Celebrating the Mystery: Weekly Message for 5-25-2021

Dear Friends in Christ,

When I was putting the finishing touches last year on my book, Maximizing the Mass, a spiritual reflection on the liturgy, I knew that in the introduction I had to clear up one potential misconception: the reader might have been expecting a book that explained the liturgy, but Maximizing the Mass was meant to help meditate on the liturgy more deeply and live it more deeply. I’m happy to announce that now I can offer something to explain the liturgy as well: my new online course, Celebrating the Christian Mystery on the Online Classroom at RC Spirituality.

The subtitle for Maximizing the Mass is “How to Live Liturgical Prayer with All Your Heart and Mind.” That’s been a focus of the whole Church since the Second Vatican Council under the rallying goal of fostering “active participation” in the liturgy. It’s not something achieved overnight, and our prayer and understanding can work together to grow in our liturgical life, making it a more spiritually fruitful experience by understanding it better and seeing it as a prolonged prayer. Celebrating the Christian Mystery is a course meant to help you understand the liturgy and the sacraments and live them better.

We celebrate the Christian and Paschal Mystery in the liturgical celebration of each sacrament, especially the Eucharist. That mystery is the mystery of God and his redeeming actions, in our lives and throughout the salvation of history. Just as God is infinite, so is his mystery, but that doesn’t mean we cannot penetrate that mystery more deeply with his help, knowing him more profoundly and welcoming him to act more profoundly in our lives.

In my course I explain some basic liturgical and sacramental concepts, including what is the Christian and Paschal Mystery, what is the liturgy, what are the sacraments, and how are they interrelated. I also explain the historical development of the liturgy, the liturgical rites and families that arose as a result, and liturgical seasons, places, and objects. Finally, I explain each of the seven sacraments. I hope my course, just like my book, helps you enter more profoundly into liturgical life.

May the Lord bless you with a deeper experience of his mystery, especially through the liturgy and the sacraments.

Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.
Maximizing the Mass

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