounter the initiative, as ever, is the Lord, who presents himself in the heart of the Church, risen and glorious. In fact, «if the figure of Christ does not emerge in the liturgy, who is its principle and is really present to make it valid, we would no longer have the Christian liturgy, completely dependent on the Lord and sustained by his creative presence» (Benedict XVI, To the Bishops of Brazil [North 2], April 15, 2010). …

… The liturgy, and in a special way the Eucharist, «is the encounter and unification of persons; the Person, however, who comes to meet us and desires to be united to us is the Son of God» (Benedict XVI, To the Roman Curia, Dec. 22, 2005). The individual and the community must be aware of being before him who is thrice Holy. Hence, the necessary attitude is one full of reverence and of a sense of wonder, which gushes from knowing oneself in the presence of the majesty of God. Was this not perhaps what God intended to express when he ordered Moses to take off his sandals before the burning bush? …

In reality, physical gestures express and promote «the intention and spiritual attitude of the participants» (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 42), and enable one to overcome the danger that snares every Christian: habit …

Because of this, «a convincing sign of the effectiveness that the Eucharistic catechesis has on the faithful is surely the growth in them of the sense of the mystery of God present among us. This can be verified through specific manifestations of reverence toward the Eucharist, to which the mystagogic way should introduce the faithful» (Benedict XVI, «Sacramentum Caritatis,» No. 65). …

We see in the first place genuflection, which is done «by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.» (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 274). The bowing of the head instead means reverence and honor. …

Father Juan Silvestre is a professor of liturgy at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross and a Consultor of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, as well the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

Agneskerk in Amsterdam kondigt twee pontificale Missen aan

Søndag 10. april feirer Københavns biskop, msgr Czeslaw Kozon, en (tradisjonell latinsk) pontifikal høymesse i St Agneskirken i Amsterdam. FSSP er ansvarlig for arbeidet i denne kirken.

Jeg vet ikke hvorfor biskop Kozon skal feire denne messen i Amsterdam (kanskje noen andre vet), men det er en hyggelig nyhet – og det er faktisk ikke så vanskelig å lese nederlandsk:

De Agneskerk in Amsterdam is de rectoraatskerk van de St. Petruspriesterbroederschap in Nederland. In deze parochie wordt uitsluitend de traditionele Latijnse liturgie gevierd. Op hun site kondigen zij voor dit jaar twee opmerkelijke H. Missen aan in de Tridentijnse ritus: «In het jaar 2011 zullen we enkele bijzondere gasten in onze kerk mogen verwelkomen. Allereerst op zondag 10 april (Passiezondag) Zijne Hoogwaardige Excellentie mgr Czeslaw Kozon, bisschop van Kopenhagen. Hij zal die zondag celebrant zijn in een pontificale Hoogmis.

Kilden til nyheten hertips fra Rorate Cæli.

Ikke alle er ivrige deltakere i den økumeniske bønneuka

En katolsk prest i England, Fr Ray Blake, skriver på sin blogg at han ikke er så veldig entusiastisk mht til kristen enhet – eller han ser vel ikke muligheten for seg at det kan skje, i alle fall med de forskjellige protestantiske kirkesamfunn. Slik skriver han:

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity for most of us is about lukewarm tea and stale biscuits in a damp church hall, making friends or building relationships with people who one will never ever share visible unity. It is important but I think to be honest people might be more enthusiastic if spoke about The Week of Prayer for Christian Friendship, or even Christian Co-Operation.

The great act of unity that preceded the Week of Prayer, the setting of the Ordinariate and the ordination of Fr Newton and companions highlighted the possibilities and aim of Christian Unity. For Catholics Christian Unity isn’t fuzzy nor is there anything ambiguous about it but an acceptance of the fullness of the Christian faith by other Christians. With the ancient Churches there can be real dialogue because we start from a common understanding of God, I mean a God who is Triune and Incarnate and who communicates directly through the sacraments and Tradition, with liberal post reformation Christians one sometimes wonders whether we have more in common with orthodox Jews and Muslims, at least they believe in a God who speaks to us, who gives us more than take it or leave it morality. …

Han har altså større håp om at det skal være mulig å komme til enhet med de ortodokse kirkene, og (legger han til) med de katolske gruppene som i dag ikke har fullt fellesskap med Den katolske Kirke:

The real focus of Unity ought to be first of all amongst ourselves. Is it too much today to make a distinction between those in schism and those in heresy. One of the important burdens laid on Bishops by the Second Vatican Council is to be the minister of unity, nothing new the Church has always seen him is as the focus of communion, the model of the Good Sherpherd reminds us that the Bishop is supposed to go in search of the lost sheep.

