Throughout his life Pope Benedict XVI chose to focus on the liturgy, believing it was a key to fostering love of God.
Just one verse each day.
Whether as a parish priest, cardinal, or pope, Benedict XVI made the liturgy his top priority. This was not because he loved the externals of the Catholic faith, but because he believed the liturgy was a crucial element in the love of God.
Fr. Uwe Michael Lang pointed out in an article for Adoremus that in a preface to the 11th volume of his collected writings, Benedict XVI wrote that he believed it was providential that the Second Vatican Council began with a document on the liturgy.
Beginning with the liturgy tells us: “God first.” When the focus on God is not decisive, everything else loses its orientation.Benedict XVI, “On the Inaugural Volume of My Collected Works”
He further believed that the liturgy was a principal place where we could participate in the love of God, as he explains in his encyclical letter, God is love.
In the Church’s Liturgy, in her prayer, in the living community of believers, we experience the love of God, we perceive his presence and we thus learn to recognize that presence in our daily lives. He has loved us first and he continues to do so; we too, then, can respond with love. God does not demand of us a feeling which we ourselves are incapable of producing. He loves us, he makes us see and experience his love, and since he has “loved us first”, love can also blossom as a response within us.
Fr. Daniel Cardo also points out in a separate article for Adoremus a bold statement by Benedict XVI that he wrote in the last few years for a preface to his collected works.
The deepest cause of the crisis that has upset the Church lies in the obscuring of the priority of God in the liturgy.
Benedict XVI truly believed that the love of God in the liturgy needed to be a priority and that love we expressed and received would then flow into our ordinary lives.