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Cardinal DiNardo Speaks on Liturgy

Photo: Cardinal DiNardoThe first major document of the Second Vatican Council was arguably the most influential and set into motion the most far-reaching liturgical reform in Catholic history.

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo gave insights on “The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,” the first document of Vatican II, issued on Dec. 4, 1963, and the state of the Liturgy in the United States, both before and after Vatican II. The lecture was on Feb. 20 in Jones Hall on the University of St. Thomas campus.

• See the video of Cardinal DiNardo presenting on “The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.”

“Certainly it meant something in the history of the Church thereafter that the first major council document constitution would be on the very thing that gathers us together every week, for some of us every day, and what makes us who we are as Catholics,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “It is just a celebration of the liturgy of the Church.”

The lecture was a part of the 24th Annual Lenten Lecture Series. During Lent, Wednesdays are highlighted by a series of lectures that cover a wide range of topics important to Catholic life.

Cardinal DiNardo said when he comes to St. Thomas, he always feels very much at home. Sharing his thoughts on the Sacred Liturgy with the UST community and others from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Cardinal DiNardo emphasized the Book of Revelation and “hilaritas” or Christian joy.

Talking about how the Book of Revelation was one of the more liturgical hymns in the New Testament, Cardinal DiNardo explained how the “river of life” is the Holy Spirit. The verbs of motion, Cardinal DiNardo said, are a current description of the Church.

“If you’re Orthodox or you’re Catholic, and if you truly understand the meaning of the liturgy, then the description of the water of life and of the bride and the lamb coming, this echelon, this ultimate, is already here,” he said. “It’s not here completely yet but it’s here. If we’re going to talk about the liturgy, I want you to keep that in mind as we deal with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.”

He went on to discuss what it means to have Christian joy with regard to the liturgy.

“If you’re going to celebrate the liturgy, if you’re going to understand the liturgy, then what is present also is the depth of Christian joy,” he said. “Not ‘ha, ha,’ but the joy that comes knowing that you are singing a new song to the Lord for you have entered into Jesus’ salvation.”

Later, he delved into the Vatican document and the liturgy as a core Catholic experience.

Several experts have offered commentary on this year’s theme, “Vatican II: Yesterday and Today.” Previously, Sister Paula Jean Miller, FSE, presented “Synod 2012: Through the Lens of Vatican II,” Dr. John Hittinger presented “John Paul II on the Task of the ‘Enrichment of Faith’ in Light of Vatican II” and Dr. Steven Meyer presented on “Vatican II: The Church and the Laity.”

Upcoming lectures include:

       • Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson will discuss “Has Pope Benedict
          Reinterpreted the Ecumenical Vision of Vatican II?” at
          7:30 p.m. on March 13 in Anderson Hall, Room 103, 3913
          Mt. Vernon. Msgr. Steenson was named by Pope Benedict 
          XVI the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair
          of Saint Peter. 
       • Dr. Charles Sommer will present “Word of God in Human
          Words: Biblical Interpretation From Vatican II to Benedict
          XVI” at 7:30 p.m. on March 20 in Cullen Hall,
          4001 Mt. Vernon.

Cardinal DiNardo left for Rome on the morning of Feb. 26 to meet with the College of the Cardinals in anticipation of selecting a new pope.

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