November 23, 2011 § 2 Comments
Ten Things For Which I Am Grateful This Thanksgiving:
#1. Sidney Crosby’s Return. Did you see it? Did you hear it? Did you read about it? The goal he scored 6 minutes into the game. The 2 assists. The second goal. The complete domination.
#2. Danny having a job that doesn’t require him to work disgustingly long shifts the days before and after Thanksgiving, thus making him tired and grumpy on the holiday. Now he can take the time to relax and enjoy my pies!
#3. I really like my job. Because of it, I learned how to shoot guns.
#4. It’s Leo William’s first Thanksgiving!! (outside of the womb, that is, haha)
#5. West Pittston. I didn’t realize how much I’d grown to love it. I know Danny’s parents and everyone else can rebuild and make it just as beautiful and welcoming as it was before.
#6. The new translation of the Mass starts in just a few days! (Personally, I was a little nervous to use the word “consubstantial”. But then I practiced, and now I can even say it twice! Without stumbling over the syllables! Who knew!?)
#7. The pet rats. People can laugh at me, but I never had a pet of my own before. The cats don’t count; they love Mom more than anyone. Abby isn’t my own dog. But the rats have been staying with me since the flood and they are my own dear pets. They know my voice and come when I call their names. I love my ratties.
#8. Our front porch is fixed and we aren’t destitute (not yet).
#9. I’ve found some really good friendships over the past year.
And last but definitely not least:
#10. The destruction of Danny and Ryan’s couch in the flood. Never again will I have to sit on that stained, encrusted thing.
November 8, 2011 § 5 Comments
In my last post, I’m afraid I sounded a bit angry. Just a tad. In this post, however, I am hopeful and excited. Joyful, really. You see, in case some readers were not aware, the Catholic Mass is going to change soon. Beginning in Advent (Nov. 27th, exactly), some of the prayers, songs, and people’s responses will be worded differently. This is not just a random “change”. It’s more of a reverting back to the Latin translation. All our English responses were translated from Latin in the first place, so the “new” translation isn’t so much a remaking as it is a clarifying process. The committee is making the new translation closer to the old Latin. As Archbishop José H. Gomez says:
“This is not a new Mass. It is a new translation of the ancient Latin prayers of the Mass.”
I am so excited to see these new prayers put into practice! Detractors go on and on about the “archaic” and “melodramatic” language but I find it to be neither of those things. The language instead seems more formal, more eloquent to me. And why shouldn’t we have the best possible language in our Mass? In the Catechism of the Church, it says the Eucharist is “the source and summit of our Christian life”. The source. The summit. Those are potent words. Those are strong words. And so should the words of the Mass be. Strong, potent, bold. Meaningful. If the new translation gets us closer to that, who could complain? The liturgy should not be dumbed down to nothing but “God loves you and God loves me and we’re all good people” vacuousness. Certainly, God loves us!! This is evident in the Mass itself! The sacrifice of Christ on Calvary is the ultimate expression of Love. Don’t make me endure a Mass full of vapidity because liberal Catholics think words like consubstantial and incarnate are just too hard for us ox-like commoners to understand. (Oh drat, there I go sounding angry again.) Would you meet the President of the United States and talk in slang to him? Would you have tea with the Queen like you were texting your buddy? Would you propose to your girlfriend by saying “Babe, let’s like get married, maybe? If you’re cool with that?” No. You wouldn’t propose like that. You would use the best possible language/meaning you had to make that moment of love even more perfect. At Mass, we as Catholics believe that Christ, our Saviour, Love Incarnate, is truly Present. If the language is more poetic and old-fashioned, all the better! Use words that have meaning, that MATTER.
The language of our liturgy should reflect the awesome (and I use that word in its real meaning) and magnificent and humbling Sacrifice that is occurring. This is what the new translation is attempting to do. Not alienate. Not confuse. Not upset. To provide the proper reverence and awe for what is taking place. To quote the same article by Archbishop Gomez as above, he says:
“There is an ancient principle in the Church: lex orandi, lex credendi — the law of prayer is the law of faith. That means that the words we pray — and how we pray them — shape what we believe and how we live out our beliefs. We become what we pray.”
Here is a great article, well worth reading if you aren’t sure why you should be excited for the new translation to come. It’s by Bishop Peter J. Elliott (Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne) and he really goes in-depth as to the richness of the language we will begin using. He says things much better than I can.
“The new ICEL translations reflect not only accuracy but reverence for the mystery of God, indeed the centrality of God, which is the meaning of Christian worship. To elucidate this, we may compare the two translations of the opening words of the First Eucharistic Prayer, the Roman Canon.
The ICEL text that we currently use begins: “We come to you, Father, with praise and thanksgiving through Jesus Christ your Son. Through Him we ask you to accept and bless these gifts we offer you in sacrifice”.
By contrast the new ICEL text begins: “To you, therefore, most merciful Father, we make humble prayer and petition, through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord: that you accept and bless these gifts, these offerings, these holy and unblemished sacrifices…”
The old text is smooth, shorter, with good words, but they have nothing to do with the Latin original, the majestic “Te igitur clementissime Pater” of the venerable Roman Canon. There the emphasis is on God and how the divine actio liturgica, liturgical action, flows out of the Sanctus and Preface, hence the “igitur”, now recaptured in English as “therefore”. Notice how the new version captures the spiritual sense of reserve and humility before God that characterizes the great liturgies of the West and East.”
