Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 17

This covers paragraphs 76-79 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. 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.

A eucharistic form of Christian life, membership in belongingness to the Church

76. The importance of Sunday as the Dies Ecclesiae brings us back necessarily returns us to the intrinsic relationship between Jesus' victory over evil and death, and our membership in his ecclesial body. On the Lord's Day, each every Christian also rediscovers the communal dimension of his own redeemed life as one who has been redeemed. Taking part in the liturgy Participating in the liturgical action and receiving communion of the Body and Blood of Christ intensifies and deepens each time makes ever more intimate and ever deeper our belonging to the one who died for us (cf. 1 Cor 6:19ff; 7:23). Truly, whoever eats [i.e., is nourished] of Christ lives for him. The eucharistic mystery helps us to understand the profound meaning of the communio sanctorum is best understood in relationship to the eucharistic mystery. Communion always and inseparably has both a vertical and a horizontal sense reason [i.e., connotation]: it is communion with God and communion with our brothers and sisters. Both dimensions mysteriously converge in the gift of the Eucharist. "Wherever communion with God, which is communion with the Father, with the Son and with the Holy Spirit, is destroyed, the root and source of our communion with one another is destroyed. And wherever we do not live out the communion among ourselves, communion with the Triune God is not alive and true either."(215) Called to be members of Christ and thus members of one another (cf. 1 Cor 12:27), we are a reality grounded an essence founded ontologically in Baptism and nourished by the Eucharist, a reality that demands visible expression in the life of our communities.

The eucharistic form of Christian life is clearly without a doubt an ecclesial and communitarian form. Through the Diocese and the parish, the fundamental structures of the Church in a particular territory, each individual believer can experience concretely what it means to be a member of Christ's Body The way each of the faithful can experience concretely what it means to be a member of Christ's Body, is realized through the Diocese and the parish, the fundamental structures of the Church in a particular territory. Associations, ecclesial movements and new communities – with their lively charisms bestowed by the Holy Spirit for the needs of our time – together with Institutes of Consecrated Life, have a particular responsibility for helping the duty to make the faithful conscious that they belong to the Lord (cf. Rom 14:8). Secularization, with its inherent emphasis on individualism which comprises markedly [i.e., overly] individualistic aspects, has its most negative visits its deleterious effects above all on individuals who are have isolated themselves and lack in whom a sense of belonging is [most] scarce. Christianity, from its very beginning, has meant fellowship, a network of relationships constantly strengthened continuously sustained by hearing God's word and sharing in the Eucharist the Eucharistic celebration, and enlivened animated by the Holy Spirit.

Spirituality and eucharistic culture

77. Significantly, the Synod Fathers stated that "the Christian faithful need a fuller understanding of the relationship between the Eucharist and their daily lives. Eucharistic spirituality is not just participation in Mass and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. It embraces the whole of life." (216) This observation is particularly insightful, given our situation consideration has particular significance for all of us today. It must be acknowledged recognized that one of the most serious effects of the secularization just mentioned is that it has relegated the Christian faith to the margins of life as if it were irrelevant useless to everyday affairs. The futility defectiveness of this way of living – "as if God did not exist" – is now evident to everyone. Today there is a need to it is necessary to rediscover that Jesus Christ is not just a mere private conviction or an abstract idea doctrine, but a real person, whose becoming part of insertion into human history is capable of renewing the life of every man and woman all. Hence the Eucharist, as the source and summit of the Church's life and mission, must be translated into spirituality, into a life lived "according to the Spirit" (Rom 8:4ff.; cf. Gal 5:16, 25). It is significant that Saint Paul, in the passage of the Letter to the Romans where he invites his hearers to offer live the new spiritual worship, also speaks of the need for a change in their way of living and thinking: "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect" (12:2). In this way the Apostle of the Gentiles emphasizes the link extols the bond between true spiritual worship and the need for a new way of understanding and living one's life. An integral part of the eucharistic form of the Christian life is a new way of thinking, "so that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine" (Eph 4:14).

The Eucharist and the evangelization of cultures

78. From what has been said thus far, it is clear that the eucharistic mystery puts us in dialogue with various cultures, but also in some way challenges them. (217) The intercultural character of this new worship, this logiké latreía, needs to be recognized. The presence of Jesus Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit are events capable of engaging every cultural reality and bringing to it the leaven of the Gospel leavening it Evangelically. It follows that we must be committed to promoting the evangelization of cultures, conscious that Christ himself is the truth for every man and woman all men, and for all human history. The Eucharist becomes a criterion for our evaluation of everything that Christianity encounters in different cultures. In this important process of discernment, we can appreciate the full meaning of Saint Paul's exhortation, in his First Letter to the Thessalonians, to "test everything; and hold fast to what is good" (5:21).

The Eucharist and the lay faithful

79. In Christ, Head of his Body, the Church, all Christians are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people he claims for his own, to declare his wonderful deeds" (1 Pet 2:9). The Eucharist, as a mystery to be "lived" that is to be lived, meets offers itself to each of us as we are and makes our concrete existence the place where we experience daily the radical newness of the Christian life person in his [particular] condition, making him live [out] daily the Christian newness in the situation of his existence. The Given that the eucharistic sacrifice nourishes and increases within us all that we have already received at Baptism, with its call to holiness, (218) and this must be clearly evident from the way individual Christians live their lives. Day by day we become "a worship pleasing to God" by living our lives as a vocation. Beginning with the liturgical assembly, the sacrament of the Eucharist itself commits us, in our daily lives, to doing everything for God's glory.

And because the world is "the field" (Mt 13:38) in which God plants his children as good seed, the Christian laity, by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, and strengthened by the Eucharist, are called to live out the radical newness brought by Christ wherever they find themselves in the common, everyday aspects of life. (219) They should are to cultivate a desire that the Eucharist have an ever deeper effect on their daily lives, making them convincing noticeable witnesses in the workplace and in throughout society at large. (220) I encourage families in particular to draw have as a font of inspiration and strength from this sacrament. The love between man and woman, openness to cherishing life, and the raising proper upbringing [of children] are privileged spheres in which the Eucharist can reveal its power to transform life [one's] existence and give it its full fill it with meaning. (221) The Church's pastors should unfailingly support, guide and encourage exhort the lay faithful to live fully their vocation to holiness within this world which God so loved that he gave his Son to become its salvation (cf. Jn 3:16).


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