Thursday, May 03, 2007

Credo - additional reflection

DIVINE INTIMACY by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Just as our spiritual life is born, grows, and develops in the bosom of the Church, so our prayer, which is the highest expression of the spiritual life, should be inserted in the prayer of the Church, that is, in liturgical prayer. Liturgical prayer has a special excellence because it is not the prayer, however sublime and elevated, of individual souls, but is the prayer that the whole Church addresses to God, in union with Jesus, Her Spouse and her Head. It is something like a prolongation of Jesus’ prayer; indeed, it is a participation in those supplications which He Himself always offers to the Father. In the glory of heaven and in humble effacement on our altars, He praises Him in the name of all creatures and for the needs of each one in particular. “The sacred liturgy is the public worship given to the Father by our Redeemer as Head of the Church; it is the worship which the society of the faithful render to their Head and through Him, to the eternal Father” (Encyclical: Mediator Dei).

Perhaps in accord with lex orandi, lex credendi, the change from I to We is some how related to the identity crisis, we see now the need to regain the "identity" of the "I" at prayer in the liturgy.


  1. I think maybe my concern with attributing "I" solely to the Body of Christ is that it flattens the depth of the mystery out. Certainly I can mean that. And it can mean other things as well.

    While the creed isn't Sacred Scripture in itself, we can interpret it along the same lines. If we treat it strictly in anagogical terms, then we see it solely as this transcendent reality of the Body of Christ professing this faith. There are three more senses to go. A literal reading, the basis for any interpretation, gets us back to the individual making a solemn profession of belief. An allegorical reading takes us back to Thomas's "my Lord, and my God" as well as Simon-Peter's "you are the Chirst, the Son of the Living God."

    So it's not an either/or but a both/and.

  2. The reason I brought it up is that the attribution to the body of Christ at prayer in the creed, which is spoken first person singular, is a depth of understanding which I did not appreciate prior to reading about it. this is perhaps the missing OR that prior to L.A., I was not even aware of as even posing an either/or possibility.

    The point which I hope you haven't missed, is that I hae not been talking about the creed in general, but in the liturgical act of reciting it during Mass, and the understanding the Church wants us to have of the significance of the change which we will see shortly.