Saturday, November 26, 2011

And With Your Spirit

This evening, Father Kiser will celebrate the Eucharist with those interested here at the Mid-American Oireachtas (big Irish dancing competition). After a day of dancing and music, we will gather as an Irish dancing community to celebrate our faith. I'm particularly interested to see how Mass will play out this evening as today marks the full implementation of the Third English Translation of the Roman Missal.

Briefly, I think that those with the loudest voices - those who think this new translation is going to fix problems and those who think that it will cause problems - are going to be disappointed. It seems to me that what has been forgotten is that our language, human language, always falls short of fully expressing its target. When I say, "I love my niece and nephew," it is maddeningly difficult to get across to you the nuance of the word love. How much more difficult, Saint Thomas Aquinas realized (as others before and after), is it to use words of God. No translation of the liturgy is going to be perfect, nor is anything we say ever going to be adequate of its subject.

Ultimately, I hope all Catholics enter into this with a spirit of generosity. Perhaps the new translation, even where it is difficult, will grab our attention in new ways and give us something to think about: rather than rambling off prayers in a rote manner, this just might give us pause to re-acquaint ourselves with the prayers that have united the Catholic faith for centuries.

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