Monthly Archives: November 2011

Would that you could hear this at mass this Sunday

Me too.

This new mass . . .

. . . it’s got style, and being more elaborate, gives the priest less room for his personal touch(es), as Roma Locuta Est points out brilliantly, especially in this part, italics mine:

3. The new translation will change the focus on the priests personality.

The new translation is harder to speak, and it is harder to understand . . . because it is more formal. Yet this was no accident; it was one of the goals of the new translation: an elevated language worthy of the worship of God. By way of a literary comparison, it is more like Dickens that it is like Nicholas Sparks.

Yet the funny thing about language that is more formal is this: the focus is naturally more on the words rather than on the spoken performance. When the texts are simpler, there is more opportunity for a personal stamp. With the new and more formal texts, the personality of the priest is crowded out by the words themselves. This is how it should be. As Benedict XVI has mentioned more than once, as both Cardinal and Pope, the personality of the priest is not the important thing – for he is standing in persona Christi.

As I listened to the words spoken, I tried to imagine them being spoken by a boisterous personality. And it occurred to me that it simply wouldnt work. Oh, dont get me wrong, some will still try, but inevitably it will sound goofy. It will be like trying to recite Shakespeare with the overbearing and overacted personality of Jim Carey [sic: Carrey]. Jim Carrey might have been able to carry the old translation – for a simpler translation allows for a wider variety of spoken performances – but the new translation demands the sophistication of a polished Shakespearean stage actor, someone who can let the text stand on its own.

I firmly believe that the new texts will eventually root out the performer priest and replace him with an authentic actor who understands that the part he plays in the great cosmic drama of the Mass is not about him, but about the God of the universe.

Notre Dame name nods noisily

This fellow has a Notre Dame name because of how it starts: Ndamukong. [Weak opening, sorry] The Lions’ Suh, that is, the daylight stomper from Detroit.

He nods by calling as witness to his innocence the well-known “man upstairs,” which is to anthropormophize G-d beyond recognition except by Hispanic home-run hitters who look and point up as they round the bases.

But he of whom Ndamukong Suh spoke after going smash-and-stomp on Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith has to be NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, says one fellow.

Unfortunately for Suh, the man upstairs in the NFL is Roger Goodell, says another.

But G-d as man upstairs? Not quite how the Psalmist would have us understand Him:

Psalms 45:4 As to Thy majesty — prosper! — ride! Because of truth, and meekness — righteousness, And Thy right hand showeth Thee fearful things. (YLT)

Psalms 47:2 For Jehovah Most High ‘is’ fearful, A great king over all the earth. (YLT)

Psalms 65:5 By fearful things in righteousness Thou answerest us, O God of our salvation, The confidence of all far off ends of earth and sea. (YLT)

Psalms 66:3 Say to God, ‘How fearful ‘are’ Thy works, By the abundance of Thy strength, Thine enemies feign obedience to Thee. (YLT)

Psalms 66:5 Come ye, and see the works of God, Fearful acts toward the sons of men. (YLT)

Psalms 68:35 Fearful, O God, out of Thy sanctuaries, The God of Israel Himself, Giving strength and might to the people. Blessed ‘is’ God! (YLT)

Psalms 76:7 Thou, fearful ‘art’ Thou, And who doth stand before Thee, Since Thou hast been angry! (YLT)

Psalms 76:11 Vow and complete to Jehovah your God, All ye surrounding him. They bring presents to the Fearful One. (YLT)

Psalms 76:12 He doth gather the spirit of leaders, Fearful to the kings of earth! (YLT)

Psalms 89:7 God is very terrible, In the secret counsel of His holy ones, And fearful over all surrounding Him. (YLT)

Psalms 96:4 For great ‘is’ Jehovah, and praised greatly, Fearful He ‘is’ over all gods. (YLT)

Psalms 99:3 They praise Thy name, ‘Great, and fearful, holy ‘it’ is.’ (YLT)

Psalms 106:22 Of wonderful things in the land of Ham, Of fearful things by the sea of Suph. (YLT)

Psalms 111:9 Redemption He hath sent to His people, He hath appointed to the age His covenant, Holy and fearful ‘is’ His name. (YLT)

Psalms 139:14 I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. My soul knows that very well. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)

Psalms 145:6 And the strength of Thy fearful acts they tell, And Thy greatness I recount. (YLT)

Ndamukong and all ye Hispanic home-run hitters while circling the bases, get ye to your Psalms. For the whole picture.

The ninth beatitude . . .

. . . for sermon time, sometimes: Blessed are the hard of hearing, for they miss most of it.

Song to go with this beatitude:

Turn off your hearing aid, Daddy.
The preacher is off on a tear.
Turn off your hearing aid, Daddy.
The church is afloat in hot air.

Let trade alone

Trade knows best:

Trade is in its nature free, finds its own channel and best directeth its own course; and all laws to give it rules and directions, and to limit and circumscribe it, may serve the particular ends of private men, but are seldom advantageous to the public.

Private men: insiders, pols who are connected, etc. etc.

Meeting Cory and Sunny outside Flat Iron bar in Wicker Park

They done Jessica wrong, wrong, wrong but cops had better things to do than arrest them. Drug war trumps all, says Radley Balko.

Hazardous deal-making

It’s the spirit of the thing.

Moral hazards most often occur when parties who are largely insulated from risk behave differently from the way they would normally behave if they were fully exposed to the risk. Or put another way, moral hazards generally result in risky behavior stemming from not having enough skin-in-the-game.

Too big to fail in the spirit:

A spiritual bail-out mindset can lead us to forsake obedience and the need for virtuous behavior. If we are not vigilant against the occasions of sin we can carelessly take on too much spiritual risk. Moreover, although Gods ocean of mercy is far greater than our collective scarlet sins that does not mean we can avoid the consequences of sinful behavior, both here and in the hereafter. The truth is that sin offends. It offends Jesus, often others and the very nature of our eternal soul.

And we grow old covered with our faults, as Rev. John A. “Gus” McGrail SJ told young Jesuit Latin students at Milford OH in the early ’50s.

Gummint not even to aid citizens?!!

A passel of quotes from T. Jefferson with relevance to the present state of the United States:

“I do verily believe that if the principle were to prevail of a common law being in force in the United States (which principle possesses the general government at once of all the powers of the state governments, and reduces us to a single consolidated government), it would become the most corrupt government on the earth.”

Beautiful, beautiful big family

Give this family a look: 14 and counting, seven natural, seven adopted.

Another Republican idea hits dust

Chi Trib’s Steve Chapman finds something else not to like.

Something else? A conservative, he is often, if not usually, dyspeptic about conservative ideas. Or so it seems.

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