We are moving really slow through that quote from James Finley. Now we are going to stop and take a real good look at that word, LITURGY. Sacred Liturgy is essential for us as social human beings, as well as individuals. We cannot journey alone, we are in desperate need of each other for companionship, and the building up of community.We as human beings of our essence are social animals. From the beginning this was a, given :"It is not good for the man to be alone",was the thought of The Creator God as He gazed at the what had been created from the earth, the humus. The necessary bedrock of a healthy society and Church is that relationship between The Creator and the creatures then created. History informs us of the lived need our ancestors of both individual, as well as social worship. After journeying into the mists of time we have made great discoveries as to what that led to.Sad to say it was not always just or healthy.
Liturgy is, THE WORK OF THE PEOPLE , as they gather to honor and worship God in Word,Sacrament, and Sacrifice, both as individuals and as a a community. Liturgy is real, sometimes even difficult work. It is definitely not a spectator sport. We do not go to a liturgical celebration to be be entertained. We go to work, and we must go, PREPARED. Preparation is an essential element for any liturgical celebration. "No deposit, no return." RIGHT ??? Then there is that great quote from ST.Thomas, "Grace builds on, nature." The Holy Spirit,The Creative Spirit works with what we bring.
The preparation for the liturgy begins for, when we leave the last celebration. All your life events are grist for the spiritual mill. That is why liturgy is all about life, and, living. If not it is not effective. There is the root of all our frustrations with current liturgical practice. There was a great classic in the 60's " Good Old Plastic Jesus". There is on quote from that book that has lodged itself in my deep unconscious, "I want to live, not just exist". That cry comes from my depths to challenge me in the place I my feet are planted, right now. Again to reiterate what I harp on all the time there must be a concerted effort to connect the moment to moment living and the liturgical celebrate we are present in. Now that is loaded, "the liturgical celebration we are to be present in." How really "present' are we. Let's be honest not very and we all must work on bringing ourselves as we really aren't the way are supposed to be, aught to be, expected to be. The Spirit works with our realities, not, our fantasies. THE LATTER CAN BE ENTERTAINING,BUT ARE REDUNDANT TO A REAL, SUBSTANTIAL ,LONG LASTING CELEBRATION.
I hope this triggers some change, a little conversion shall we say, as you are preparing for the Sacred Liturgies you are being drawn to by, The Gracious Creative Spirit. The impulse of grace can be so subtle we must be sensitive to the way(s) in which invitations are offered. A gentle breeze does not rustle too many leaves, but it sure can make a difference in the place we are at. Enjoy the sacramentality of each moment. Next step, bring that joy to your liturgy. We will see, not very soon I am afraid, what needs to be done, what frame of mind ,and actions to take place in order to make the liturgical celebration both relevant, meaning-full, vitalizing and transformative. This is our responsibility. Love,payers,blessings.