Friday, March 2, 2007
Time imbued with eternity
You know that a major focus or topic that I've been thinking a lot about lately is how to get your average Catholic to appreciate the holiness of time. You know, instead of the "relative" mindset that would say, "What does Sunday matter? It is just another day. If I miss Sunday Mass, I can always go on Tuesday."
Well, I came across something that I really like that helps get us in the right direction. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict, recently wrote a letter to Cardinal Francis Arinze on this very topic, the holiness of the Lord's Day. I just want to share a few snippets with you that really spoke to my soul (you can also watch for them in a homily - they'll be making a comeback).
The Pope wrote:
"Sunday remains the fertile foundation and at the same time the fundamental nucleus of the liturgical year which originated in Christ's Resurrection, thanks to which the features of eternity were impressed on time. Thus, Sunday is, so to speak, a fragment of time imbued with eternity, for its dawn saw the Crucified and Risen Christ enter victorious into eternal life."
"For the first Christians, participation in the Sunday celebrations was the natural expression of their belonging to Christ, of communion with his Mystical Body, in the joyful expectation of his glorious return. This belonging was expressed heroically in what happened to the martyrs of Abitene, who faced death exclaiming, Sine dominico non possumus: without gathering on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist, we cannot live."
There is a lot more, and I think I will save it for another blog entry, but for now, let us sit with those two phrases: Sunday is "a fragment of time imbued with with eternity," and "without gathering on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist, we cannot live."
Just as God consecrates anything we offer to Him - we offer Him the weekly collection and he transforms it into the resources we need to reach out to the needy; we offer Him our sins in Confession and He transforms them into grace and holiness; we offer Him most profoundly simple bread and wine and He transforms them into the Body and Blood of His Son. So too, we offer Him Sunday, and He transforms it into a little bit of Heaven - a day imbued with eternity.
This must be the very center and foundation and nourishment for our lives - we cannot live without it.
Pax et bonum!