Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 3

This covers paragraphs 17-19 (Be patient, I haven't had a chance to shake the rust off my Latin since 1981!) of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

I. The Eucharist and Christian initiation

The Eucharist, the fullness of Christian initiation

17. If Given that the Eucharist is truly the source and summit of the Church's life and mission, it follows that the process of Christian initiation must constantly be directed to the reception the road of Christian initiation has as its point of reference [the] accession [i.e., compliance, allowing, willing acceptance] of this sacrament. As the Synod Fathers said, we need to ask ourselves whether in our Christian communities the close link between Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist is sufficiently recognized perceived [i.e., visible, noticeable]. (46) It must never be forgotten that our reception of Baptism and Confirmation is ordered to We must never forget we are Baptized and Confirmed [by] the order [that we may properly receive] of the Eucharist. Accordingly, our pastoral practice should reflect This requires [that] our pastoral actions favor a more unitary understanding of the process of Christian initiation. The sacrament of Baptism, by which we were conformed configured to Christ,(47) incorporated in the Church and made are converted [i.e. achieve conversion] into children of God, is the portal door to all the sacraments. It makes us part of the one Body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 12:13), a priestly people. Still, it is our participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice which perfects within us the gifts what has been given to us at Baptism. The gifts of the Spirit are given for the building up of Christ's Body (1 Cor 12) and for ever a greater witness evangelic testimony to the Gospel in the world. (48) The Most Holy Eucharist, then, brings Christian initiation to completion fullness [i.e., fulfillment, accomplishment] and represents is as the centre and goal of all sacramental life. (49)

The order of the sacraments of initiation

18. In this regard, attention needs to be paid to the order of the sacraments of initiation. Different traditions exist within the Church. There is a clear variation between, on the one hand, the ecclesial customs of the East Orient (50) and the practice praxis of the West regarding the initiation of adults, (51) and, on the other hand, the procedure adopted in contrast with that for children. (52) Yet these variations are not properly of the dogmatic order, but are pastoral in of pastoral character. Concretely, it needs to be seen which practice praxis better enables can effectively better assist the faithful to put the sacrament of the Eucharist at the centre in bold relief, as the goal of the whole process of initiation as that to which the entire initiation aspires[ i.e., aims, points to, goes towards]. In close collaboration with the competent [i.e. relevant, appropriate] offices Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Bishops' Conferences should examine the effectiveness of current approaches to Christian initiation, so that more and more the faithful Christian can be helped both to mature through with the formation received in our communities and to give assume [i.e. willingly take on, adopt] for their lives an authentically eucharistic direction cast [i.e. imprint, character], so that they can offer capable of offering a reason for the their own hope within them in a way suited adequate to our times (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).

Initiation, the ecclesial community and the family

19. It should be kept in mind It must always be kept present that the whole of Christian initiation is a process road [i.e., path, way] of conversion undertaken which ought to be taken with God's help and with constant reference to the ecclesial community, both when an adult is seeking entry into the Church, as happens in places of first evangelization and in many secularized regions zones [i.e. areas, localities], and when or when it is the parents who request the sacraments for their children. In this regard, I would like to call particular attention in a special way to the relationship between Christian initiation and the family. In pastoral work it is always important to make Christian families part of the it is a must to associate [i.e. involve] the Christian family in the process itinerary [i.e., schedule, procedure] of initiation. Receiving Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion receiving the Eucharist for the first time are key decisive moments not only for the individual receiving them but also for the entire family, which should be supported must be aided in its educational role by the various elements of the ecclesial community. (53) Here I would emphasize underscore the importance of First [Holy] Communion. For many of the faithful, this day continues to be memorable remains engraved in memory as the moment when, even if in a rudimentary an initial [i.e. not yet fully developed] way, they first came to understand perceived [i.e. grasped] the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus. Parish pastoral programmes [efforts or outlooks] should make the most of this highly significant moment must adequately value so significant an occasion.