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Coping with liturgical change

Posted By December 2, 2011 | 3:25 pm | Spiritual
St. Paul on joy

Coping with liturgical change

By Father John Catoir
Catholic News Service
You have every right to complain about the changes in the liturgy. Change always produces anxiety but generally is not dangerous. Try to calm down; we can get through this without a crisis.
Keep in mind a few simple things:
— You have chosen to be a Catholic in order to receive the Eucharist on a regular basis.
— You know very well that the church is not a democracy. (The truth is that all organizations have a pope figure, even Protestant churches.)
— You may want the Catholic Church to be more democratic, but don’t hold your breath. If you seriously want to have a democratic church, you just might have to start your own. But be aware that you might have difficulty getting everyone to agree on your rules.
— Those who are searching for a “perfect” church also have to understand that, once they join it, it no longer will be perfect!
The best thing to do, if you’re seriously annoyed with the changes, is to blame Pope Benedict XVI.
On second thought, he was elected by the bishops of the world to carry forward Blessed Pope John Paul II’s vision.
Liturgical purity was one of Blessed John Paul’s top priorities. He spoke 12 languages fluently and discovered in his travels through many countries that their vernacular translations for the liturgy had departed from the essential meaning of the original texts.
For instance, when a church document says that the Father and the Son are related in a “consubstantial union,” it is to uphold the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ. But when translations began appearing that indicated only a very close union existing between them, there is room for interpreting the relationship as some kind of brotherhood.
Pope John Paul II wanted a much more precise translation to convey the truth that Jesus Christ is true God and true man.
As pope, it was Blessed John Paul’s right and his duty to change all translations to read “consubstantial.”
Pope Benedict XVI agreed with him entirely. He had been an obedient servant to Blessed John Paul throughout the 26 years of his papacy. Both of them decided that the purity of the faith demanded a more precise translation.
Greater understanding will help us get through this period of change.
What upsets some people is their belief that the translation puts too much emphasis on guilt. I’ve received a few letters from scrupulous readers who are disturbed by the words “Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.” These words are part of the old prayer, the Confiteor (which means “I confess”). Scrupulous people seem to fear that God hasn’t forgiven them their past sins, even though they have all been confessed.
Of course, we all know that no translation can be written to accommodate every single individual, but, thank God, we can still use the simple words: “Lord, have mercy.” Mercy is just another name for “love” as it confronts a humble, penitential spirit.
We all need mercy. Be at peace and know that all will be well.