I was heartened to read the Bishop of Nice, Mgr Louis Sankalé had been to tea, or at least visited the local SSPX, strange that it should be news. Strange that it should be more acceptable to welcome into one’s pulpit or lead prayers in one’s church the local female liberal Methodist minster but trying to invite a priest of the Society of Pius X would throw up all types of problems and worst, suspicions!

«Religion er blitt som et koldtbord. Det tenkte ikke Luther på.»

Vårt Land hadde tidligere denne uka en interessant artikkel om dagens religiøse virkelighet, skrevet av Marianne Lystrup. Der påpeker hun at mens sekulære mennesker gjerne lar seg inspirere av det åndelige i vår tid (på sine egne premisser), sliter den organiserte kristendommen. Hun finner utgangspunktet for dette hos Luther, som ba folket lese og tolke Bibelen selv, fører det videre til bl.a. pietismens personlige kristentro, helt fram til dagens koldtbord-virkelighet. Hun avslutter så sin artikkel med alternativet til disse personlige, religiøse variantene – som er Den katolske Kirke:

… Som en motsats til den moderne selvbetjeningstroen, står den katolske kirke der som en mastodont og holder på sitt: Sine håpløst umoderne regler, og sine formynderske dogmer. Men de har også et tilbud som nesten er for godt til å være sant: En katolikk i sjelenød kan lene seg til kirken, sin mor, og be henne tro for seg. Det er en nådens favn som kan være god å krype inn i, når tidene er harde, og man selv ikke finner troens frø i sitt hjerte.

For den svimlende friheten som ligger i en tro man selv er fullt og helt herre over, har en kjip bakside: Ansvar. Ansvar for å skille mellom godt og dårlig, mellom juks og ekte vare på religionens koldtbord. Det kan være tungt å bære helt alene. Dessuten er jo en ikke ubetydelig side av religion, at mennesket finner sin plass i en sammenheng som er større enn det enkelte menneske.

Hvis du venter på en konklusjon her, så må jeg skuffe deg. Jeg har ikke tenkt å anbefale hverken dogmefavnen i St. Olav, inderlighetens Betel eller noen av de andre mulighetene vi har. Og jeg vil i hvert fall ikke anbefale alternativmessa som åndelig fotfeste eller populærkulturens utvannede sjelesurfing. Men vi har noe å tygge på her. Og vi har alle grunn til å glede oss over at vi har tyggefrihet.

Bilder og referat fra San Paolo fuori le mura

Et referat fra bønnegudstjenesten i går kveld, i kirken San Paolo fuori le mura, ved avslutningen av bønneuken for kristen enhet, refereres pave Benedikt slik: «Enhet er et moralsk imperativ for alle kristne«. I referatet står det også:

The journey towards full Christian unity has “made great strides” in the past few years even if it has not reached its goal, one that remains “a moral imperative and a response to a specific call of the Lord. For this reason, we must defeat pessimism and the temptation to give in for this represents a lack of trust in the power of the Holy Spirit,” Benedict XVI said as he urged Catholics and all Christians to celebrate the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Representatives of other Churches and Ecclesial communities present in Rome took part in the ceremony in Rome’s Saint Paul Basilica Outside-the-Walls. They included a delegation of the German Lutheran Church as well as members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, whose meeting is scheduled in Rome a few days from now. “Let us entrust the success of your meeting to the Lord,” the Pope told the latter, “so that it may be a step towards the much hoped for unity.” …

«Vi er fortsatt langt fra den enheten Kristus ba om»

Slik begynte pave Benedikt sin preken under den økumenesike bønnegudstjenesten i kirken Paulus utenfor murene i Roma i går kveld:

Brothers and Sisters,

Following the example of Jesus, who on the eve of his Passion prayed to the Father for his disciples «that they may all be one» (John 17:21), Christians continue to invoke incessantly from God the gift of this unity. This request is made more intense during the Week of Prayer, which ends today, when the Churches and ecclesial Communities meditate and pray together for the unity of all Christians.

