Life

Personal devotion or public liturgy


The liturgy of the Church is her public act of worship, her prayers, Holy Mass, the sacraments, the Divine Office.

The liturgy of the Church is something in which the whole Christ participates ( to paraphrase the CCC). The whole Christ…Christ, the Head, with His Body, the Church in heaven and earth.
So, we pray at mass , in the liturgy of the Church, as a whole, together. Yet we also have our personal prayer, our devotional life within and outside the public liturgy,
We concentrate on God and praying with our neighbour; conversely we contemplate Our Lord, personally, with private devotion.
Is there tension between the two? Can we become so entwined in personal devotion that we forget our active participation in the public liturgy of the Church? Or can we be so caught up with community and praying with each other…that we neglect our interior preparation?
Our personal devotions should lead us to the liturgy…and vice verse. No tension. But we are not that lone sinner in the pew..we are part of the Church, gathered to pray. And that knowledge has to affect our participation in Holy Mass, for example. Without making Mass itself all about social interaction.
My participation in Holy Mass, tonight, was not a personal devotion. I was an active participant in the Holy Sacrifice. And my private devotions, preparation, reflection, help my active participation in the prayers , with others, in the mass and St Anthony novena.
No tension. But something good on which to reflect..the role of and relationship between personal devotion and liturgy.
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