“We should be grateful to Pope Francis for appointing such a spiritual teacher as head of the congregation that is responsible for the celebration of the liturgy in the Church.”
VATICAN CITY — “The liturgy is in good hands” with Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has said.
The remarks have come in a preface the pope emeritus has written for Cardinal Sarah’s new book, ‘The Power of Silence: against the dictatorship of noise.’
“We should be grateful to Pope Francis for appointing such a spiritual teacher as head of the congregation that is responsible for the celebration of the liturgy in the Church,” Benedict writes. Cardinal Sarah, he adds, is a “spiritual teacher, who speaks out of the depths of silence with the Lord, out of his interior union with him, and thus really has something to say to each one of us. ”
From this vantage point of intimacy with the Lord, the pope emeritus continues, Cardinal Sarah “can then see the dangers that continually threaten the spiritual life, of priests and bishops also, and thus endanger the Church herself, too.” Even within the Church, he laments, “it is not uncommon for the Word to be replaced by a verbosity that dilutes the greatness of the Word.”
To the contrary, Benedict XVI writes: “Sarah teaches us silence—being silent with Jesus, true inner stillness, and in just this way he helps us to grasp the word of the Lord anew.” This is particularly important in the liturgy, he notes, for while “specialized knowledge” is needed, it must always be “grounded in a deep, interior union with the praying Church, which over and over again learns anew from the Lord himself what adoration is.”
Read Benedict XVI’s preface to ‘The Power of Silence’ here, at First Things.