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317 Book Reviews Book Reviews Marie-Dominique Philippe, O.P. You Shall Worship One God. Charlotte, N.C.: Saint Benedict Press, 2010. 171p. Paperback. $12.95. “It is by means of worship that man recognizes his absolute dependence upon God and enters into a personal relationship his Creator and his Father.” These words from the introduction to Fr. Philippe’s You Shall Worship One God provide an interpretive key to the whole work. Worship is not something extraneous to our relationship with God. For some, worship follows upon relationship, in this work Philippe shows us that relationship follows from worship. The preeminent example of worship is sacrifice. Christians today can hardly hear the words “worship” or “sacrifice ” without thinking of the Eucharist. Truly the Eucharist, and the Holy Mass itself, is the source and summit of our worship of almighty God. And, we say that the Mass is at once meal and sacrifice. Yet, these words, worship and sacrifice, have a full and rich meaning outside of a strictly Eucharistic context, when explored only helps us in our understanding of the most august of mysteries. Such is the content of Y ou Shall Worship. Though a slender volume, Fr. Philippe manages to explore in great depth and with profound insight the nature of worship and sacrifice. He begins by exploring six acts of worship from the Old Testament. By exploring these sacrifices he shows the compatibility between worship and sacrifice. By sacrifice, that is the destruction of one’s property, one learns many valuable lessons in our relationship with God. For example, when Able gives of his flock to the Lord it “is the recognition of God’s absolute right over his goods and over himself” (1). Sacrifice recognizes God’s sovereignty in a tangible way, which is essential for worshiping God. Further, the act of sacrifice proves a person’s trust in God, since sacrifice gives away something good with the faith that God will continue to provide. Fr. Philippe shows that while sacrifice might appear to be an external ritual, the Old Testament is replete with examples and injunctions against mere formalism. Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac can be considered a sacrifice not because Isaac was killed, in fact he was not, but because his heart was fully engaged. The internal dimension of sacrifice is one way in which sacrifice remains worship, not formalism. Sacrificial worship in the Old Testament, then, shows the need to recognize God’s sovereignty, to trust in His divine providence, 318 Antiphon 15.3 (2011) and to be internally disposed only to him. All of which are certainly predispositions for a personal relationship with God, which is why relationship flow from worship. The second, and lengthier, part of the book focuses on the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. In many places, Fr. Philippe’s book goes beyond theological exploration and into a prayerful kind of mysticism . He provides lengthy meditations on the implications of Christ’s sacrifice unto death. He begins by showing that the Cross is itself a sacrifice of adoration unto the Father: Jesus gives of himself interiorly, but also exteriorly with his body. This sacrifice, then, is the pinnacle of human worship as one like us gives perfect adoration to God. Fr. Philippe the goes on to show how this sacrifice is not only an act of adoration of the Father, but it is also a great showing of God’s mercy to us, for Christ “suffers with His sheep, communicating to them salvation and love of the Father” (62). Finally, he reflects on the Cross and sees it as a revelation of the Father, namely his justice and mercy, his omnipotence and omnipresence, and his eternity and holiness. In each of these sections Fr. Philippe examines the sacrifice of Christ as a theological source to understand attributes of the Father. One might wonder how the author determined to expound upon these specific concepts, still the reflections are worth-while. Fr. Philippe’s book on sacrifice is somewhat difficult to categorize. Its subject matter is straight forward: sacrifice as worship. Yet, parts of his book are exegetical, parts of his book are theological, and parts of his book can...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-9933
Print ISSN
1543-9925
Pages
pp. 317-318
Launched on MUSE
2020-03-24
Open Access
No
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