This year the theme offered for our meditation was proposed by the Christian communities of Jerusalem, to which I would like to express by heartfelt gratitude, accompanied by the assurance of affection and prayer either on my part or on that of the whole of the Church. The Christians of the Holy City invite us to renew and reinforce our commitment for the re-establishment of full unity meditating on the model of life of the first disciples of Christ gathered in Jerusalem: … …

Les hele prekenen her.

Handlinger som er ytre tegn på prestens tro

P. Nicola Bux skriver hos zenit.org om hvordan presten på mange måter uttrykker møtet med det hellige når han feirer messen:

Faith in the presence of the Lord, and in particular in his Eucharistic presence, is expressed in an exemplary manner by the priest when he genuflects with profound reverence during the Holy Mass or before the Eucharist.

In the post-conciliar liturgy, these acts of devotion have been reduced to a minimum in the name of sobriety. The result is that genuflections have become a rarity, or a superficial gesture. We have become stingy with our gestures of reverence before the Lord, even though we often praise Jews and Muslims for their fervor and manner way of praying.

More than words, a genuflection manifests the humility of the priest, who knows he is only a minister, and his dignity, as he is able to render the Lord present in the sacrament. However, there are other signs of devotion.

When the priest extends his hands in prayer he is indicating the supplication of the poor and humble one. … In proceeding to the altar, the priest must be humble, not ostentatious, without indulging in looking to the right and to the left, as if he were seeking applause. Instead, he must look at Jesus; Christ crucified is present in the tabernacle, before whom he must bow. …

The reverent kiss of the altar follows and eventually the incense, the sign of the cross and the sober greeting of the faithful. Following the greeting is the penitential act, to be carried out profoundly with the eyes lowered. In the extraordinary form, the the faithful kneel, imitating the publican pleasing to the Lord. …

He will touch the holy gifts with wonder … He will bow his head over the bread and the chalice in pronouncing the consecrating words of Christ and in the invocation of the Holy Spirit (epiclesi). He will raise them separately, fixing his gaze on them in adoration and then lowering them in meditation. He will kneel twice in solemn adoration. …

After communion, silence for thanksgiving can be done standing, better than sitting, as a sign of respect, or kneeling, if it is possible, as John Paul II did to the end when he celebrated in his private chapel, with his head bowed and his hands joined. He asked that the gift received be for him a remedy for eternal life, as in the formula that accompanies the purification of the sacred vessels; many faithful do so and are an example. …

Økumenikk og kamp mot abort

I går sa pave Benedikt følgende:

At the conclusion of an annual week of prayer devoted to overcoming divisions in Christianity, Pope Benedict XVI has warned that hard political choices over “the family, marriage and sexuality” cannot be played down for the sake of preserving good relations among the various Christian denominations.

Such issues form the heart of the contemporary culture wars, and Benedict called for a united front among Christians on these debates, “which cannot be minimized or avoided simply to avoid endangering the agreement we’ve already achieved.”

The pontiff’s remarks came in an audience this morning with a delegation from the Lutheran Church in Germany, to mark the end of the Jan. 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. …

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Pave Benedikt snakker om Internett – igjen

Det er ikke første gang pave Benedikt snakker om moderne teknologi; nå sier han at den kan være nyttig for å spre evangeliet – men han peker også på begrensninger og problemer:

Pope Benedict XVI invited Christians to join online social networks in order to spread the Gospel through digital media and discover «an entirely new world of potential friendships.»

At the same time, the pope warned of the limits and the dangers of digital communication, including the risks of constructing a false online image and of replacing direct human contact with virtual relationships. …

«The new technologies allow people to meet each other beyond the confines of space and of their own culture, creating in this way an entirely new world of potential friendships,» he said.

The pope added that digital communication has built-in limits, including the one-sidedness of the interaction and «the tendency to communicate only some parts of one’s interior world.» The creation of an artificial online image instead of an authentic one «can become a form of self-indulgence,» he said.

The great potential of social networks for building relationships makes it a natural place for the church to be present, he said. But there is a «Christian way» of being online — through communication that is «honest and open, responsible and respectful of others,» he said. …

Liturgireformen i Den norske kirke

I en kommentar her på bloggen ble det interessant nok sagt at: «I Norge foregår den katolske samtalen om liturgens plass ved alteret mot en bakgrunn der Den norske kirke først nå kan komme til å innføre på bred front den praksis som Den katolske kirke nå har begynt å nyansere. Det innebærer at brede lag av det norske folk fortsatt ikke er vant med annet enn at liturgen er vendt vekselvis mot øst og mot menigheten.»

Ja, det oppleves som et ganske stort paradoks at det er Den norske kirke og ikke Den katolske Kirke i Norge som har beholdt det tradisjonelle aleteret og tradisjonen med å knele ved mottakelsen av kommunion. I Den norske kirkes arbeid med liturgien hadde det kommet signaler om at dette nå endelig skulle forandres, men da høringssvarene hadde kommet inn i fjor, viste det seg at man i ganske stor grad ville videreføre tradisjonen. (Og det gjelder også i diskusjonen om forholdet mellom gudstjenesten som et møte med Gud og dens fokus på det menneskelige fellesskapet.) Slik skrev Vårt Land om dette i mai 2010:

Det forrige utkastet til ny gudstjenste la sterke føringer for at presten skulle stå vendt mot folket ved et alter midt i rommet under bønn. Det nye utkastet betyr en oppvurdering av dagens praksis (vendt ‘mot øst’), og dermed en likestilling av de to forslagene. …

Mange tunge instanser hadde reagert på at gudstjensten, slik den fremsto i høringsforslagene, i for stor grad hadde et fellesskapsbekreftende og menneskesentrert preg. Det gikk på bekostning av gudstjenesten som møteplass med det hellige. I det reviderte forslaget er Guds-orienteringen tydeligere understreket …

Et annet spørsmål, var om det skulle bli større åpning for alternative måter å dele ut nattverden på. En forsøksordning har innebært at mange menigheter har droppet knelingen ved alterringen, og i steden delt ut nattverden ved at folk stiller seg i kø, mottar brødet og dypper det i vinen. … Utkastet innebærer ikke noen stor nyåpning og godkjenning av dette. …

Mer om å feire messen «ad orientem» – 3

Avslutningsvis skriver biskop Edward Slattery (se også del 1 og del 2 følgende om hvorfor messen (dsv. fra offertoriet fram til kommunionen) helst bør feires»ad orientem»:

Recovering the Sacred

Even before his election as the successor to St. Peter, Pope Benedict has been urging us to draw upon the ancient liturgical practice of the Church to recover a more authentic Catholic worship and, for that reason, I have restored the venerable ad orientem position when he celebrates Mass at the Cathedral.

This change ought not to be misconstrued as the Bishop “turning his back on the faithful,” as if I am being inconsiderate or hostile. Such an interpretation misses the point that by facing in the same direction, the posture of the celebrant and the congregation makes explicit the fact that we journey together to God. Priest and people are on this pilgrimage together.

It would also be a mistaken notion to look at the recovery of this ancient tradition as a mere “turning back of the clock.” Pope Benedict has spoken repeatedly of the importance of celebrating Mass ad orientem, but his intention is not to encourage celebrants to become “liturgical antiquarians.” Rather, His Holiness wants us to discover what underlies this ancient tradition and made it viable for so many centuries, namely, the Church’s understanding that the worship of the Mass is primarily and essentially the worship which Christ offers to His Father.

Hele artikkelen kan leses her.

Å bruke ordet førkonsiliært kan gi det feilaktige inntrykket at konsilet markerte et brudd med tradisjonen

Jeg forstår at det senere denne uka vil komme på trykk en artikkel om Den katolske Kirke, der fem personer er intervjuet (jeg er én av dem). Jeg har selv fått mine sitater til sjekk og korreksjon (hva journalisten ellers vil skrive, vet jeg ikke), og jeg sier bl.a.:

– (Den gamle) messen kan oppfattes som noe førkonsiliært. Hva tenker du?
– Hva mener du med førkonsiliært? Å bruke det ordet, kan gi inntrykk av at konsilet markerte et brudd! Pave Benedikt har sagt mange ganger at man ikke må se på konsilet som et brudd med tradisjonen.

