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Prayerful liturgy always comes first, Pope tells audience

Catholic World News - September 26, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the liturgy at his weekly public audience on September 26, continuing his series of talks on the “school of prayer.”

Citing the words of Vatican II, the Pope reminded his audience that “the word ‘liturgy’ means the participation of the People of God in the work of God.” The work of God, he continued, is the work of salvation, the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection.

It is natural, therefore, that the first statement from the Second Vatican Council was on the liturgy, the Pope said. The Council fathers recognized the need to structure the work of the Church around the liturgy. “Where the gaze on God is not decisive, everything becomes disoriented,” Pope Benedict observed.

“The fundamental criterion for the liturgy is that it should be oriented towards God,” the Pope said. He repeated later that “the first requirement for a good liturgical celebration is that it be prayer and dialogue with God, first listening then responding.”

"We celebrate and experience the liturgy well only if we maintain an attitude of prayer,” the Pope said.

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Sep. 26, 2012 5:45 PM ET USA

    “Where the gaze on God is not decisive, everything becomes disoriented,” Pope Benedict observed. Tremendously important and true words for us. "The work of God, he continued, is the work of salvation, the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection." This is a work of love, and Our Lord has commanded that we love one another as laborers in His garden. This involves sacramental grace- something essential for all Catholics seeking to maintain a Christian orientation in these challenging times.

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