Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cardinal Stafford: "Liturgy is the fulfillment of truth."

His Eminence Cardinal Francis Stafford in the sacristy following Mass.

The chapel of Our Lady of Humility at Casa Santa Maria, residence for Amrican student priests in Rome.

Cortile with statue of Saint Therese.

The Casa is in the neighborhood of the Trevi Fountain. The city itself spilled over like a fountain on 1 November with Romani on holiday.

Invited for the celebration of Saturday Mass for the Solemnity of All Saints at the Casa Santa Maria as guest of Fr. CG. Grazie tante per l'accoglienza!

His Eminence Cardinal Stafford preached, drawing from interventions at the recent Synod of Bishops on the Word of God. He voiced a concern that Bible reading and study for many Christians today, including Catholics, is lacking in the "moral" sense. That is, signs have lost their meaning as indicators of mystery and a basis for hope in the future. This is in part, he said, because science has replaced philosophy for many. When we speak of the future we are capable of signs. The Scriptures must become for us capable of providing this speaking not only of "now" or "today" but also indicate for us the way to "tomorrow" and "forever". The words of Scripture must lead us in the Word which is Christ through the Spirit to the Father. This is the basis of hope.

A recovery for modern man of philosophy and of a proper sense of sign can be effected through the liturgy. Just as Christ, in the Beatitudes, links the present condition of man and woman with future blessedness, "Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven", so in the liturgy through the Spirit, the presence of the Lord through the perfect signs of the Sacraments, leads the Church to Father.
Christ, present in Word and Sacrament, is the "Ponitfex", the one who builds a bridge to the heaveny Father.

The Word is truly proclaimed, substantially present and received and made for us a way to live in and through the holy liturgy, therefore, as His Eminence declared, "Liturgy is the fulfillment of truth."

Aperitivi and lunch with the rector and students of the Casa was followed by cigars with coffee or digestivi in the open air cortile.

Afterward a passeggiata through Rome for photos and sightseeing.

Finished the day with a 1 1/2 hour run through Rome at night from 5:30 to 7 pm. Started at Via Sardegna, then through the Villa Borghesi, then down to the Tiber. After a small detour away from center city along the Tiber turned around and followed the river back to the Vatican hill area, up to San Pietro, saying hello to the Swiss Guards at Porta Santa Anna, across Piazza San Pietro and also greeting the gaurds at cancello del Sant Ufficio, then back down the Via della Conciliazione toward the Tiber. Crossed the Ponte San Angelo and connected via "del Corso" for Piazza di Spagna amd a run up the Spanish steps, then up the Via Veneto and back to Via Sardegna. The via del Corso was crowded with evening pedestrians and a challenge to weave in and out through the crowd to keep up the pace.

Return for photos to be posted soon.

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