Picture1I was given a book recently that has helped me reflect on the RCIA and the way I approach it. In ‘At Prayer with the Church’ Ambrose Walsh (New Life Publishing) shows that ‘The Church, in her liturgy, offers us a feast culminating at Easter and Pentecost. Ambrose Walsh shows the way to the feast and unearths a year-round treasure’ (quoted from the book’s description on the back cover).
After an introduction the book helpfully covers various areas including: Personal or private prayer, Liturgical prayer as the source of private prayer, The Lord’s Day, The Liturgical Year and each of the main seasons of the Church’s year. I know I shall be using it for personal reflection and my own preparation during the RCIA process this year and going back to it at intervals for new insights.
The book reminded me that in our journey we are always seeking to uncover treasures old and new. Every new idea, new resources, new encounter with Jesus Christ in his people leads us deeper into the treasure that we have already received. So the treasure is always ancient and always new and we must continually be open to both, a beauty ever ancient and ever new as St Augustine put it.
As we spend time listening to and putting into practice the Word of God Ambrose Walsh reminds us that “In the Catholic tradition, attentiveness to the Word must always lead to sacramental communion with the living Christ in whom we come to the Father. This abiding reality is the Church itself. The Church exists in Christ, ‘in the nature of a sacrament.’” (From the Introduction, quoting Lumen Gentium 1, Vatican II)
During the months ahead may we all continue by God’s grace to be that sign and instrument, drawing on great treasures both old and new that the Spirit of God never ceases to bestow on the Body of Christ.