Saturday, December 06, 2003

By grace enliven us in our realm

That we may serve Thee readily, O Lord.
Versa est in luctum cithara mea, et organum in vocem flentium.
Parce mihi Domine nihil enim sunt dies mei.

My harp is turned to mourning and my music into the voice of those that weep.
Spare me, O Lord, for my days are as nothing.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Ancient Inclusive Language?

I'm a fool for rare liturgical books from our church's past. A year ago, I got my hands on a copy of the second edition of William Maskell's The Ancient Liturgy of the Church of England According to the Uses of Sarum, Bangor, York, and Hereford and the Modern Roman Liturgy, published 1846. Basically it's a comparison between the ancient liturgical uses in England prior to the Council of Trent together with the codified Tridentine liturgy, all in parallel columns. The use of Sarum (ancient Salisbury) being the most well known in England at the time. These English uses were also unique in that they often employed inclusive language. When, in the Tridentine liturgy, the priest would implore the prayers of those present that the sacrifice be acceptable to God, he would say:
Orate fratres ut meum ac vestrum sacrificium acceptabile fiat apud Deum Patrem omnipotentem.
My Translation: Pray, brothers, that my sacrifice and yours may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father.
but in the uses of Sarum and Bangor, the priest would say:
Orate fratres et sorores pro me ut meum pariterque vestrum acceptum sit Domino Deo sacrificium.
My Translation: Pray, brothers and sisters, for me that my sacrifice and, at the same time (in the same way), yours may be acceptable to the Lord God.
The use at York renders it:
Orate fratres et sorores pro me peccatore ut meum pariterque vestrum...
The custom of saying et sorores (and sisters) does not seem to have ever been a part of the Roman Rite liturgy in Latin, though in English, at least in the United States, the General Instruction has permitted the priest to say brothers and sisters to convey the inclusive sense of fratres.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had a good holiday with family and friends. I had a good time - pretty low key. Next year, however, I'm going to try to get free-range turkey without added hormones. I've been having some extreme reactions! Aside from being put into a coma-like sleep after every meal, I wake up with problems that last through the day. It makes me thankful that I do have a meal and a choice in what I eat, but so many people don't that choice. The Catholic Charities in Santa Maria, like every year, spends the day giving out free turkeys and meals to the poor. I think next year I may spend some time helping them.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

An Unjust Law

Church asks courts to be absolved of contraceptive law

Bill notes:
... the ACLU says it must defend the rights of individuals who choose to work for the Catholic Church, and not the rights of Catholic institutions. Catholic institutions have no rights. The state is almighty.
The ACLU should not be able to coerce Catholic organizations into acting against their conscience, against the principles of their mission, and employees who disagree with these beliefs certainly aren't forced to work for the Church to serve the poor if they have problems with particular policies they disagree with. Furthermore, the ACLU should not attempt to discredit Catholics by painting us as being anti-woman just because we don't agree that artificial contraception and abortion are pro-woman. Can the Catholic Church and organizations such as Catholic Charities, one of the largest charitable organizations in the country, no longer serve the poor unless they compromise what they believe?

But if the state has the power here, then what can the Church do? The state can protect confidentiality between a doctor and patient, between an attorney and client, but confidentiality within the confessional between priest and penitent is under attack. A similar issue is whether the state can force Catholic hospitals into offering abortion services. This issue is catching fire, particularly here in California. The Catholic Church has always been counter-cultural, and it has never been too afraid to stand up for its principles - to defend the poor, the unborn, the oppressed - even in spite of its failings. Yet Catholics have always been a part of this world - challenging it, engaging it, transforming it through Christ's commission. What did Christ say?
You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.

The Gospel of Matthew 5:13-16
Such is the grace of God given in Christ that empowers us and enables us to perform deeds that serve the least among us and glorify God.


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