Tensions in the Church between New Rite and Old Rite, new church and old church, demand a fresh and healing insight. Dom David is convinced of the rightness of the liturgical reforms of Vatican II while still valuing the tried and true insights of the past. He calls for a constructive reassessment of Sacrosanctum Concilium inspired by a truly catholic understanding of the Faith - both Eastern and Western (including a selective Anglican input) - and underlines the complementarity of Eastern and Western Eucharistic theologies. Whatever way the Eucharist is celebrated, the emphasis should be on our outward communal participation precisely because it is the expression of our sharing together as one body in the death and resurrection of Christ in the presence of the Father. The great error which so many made in the wake of Vatican II was to confuse the fruit of good liturgy with the way it is performed, but Dom David points out the liturgical paradox: that if we make human warmth and understanding our goal in the way we celebrate the liturgy, we will lose the reverence and awe which properly lead us to that warmth and understanding. The liturgical texts have properly stressed the relationship between people and God: in practice, however, the emphasis has too often been on the horizontal relationship between priest and people. The complementarity of individual and communal devotion also appears both in the exercise of lectio divina and in devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. This book, Dom David's third, is the fruit of fifty years' monastic life in Europe and Latin America . . . He shares his experiences with his readers, distilled, as it were, through the eyes and heart of a monk, a scholar and a contemplative, for Fr David is truly a man of God. Dom Paul Stonham, Abbot of Belmont.
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