Welcome to Part Three of my posts on the Body of Christ! If you haven’t read Part One or Two, click here to have a read. For the moment this is going to be my last Anatomy of the Body post, but I may return to it later if I feel like it. I recommend checking out Sacrosanctum Concilium, the beautiful Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council, which I’ll draw on a lot for this post.
So what does the Body of Christ do? We’ve looked at what the Body is and discussed how Christ is the Head, but surely He gave His Church a purpose? Thankfully, yes! The Church’s main action is the liturgy. Huh? Isn’t the liturgy just some prayer time? NO! It’s so, so much more!
The best way it has been described to me is this: the liturgy is the Holy Spirit working in the Church to join in the prayer of Jesus to the Father. In other words, it is our participation in the life of the Holy Trinity! If you need this clarified better check out this document.
The Liturgy (not just ‘liturgy’) is pretty much the Seven Sacraments and the Liturgy of the Hours (also called the ‘Divine Office’). There are many wonderful, glorious, beautiful devotions and prayers which are great things to take up and do, but “the liturgy by its very nature far surpasses any of them.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, par. 13) This is not to say that something like the Rosary is bad – it is glorious to say the Rosary! – but as Sacrosanctum Concilium says:
Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed
– SC, paragraph 10
Why? Why is the liturgy so much greater than all else the Church does? It is because it is what the entire Church joins together for. The Rosary can be said by yourself and is your action of reaching out to God, but a Sacrament such as the Mass is “an action of Christ the priest and of His Body which is the Church, [and] is a sacred action surpassing all others.” (SC, par. 7)
I desperately encourage you to frequent the Sacraments, which are the greatest form of worship we can offer Our Lord. Find out about the Liturgy of the Hours and pray it here. I’m going to leave you with this quote from the introduction to Sacrosanctum Concilium:
For the liturgy, through which the work of our redemption is accomplished… is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church.
– SC, paragraph 2
God bless you all!