Blessed Columba Marmion’s doctrine concerning the liturgy is luminous and serene. His repetition of the phrase, “nowhere, as in the liturgy” affirms the teaching of Pope Saint Pius X that active participation in the liturgy is the foremost and indispensable font of the true Christian spirit.
Filled as We are with a most ardent desire to see the true Christian spirit flourish in every respect and be preserved by all the faithful, We deem it necessary to provide before anything else for the sanctity and dignity of the temple, in which the faithful assemble for no other object than that of acquiring this spirit from its foremost and indispensable font, which is the active participation in the most holy mysteries and in the public and solemn prayer of the Church. (Tra le sollecitidini, 22 November 1903)
It must be understood, of course, that when Blessed Marmion refers to the liturgy in this text, he is referring not only to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but also, in a special way, to the Divine Office, and the full complement of rites contained in the Pontifical and the Roman Ritual.
Christ Set Before Our Eyes
From Advent to Pentecost, the Church unfolds before our gaze the whole life of her Divine Spouse, not merely as it is found in the Gospels, but illustrated, if I presume to say so, by the prophecies, the letters of St. Paul, the commentary of the holy Doctors. The whole existence of Christ, integral and living, is re–enacted before our eyes; the Church offers for our contemplation, one by one, under their particular aspect of splendour, in characteristic relief and according to their sequence, all the mysteries of Jesus; the Church presents therein, in its appropriate place, all that He said, all that He did, all that He realized in His Person, all that He willed for us.
The Virtue and Grace of All His Mysteries
Nowhere else, as in the liturgy, can we become so well acquainted with the the gestures of Jesus Christ, the words which fell from His lips, the feelings of His Divine Heart; it is the Gospel relived at each stage of the earthly life of Christ, Man–God, Saviour of the World, head of His mystical body, and bringing with Him the virtue and grace of all His mysteries for our souls’ benefit.
The Liturgy: the Most Perfect Expression of Revelation
Nowhere, as in the liturgy, does there exist such a complete, simple, orderly, and deep exposition of all the marvels which God has performed for our our sanctification and salvation; it is the most perfect expression of Revelation and that most adapted to our souls’ needs, it is an exposition which appeals both to the eyes of the body and of the imagination and which moves the attentive souls to its depths.
An Incomparable Source of Supernatural Light
The liturgical cycle is an incomparable source of supernatural light. Moreover — and this is an essential truth for our sanctification — we may derive from it the special fruit which Our Lord willed to attach to each of His mysteries when, as our head, He lived with them here below.
Blessed Columba Marmion
Christ in His Mysteries, pp. 22 and following