We are here on earth not to guard a museum but to cultivate a garden flourishing with life and promised to a glorious future, John XXIII exhorted the Church at the dawn of the Second Vatican Council. In an age when some skeptics suggest that the reformed liturgy has lost the wonder and spiritual depth of previous ages, Standing Together in the Community of God affirms that we need not look back; the Sacred Mysteries are already in our midst. Their wellspring and summit is the heart of God, shared in the Trinity’s own communion, announced now as pure Gift.
Praising God for God’s saving acts in Jesus, as Vatican II reminded us, we encounter Christ’s sacramental presence in four modes: in the person of the priest who gathers the community into communion, in the elements and actions of the sacraments, in the word proclaimed and preached, and in the assembly praying and singing (SC #7). In rhythm and harmony, these modes invite us to encounter the multivalent depth of the Mysteries that announce Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col 1:27). Together they proclaim the Risen One among us, the totus Christus, hope for a hungry world.
Allowing each mode its respect as a bearer of the sacred, these focal words and actions in the liturgy echo a communion song that announces Christ’s real presence to us and for us and with us. Beginning deep within, this is a spirituality and piety for the twenty-first century, ever ancient and ever new.
Paul Janowiak, SJ, has been an associate professor of sacramental and liturgical theology at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington. He now teaches at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.
This multivalent, poetic exploration will inspire pastors, presiders, preachers, liturgists, teachers, students alike, as well as all who desire to deepen and broaden their liturgical spirituality. As the Roman Catholic Church approaches the implementation of the changes to the Roman Missal, Standing Together in the Community of God carries us beyond `the liturgy wars' into the depths of the heart of the mystery we celebrate. Fr. Janowiak's book is a true gift-a great resource for study, preaching, teaching, and prayerful reflection.
Patricia Repikoff, D. Min., Coordinator of Hispanic /Latino Ministry, Eastside Catholic Parishes, Archdiocese of Seattle
A magnificent work. Fr. Janowiak brings years of pastoral ministry, first-rate scholarly research, and wisdom together in a book that is a must-read for those seeking the `true spirit of Vatican II' regarding liturgy and the sacramental heart of the church. It is refreshing to come across writing of such vigour, honesty, and holiness, with a generosity towards ecumenical partners and frequent moments of stunning insight where one has to pause and consider the implications. I enthusiastically recommend this book to pastoral ministers and to scholars of liturgy and sacraments alike.
Andrew Cameron-Mowat, SJ, STL, PhD, Heythrop College, University of London
This is truly a remarkable book. Janowiak has creatively and passionately re-described the paschal mystery in terms of trinitarian presence and ecclesial communion, structuring his book around the four liturgical presences of Christ. At once theological, liturgical, and spiritual, he shows us how true self-giving unfolds only in the communion of presence, a presence that is a defining characteristic of liturgical spirituality. This book lays out a liturgical spirituality that shakes us out of sacramental complacency and pours us out for the life of the world.
Joyce Ann Zimmerman, C.PP.S., Director, Institute for Liturgical Ministry, Dayton, Ohio
"Deserves a wide readership and will be a useful resource for teachers and pastors, as well as lay Catholics eager to grow in a deeper appreciation of what their liturgical participation calls them to in the living out of their baptism in daily life."
Keith F. Pecklers, S.I., Gregorianum
This book should be required reading in every seminary curriculum. It can likewise prove very helpful in feeding the hunger of all who yearn more deeply to celebrate the liturgy and live its implications in their daily lives.
Judith M. Kubicki, CSSF, Theological Studies