Monthly Archives: January, 2008

A Linguistic Brainteaser

Pair up the twenty three-letter words in a way that makes ten six-letter words. Do not use any three-letter word twice.

ace, ale, ant, ash, beg, end, fin, ham, hem, leg, one, ore, pal, per, put, rid, sea, see, son, the

Via ProofreadNOW!

Answers are behind this link.

WordPress Updates

I’ve been doing a little work in the background over the past few days. I didn’t do much tinkering with this theme after I applied it, but it needed work. I finally validated the XHTML, which wasn’t difficult. I did lose the neat sidebar section headers, though, and I can’t remember how I got them back in the dynamic sidebar in the first place, so I’ll have to go without them.

Live Comment Preview is not working with this theme, so I installed the WP Ajax Edit Comments plugin instead. If you see any horrifically clashing colors or notice any malfunctions, email me (see sidebar). It’s hard to test as the blog owner.

I also need to get trackbacks to show up, though I already lifted some code from my old theme to keep me from having to login when I post comments, so that shouldn’t be hard. I’d like to get back to actually writing soon instead of doing all the technical background work, though I’m glad I can actually do that work myself.

: I didn’t have trackbacks because I didn’t trackback. I’m a genius. I also added NoFollow Free, because if you comment, you deserve some love.

Cardinal Arinze: “Stop Ad-Libbing the Mass!”

Last week, ZENIT published the text of an address that Cardinal Francis Arinze gave on language in the liturgy. I delayed reading it because I’ve been going through my Google Reader at work, but I wanted to take my time with the speech and blog about it, so I had to be at home. I love Cardinal Arinze, as I’ve mentioned before, so I was excited to read his thoughts on a subject dear to my heart.

The speech is published in the three parts. The first (linked above) is an introduction that lays out the basis for the various rites in the Church. I had no idea there were so many Eastern rites! The second elaborates on the desire of the people for authentic worship. The cardinal says:

It is not true that the lay faithful do not want to sing the Gregorian Chant. What they are asking for are priests and monks and nuns who will share this treasure with them…. Monasteries are visited by people who want to sing Lauds and especially Vespers…. It is remarkable that young people welcome the Mass celebrated sometimes in Latin.

Our CSC Latin Mass was fabulous. I love to chant. I speak Spanish, so I can follow along with the Latin easier than if I spoke only English, but I still don’t understand every word. I still get lost even when we have Mass in Spanish. There’s something beautiful about Latin, though. It fits so well with traditional melodies. The psalms of the LOTH truly sound like prayers when they are sung. By chanting the Salve Regina, we are adoring the Blessed Virgin. Even when we chant Vespers at the CSC and giggle because we’re so inexperienced, the fact that we’re chanting lifts our hearts to God.

The crowning section of the cardinal’s speech is the third section. He finally builds up to his point: authentic translation is difficult, but it is key to celebrating the liturgy in all its splendor. I’ve been talking this week with Margaret, one of the older Catholic ladies who works with me in Honors. She thinks traditional prayers like the Our Father (“who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name”) should be simplified for children so they can understand. I heartily disagree. We should definitely explain words like “apostolic,” “art,” and “hallowed,” but we shouldn’t say anything differently during the course of Holy Mass. We need to stay as close to the original language as possible. If not, we’ll wind up with atrocities like the NAB’s “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack” (Psalm 23).

Translations should, therefore, be faithful to the original Latin text. They should not be free compositions. [They] should reflect that reverence, gratitude and adoration before God’s transcendent majesty and man’s hunger for God which are very clear in the Latin texts…. [Liturgical vernacular] should not hesitate to use some words not generally in use in everyday conversation, or words that are associated with Catholic faith and worship.

Fr. Kyle has gone on the Catholic Terps Habitat for Humanity trip, so we were scheduled to have a substitute priest for 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday. When he hadn’t shown up by 10:15, Jess gave me a ride to St. Mark for 10:30 Mass there. It was quite nice, but I was distressed by the priest’s insistence on improvising parts of the Mass; for example, finishing the Gospel reading, then saying, “And for our salvation, this is the Gospel of the Lord.” I used to be guilty of a similar abuse when I read the psalm while lectoring, but I stopped. You read the words on the page; nothing more.

