Neil Xavier O’Donoghue: “The Farnés and Ratzinger Dialogue on The Spirit of the Liturgy”
In 2000, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote The Spirit of the Liturgy. In 2002, Pedro Farnés Scherer reviewed it in the Spanish journal Phase. This review, unlike many, was positive, except for his disagreement with Ratzinger on liturgical orientation. Ratzinger then replied to his review in the same journal. In this article, O’Donoghue mediates this seemingly tense dialogue by providing his own preceding and concluding comments which surround an excerpt from the Ratzinger-Farnés Scherer debate.
O’Donoghue states that to understand The Spirit of the Liturgy fully, it should be taken as a private work of theology done by Joseph Ratzinger the theologian, rather than as Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the CDF. He notes that, as Ratzinger said, “[unfortunately] almost all the reviews jumped on a single chapter: “The Altar and the Direction of Liturgical Prayer.”’
Though both Farnés and Ratzinger have frank disagreement with one another and discuss them in clear terms, O’Donoghue notes that Farnés is more positive toward The Spirit of the Liturgy than the particular section of the review, the basis of the disagreement, would otherwise imply. The selection of excerpts as well as the response by Ratzinger, serve to paint the thrust of the review by Farnés and the review in a very positive light.
Michon M. Matthiesen: “‘The Justice of Christ Become Fruitful:’ Thomas Aquinas and Romano Guardini on the Iustitia of Worship”
Matthiesen writes that for Thomas, the economy of justice is predicated on the acts of religion being fundamentally human acts of justice as they are giving God what is due to him. (sic.) Rather than being built on human ability, this justice is grounded on the radical dependence on the Creator that creation has. Secondly, through religious acts, the worshipper is elucidating his (sic.) utter dependence on God. Through this giving God his due, the worshipper is participating in the justice of, and working toward, union with God.
For Guardini, the act of worship as justice is fundamentally rooted in who man is: a being that is fundamentally oriented toward worship. Through worship, man takes a step toward self-realization. In this process of worship as discovery of one’s nature, one is oriented toward justice through realizing that creation exists by God’s grace. Through worship, the worshipper is put into communion with his fellow people through the orientation of the community toward God.
Guido Milanese: “Newman and Gregorian Chant” Trans. Cyril. J. Law, Jr.
Milanese state that Newman is best understood as someone who was not only a theologian, but also an accomplished musician. From these starting points, and within the context of Nineteenth Century Anglicanism, comes Newman’s views on Gregorian Chant.
Tracing the strains of music from the “cathedral” and “parish” services, Milanese notes that the Gregorian melodies were often preserved in the plainchant tones used for the Anglican services. With the confluence of the Neo-Gothic aesthetic and Oxford Movement, there underwent a ‘gregorianization’ of Anglican liturgy not only in terms of music, also of architecture and the understanding of sacramental worship.
Milanese notes Newman’s initial dislike of Gregorian music on aesthetic grounds, which contrasts with other Neo-Gothics such as Pugin, who, though also opposing it, did so viewing it as something of pagan origin or as antiquarianism which hindered the development of contemporary art forms. This dislike was slowly replaced over the course of Newman’s life through what Milanese attributed as a developing appreciation for the best way to celebrate a truly catholic liturgy that was intelligible to the laity.
Daniel G. Van Slyke: “Abstinence from Conjugal Relations Before Reception of the Body of Christ: A Brief History”
The readers will be surprised to learn that Van Slyke almost immediately traces the reluctance of clergy to preach abstinence as a means of preparation for Holy Communion to Rahner, who viewed not abstaining as being something people confessed only ‘so that there may be something to confess.’ Citing Pope John Paul II and Paul VI’s admonitions on the value of fasting and corporal mortification, Van Slyke connects this to marital sex. Next, he traces the precedents of abstinence before encountering God in the scriptures, citing Paul’s admonition that abstinence in marriage is allowed for devotion. Finally, he traces laudatory statements from Jerome to the Tridentine Rite of Marriage which includes a note for couples to abstain in times of penance and fasting. In his advocacy of it, he notes that it has great witness in tradition and has not been abrogated, and concludes that it still offers aid in the devotional life of the married Christian.
Liturgy as Revelation: Re-Sourcing a Theme in Twentieth-Century Catholic Theology. By Phillip Caldwell. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014. Pages, xvii+566. Paperback. $29.95. Reviewed by Kevin D. Magas.
Historie, mystère, sacraments: L’Initiation chrétienne dans l’œuvre de Jean Daniélou. By Guillaume Derville. Perpignan: Desclé2 de Brouwer, 2014. Pages, 828. €34.00. Reviewed by Michael Heintz.
Ancient Christian Worship: Early Church Practies in Social, Historical, and Theological Perspective. By Andrew B. McGowan. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014. Pages, xiv+ 298. Paperback. $29.99 Reviewed by Theodore Janiszewski.
The Use of Hereford: The Sources of a Medieval Diocesan Rite. William Smith. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2015. Pages, xxxi+831. Hardbound. $275.00 Reviewed by Julia Schneider.
The Oxford Handbook of Sacramental Theology. Eds. Hans Boersma and Matthew Levering. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pages, xx. 716. Hardcover. $150.00. Reviewed by Lee W. Gross.