So that nobody would ever forget them, he had written these words in capital letters around the sanctuary where the liturgy was celebrated each day. They were meant to remind his friars of an important spiritual truth. The words were written in Latin but anyone with a smattering of the Romance languages would be able to understand them. The simple but profound meaning of these words was well known to the first Christians in the immediate aftermath of the Resurrection. They not only knew their profound meaning, but they prayed privately and personally at least five times a day as Jesus himself had been taught to do by Mary and Joseph, according to the ancient Jewish custom.
The Mass is the peak of the holy mountain which is the liturgy, but there is no peak without the mountainous work of offering our daily love to God through personal prayer and the service of others that is its fruit.
No matter whether you read their books, listen to them on the Radio or watch them on television, they all make an understandable assumption about their fans. They not only assume that they have ovens, but that they know how to use them, and that they use them often, perhaps many times a day. In short they assume that they know how to cook.
It was exactly the same with all the writers of the New Testament. They assumed that their all readers prayed regularly every day, as they did themselves. It would be stating the obvious. Nor did they have to describe endlessly how the love that they received in prayer would enable them to love others as Jesus had done before them.
Nor, for that matter, did they have to keep underlining how these, their daily efforts, would become the offering that they made with their brothers and sisters at the weekly Mass. This is why for Catholics it is not just the scriptures, but the scriptures and tradition that conveys the teaching of Christ to successive generations. It was the living environment in which they lived and moved and had their very being.
The essence of the ancient Jewish prayers used by Jesus and his disciples before the Resurrection were still used by the first Christians after the resurrection, but they were transformed. The inner dynamic power and vitality on which the early liturgy depended was the quality of the daily prayer and service of others during the previous week. It was this that was offered at Mass in, with and through Jesus to their common Father.
Our daily endeavour to implement them is the offering that we bring with us to offer, through Jesus at the weekly Mass.
If we come with nothing, then we receive nothing, and the Mass becomes meaningless , not in itself , but for those who bring nothing to offer when they enter the church. Renewal in the Church does not primarily depend on a perfectly designed liturgy, but on the quality of the spiritual lives of those who participate in it. Let us suppose that I had a magic wand and I could wave it to give everyone the liturgy of their choice each time they went to Mass. It might be the new liturgy as introduced by the Second Vatican Council, with a perfect translation of the text and with all the rites and rituals perfectly designed to satisfy everyone.
On the other hand, it might be the old Tridentine Mass in Latin that so many of us were brought up on, or a grand sung high Mass with music by Perosi, Palestrina and Purcell, or the mediaeval Mass that was so loved by some of the greatest saints that have ever lived, or the ancient Mass known to the Fathers of the Church, which was said in Greek long before the introduction of Latin. If you cannot see the left-sided menu, please click here for an alternative menu. Christian Spirituality 1: What is Christian Spirituality? These topics are from Chapter 1 in Christian Spirituality.
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Christian Spirituality in the Catholic Tradition
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Spirituality then is:. To further flesh out a definition of Christian Spirituality, we may consider the elements that make up Christianity:. Christianity Spirituality is part of our way of life as Christians. Putting all the above together, we may say:. Christianity Spirituality.
Here are some quotes from other authors on the definition of Christian Spirituality. Spirituality is a lived experience, the effort to apply relevant elements in the deposit of Christian faith to the guidance of men and women towards their spiritual growth, the progressive development of their persons which flowers into a proportionately increased insight and joy.
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Spirituality has to do with our experiencing of God and with the transformation of our consciousness and our lives as outcomes of that experience. These quotes emphasize that Spirituality :.
To recap:. Christianity Spirituality is the quest for a fulfilled and authentic life, that involves. McGrath suggests the word mysticism should probably be avoided, as it has assumed multiple definitions and connotations:. Meister Eckhart, Johannes Tauler. Factors important in shaping Spirituality include:. There are variations in the set of beliefs and values the theology of different Christians that can give rise to different Spiritualities.
History defines the "horizons" of a Christian and the available resources for Spirituality.