One of the changes that has drawn most of the ire I’ve read about in the US, is that when the priest says: “The Lord be with you”, we will now respond “And with your spirit.” The commentary on the USCCB page explains in depth why this response has changed. There are several reasons, but I really appreciate this one in particular:
“…for the congregation to answer the Priest, “And with your spirit,” is actually a theological statement about what we Catholics believe regarding ordained ministers. No. 367 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of how “spirit” can refer to an elevation of the soul, whereby the soul “is raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God.” Through Holy Orders, Christ has forever configured the Priest’s soul to Himself in a special way, by the power of the Holy Spirit. By specifically referencing the Priest’s spirit, we can affirm this transformation and pray for his ministry.”
That is wonderful! I like that… “we can affirm this transformation and pray for his ministry”. I know so many good priests, and guys in the seminary right now, and I pray for their ministry every day. This new translation hits home for me, even more than the old response did.
There are many more changes and I would like to go into each one to say how I think it will improve my participation in the Mass, but that would make this post way too long. And honestly, I can’t do it justice. Read the commentary on the USCCB website. They have better explanations than I could give.
In this new translation, I hear a language of reverence, of awe, and an acknowledgment that here in the Eucharist is contained the mystery of faith, the nourishment of our Catholic souls. As Pope Paul VI proclaimed in his encyclical “Mysterium Fidei”:
“The Catholic Church has always devoutly guarded as a most precious treasure the mystery of faith, that is, the ineffable gift of the Eucharist which she received from Christ her Spouse as a pledge of His immense love…”
November 8, 2011 § 4 Comments
In which I rant.
About the new Mass translation to be implemented in just a few short weeks.
I didn’t really edit this post before I published it. Also, I am angry. And scornful. And I use a lot of withering sarcasm. Not my normal style of post, at all.
You’ve been warned.
If I read one more article/blog/quote by some uppity Catholic about how the new translation of Mass has “unwieldy” or “obscure” or “stilted” or “awkward” language, I might just crack. Honestly, I may (finally) go insane. Jump off the deep end. Lose my mind. (I am not even going to link to any of these because they make me so angry that I refuse to send people to their sites. Just search on Google; you’ll find some real winners.) I’m sorry, but the idea that someone out there just deliberately ASSUMES I’m too stupid to understand the word “consubstantial” or pronounce it (or WHATEVER their issue of the moment happens to be) is completely ridiculous and quite frankly, it’s insulting. Thank you, journalists, bloggers, etc. Thank you for assuming my stupidity. Thank you for taking it upon yourself to classify me as an idiot who doesn’t know what the word “consubstantial” means. Although, you know, the more I type it and say it, the more I realize…. Oh my gosh it is a REALLY big word. Wow it’s, like, at least, um, how many? 4 syllables!?? OMG. I can’t handle it. Heaven forbid!!! Heaven forbid we make our Mass translation a little closer to the original Latin, a little more meaningful, a little more in-depth. Heaven forbid we have to USE OUR MINDS while at Mass!!! I think my head just imploded at that nonsensical idea. Am I actually going to have to make an active effort to participate in Mass now!!??? NOOO!!!!! I can’t believe it!!! Shocking. The idea. The very idea that what we say- the language we use- is important!? What a crazy thought!!! Words matter?? HA!! Who believes that?? In all actuality, the new translation of the Mass will give us a better understanding of our Eucharistic celebration. The Mass is the source and summit of our lives as Catholics! And we can’t even be bothered to learn a 4 syllable word!?? Seriously?? Have people (many, many people) had the audacity, the utter arrogance, to assume that I (as a member of the general public attending Mass) will find the language too difficult, and therefore, it shouldn’t be implemented!? Yes. Yes, they have. This is the Mass we are talking about, people!!
Look at what Pope Benedict XVI says about the Eucharist: “In the Eucharistic celebration we do not invent something, but we enter into a reality that precedes us, more than that, which embraces heaven and earth and, hence, also the past, the future and the present. This universal openness, this encounter with all the sons and daughters of God is the grandeur of the Eucharist: we go to meet the reality of God present in the body and blood of the Risen One among us.”
Look at what St. Francis of Assisi says about the Eucharist: ““O admirable heights and sublime lowliness! O sublime humility! O humble sublimity! That the Lord of the universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles Himself that for our salvation He hides Himself under the little form of bread! Look, brothers, at the humility of God and pour out your hearts before Him! Humble yourselves, as well, that you may be exalted by Him.”
Look at what St. Thomas Aquinas says about the Eucharist: “The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life.”
Oh hey, who am I kidding, though? People can’t even be bothered to get their knee all the way to the ground when they genuflect (in front of the Tabernacle, you know, wherein reposes Christ, their Saviour), so why would they bother about knowing the word “consubstantial”?
Seriously, to all you writers who think the language of the new translation is too hard: Shut up. Stop insulting my intelligence. Why don’t you close your yammering claptrap of a jaw and go buy a dictionary app for your smartphone?