Lesson 3: Inner Spiritual Renewal


The renewal of the liturgy. The meaning of "participation." Relation between tradition and innovation.

The renewal of the priesthood and religious life. Searching for the original charism. In the world but not of the world.

Renewed appreciation of Scripture. Balancing Scripture and the Tradition of the Church.

Suggested Readings

  • Council Documents -- Sacrosanctum Concilium, Presbyterorum ordinis, Dei Verbum, Perfectae Caritatis.
  • Abbott, Council Fathers.
  • Peter Hebblethwaite, Paul VI.
  • Ratzinger, Highlights.
  • Rynne, Letters, I, II.
  • Stacpoole, Vatican II.
  • Wiltgen, Rhine.

Suggestions for Review

1) Why did the Council think the priesthood and religious life needed to be renewed? What were the criteria of authentic renewal?

2) Why did the Council think the liturgy needed to be renewed, and what were the criteria of authentic renewal?

3) Did the Council seek to make religious life and the liturgy more "relevant to the world"?

4) Did the Council consider liturgy too remote from people's ordinary experience?

5) Why did the Council give new encouragement to the reading of Scripture? What was its attitude towards modern scripture scholarship?

6) Using Abbott's and/or Stacpoole's books, discuss the role of one or more prominent Council fathers. What were their distinctive views of the subjects discussed in this chapter, and what affects did these fathers have?

7) Discuss Wiltgen's thesis concerning the influence of northwest Europe on the direction of the Council, with specific reference to the nature of the Church.

8) What was Paul VI's relationship to the Council after he became pope?


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