Considered by Ratzinger devotees as his greatest work on the liturgy, this profound and beautifully written treatment of the “great prayer of the church” will help readers rediscover the liturgy in all its hidden spiritual wealth and transcendent grandeur as the very center of our Christian life.
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“In the ordering of the covenant on Sinai, the three aspects of worship, law, and ethics are inseparably interwoven” (Page 18)
“Ultimately, it is the very life of man, man himself as living righteously, that is the true worship of God, but life only becomes real life when it receives its form from looking toward God. Cult exists in order to communicate this vision and to give life in such a way that glory is given to God.” (Page 18)
“But real liturgy implies that God responds and reveals how we can worship him. In any form, liturgy includes some kind of ‘institution’. It cannot spring from imagination, our own creativity—then it would remain just a cry in the dark or mere self-affirmation. Liturgy implies a real relationship with Another, who reveals himself to us and gives our existence a new direction.” (Page 22)
“Man himself cannot simply ‘make’ worship. If God does not reveal himself, man is clutching empty space.” (Page 21)
“First, there is a violation of the prohibition of images. The people cannot cope with the invisible, remote, and mysterious God. They want to bring him down into their own world, into what they can see and understand. Worship is no longer going up to God, but drawing God down into one’s own world.” (Page 22)
Pope Benedict XVI was the 265th pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He was elected on 19 April 2005 in a papal conclave, celebrated his Papal Inauguration Mass on 24 April 2005, and took possession of his cathedral, the Basilica of St. John Lateran, on 7 May 2005. A native of Bavaria, Pope Benedict XVI has both German and Vatican citizenship.