Friday, June 16, 2006

Bring on the Mystery



There's been a lot of buzz on the internet and especially Catholic blogs the past day or so about the new Mass translation. Apparently, its supposed to be a lot closer to the original latin in the Novus Ordo. It makes sense they'd want to do this, and I think it is probably a very welcome thing they are.

Here's a small example most Catholics out there will know right off the bat.

If I say: "The Lord be with you."
You say: "And also with you."

but in the real text of the latin it says:

I say: "Dominus Vobiscum"
You say: "Et Cum Spiritu Tuo"

"The Lord be with you."
"And with your spirit."

The result? Mystery is slowly reinitiated into the mass. And you know, thats not a bad thing. A little disconnect with the popular culture and vernacular is extremely prudent. After all we aren't dealing with the things of the world, but the work of God. There should be a disconnect. I'm not saying make the language Shakespearean or otherwise unintelligible - but just make it outside the lines enough to make it formal, proper, respectful, and orthodox.

You know we take the mystery out of life all the time. How unfortunate that is. Mystery is the stuff that makes us keep looking. It inspires music, art, and literature. And man, that is awesome. People who think they know everything they need to are in a sad state; and even more so are those who only view what they know, or can definitively know, is relevant.

Humanity has the capability to go to the moon and look at molecules in a telescope. We know the very materials life needs in order to survive. Granted as we move through time we will know more, as we should. People are driven to solve even the smallest questions they have, let alone the big ones like "How did life begin?" Questioning is in our nature, and it separates us from the rest of creation. In fact, our inquisitiveness is a great mystery unto itself.

Mother Angelica said once on her show "You know I'm glad I'm not that smart, because it would take the wonder out of life." So true! Take for instance the frequent flyer. A man who travels the country regularly on airlines may cease to be amazed by awesomeness of viewing the world from 30,000 feet. Not to mention the whole law of gravity. We are able to stand outside without floating away, and the whole solar system is held in place by the great power of gravity, yet just by the tip of a wing on a jet and a little speed we are able to defy it for long periods of time.

My point is that when we take the mystery out of life, the world, or even the Mass, it becomes commonplace and uneventful. Just as the person who flies often is no longer in awe, so will be the person who attends Mass and just goes through the motions with commonplace language they could hear anywhere is no longer in awe of the mystery presented before them.

In considering this, I'm going to make a commitment to stop and "smell the roses" from now on. I have a feeling its going to make me a much happier guy. In fact, I don't think it could hurt anyone once in a while to take a look up and the stars and consider "Man, that is freaking huge."

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"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton