July 01, 2006

1 July A.D. 1769

. . . the day the priest Blessed Junipero Serra, O.F.M., traveling from the south, entered what is now California of the United States of America; the Church in the U.S.A. celebrates today as his memorial. On the sixteenth day of this month he planted a cross on what is now called Presidio Hill in San Diego, celebrating Mass and dedicating the first mission in California.

June 29, 2006

Big Caesar

Chris “CaesarMagnus” is a regular visitor to my blog. He has now started up his own, "The Roman Sacristan".

He has invoked my name on his blog now, and so, lest it be in vain, I will hereby dovetail onto what he posted.

Although Chris cites Latin words in that post, it is the Gospel’s original Greek words that are necessary for understanding what Jesus is asking versus what Simon (Peter) is offering.

JOHN 10:11-15
Jesus says:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd … and I lay down my life for the sheep.
That was the last time Jesus spoke of shepherding before his death and resurrection. The apostle Peter heard those words. Later, in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter saw “the wolf coming” and Peter ran away.

After the resurrection of Jesus, the first time Jesus speaks of shepherding is in John 21, where he uses the Greek word agápe— but Simon (Peter) uses a different word, philía.

The New Testament uses the Greek word agápe in a consistent manner. “God is agápe”— the kind of “love” that defies emotional feelings, the kind of love we are to exercise towards God and neighbor no matter what our emotional feelings are, the kind of love that chooses to obey and persevere no matter what our feelings may be. Agápe is the kind of love a shepherd is fulling when he lays down his life for his sheep.

The Greek word philía is an emotional kind of love: friendly feelings, pleasure, affection.

Here is what happens in John 21 between Jesus and Simon (Peter). [Click on the chart to see a larger version.]

Simon’s philía ran away and hid.

The agápe of Jesus glorifies the Father and feeds the flock, even in the face of agony and death.

Now, what does CaesarMagnus the Roman Sacristan have to say? You’ll have to visit his blog to find out.
Click HERE for it.

June 28, 2006

A knife for the Eucharist!

The Orthodox Churches and Eastern Catholic Churches usually call this a "spear". The priest uses it to cut the bread into pieces as part of the preparation for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Its use recalls the knives of Biblical sacrifice. Its name recalls the stabbing open of Christ's side after his death on the cross.

June 27, 2006

Banish one of the mysteries of faith!

[I published this a couple of months ago. However, the big news that the U.S. bishops voted earlier this month on new translations in the Mass makes it timely to post the following again.]

The Missale Romanum is the Latin book of prayers (and some readings) that priests use in the celebration of the Mass. The English translation of it that we use in the United States is called The Sacramentary.

At every Mass, after the consecration of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, the priest is to say, Mysterium fidei, “The mystery of faith.” The people then respond. In the Missale Romanum, the first option for their response is, Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, et tuam resurrectionem confitemur, donec venias, “We announce your death, O Lord, and we confess your resurrection, until you come.” [Note. Before Vatican Council II, these words were part of what the priest alone said as part of the consecration of the wine into the Blood of Christ, and the people made no acclamation after the consecration.] The Missale Romanum offers two other options for the people to use, but these appear in the Appendix towards the back of the book. They are listed in the following numbered order.

1. Mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, et tuam resurrectionem confitemur, donec venias. (Already translated above)
2. Quotiescumque manducamus panem hunc et calicem bibimus, mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, donec venias. “Each time we eat this bread and drink this chalice, we announce your death, O Lord, until you come.”
3. Salvator mundi, salva nos, qui per crucem et resurrectionem tuam liberasti nos. “Savior of the world, save us, you who by your cross and resurrection have freed us.”

In all the options the Missale Romanum offers, the people speak directly TO Christ himself.

However, things are not so in The Sacramentary of the U.S.A.

The first option to appear in The Sacramentary is, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” It receives emphasis by being listed as the first option (“A”) out of four, and by being the only one printed with a musical setting (unless one turns to one of the appendices in the back of the book, and finds all four of the options set to music there).

Option A, “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again”, is a failure in several ways.

It fails completely to be a translation of any of the options the Missale Romanum provides; rather it is simply an invention.

It prevents the people from speaking directly TO Christ himself. Instead, they are speaking ABOUT Christ. To whom are the people speaking when this option is used? To themselves? To each other? To the priest? To non-Catholics? To non-Christians? No one really knows.

This is the so-called “mystery of faith” that needs to be banished. It simply is a failure.

What about the other options in The Sacramentary?

B. Dying you destroyed our death, rising you restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory.
C. When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.
D. Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.

Notice that not one of them is a translation of the first option of the Missale Romanum. The closest is “B”, which manages to contain the themes of Option 1 from the Missale Romanum, but is really not a translation of it. Option 1 of the Missale Romanum is simply missing from the translations or options appearing in The Sacramentary.

Option C in The Sacramentary is acceptable as a translation of Option 2 from the Missale Romanum.

Option D in The Sacramentary is a PARTIAL translation of Option 3 from the Missale Romanum. What’s missing is the people’s request, “Save us!”— salva nos.

We do not sing at the weekday Masses in my parish. I choose to banish Option A, and never use it. The one I prefer is Option D, since its first word makes it clear that we are speaking directly to Christ. “LORD, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world.”

June 26, 2006

[Priest]: “The Lord be with you.” [People]: “And with your spirit.”

What about that?

One of the specific things the Vatican has indicated is that a corrected translation of the Mass from Latin into English ought to have the people respond "And with your spirit" rather than "And also with you."

Each time the ordained cleric (bishop, priest or deacon) says at Mass, "The Lord be with you," and the people respond, "And with your spirit," something is about to take place that is reserved to an ordained cleric.
1. The start of Mass, with the penitential rite, absolution prayer, opening prayer

2. The Gospel and Homily

3. The preface and the Eucharistic Prayer

4. The final blessing
In a sense, the people's response of "And with your spirit" is an acknowledgement of the apostolic credentials of the ordained minister. It is an expression of faith in the sacramental powers the ordained receive from Christ through the apostles and their successors.

- - - -

Comments from Patristic Sources

St. John Chrysostom
When he stands at the holy altar, when he is about to offer the awesome sacrifice— you have answered “And with your spirit” reminding yourselves by this reply that he … does nothing by his own power … but by the grace of the Spirit
Theodore of Mopsuestia
the grace of the Holy Spirit by which those confided to his care believe he has access to the priesthood
- - - -

The following is from:

“Some Remarks from an Exegete on the Instruction Liturgiam authenticam

On 28th March, 2001 the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published Liturgiam authenticam, its fifth Instruction on the correct implementation of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. The Instruction gives various directives for the translation of biblical and liturgical texts….

…. the greeting [“and with your spirit”] is biblical! It was Paul’s custom to greet the recipients of his letters with this formula:
Galatians 6,18
Philippians 4:23
1 Timothy 4:22
Philemon 1:25
[St. Paul] is speaking of a Spirit that belongs to the local church or to an individual office-holder such as Timothy. We may imagine something like a community angel, such as the letters in the Apocalypse repeatedly mention— a heavenly being or even the bishop. Whatever the case, the greeting is specific to the New Testament and should absolutely be retained in the Church.

June 25, 2006

This is not even a "half-truth"

Fr. Tim Finigan sent me a reminder of this.

Visit his blog.
Click HERE for it.

Monk Rocker

Archabbot Notker Wolf, O.S.B., served as archabbot of his own monastery, St. Ottilien Archabbey in Bavaria, Germany. He also served for some years as “Prime Abbot” of the Benedictine order.

Students at the school that his monastery operates learned of his musical skills, and invited him to play in their rock band.