July 13, 2007

We have it "programmed" into our Mass.

We have a lot of visitors at our Mass everyday. Sometimes tourists.

For that reason, we have two statements like the following in the printed program for the music at our daily Mass.
For Catholics, Communion is in the Sacramental Body and Blood of Christ— the Eucharist— as well as in the faith and moral teachings of the Church that is also the Body of Christ according to Scripture. Catholics respect the consciences of those who do not hold to Catholic faith and moral teachings. In keeping with that respect, we do not ask non-Catholics to receive Communion.

Please respect those who pray and worship here. Before and after Mass, please maintain a reverent silence inside the monastery church.



July 12, 2007

Thursday of the Fourteenth Ordinary Week of the Church Year

I have posted a homily for today's Mass.
Click HERE for it.

July 11, 2007

Curses in the Psalms

Some of the psalms contain curses against enemies. Historically, the meaning of these is plain: “May my enemy and his loved ones suffer, get hurt, fall sick, be maimed, exterminated, killed, die....” These psalms are filled with authentic hatred.

What are we to think of them?

It would be inappropriate to use these curses against other human beings.

Some Christian writers in antiquity directed the use of these curses against demons, temptations, and personal sins.

Some persons use them as a sort of confession: “Lord, forgive me, because here’s what I really think about that guy.”

Some want their use to be entirely banned.

Here are some of the curses.

FROM PSALM 58
O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
Let them vanish like water that runs away;
like grass let them be trodden down and wither.
Let them be like the snail which dissolves into slime,
like the untimely birth that never sees the sun.
Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!
The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.

FROM PSALM 68
But God will shatter the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crown of him who walks in his guilty ways.
The Lord said, "I will bring them back...
that you may bathe your feet in blood,
that the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from the foe."

FROM PSALM 69
Let their own table before them become a snare;
let their sacrificial feasts be a trap.
Let their eyes be darkened,
so that they cannot see;
and make their loins tremble continually.
Pour out thy indignation upon them,
and let thy burning anger overtake them.
May their camp be a desolation,
let no one dwell in their tents.
Add to them punishment upon punishment;
may they have no acquittal from thee.
Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
let them not be enrolled among the righteous.

FROM PSALM 109
Appoint a wicked man against him;
let an accuser bring him to trial.
When he is tried, let him come forth guilty;
let his prayer be counted as sin!
May his days be few;
may another seize his goods!
May his children be fatherless,
and his wife a widow!
May his children wander about and beg;
may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit!
May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
Let there be none to extend kindness to him,
nor any to pity his fatherless children!
May his posterity be cut off;
may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
Let them be before the Lord continually;
and may his memory be cut off from the earth!
He loved to curse; let curses come on him!
He did not like blessing; may it be far from him!
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat,
may it soak into his body like water,
like oil into his bones!
May it be like a garment which he wraps round him,
like a belt with which he daily girds himself!
May this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord,
of those who speak evil against my life!
Let my assailants be put to shame;
may thy servant be glad!
May my accusers be clothed with dishonor;
may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle!

PSALM 137
O daughter of Babylon, you devastator!
Happy shall he be who requites you with what you have done to us!
Happy shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!


July 08, 2007

Incoherent, for the sake of gender inclusivity

in·co·her·ent
–adjective
1. without logical or meaningful connection


The English translation of the Gospel at Mass today has the following.

If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not,
it will return to you.
your peace will rest on him;


Use of the word "person" avoids saying, "If a peaceful man lives there...."

Because the word "person" is in the singular, the translator was forced to choose a singular pronoun, "him." There was no escaping gender.

A correct and coherent translation would be as follows.

If a peaceful man lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not,
it will return to you.

I think inclusive language imposed on ancient texts that did not use inclusive language is a stupid thing to do.

A translation should just give us the grammatical meaning, not adjust the ancient text to suit our present-day sensitivities, because doing so drops an additional filter between us and the ancient text. The text from another time and culture is not supposed to look like a text from our time and culture, but should look like a text from its own time and culture. Is OUR time and OUR culture so PERFECT that it has a right to alter ancient texts to look like they came from US?

That would be making the Word of God in OUR image and likeness.

If we have difficulties understanding the Scriptures, then clarification is part of the job of a homily.

Imposing inclusive language on the ancient Scriptures reminds me of the time that a European once told me my singing voice did not match my looks: my singing voice was "white" but I was not.

So, Mr. Caucasian, how's a brown-skinned person SUPPOSED to sound?


I have posted a homily for today...

... and it contains one explanation of why I always mention the Eucharist in my homilies.

Click here for it.