This book is unique, because it is not only fruit of study but also the fruit of a real concrete and tangible experience of Jesus Christ. This is clear from the many photographs of the various celebrations during the liturgical year. This book is a statement of faith, and a confirmation that liturgy is not ceremonies, or an empty rites but a person: Jesus Christ. The contents of this book show what the Second Vatican Council says: “Nevertheless the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the font from which all her power flows.” This book is a result of a true Christian life built on the Word of God, communion, liturgy, diakonia and witness.
God is love – so what is God’s House if not the House of Love?
People entering the church should feel themselves welcomed into a warm and loving embrace. Of course, this would be a cruel mockery were the building not filled with a fraternal community that channels this love of God in a real and palpable way to all who come here.
A community that is being built up, as St Peter writes, like living stones into a spiritual house. For us Christians the way we think and live is eucharistic.
The eucharist changes the way we think and in return, it changes how we live, our beliefs and our behaviours as the new life of baptism leads to a new mentality (Saint Irenaeus of Lyon).
Beauty reveals the Paschal mystery as the true key to the mystery of the world and life. Beauty is living this life, and the Liturgy is the participation in this a life-giving mystery.
I had the time to look into the book this weekend.
I am speechless ….. the way it’s put together …..
the photos expressing so many emotions ….
the liturgical catechesis and the icons so well explained, not just for us but also in a way that can be understood by those who never attended.
It made me appreciate more and more what we have as we journey as a community of faith and our call to evangelize.
This book is surely one of the greatest treasures in our home.
Thank you so much!
The Oratory church…attracts a people whose feet keep on coming to this sacred place over and over again. Here they find a sacred space that is pregnant with the transcendent…It is a place that does not stop with the experience but challenges the community to make a journey of faith.
It cannot be separated from the gradual opening of the Word of God that happens in this space for the many who come thirsty and confused,
and then sendoff into the world of those sustained by the Eucharist.
In between there is a lot that is transformed. Homes…
Hearts are made bold enough, to share this life in their workplace and the streets, telling others to “Come and see” (John 1:39).
As you flip gently through these pages, I hope you catch a glimpse of God’s presence amongst us and the way the Church lives its missionary identity.
Churches are frequently treated as beautiful places without being appreciated for their purpose, ie to function in the worship of God.
In the lavishly illustrated book Living Stones, backed by the knowledge of great spiritual fathers, past and present, Fr. Martin Cilia mssp transforms the way we regard our churches, enabling us to see them as powerful expressions of our faith. He leads the reader on an exciting journey to find the potential of church architecture, design, paintings, liturgical furniture and artefacts to convey the mystery and beauty of God.
The design of the MSSP Birkirkara Oratory church draws on the blueprint of what is known in liturgical circles as ‘noble simplicity’, with emphasis on light, simplicity of proportion and clarity of space. The ambience affects the mood and uses the senses to convey and predispose people to a loving mystical encounter with Christ and His mystery. The physical space helps in the creation of an aura of prayer and tranquility, in which deep listening becomes possible. As one moves from the physical reality to the spiritual one, a true transformation can take place.
The above and more leap out from the pages of this book which documents the transformation of stones into sacred space, and journeys into pilgrimages of faith. This book resonates with the lived experience of creating living stones: the small church at the MSSP Oratory in Birkirkara is the starting point, a manifestation of another journey made by people, seeking faith, and journeying together.
With influences from Eastern Orthodoxy, arcane and novel monastic experiences like at Bose and Taizé, and a focus on well-celebrated liturgies, this book is not just about redecorating a church, but has become a journal of a community’s growth, and a window on eternity. In the same way a building was transformed, so the people who frequent the Oratory are invited to enter the baptismal journey of transformation.
This book extends this invitation to you: enter the mystery, celebrate the majesty, and believe.