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Sacramental Life and Liturgy

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[1] Participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most important action of our day. It is the

main act of worship, the sacrifice of praise that gives infinite glory to God. It is in the Mass where Christ, the High and Eternal Priest, perpetuates his redeeming sacrifice on the altars all over the world, in such a way that the effects of his Passion reach all men of all times. The Holy Mass is the liturgical act par excellence, and “the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows.”[2]  From it “grace is poured forth upon us; and the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God, to which all other activities of the Church are directed as toward their end, is achieved in the most efficacious possible way.” [3]

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“The Canticle of Praise that eternally resounds in the heavens, that which Jesus Christ, High Priest, introduced into this world of exile, has been faithfully and constantly continued by the church.”[4]This canticle of praise is the Liturgy of the Hours, in which Christ “continues His priestly work through the agency of His Church, which is ceaselessly engaged in praising the Lord and interceding for the salvation of the whole world.” [5] The Liturgy of the Hours, “source of piety and nourishment for personal prayer,” [6] must be celebrated with the conviction that “all who render this service… by offering these praises to God… are standing, before God’s throne in the name of the Church their Mother.” [7] In this prayer, the “necessary complement for the perfect act of divine worship which is the Eucharistic Sacrifice,” [8] it is necessary “that… we recognize our own voice in Christ and his own voice in us.” [9]

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[10] On all our apostolic communities we have the exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour, because to adore the Blessed Sacrament is “the holiest of actions. It is so because it shares the life of Mary on earth, when she adored Him in her womb, in the manger, on the Cross or in the Divine Eucharist and because it is the perfect exercise of all the virtues: of faith, hope and love. Faith is complete and perfect when we adore Jesus Christ hidden, veiled and, as it were, annihilated in the Sacred Host. It is the exercise of hope because Jesus Christ created the beautiful heaven of the Eucharist so that we could wait patiently for the Heaven of Glory and so that he could lead us to it. And it is the exercise of love; since love is the whole law, we fulfill the whole law when, according to the first commandment, we adore our Lord and God with the whole mind, heart, soul and being. In adoration one can practice perfect charity toward one’s neighbor by praying for him and acting as mediator and victim for his salvation, obtaining for him the Savior’s graces and mercies. Eucharistic adoration is the most just act: we adore Jesus Christ for all who do not adore Him, for all who forget Him, abandon Him, scorn Him, and offend Him.” [11]

 

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[12] We are Marian, thus by praying the Holy Rosary daily, we meditate on the work of Redemption consummated by Jesus to which He associated his Mother. “The Holy Rosary is a sacrifice of praise to God for the great gift of our redemption and a holy reminder of the sufferings, death and glory of Jesus Christ.”  [13] The Rosary is a “compendium of the Gospel,”[14] an “evangelical prayer centered in the mystery of the redeeming Incarnation,” and in it “the litany repetition of the ‘Hail Mary…’ becomes also a praise to Christ.” [15]

[16] In addition, another practice of piety and veneration to the Blessed Virgin that should characterize us is the Angelus (or the Regina Coeli in the Easter Season), where, [as we commemorate the Incarnation of the Son of God we ask to be taken by his Passion and cross to the Glory of the resurrection,” and where we find as essential elements “the contemplation of the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, the greeting to the Virgin, and the recourse to her merciful intercession.” [17] The prayer of the Angelus should help us “to renew the consciousness of the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God.” [18]

[21] The holy sacrament of Reconciliation or Penanceholds a preeminent place in the spiritual life of our small religious family. We therefore advise that one receives the sacrament weekly. We should have devotion for frequent confession, since there are many fruits that come from it: “By it genuine self-knowledge is increased, Christian humility grows, bad habits are corrected, spiritual neglect and tepidity are resisted, the conscience is purified, the will strengthened, a salutary self-control is attained, and grace is increased in virtue of the Sacrament itself.” [22]

 

On the journey to holiness to which the Lord calls each one of us (cf. Mt 5: 48; Eph 1:4), God deigns that we come to the help of one another. In this way we become mediators in Christ, as it were, to draw others near to his eternal love. This is the horizon of charity in which the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance and the practice of spiritual direction may be found. [25]

Spiritual counselling has been practised from the earliest history of the Church down to our own times. It is sometimes referred to as spiritual direction or spiritual accompaniment. It is an ancient and tested practice which has produced fruits of holiness and evangelical readiness. [26]

Spiritual direction assists us to distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error (cf. 1 Jn 4:6) and to cloth ourselves in the new man created in true holiness according to the justice of God (cf. Eph 4:24). Spiritual direction is of special assistance in discerning the path of holiness and perfection. [27]


[1]Cf.SSVM Constituciones 137-38

[2]SC, 10.

[3]SC, 10.

[4]Pablo VI, Constitución apostólica Laudis canticum (01/11/1970), prólogo.

[5]SC, 83.

[6]SC, 90.

[7]SC, 85.

[8]Pablo VI, Constitución apostólica Laudis canticum(01/11/1970), prólogo.

[9]Pablo VI, Constitución apostólica Laudis canticum(01/11/1970), 8; Cf. San Agustín, Comentarios sobre los salmos, 85,1.

[10]Cf. SSVM Constituciones 139

[11]San Pedro Julián Eymard, Obras eucarísticas, Ed. Eucaristía, 1963, pp. 763-764.

[12]Cf. SSVM Constituciones 140

[13]San Luis María Grignion de Montfort, El secreto admirable del Santísimo Rosario, nº 68.

[14]Pío XII, Carta al Arzobispo de Manila, Philippinas Insulas, A.A.S. 38 (1946).

[15]Pablo VI, Encíclica Marialis cultus (02/02/1974), 46.

[16]Cf. SSVM Constituciones 141

[17]Pablo VI, Encíclica Marialis cultus (02/02/1974), 41.

[18]Juan Pablo II, Homilía en la Misa de la presentación de la Encíclica Laborem Exercens (13/09/1982); OR (20/09/1981), p. 2.

[21]Cf. SSVM Directorio de Espiritualidad 101

[22]Pío XII, Encíclica sobre el Cuerpo místico de CristoMystici Corporis Christi (1943), 73c.

[23] Congregación para el Clero, El Sacerdote confesor y Director Espiritual, Ministro de la Misericordia Divina, 41 

[24] Congregación para el Clero, El Sacerdote confesor y Director Espiritual, Ministro de la Misericordia Divina, 42 

[25]Congregación para el Clero, El Sacerdote confesor y Director Espiritual, Ministro de la Misericordia Divina, 1

[26]Congregación para el Clero, El Sacerdote confesor y Director Espiritual, Ministro de la Misericordia Divina, 64

[27]Congregación para el Clero, El Sacerdote confesor y Director Espiritual, Ministro de la Misericordia Divina, 77