Julie Davis's Reviews > A Biblical Walk Through the Mass: Understanding What We Say and Do In The Liturgy

A Biblical Walk Through the Mass by Edward Sri
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Aug 10, 11

Read on July 06, 2011

Lead us not into temptation: This petition is not so much a prayer to avoid all trials and temptations in life. The biblical words express a request that God not allow us to enter into temptation in the sense of giving in to it. It is a prayer that God would strengthen us to overcome the temptations we face. Pope Benedict XVI taught that in this petition, it is as if we are saying to God, "I know that I need trials so that my nature can be purified. When you decide to send me those trials ... then please remember that my strength only goes so far. Don't overestimate my capacity. Don't set too wide the boundaries within which I may be tempted, and be close to me with your protecting hand when it becomes too much for me." As St. Paul said, "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Cor 10:13).

A Biblical Walk Through the Mass by Edward Sri is full of moments like the one above where a line from the Our Father is considered. Familiar phrases that may flow unthinkingly from our lips are brought to new life. We are reminded how they apply to our own lives and perhaps given a new understanding.

Sri brings this depth and thoughtfulness to his explanation of the entire liturgy. Some places feature more biblical background, others instead contain thoughts from authorities like popes and Church fathers, but all are illuminated with Sri's own enthusiasm and love for the liturgy itself. One cannot read this without catching a spark that makes pages turn a bit more quickly or having some of that beauty splash onto the Mass the next time one attends. That has been my experience after reading this book.

In my opinion, one of the best unintended side effects of the new liturgy has been the recent spate of books covering the changes. We have gotten a variety of approaches and Sri's is one of the best. It is extremely accessible and helps us meet God personally in the liturgy. Highly recommended.
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