Dette står jeg (selvsagt) inne for, og i samtalen med journalisten sa jeg også (noe journalisten ikke har tatt med i sin artikkel) at man kan sammenligne interessen for tradisjonen innen Den katolske Kirke, med en lignende interesse overalt ellers i samfunnet. Folk er faktisk interesserte i det som skjedde for 50 år siden, for hundre år siden eller for tusen år siden, innefor kunst, musikk, historie etc – og innenfor Kirken. Vanskeligere er det ikke å forstå, og heller ikke mer reaksjonært – om noen skulle tro det.

Artikkelen kommer visst ikke på trykk før første uke av februar, får jeg nå opplyst.

Mer om å feire messen «ad orientem» – 2

Biskop Edward Slattery fortsetter sin artikkel med følgende argumenter:

Facing the same direction

From ancient times, the position of the priest and the people reflected this understanding of the Mass, since the people prayed, standing or kneeling, in the place which visibly represented Our Lord’s Body, while the priest at the altar stood at the head as the Head. … celebrant and congregation faced the same direction, since they were united with Christ in offering to the Father Christ’s unique, unrepeatable and acceptable Sacrifice. …

Multiple advantages

Having the priest and people celebrate Mass ad orientem was the liturgical norm for nearly 18 centuries. There must have been solid reasons for the Church to have held on to this posture for so long. And indeed there were! First of all, the Catholic liturgy has always maintained a marvelous adherence to the Apostolic Tradition. We see the Mass, indeed the whole liturgical expression of the Church’s life, as something which we have received from the Apostles and which we in turn are expected to hand on intact.

Secondly, the Church held on to this single eastward position because of the sublime way it reveals the nature of the Mass. Even someone unfamiliar with the Mass who reflected upon the celebrant and the faithful being oriented in the same direction would recognize that the priest stands at the head of the people, sharing in one and the same action, which was — he would note with a moment’s longer reflection — an act of worship.

An innovation with unforeseen consequences

In the past 40 years, however, this shared orientation was lost; now the priest and the people have become accustomed to facing in opposite directions. The priest faces the people while the people face the priest, even though the Eucharistic Prayer is directed to the Father and not to the people. …

Unfortunately this change had a number of unforeseen and largely negative effects. First of all, it was a serious rupture with the Church’s ancient tradition. Secondly, it can give the appearance that the priest and the people were engaged in a conversation about God, rather than the worship of God. Thirdly, it places an inordinate importance on the personality of the celebrant by placing him on a kind of liturgical stage.

Les hele biskop Slatterys artikkel her.

Mer om å feire messen «ad orientem»

Jeg tenker stadig mye på om det er mest passende at presten ser på menigheten når han bærer fram messens hellige offer, og kommer stadig tydeligere til den konklusjonen at det er det ikke. Jeg skal prøve å formulere noen grundigere tanker om dette om ikke lenge, og da betgynne med å vise at det er en misforståelse (som mange trodde fram til 80-tallet, og som dessverre flere fortsatt tror) å tro at i den første kristne tid feiret man messen rundt et bord, med biskopen/presten vendt mot de troende.

I denne omgang vil jeg bare (på nytt) nevne biskop Slattery i Tulsa, Oklahoma, som i september 2009 sluttet å feire messen vendt mot menigheten i sin egen domkirke, og som i forindelse med det skrev:

Because the Mass is so necessary and fundamental to our Catholic experience, the liturgy is a constant topic in our conversation. That is why when we get together, we so often reflect upon the prayers and readings, discuss the homily, and – likely as not – argue about the music. The critical element in these conversations is an understanding that we Catholics worship the way we do because of what the Mass is: Christ’s sacrifice, offered under the sacramental signs of bread and wine.

If our conversation about the Mass is going to “make any sense,” then we have to grasp this essential truth: At Mass Christ joins us to Himself as He offers Himself in sacrifice to the Father for the world’s redemption. We can offer ourselves like this in Him because we have become members of His Body by Baptism.

We also want to remember that all of the faithful offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice as members of Christ’s body. It’s incorrect to think that only the priest offers Mass. All the faithful share in the offering, even though the priest has a unique role. He stands “in the person of Christ,” the historic Head of the Mystical Body, so that at Mass, it is the whole body of Christ – Head and members together that make the offering. …

I fortsettelsen av denne noe overraskende innledningen (overraskende fordi han legger stor vekt på de troende) argumenterer han videre med at biskopen/ presten og menigheten derfor bør vende seg samme vei. Jeg tar med mer av hans argumentasjon om ikke lenge, men les gjerne selv hans artikkel her.

