03 June 2010

Ordinary Time, the Trinity, the Cross and Priests

This past Sunday the Holy Father used his Angelus Address to speak briefly about Ordinary Time, and a few other things as well:

Dear brothers and sisters!

After the Easter season, which concluded last Sunday with Pentecost, the liturgy returned to Ordinary Time. That does not mean that the commitment of Christians must diminish, rather, having entered into the divine life through the sacraments, we are called daily to be open to the action of grace, to progress in the love of God and our neighbor. This Sunday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, recapitulates, in a sense, God's revelation in the paschal mysteries: Christ's death and resurrection, his ascension to the right hand of the Father and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The human mind and language are inadequate for explaining the relationship that exists between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and nevertheless the Fathers of the Church tried to illustrate the mystery of the One and Triune God, living it in their existence with profound faith.

The divine Trinity, in fact, comes to dwell in us on the day of baptism: "I baptize you," the minister says, "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." We recall the name of God in which we were baptized every time that we make the sign of the cross. In regard to the sign of the cross the theologian Romano Guardini observes: "We do it before prayer so that … we put ourselves spiritually in order; it focuses our thoughts, heart and will on God. We do it after prayer, so that what God has granted us remains in us … It embraces all our being, body and soul, … and every becomes consecrated in the name of the one and triune God" ("Lo spirito della liturgia. I santi segni," Brescia 2000, 125-126).

Thus in the sign of the cross and in the name of the living God the proclamation that generates faith and inspires prayer is contained. And, as in the Gospel Jesus promises the apostles that "the Spirit of truth, when he comes, will guide you in all truth" (John 16:13), the same happens in the Sunday liturgy, when the priests dispense, week after week, the bread of the Word and the Eucharist. The holy Curé d'Ars reminded his faithful of this: "Who welcomed your soul," he said, "at the beginning of your life? The priest. Who feeds your soul and gives it strength for its journey? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God, bathing it one last time in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest, always the priest" ("Letter Proclaiming a Year for Priests").

Dear friends, let us make the prayer of St. Hilary of Poitiers our own: "Preserve undefiled in me this right faith and, to my last breath, grant me also this voice of my conscience, so that I remain faithful to that which I professed in my regeneration, when I was baptized in the Father, and in the Son and in the Holy Spirit" ("De Trinitate," XII, 57, CCL 62/A, 627). Invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first creature in whom the Most Holy Trinity dwelled fully, let us ask her protection to journey well on our earthly pilgrimage.
Translation via Zenit.

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