[N]o individual, even a priest or deacon, has authority to change the approved wording in the sacred liturgy. This is also common sense. But sometimes we notice that common sense is not very common.

There’s a significant difference between “Tonight I can write the saddest lines” and “Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche” (Neruda, translated into English). It is not a crime to seek to understand something written in another language. To change the inherent and sacred meaning of the Divine Liturgy–this is the crime. Preach it, Cardinal:

Indeed, we can say that the most important thing in divine worship is not that we understand every word or concept. No. The most important consideration is that we stand in reverence and awe before God, that we adore, praise and thank him. The sacred, the things of God, are best approached with sandals off [Exodus 3:5].

Catholic Carnival 154

This one’s hosted at the Catholic Carnival’s home, Living Catholicism.

Denise of Catholic Matriarch in My Domestic Church issues a catechetical challenge based on comments from Amy Welborn. She rightly argues that good catechesis needs support in the home. I can vouch for that. When my mom doesn’t go to Mass, my siblings won’t go. When I came home from First Timer’s Retreat with the CSC glowing and full of the Holy Spirit, Maura was more encouraged to stop by. Adults need religious education, too, especially the current generation with young children. They’re the ones who were the worst catechized of them all.

Fr. V. of Adam’s Ale (yes, friends, priests are allowed to drink) laments the awkward practice of eulogies at funeral Masses. I’ve only been to one Catholic funeral, for my great-grandmother. I was slowly making my way back to the Church at the time, so I had no idea eulogies aren’t allowed. My grandmother wrote a poetic letter, which I was conscripted to read. I knew it was awkward to be calling Grandma Bernice an “angel,” but I didn’t know the theological implications of it at the time. I do remember that the priest gave a proper homily, though, and that I was called forward at the very end, read my paper, and sat back down. It was the least abusive sort of liturgical abuse, I suppose. Reading Fr. V’s post makes me want to set down instructions for my own death, as morbid as it is. I just don’t want my parents and friends fighting. My friends know I love Latin; my mom would probably be lost, as much as I love her.

SWP of CatholicLand! reflects on the Holy Name of Jesus, which we venerate this month (and always!) I used to be guilty of breaking the Second Commandment all the time, but I’ve gotten better. Once I said, “Oh, my,” to avoid it, and my mom called me an old lady. I took up the emphasis on the name of Jesus in the Hail Mary, which he mentions, some time ago. Jesus wasn’t originally mentioned by name there. It was an important enough point to be added in, so we might as well emphasize it and add to the Christocentric qualities to boot.

Ian of Musings from a Catholic Bookstore provides us with criteria for good, orthodox Catholic books and publishers. (The full list can be found at Aquinas and More, his bookstore.) I appreciate his including imprints that have some questionable material but are otherwise great. It’s important to not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I feel the same way about Protestant translations of some of my favorite Bible verses: those Bibles are missing books, but the USCCB won’t even allow some of its own NAB translations in the Lectionary.

Tausign of Perfect Joy writes about his impressions of St. Blog’s as a new member. His most important point (besides the ubiquity of Catholic mom bloggers!) is that God should be the foundation of our lives. God doesn’t get piled onto the plate; he is the plate. Mine has an Augustinian glaze, so I guess that means it’s a little chipped and decorated all over with Scripture.

I just realized I missed Carnival 153. Oops. I do like keeping up with the Carnival, though. It’s a great way to see what other people are thinking and writing about in St. Blog’s.

Recent Discoveries

Sometimes I love how huge the Internet is. While wandering around online at work the other day (I have a lot of downtime in the off semesters), I stumbled across Pinger. The basic concept is that you can ping someone by leaving a voice-based text message. It sounds really useful for those times when you’re calling someone, but you actually don’t want them to pick up; you just want to leave a message. I’m not sure if I’ll ever use it, but it sounds cool.

The other thing I found looks amazing: the Easy Read. It’s the coolest book holder I’ve ever seen. I wish I could afford one, but grad school applications, rent, and one last semester of textbooks are looming over me.

