Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Et Cum Spiritu Tuo

Father Blake explains how the new translation of the English missal will restore the authentic meaning of the ancient greeting, saying:
The current ICEL translations have cut us off from this Christian greeting which goes back at least to the first century. For 2,000 years Christians have used it, those four words have formed the theology of ordinary Christians, replacing them by "And also with you", meaning ,"same to you", has done immense damage to the thinking of English speaking Christians over the last 40 years. No wonder some priests prefer to supplement or replace it with the even more prosaic, "Good morning everybody". Not understanding or seeing the point, demonstrates the serious rupture that has gone on in the Church's thinking in the English speaking world.

"Dominus vobiscum: Et cum Spiritu tuo", implies one is saying something quite different than the current response, it causes us to acknowledge that the Spirit of God is upon us, that Grace is present in our lives and that we have capacity to receive Grace. "Also with you" gives us a closed circle, were there is a problem with Grace.

At the heart of the problems we experience, at least in the English speaking Church, is a distancing from Sanctifying Grace and our ability to receive it. Lex orandi: lex credendi. I think the correct translation of these four words will do a great deal heal a dangerous trend. Their absence hits at the very heart of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and our anthropology, it does indeed damage us seriously!

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