Spring 1965

Page 67

Barnabas M. Ahem, C.P.

Sacramentality Its Biblical Background The Bible &how& God alway& a1 work to engage man in vital etu:ounter

through word& and deed& which bear hi& truth, love, and &aving aclion.

Day after day the priest celebrates the mysteries of the Church and performs her rites. The new Constitution on Liturgy in its opening chapter makes clear that this ministerial role shapes the pattern of priestly virtue and strengthens it with power. "Every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his body which is the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others." As the chosen as路 sociate of Christ and as the ordained representative of the Church, the priest plays a unique part in "this great work wherein God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified." Therefore he is to he holy like the High Priest to whom he is united; he is to be very holy because he is "Keeper of the Eucharist": qualis Missa, talis sacerdos. Sometimes, however, seminary courses in liturgy and sacra路 mental theology leave the impression that in administering the sacraments a priest deals only with "things." The路 word res, emphasized so frequently in the classroom, tends to conjure up images which may later galvanize ministry into automa路 67

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