The Liturgy is the summit and source of the Church’s life, said the Second Vatican Council, and the liturgy unfolds its riches within an annual pattern: the Church’s year. Here our life, lived in time, can meet and mingle with the life of Christ communicated in time. In Benedictine monasteries, the liturgical year shapes the whole life of the community. In these community conferences and homilies a Benedictine abbot shares with fellow-monks and fellow-Christians something of the wealth of the mystery of Christ as the liturgy unfolds it. It is of immense satisfaction to those who have long appreciated Abbot Hugh’s work that he has so generously agreed to share his insights with a wider public. ‘In the course of the year,’ says Vatican II, ‘she – holy mother Church – unfolds the whole mystery of Christ from the incarnation and nativity to the ascension, to Pentecost and the expectation of the blessed hope of the coming of the Lord'(Sacrosanctum Concilium 102). ‘Thanks to the Holy Spirit,’ writes Abbot Hugh, ‘the paschal mystery remains a present, operative reality in human history, a spring of living water, flowing out of the “paradise” of the liturgy and watering the desert of the human heart and human life. It is this which gives our liturgies, so often humanly poor (what else could they be?), their divine value.. It is this unfolding of the mystery of Christ that the following conferences and homilies hope to serve in some small way.
Gracewing Publishing, 2007. Softcover, 172 pp.