Looking again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger

Looking Again at the Question of the Liturgy with Cardinal Ratzinger: Proceedings of the July 2001 Fontgombault Liturgical Conference
Edited by Alcuin Reid OSB. St Michael's Abbey Press; illustrated edition edition (November 2003)

"What we previously knew only in theory has become for us a practical experience: the Church stands and falls with the Liturgy. When the adoration of the divine Trinity declines, when the faith is no longer appears in its fullness in the Liturgy of the Church, when man's words, his thoughts, his intentions are suffocating him, then faith will have lost the place where it is expressed and where it dwells. For that reason, the true celebration of the Sacred Liturgy is the centre of any renewal of the Church whatever." -- Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

But how, today, at the beginning of the third millennium, do we achieve "the true celebration of the Liturgy"? Is the answer a wholesale return to the traditional rites? Is it in accepting a wide diversity of divergent uses -- new, old and inculturated -- in the Roman rite? Or is it in seeking an official reform of the liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council?

These are the issues that were discussed under the presidency of Cardinal Ratzinger at the conference held at the Abbey of Notre-Dame at Fontgombault from July 22-24 2001. This volume makes available in English translation the papers from that conference -- papers which inform and challenge, and which make a significant contribution to the consideration of the question of the Liturgy in our day.


God Is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life

God is Near Us: The Eucharist, The Heart of Life
Ignatius Press (September 2003)

The Second Vatican Council says, "We ought to try to discover a new reverence for the Eucharistic mystery. Something is happening that is greater than anything we can do. The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is the font from which all her power flows."

This profound statement about the Eucharist stands at the center of this book by Cardinal Ratzinger. He compellingly shows us the biblical, historical, and theological dimensions of the Eucharist. The Cardinal draws far-reaching conclusions, focusing on the importance of one's personal devotion to and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, for the personal reception of Communion by the individual Christian, as well as for the life of the Church. For Ratzinger, any transformation of the world on the social plane grows out of the celebration of the Eucharist. He beautifully illustrates how the omnipotent God comes intimately close to us in the Holy Eucharist, the Heart of Life.

"Not only does the Cardinal shed his customary theological light on many subjects, but as he does in other books, he applies his insights very directly to Catholic life and devotion. Coming at this time, this book is part of the effort of many to see the Eucharist restored to the center of Catholic piety and devotion."

-- Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., Author, The Rosary: Chain of Hope