Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Easter Mystagogy

Now that I have finished reading Volume I of Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth trilogy, I am reading an old book that is experiencing quite a revival: Romano Guardini's Meditations Before Mass. I have the 1959 "A Newman Paperback" from The Newman Press in Westminster, Maryland with me to read. I also have the hardcover edition from Sophia Institute Press (1993) on the shelf:

Sophia has reissued Guardini's book in a blue paperback (there's also an ebook) with an introduction by Archbishop Samuel Aquila:

The profound wisdom found in this Romano Guardini classic will help you to quiet your soul, concentrate your mind, and grow more receptive to God's grace in the Holy Mass.

Written for ordinary Catholics who are struggling to become closer to Christ,
Meditations Before Mass is full of wisdom and yet offers practical, straightforward advice that will help you overcome distractions and restlessness while leading you into a more enriching experience when you enter into Holy Communion with God.

Over fifty years ago, Msgr. Romano Guardini resolved to help his parishioners move beyond the petty hindrances to full participation in the Mass—hindrances to which we are all prone. Just before Mass each Sunday, he gave a brief talk on some aspect of the Mass, teaching them week by week, topic by topic, how to prepare themselves to participate more prayerfully.

So helpful were these 32 talks that they were soon published and have since been reprinted countless times in numerous countries and languages, helping generations of Catholics to deepen their devotion during Mass

And Ave Maria Press has issued their own edition (also with an ebook), with an introduction by Reverend Eugene F. Hemrick:

A treasury of spiritual wisdom on how to prepare your mind, body, and heart for Mass from one of the twentieth century’s great theologians, Meditations before Mass is Romano Guardini’s smart and beautiful guide to spiritual preparation for the source and summit of Christian worship.

Meditations before Mass is a wise, pastoral, and timeless classic on preparing for Mass—it is an example of twentieth-century theologian Romano Guardini at his very best. Meditations before Mass was written before Vatican II, but its relevance has endured over the past sixty years. Not a “how to” book for either the old or the new Roman Rite, it is instead a spiritual feast for the mind and heart, and a guide for modern people who wish to make sense of the Church’s feasts and liturgies. Meditations before Mass has helped thousands of readers participate more fully in Christian liturgy and continues to do so today.

In the early 1990's Sophia Institute Press began to re-issue many titles by Monsignor Romano Guardini, and I (just as I had with Thomas B. Costain's books) bought and read them all: 

The Inner Life of Jesus
The Rosary of Our Lady
Living the Drama of Faith
And the Word Dwelt Upon Us
The Art of Praying

Then I found more:
The Lord
The End of the Modern World
Sacred Signs
The Spirit of the Liturgy

The last title, you might recall, was re-used by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in 2000, paying homage to Guardini's great efforts in the renewal of liturgy before the Second Vatican Council. As then Cardinal Ratzinger stated in the foreword to his book The Spirit of the Liturgy, "My purpose here is to assist this renewal of understanding of the Liturgy. Its basic intentions coincide with what Guardini wanted to achieve. The only difference is that I have had to translate what Guardini did at the end of the First World War, in a totally different historical situation, into the context of our present-day questions, hopes and dangers. Like Guardini, I am not attempting to involve myself with scholarly discussion and research. I am simply offering an aid to the understanding of the faith and to the right way to give the faith its central form of expression in the Liturgy."

No comments:

Post a Comment