Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Richness of the Poor

Rev. Bishop D, Fernando Rifan*

In our last article we talked about the Church of the poor. Now a word about its richness. The richness of the poor is the Church, its rich doctrine and liturgy. The Churches and sacred temples, are the house for the poor. There they can enter without being hindered. There they can amaze the beautiful paintings and its architecture, the sacred vessels, splendid images, a point they would be not able do in any other house or palace. There they can, hence it is their home.

Poverty as a personal virtue, must  be cultivated, but it does not mean that we should impoverish the liturgy. Rather, the exterior beauty of the liturgy must reflect the glory of God, as taught Pope Francisco: "The sacred vestiments of the High Priest of the Old Testament were rich with symbolism, one of them had the name of the children of Israel recorded in the onyx stones that adorned the shoulders of the ephod, which comes from our current chasuble ..."" beauty of all that is liturgical, which is not reducible to the adornment and tasteful vestments, but the presence of the glory of our God that shines in His living and comforted people. " (Hom. Chrism Mass, 03.28.2013).

The Curé of Ars, St. John Mary Vianney, example for all priests, loved the poverty and the poor. "An old cassock can looks great under a beautiful chasuble," he said. Along with his individual poverty, efforts were made in acquiring just richer and sumptuous goods to the house of God having in mind the liturgical ceremonies. He said that if the palaces of kings are embellished by the magnificence, the more so the churches.

When Cardinal, Pope Benedict XVI, lamented the current liturgical crisis, and  claimed that : "After the Council, many priests deliberately erected the desecration as a program of action, arguing that the New Testament abolished the cult of the temple, the temple veil, which was torn from top to bottom at the moment of Christ's death on the cross would be, for some, the sign of the end of the holy ... Encouraged by such ideas, they rejected the holy garments; as much as they could, while stripped the churches of their flushes that resemble the sacred, and they reduced the liturgy to the language and gestures of everyday life through greetings from signs of friendship and other elements "(Chilean Bishops Conference, London, 7/13/1988).

Talking about  beauty of the liturgy and responding to "accusations of 'triumphalism', in the name of which is played out too easily, much of the old liturgical solemnity," Cardinal Ratzinger response was that: "In the  solemnity of worship, the Church  expressed the glory of God, the joy of faith, the victory of truth and light over error and darkness" . "The richness of Liturgy is not  the richness of  some priestly caste: it it the wealth of all, including the poor, who in fact long for it  and do not at all find it a stumbling block. The  history of popular piety shows that poorest have always been instinctively and spontaneously ready even to do without necessities in order to show honor through beauty to their Lord and God wwithout giving any thought to themselves "(Rapporto sulla Fede , 1985).

* Personal  Apostolic Administration Saint Jonh Mary Vianney - Pastor

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