Month: February 2014

Joseph Ratzinger – Collected Works: Theology of the Liturgy

Joseph Ratzinger-Collected Works: Theology of the Liturgy

Publisher: Ignatius Press (May 5, 2014). 700 pgs.

This major volume is a collection of the writings of Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) on the theology of the Liturgy of the Church, a subject of preeminence to him as a theologian, professor and spiritual writer. It brings together all his writings on the subject, short and long, giving his views on liturgical matters and questions over many years and from various perspectives.

He chose to have his writings on the Liturgy for the first volume published of his collected works (though listed as vol. 11) because, as he says in the Introduction: “The liturgy of the Church has been for me since my childhood the central reality of my life, and it became the center of my theological efforts. I chose fundamental theology as my field because I wanted first and foremost to examine thoroughly the question: Why do we believe? But also included from the beginning in this question was the other question of the right response to God and, thus, the question of the liturgy.”

By starting with the theme of liturgy in this volume, Ratzinger wants to highlight God’s primacy, the absolute precedence of the theme of God. Beginning with a focus on the liturgy, he said, tells us that “God is first”. He quotes from the Rule of St. Benedict, “Nothing is to be preferred to the liturgy”, as a way of ordering priorities for the life of the Church and of every individual. He says that the fundamental question of the man who begins to understand himself correctly is: How must I encounter God? Thus learning the right way of worshipping is the gift par excellence that is given to us by the faith.

The essential purpose of his writings on the liturgy is to place the liturgy in its larger context, which he presents in three concentric circles. First, the intrinsic interrelationship of Old and New Testament; without the connection to the Old Testament heritage, the Christian liturgy is incomprehensible. The second circle is the relationship to the religions of the world. The third circle is the cosmic character of the liturgy, which is more than the coming together of a circle of people: the liturgy is celebrated in the expanse of the cosmos, encompassing creation and history at the same time.

(As if there aren’t already enough books on my “to read” list).

  • Dr. Philip Blosser on: “The Endnote that led to my Conversion” (“is now online”):

    Imagine that: an endnote. Yep, that’s how it started. Back in the fall semester of 1987 when I was teaching a course in the history and philosophy of law at Lenoir-Rhyne University and using as a the main text Harold Berman’s Law and Revolution, The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983) …

  • Eight Lies in President Obama’s Roe Statement, by Matthew Schmitz. First Things 01/22/13.
  • “The other day at the Sorbonne, speaking to a Marxist lecturer, a Catholic priest said in public that he too was anticlerical. Well, I don’t like priests who are anticlerical any more than philosophies that are ashamed of themselves.” — Albert Camus (HT: Pertinacious Papist)
  • Bush Without Hysteria, by Matthew Hennessey. City Journal (Autumn 2013) – Looks like another book to add to the 2014 reading list:

    You haven’t heard that Bush was Cheney’s puppet? You don’t remember the cabal that installed this C-student in the Oval Office so they could plant the flag in Baghdad? You didn’t know that Bush napped at Camp David while Cheney conspired with Wolfowitz and the Saudis to plot the future of American empire?

    Baker doesn’t trade in such nonsense. As a longtime White House correspondent for both the Washington Post and the New York Times, where he currently works, Baker is a card-carrying member of what is sometimes called the “elite liberal media.” He has observed the last two decades of presidential scandals and outrages at close range. Yet, his Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House, which stretches from the Florida recount in 2000 to the housing collapse in 2008, is a masterpiece of objectivity.

  • If You Think Communism Is Bad For People, Check Out What It Did To The Environment Colin Grabow responds to an idiotic tweet from a Communist: “If I have to answer for Soviet gulags, these market/capital twits have to answer for climate collapse, the greatest genocide in history.”