Liturgy is meant to be indeed a logike latreia, the ‘logicizing’ of my existence, my interior contemporaneity with the self-giving of Christ. His self-giving is meant to become mine, so that I become contemporary with the Pasch of Christ and assimilated unto God.
Spirit of the Liturgy, 58
Reflection – Two sentences here, absolutely packed with meaning and depth. Boy, that Ratzinger sure knows how to do it!The phrase logike latreia is a quote from Romans 12:1 – ‘logical worship’ would be one way to render it. But as Ratzinger points out, for Christians ‘logic’ is not some dry abstract intellectual exercise. Logic is from the Logos—from the Word of God who is Christ in the flesh. The ‘logic’ of Christian life always reaches its fullness in our entry into the Paschal Mystery. We are being precisely and utterly logical only when we stretch out our arms to die with Christ so as to be raised to life with him. Any other mode of existence is senseless, illogical, silly.
What a way of talking about logic! What does it mean? Well, the logos of God is to love to the end of love. The Father pours Himself begetting the Son, the Son returns everything to the Father in an eternal act of love and gratitude. The Spirit pours forth eternally from this mutual love and gift. God’s creative act is a constant outpouring of being into what is not Him. And the action of redemption, of salvation, of bringing creation to its completion, takes the shape of this same act of love and gift, this time in a man of flesh who is also God from God.
And our entry into this is, precisely worship. And this worship is, precisely, the liturgy. We take our little selves, such as they are, and plunk them down before the altar of God where the Logos is doing what the Logos does—pouring out love to the end. And out of this encounter, here and now, today if you will, we are drawn into the dynamism of love to the end.
And this is what we mean by divinization. It’s not ascending to some astral plane, some esoteric New Age nirvana. It is to receive from God the capacity to live and love as God lives and loves. And out of this, or in the midst of all this, we receive eternal life. Love is stronger than death—but not just sentimental or emotional love. Crucified love. Sacrificial love. Love that is willing to die for the beloved. That’s how God loves us; that’s the love we receive in the Eucharist; that, and only that, is the love that bears us to eternal life.