Den første eukaristiske bønn mest passende

Jeg mener det som står i overskrifta også rent generelt og prinsipielt, men da jeg feiret messen fredag kveld, var den første eukaristiske bønn av flere grunner ekstra passende:

Jeg var bedt om å be for en syk person, den første eukaristiske bønn er den eneste som har en egen plass for dette: » .. Kom i hu, Herre, dine tjenere(inner) .. »

I evangeliet i går hørte vi om de tolv apostlene Jesus valgte, og den første eukaristiske bønn nevner alle disse: «.. dine salige apostler og martyrer, Peter og Paulus, Andreas, Jakob, Johannes, Tomas, Jakob, Filip, Bartolomeus, Matteus, Simon og Taddeus ..»

I går feiret vi den hellige Agnes, og hun nevnes i den andre rekken av helgener i den første eukaristiske bønn: » .. dine hellige apostler og martyrer med Johannes, Stefan, Mattias, Barnabas, Ignatius, Aleksander, Marcellinus, Peter, Felicitas, Perpetua, Agata, Lucia, Agnes. Cecilia, Anastasia og alle dine hellige. .. » (Tredje eukaristiske bønn har også plass til å nevne en aktuell helgen, men ikke nummer to og fire.)

«Den umyndige var moden nok til å seire»

I dag (21/1) leser vi til matutin fra den hellige Ambrosius’ bøker om jomfruene (Liber 1, caput 2, 5. 7-9), om den hellige Agnes:

Det faller seg så heldig, nå da vi skal tale om jomfruer, at det i dag er en jomfrus fødselsdag. Vår bok begynner altså med en preken. Dette er en jomfrus fødselsdag, la oss etterligne hennes renhet. Det er en martyrs fødselsdag, la oss bære frem offergaver. Det er den hellige Agnes’ fødselsdag, la mennene fylles med undring, la barna fatte mot; undre dere, dere gifte kvinner, dere ugifte, ha henne som forbilde.

Det sies at hun var tolv ar da hun led martyrdøden. Hva kan være grusommere enn ikke å spare en i sa sped alder? Men hvor sterk er den tro som ble bevitnet av en så ung! Fantes det da plass for sår pa en sa liten kropp? Men hun som knapt hadde plass til sverdsår, hadde kraft til a overvinne sverdet. Småpiker på den alder tåler jo ikke engang at foreldrene ser morskt på dem, og blir de stukket av en tynn nål, gråter de som om de fikk dype sår. Men denne piken forferdes ikke når hun gripes av bødlenes blodige hender, hun er uberørt når de kommer trekkende med tunge, gnissende lenker, og hun frembyr hele sin kropp til den rasende soldatens sverdspiss; ennå vet hun ikke hva det vil si å dø, men hun er rede. …

Ut qui beatæ Agnetis solemnia colimus, ejus apud te patrocina sentiamus

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui infirma mundi eligis, ut fotia quæque confundas: concede propitus: ut qui beatæ Agnetis Virginis et Martyris tuæ solemnia colimus, ejus apud te patrocina sentiamus. Per Dominum nostrum …

Allmektige Gud, du som kårer det svake i verden til å gjøre skam på det sterke, gi i nåde at vi som feirer festen for den salige Agnes, din jomfru og martyr, må få kjenne makten av hennes forbønn hos deg. Ved vår Herre …

På katolsk.no kan man lese mer om den hellige Agnes av Roma.

Hyggelig å se bilder fra Bergen

I Bergen – i min tid både i St Paul kirke og hos søstrene på Marias Minde – var det hvert år vellykkede arrangementer under bønneuken for kristen enhet – mens i Stavanger og Oslo ser dette ut til å være vanskeligere å få til. I dag leser jeg en rapport på St Paul bloggen om at samlingen på Marias Minde (hos Fransiskus Xaveriussøstrene, ikke langt fra Handelshøyskolen) var vellykket også i år. Bildene under viser dette ganske tydelig.

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