Catholic Carnival 152

Here’s my notes on the Christmas Catholic Carnival, number 152, hosted at A Catholic Mum Climbing the Pillars.

Heidi at Mommy Monsters Inc. (love the title!) offers a reflection on Mary’s and Elizabeth’s feelings during the Visitation. How did Mary feel after consenting to be the Theotokos? How can we compare Mary’s situation to modern times? It’s hard to analyze our Blessed Mother. I run into the same problem with her that I have trying to ponder Jesus during the hidden years of his childhood and early adulthood. In Bible study sophomore year, Maura, Tim, Jim, Ali, and I discussed whether Jesus would have ever dated. Fact notwithstanding that young Nazoreans didn’t date like people do today, it’s an interesting idea to ponder. He would have been incapable of lusting or any sin again chastity, of course, but even though he knew he would die without marrying, would he have gone walking by the well with a nice Nazorean girl?

Sr. Edith Brogue, OSB, shares a reflection presented to her sisters about St. Joseph’s role in the Holy Family and the Nativity, in light of this year’s Vatican nativity scene. St. Joseph gets left out almost all the time. It’s sad that in a world where fatherhood isn’t valued or popular, the greatest earthly father we have gets pushed aside as well. When I finally worked out a personal method of praying the rosary, I was proud to add “St. Joseph, pray for us” to my daily prayers.

Christine, of Domestic Vocation, recounts yet another harried health scare. Despite the challenges that come with being human, she managed to survive with a good outlook on redemptive suffering. I can relate.

Erin of Bearing Blog, who I also enjoyed in Carnival 151, offers a post I read last week about responding to rude questions about the size of your family. It’s none of their business how many children you have! A few weeks ago, when I went to replace my broken holy medal chain at the Shrine, I saw a woman with 5 small children, one of whom was carrying the second-smallest. In another part of my life, I would have shaken my head in pity, much like my mother would to this day. This time, I smiled, though with a worry in the back of my mind that the girl carrying her sister might not be holding on quite tight enough. Holiness takes time.

A different Heidi, of Streams of Mercy, wrote a beautiful story about how her understanding of evangelization (and evangelism) has changed over the course of her conversion to Catholicism. I believe that lifestyle evangelization is very important. If people can’t relate to you, they’ll never pay enough attention to see Christ in you. They won’t hear the Gospel if they’re not already willing to listen. I really must get around to reading that CDF document. Maybe, just maybe, I can squeeze it in before winter break ends.

Remainders on Faith

I will start off 2008 by recapping all the faith-oriented articles I meant to write about over the past few weeks. In the spirit of blogging superstar Jason Kottke, these are my remaindered links.

I read a heartbreaking and disturbing AP article about the upsurge in paid surrogacy in India. This completely perverts the concept of parenthood and birth. Children don’t deserve to be outsourced, and these women definitely shouldn’t be renting their bodies. The ability to bear children is precious. The fertility and abortion industries are already examples of the way this has played out in our world. Don’t add surrogacy to the dismal picture.

Busted Halo is always a good place for me to read about faith and Catholic issues from a wider perspective than, say, the National Catholic Register (which I also love). A few weeks ago, they featured an article by a Mormon woman decrying stereotypes about Mormons and offering her opinions on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. I can relate to so much of what she writes because I feel the same way about the state of Catholicism in America. “Changing the popular perception of a cultural or religious group is a social study of enormous proportions,” she says. Maura’s always insisting that the Catholic Church needs a good marketing campaign. I think Archbishop Wuerl’s “The Light Is On for You” program (which he repeated during Advent and will be continuing this Lent) and For Your Marriage are excellent steps in that direction.

I’ve also been catching up on ZENIT news since I was at FOCUS Conference and doing my last-minute GRE studying. To my great delight, the Holy Father has restarted his Wednesday audience reflections on the saints with St. Augustine. I love St. Augustine! I was even born on August 30, a mere two days after his feast day.

I was also greatly encouraged by the news that, since the Tridentine Rite motu proprio, some anti-Novus Ordo schismatic groups are petitioning for reconciliation with Rome. Jesus prayed that the Church would be one; this is a tremendous step in the right direction. B16 is a very different pope than JPII was, but he’s still doing amazing things for the Church.

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