My constant drumbeat has been that for any effort of New Evangelization to bear long-lasting fruit, we must revitalize our sacred liturgical worship of God. Nothing we do to renew the Church will last unless we get our liturgical house in order. Renewal of our sacred worship is the sine qua non. It is not the only thing, but it is that activity “without which… FAIL.”
I was therefore happy to see a piece by Leroy Huizenga at Catholic World Report which touched took up my mantra.
As a matter of fact, he beat me to a point that Francis raised in an address he gave in Rio. I was working on it this morning and get pulled into other things by circumstances.
Here is a bit of it with my emphases:
World Youth Day, Liturgy, and the New Evangelization
July 30, 2013
Well-formed disciples are shaped and taught through good liturgy: lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi
Mountaintop experiences do matter: they shake youth (and adults) out of the boredom of quotidian routine. But mountaintop experiences are not the norm, as Scripture attests; the theophany on Mount Sinai was not enough to sustain the people for the long term, and even after witnessing Jesus’ Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, Peter, James, and John failed again and again. Mountaintop experiences are not enough to sustain a person, a parish, a Church. Indeed, one sees in the Gospels that even repeated encounter with Jesus Christ, God incarnate, was not always enough to sustain the disciples. But from a passage late in the Gospel of Luke, which Pope Francis presented as part of his program for the New Evangelization, we learn that moving from despair to courage for mission involves an encounter with the risen Christ in the Eucharist.
The Backbone of the New Evangelization
If encountering Christ in the Eucharist empowers mission, liturgy matters, for the Eucharist is celebrated and generally received in the Mass, now often called the eucharistic liturgy.
He also writes:
It is dangerous, I think, to pit Francis against Benedict, which would involve reading them as the papal bearers of Catholic tradition with the hermeneutic of rupture Benedict himself decried, and in any event the division between the two is a false and largely media-driven narrative.