Now that Lent is already well underway, and the world has seen the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, I can't help to call to mind the words of a chant piece we used to sing at my college during Lent. Media vita, in morte sumus: in the midst of life, we are in death. The theme of death, however, is not a mordant one. It is not for the sake of dwelling on death itself that one should dwell on death. Heaven knows--as my niece enters this world, my wife and I prepare to welcome our own child, and we prepare to close the purchase of a house--that there is so much life around me, and newness, and change. But, for some reason, this theme came to my mind recently (in the guise of John Sheppard's musical piece "Media Vita"). And, as I thought about the meaning, I once more recalled the adage from St. Robert Bellarmine, that we should "live well, so as to die." We consider death to look beyond death. By regarding death, we are confronted with the vision of our own mortality and transience. If we have hope, that Hope that St. Peter said we must always have an account for, we see that beyond death is life, Life everlasting. May we die to self this day and every day, for the sake of eternity, we may die to sin, but rise to life in Christ.
(Please excuse the video, as it's the best version of the piece I could find).
"What we previously knew only in theory has become for us a practical experience: the Church stands and falls with the Liturgy. When the adoration of the divine Trinity declines, when the faith is no longer appears in its fullness in the Liturgy of the Church, when man's words, his thoughts, his intentions are suffocating him, then faith will have lost the place where it is expressed and where it dwells. For that reason, the true celebration of the Sacred Liturgy is the centre of any renewal of the Church whatever." -- Pope Benedict XVI (As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)
The Church stands and falls with the Liturgy" -- Pope Benedict XVI (As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger)