Spring 1965

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The Liturgy in the Modern World The liturgy can preserve sanity, hope, and joy in authentic human experience and counteract the modern world's tension, confusion, and despair.

What is the place of the liturgy in the modern world? All too often answers to this question show the place of the liturgy, not in the modern world, but in an imaginary Catholic world which does not exist or which existed at most for a few centuries in medieval Europe. The answers are not completely satisfactory even for the world of the nun in her convent, the monk in his monastery, or the youth on the Catholic campus; for the Catholic world, insofar as there is one today, is built upon and within the modern world. If the answers to the question at hand do not take into account the characteristics of the modern world, then the liturgy will remain an oddity in the life of modern man, including the Catholic. The inadequacy of the answers to this question comes from a failure to take into account the meaning of the word world in the question. World can mean the totality of things which we view very dispassionately and objectively, the way a scien-

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