Pp. Benedict XVI asked 'Where is God in modern worship?'
"The doing of man has certainly put the presence of God in oblivion". The Church, however, lives on the "right celebration of the liturgy", emphasizes Benedict XVI. If the pre-eminence of God were no longer clear in the liturgy and in life, the church was in danger....
Perhaps the genesis of the God-less-ness in today's worship lies with Old Mr. 500, M. Luther. Russell Shaw reviews a re-publication of Paul Hacker's "Faith in Luther" with foreword by Reinhard Hutter--and preface by none other than Ratzinger (!)
We are reminded, too, that Luther reduced the seven Sacraments to only two (baptism and Eucharist)--dumping Confession/Reconciliation into the wastebasket.
...Out of this tangle came Luther’s distinctive
view of faith as a “reflexive” or “apprehensive” entity – the believer’s
reaching out to salvation in Christ, seizing it (or Him), and directing
it (or Him) back upon himself in order to possess the assurance of
salvation and a place among the elect....
...Luther’s “temptations” were the outcome of
the deadly stress produced by the first effort of a man-oriented trend
to assert itself within the uncontested framework of a decidedly
theocentric and Christocentric religion. Since Luther’s time the same
trend has forced faith to withdraw to the position of a “religionless
Christianity.” Anthropocentrism has reached its last stage before
coinciding with professed atheism. This situation causes a new kind of
interior convulsion, and this is the contemporary form of faith’s
essential experience of temptation.....(quoting Paul Hacker)
Hacker relies heavily on Luther’s immensely popular Small Catechism.
Summing it up, he writes that for Luther “the act of reflexive faith is
directed to the Divine Person of Christ, but it is intended to recoil
on the believer’s ego in order to evoke in him a consciousness of his
own relation with God, a consciousness of consolation and salvation.”
Think of the "Jesus Loves Me"/"Just As I Am" class of hymnody....Hmmmm?
...The effects of Luther’s thinking, of course,
didn’t end with him. On the contrary, Hacker says, “The new concept of
faith inescapably initiated a development in which religion became at
first man-oriented and eventually man-centered.” Here was “the seed of
anthropocentrism in religion and of idealism in philosophy.”...
Back to Ratzinger: "Where is God in modern worship?"
And one more thing: is it just a co-incidence that there are almost zero confessions heard in the Modern Worship parishes?? Luther ditched Confession and created the theology which Ratzinger warns about when that theology is applied to liturgy. People act on their instruction, and as we know, the liturgy is a primary instructor: "Lex credendi, lex orandi" and all that.
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