"Today the concept of truth is viewed with suspicion, because truth is identified with violence. Over history there have, unfortunately, been episodes when people sought to defend the truth with violence. But they are two contrasting realities. Truth cannot be imposed with means other than itself! Truth can only come with its own light. Yet, we need truth. ... Without truth we are blind in the world, we have no path to follow. The great gift of Christ was that He enabled us to see the face of God".Pope Benedict xvi, February 24th, 2012

The Church is ecumenical, catholic, God-human, ageless, and it is therefore a blasphemy—an unpardonable blasphemy against Christ and against the Holy Ghost—to turn the Church into a national institution, to narrow her down to petty, transient, time-bound aspirations and ways of doing things. Her purpose is beyond nationality, ecumenical, all-embracing: to unite all men in Christ, all without exception to nation or race or social strata. - St Justin Popovitch

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Monday, 6 June 2011

THE ASCENSION (some thought by the late Fr Jean Corbon OP)

It is highly regrettable that the majority of the faithful pay so little heed to the Ascension of the Lord.   Their lack of appreciation of it is closely connected with their lack of appreciation of the mystery of the liturgy....But, in fact, the Ascension is a decisive turning point.   It does indeed mark the end of something that is not simply to be cast aside: the end of a relationship to Jesus that is still wholly external.   Above all, however, it marks the beginning of an entirely new relationship of faith and of a new time: the liturgy of the last times.

...If we reduce the "ascent" to a particular  moment in our mortal history, we simply forget that beginning with his Cross and Resurrection Jesus and the human race are henceforth one.   He became a son of man that we might become sons of God.   The Ascension is progressive "until we all form the perfect Man fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself." (Eph. 4, 13)   The movement of the Ascension will be complete only when all the members of his body have been drawn to the Father and brought to life by his Spirit.   The Ascension ...is the ever-new "moment" of his coming"..

Only when the life that burst from the tomb had become liturgy could the liturgy be finally celebrated. ...The liturgy begins in the movement of return ...The liturgy is the vast reflux of love in which everything (Christ's life, death and resurrection) turns into life (for us).

In his Ascension Christ's life, death and resurrection become the cosmic epiclesis or invocation, pleading to the Father to send his Spirit on the disciples.   As Fr Jean Corbon says:

On  this Pentecost morning  the Holy Spirit has just brought forth virginally the body of Christ that is made up of men, the body that is the Church.   The Spirit that proceeds from Father has just been poured out by the Lamb who was  slain; the eternal liturgy has broken through into our world, and a new creation is now present.

For Fr Jean Corbon (and  for the present Pope) the Liturgy of Heaven becomes on earth the Liturgy of the Church which, in its turn,  takes root in each Christian and is celebrated in the very interior of each one of us as Liturgy of the Heart.

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